Thursday, May 16, 2013

Books you need to read in your 20s

My co-worker sent me this Buzzfeed list, 65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s, and you know how much I love a list so here it is. I don't put too much stock with any list that says "X books you have to read,"  but I at least appreciate that the original list gives you reasons for each book. Besides, I always like seeing where I stand. So, here we go

The bolded books are the ones I've read

Great Novels
1. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
2. What She Saw... by Lucinda Rosenfeld
3. The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
5. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
6. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
8. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
9. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
10. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
11. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
12. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
13. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
14. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
15. Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman
16. The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis
17. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
20. A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
21. The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
22. The Group by Mary McCarthy
23. Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen (the list says it's 2 novellas so I guess that equals 1 book. Plus the whole Sandman series made it up above
24. Pastoralia by George Sanders
25. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
26. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
27. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
28. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
29. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
30. Generation X by Douglas Coupland
31. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
32. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
33. I Love Dick by Chris Kraus
34. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
35. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Haruki Murakami

So out of their Great Novels category I've read 7 of the 36. Not only that, I haven't even heard of the majority of these. I will need to add some more books to my TBR list. Cos you, know, that wasn't long enough yet. Now the next category

Great Memoirs
37. Bossypants by Tina Fey
38. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
39. How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young
40. The Dirt by Motley Crue and Neil Strauss
41. Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
42. Just Kids by Patti Smith
43. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
44. Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey
45. I Don't Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
46. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
47. Lit by Mary Karr
48. I'm with the Band by Pamela Des Barres
49. Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin

And 2 out of 13 in the Great Memoirs section. Though I've read Kitchen Confidential so many times I should get to count it at least twice.

(I didn't leave out the Great. The list did.)
50. The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton by Anne Sexton (well, I've read Transformations a few times, but not all her stuff)
51. Actual Air by David Berman
52. The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch by Kenneth Koch
53. Alien vs. Predator by Michael Robbins
54. The Collected Poems of Audre Lord by Audre Lord

And none out of the poetry stuff. Though poetry isn't really my thing so I'm not so surprised.

Essays That Will Make You Think And/Or Laugh
55. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
56. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
57. My Misspent Youth by Meghan Daum
58. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
59. Up in the Hotel by Joseph Mitchell

1 out of 5 but Caitlin Moran's book is so great so bonus points

General Life How-Tos
60. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
61. How's Your Drink? by Eric Felten
62. The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
63. Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens
64. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
65. He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo (I started reading this one and thought it was terrible and DNF-ed it. Which was sad cos I like the little bit of Behrendt's stand up I've seen.)

None in the general life how-tos, though really I should probably get some more guidance there.

Out of the 65 on the list, I've read 10. I thought i would have read more. I did not expect to not even recognize so many. As I said above, I'm not to worried about not having read all (or even half) of the books on the list. I certainly won't be reading all of these before I'm out of my twenties, consider I have less than a year to do that.

How'd you do with the list? Do you recognize more than me? And I realize I didn't tell you which ones I don't know. But just figure if I didn't read it and it's not an obvious one everyone knows, I probably didn't recognize it. Way to make me feel like a loser, Buzzfeed.