Introducing The List


Welcome to The List!

This is going to be a long winded explanation. You have been warned.

So at the start of the year, I was presented with the chance to set myself a book goal on Goodreads (I’m Tessa Ann if anyone wants book spam). I’d never set a book goal before, or kept track of how many books I’d read in a year, so I decided I may as well shoot for the stars and set it for 200. I mean, I honestly believe that I could do it. Just maybe not this year. I’ve started out strong, and I’m ahead by a few books, but looking at the busyness of the year ahead, I think it might have been a bit optimistic. So, I’ve decided to drop it to 150. Still somewhat optimistic, but I think I can do it. I’ll secretly have a goal of 200 in my mind, but I’m not going to stress about it.

Told you that this was going to be long winded.

While contemplating my reading goal, I was adding books to my TBR. I basically just found a website with lots of YA books, looked up the ones that sounded interesting, and added them to my TBR. There was a grand total of 30something. I then spent ages looking them up on our library website. They had seven of them. Seven. I nearly cried.

Upon realizing that my library was going to be useless in completing the challenge, and considering that I didn’t want to spend the entire year doing rereads, I decided to set myself a different kind of goal. On my bucket list, somewhere between “Dye my hair” and “See Les Miserables live”, is “Read all the books on a list of 100 books to read before you die”. I decided to combine my Goodreads goal and an item on my bucket list. So my new goal for the year is to read 150 books, including all (or as many as possible) from a list of 100 books to read before you die.

Optimistic, I know.

But then we arrive at another problem. There is not a single list that I like. Okay, that sounds like I’m close minded and not willing to read certain books, which is kind of true. Basically, there are certain books that I don’t particularly want to read. You know, like ones in certain genres because I know they’ll give me nightmares (heck, I had an awful nightmare the other night after reading a very mild part of To Kill A Mockingbird), or things like that. And then there’s The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, which feature on every single list. I’m not even going to go into why I don’t want to read those. That’s an entirely different post.

So I decided to make my own list. I spent about three hours (that’s not an exaggeration) perusing lists and looking up books and compiling a list. My initial list was made up from this Goodreads list, using most of the first 100, and few after that. I then went through all the books and replaced some with others and did some more Googling and used my own personal favourites and basically just made a list.

You wanna see it? Of course you do. I’ve put the ones I’ve already read in bold. And it is, of course, in no particular order.

Pride & Prejudice
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Great Gatsby
The Catcher In The Rye
Great Expectations
Gone With The Wind
Jane Eyre
Lord Of The Flies
Wuthering Heights
Animal Farm
Little Women (started previously)
Gulliver’s Travels
Anna Karenina
The Grapes Of Wrath
Charlotte’s Web
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Heart Of Darkness
Crime And Punishment
Robinson Crusoe
The Wind In The Willows
The Little Prince
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
Tom Sawyer
Les Miserables
A Tale Of Two Cities
Tess Of The D’Ubervilles
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Anne Of Green Gables
The Handmaid’s Tale
Of Mice And Men
A Wrinkle In Time
The Da Vinci Code
The Book Thief
Love In The Time Of Cholera
David Copperfield
The Secret Garden
The Secret History
A Little Princess
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Madame Bovary
Alice In Wonderland

Bridget Jones’s Diary
Oliver Twist
A Christmas Carol
Moby Dick
Harry Potter
Sense & Sensibility
Watership Down
A Prayer For Owen Meany
The Chronicles Of Narnia
The Shadow Of The Wind
Vanity Fair
The Color Purple
The Kite Runner
The Five People You Meet In Heaven
The Woman In White
Corelli’s Mandolin
Far From The Madding Crowd
The Three Musketeers
A Town Like Alice
Fahrenheit 451
A Confederacy Of Dunces
A Fine Balance
Swallows And Amazons
Bleak House
The Scarlet Letter
Treasure Island
The Invisible Man
Notes From A Small Island
The Remains Of The Day
Black Beauty (started previously)
The Bell Jar
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
The Call Of The Wild
Breakfast At Tiffany’s
The Story Of My Life (Helen Keller)
Tender Is The Night
The Diary Of Anne Frank
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Cold Comfort Farm
Mrs Dalloway
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Sherlock Holmes
Peter Pan
Life Of Pi
The Alchemist

That is a long list. I tried to put it into multiple columns but it didn’t work. And this is a long post.

I omitted some books purely because of length, because I feel like I need to make this somewhat achievable. Harry Potter is only on there because I feel like I’d be shot if it wasn’t. I’ve actually only read the first three (and they weren’t even that fantastic in my opinion), but I’m highlighting it anyway. Same with The Chronicles Of Narnia – I’ve only read the first five, although I intend to read them all by the end of this year. I also have to admit that I hadn’t even heard of half of these. It’s a pretty random mishmash. It’s kind of just my TBR for the year. Ish.

But this is The List! Although, I am definitely open to suggestions. Are there books on here that I definitely shouldn’t read? Any books that I missed? Any comments on any of the books?

The List is going to replace Flashback Friday for the year, and it will be either once a month or once every couple of weeks. It’ll be an update on how I’m going, what I’ve thought so far, and any changes that I make.

And just an extra little idea of mine – would anyone be interested in doing this with me? Not necessarily the whole list, but maybe doing half and seeing how they go or something. Any takers? We could make this an actual big deal thing if enough people wanted to get involved. I don’t know. Just a thought. Let me know if you’re keen, and we’ll figure something out.

I promise I will never do a post as long as this one ever again.

Tessa Ann


5 thoughts on “Introducing The List

  1. Don’t worry, this post wasn’t too long. I actually really enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    I’d be interested in sort of doing what you’re doing. I’m never organized to have a year-long TBR planned out, and I’ve already read about 46 of the titles/series you listed. But out of the ones you mentioned, I especially want to read: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Les Miserables, The Handmaid’s Tail, Tess of the D’Ubervilles, The Scarlet Letter, Vanity Fair, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Bleak House, Far from the Madding Crowd, and The Kite Runner (I own all but The Handmaid’s Tale, which I’m sure I could library). There are so many classics I want to read. *sigh* I’m also part way through Tender is the Night, so that’s on my list as well. I’m especially excited about The Scarlet Letter because I read The House of the Seven Gables by the same author, and I really enjoyed it.

    I think this is a really clever idea, and I’m so excited for you. I should really make a list of all the classics I have that I haven’t read. Classics specifically, but I should make a list of all the books I have that I haven’t read–since I’ve only read about half of the 550 or so books I own.

    I wouldn’t recommend The Time Traveler’s Wife. It has some strong swearing and it reads a bit like erotica. Like, I felt really dirty after reading it, and I was tempted to throw my copy away even though I love the cover. I liked the story idea, and I felt it had great potential, but there was just so much yuckiness reading it felt like biting into a piece of chicken and ending up chewing on a piece of really gross gristle. *shudders* But it’s totally up to you–I just wanted to warn you.

    Also, I really enjoyed of Mice and Men, but if bad endings bother you, I would recommend maybe reading a summary before you read the book, if you don’t mind spoiling it for yourself. It’s rather disturbing, and it has rather heavy swearing.

    Some of my all-time favorites from this list are: The Great Gatsby, 1984, Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, Withering Heights, Lord of the Flies (this one is rather disturbing, but I would still recommend it–just, don’t hurt me if you hate it *hides*), Heart of Darkness, Crime and Punishment, Tom Sawyer, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Frankenstein, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time…I could go on for a long time, actually, so I’m just going to stop there. 😛

    So yeah, this was a long comment. *hides* But I hope you enjoy tackling your reading list, and if I think of any recommendations, I’ll definitely let you know. (I would recommend books like Tarzan of the Apes, War and Peace, and C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy–but I won’t be offended if you don’t read them. :P)

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂


    • I’m glad it wasn’t too long! I was scared it might overwhelm people 😛

      Before yesterday, I owned very few of the books on the list, but my grandmother gave me her set of classics, so it makes it easier for me. I basically agree with your list, although I have to confess that I hadn’t actually heard of a couple of them before I put them on the list.

      Thank you! I’ve read very few classics, so I’m hoping that this will broaden my horizons. I’ve only got a few books that I own that I haven’t read, which is one of the reasons why I’m doing this.

      Okay, I think that one’s gone from the list. From that description, I don’t want to read it at all. Any suggestions to replace it? (Whoops. Just read the rest of your comment. Thanks for the suggestions 😛 )

      Hmm, I’ll see how I go with Of Mice And Men. I definitely plan on looking each one up before reading it, just so I can get things straight in my head. Maybe I’ll do a bit more than reading the synopsis for that one.

      I read The Great Gatsby last night! I rather enjoyed it. As for Lord Of The Flies, I basically kind of know what the disturbing thing is (I think), which, while a spoiler, will hopefully make it less disturbing and shocking when I read it. And I definitely agree with Anne Of Green Gables. Have you read any of the others by L. M. Montgomery?

      Well, it wasn’t as long as my post! 😀 And thank you! It’s certainly been enjoyable so far. I’m assuming Tarzan of the Apes is about Tarzan the monkey man, right? And War and Peace was one of the ones taken off the list because of length 😛 but I plan to read it at some point. As for the C. S. Lewis one, I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll look it up.

      Thank you for commenting! 😀


      • That’s really exciting about your grandmother, and can she also be my grandmother now? 😛

        Yeah, I would be slow to say don’t read Of Mice and Men because even though it bothered me I was glad I read it, and I do think it’s important to read disturbing books as well as happy ones, but I think it would have bothered me more if I hadn’t known in advance what I was getting into.

        I’m glad you like The Great Gatsby! It’s one of my favorite classics and I do want to reread it this year. I left my copy in Maine, so eventually I’ll have to send for it, but I also plan to send for so many books, it isn’t even funny. 😛 Aside from Anne of Green Gables, the only book I’ve read from L.M. Montgomery is A Tangled Web, which I really enjoyed. I’ve also read a biography about her, which was quite fun, but I need to tackle the rest of her books eventually because she was a clever writer. *nods*

        Yup, that’s the Tarzan of which I speak. Tarzan of the Apes is actually the first in a series of 22 or 23 Tarzan books. I’ve only read the first one, but I think I have the next five on my kindle and I want to eat them posthaste. The animated movie is rather different from the feel of Edgar Rice Borough’s writing, and even though the movie was a childhood favorite, I think I much preferred the book. I’m definitely going to reread that one this year. I can totally understand being less eager about reading War and Peace. I read it when I was going through my “read all the thick books of ever” phase, and I really enjoyed it. It took me about two months though? And I was thirteen at the time, so some of it went over my head, but I need to send for my copies of War and Peace and Anna Karenina from Maine so I can reread them because I have some major nostalgia from Tolstoy’s writing. The same goes for Crime and Punishment–I need to send for that so I can reread it as well. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are my top favorite Russian authors of all time.

        You’re welcome! 😀


      • I know! Maybe if you came to New Zealand…

        Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I left off some books because they sounded a bit too disturbing, but I also left on quite a few that will definitely stretch me in that sense. I’ll make a note to look up that one before reading.

        It was really good! I think I’ll have to read it again to get more out of it, but I definitely enjoyed it. Make sure you do read more by L. M. Montgomery. I’ve read all of the Anne ones, and I think all but five ish of her other ones. A personal favourite of mine is Kilmeny Of The Orchard, because it’s really short and sweet and really lovely.

        Yup, I looked it up, and I’ve put it on the list. I’ve never actually seen the animated movie, although I do plan on it at some point.

        I don’t think I’ve read any of the Russian classics before, but Anna Karenina and Crime And Punishment are on the list, and I think one other is as well. Or probably more and I just don’t know that they’re Russian. This whole thing is going to be a major learning experience for me. 😛


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