I recently decided to catch up on all of the reading I didn’t get done during my first 30 years. After deciding on a few books-to-read-before-you-die lists, I started the journey. I figure since reading can take you on an adventure, I should share a little about the books I read with you. Also, I want to keep a record for myself and progeny of what I’ve read, found valuable and recommend. So, I’ll start sharing a short review of the books I read, possibly a few at a time. As I go about this endeavor, I may also go back to books I’ve read in the past to share some of the written word that has stuck with me over the years.
First, a bit of the method to my madness. There are countless books out there on countless subjects. However, not being the most studious young person, I decided I should catch up on many of the classics I haven’t read. So, as mentioned above, I sought out some lists to help decide which of all the books out there I should start with. I came across several, but only a few from respected sources with a little more oomph on the subject than just your average blogger. Unfortunately, the most frequently found American list is Amazon’s, but it includes many books that haven’t proven their intrinsic value as literature or shown any real influence in society as of yet.
The most authoritative list I found was BBC’s list. However, this is a list of novels and doesn’t include biographies, poetry or philosophy. Nor does it include such works as are important to American history and culture that were cited by many scholars as books to read. This is why I chose to use three different lists. The first is BBC’s, the second the Library of Congress’ list of Books that Shaped America. The last is a list of books from the blog The Art of Manliness, which includes books every man should read. You can find my lists on a new page here.
Some of the books I share here will be off these lists and others won’t. Some of them I’ll have listened to an audio version (audiobooks are great for commutes and long drives). For each I’ll share the version I experienced for your reference. Since I started this endeavor a couple of months ago, I have made some good headway with a half dozen books under my belt. So, my first reviews will be coming shortly. I hope you enjoy the exploits of my literary adventures as much as my travel and photographic adventures.
To inspire your own reading adventure, here are 13 thoughts about reading:
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” – Wilfred Peterson
“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.” – Mary Schmich
“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.” – William Styron
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” – Anna Quindlen
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius
“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” – Nora Ephron
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” – Maya Angelou
“I cannot live without books.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Some people will lie, cheat, steal and back-stab to get ahead… and to think, all they have to do is READ.” – Fortune
I’m interested to know what books you recommend; is there something I should add to my list?