100 Books to Read Before You Die 

The Challenge


What do you get when you combine a CPA and a Quality Control auditor?

 Only an accountant would determine that a single list containing books to read before you die was insufficient.  What if that particular list had a book that really WASN’T a must read before I died.  And what if there were other books that I should have read before my demise, but it just wasn’t on that list.  Therefore I sourced international websites, and cross referenced the lists of 100 books to read before you die, to come up with the most listed books to read before you die.  Taking the books from ten lists, I came up with my 100 books to read before I died.  Taking lists from Time, NY Times, The Guardian, thebest100lists.com, The Novel 100, Harvard, BBC and two blogs, I came up with my list.  The books that made my list showed up on three or more of the ten lists.       

My coworker brought up the idea of the 100 books to read before you die, and that seed grew into my challenge.  Somewhere between playing in excel to determine my list and starting the first book, I decided that it was the perfect year to begin this quest.  I just turned 30 and I would give myself until I was 40 to finish the list.  10 years was enough for 100 books, right?  Little did I know that my final list contained a few loopholes that I only discovered after my declaration was set.  My final list included gems like: the entire Harry Potter series (4167 pages), the bible (1736 pages), the Chronicles of Narnia (1635 pages), and the Lord of the Rings (1216 pages).  Each of these monstrosities counts as one book, as does A Christmas Carol (76 pages).  The list changed a bit before it was finalized, and on Christmas Eve, we decided to omit the multiple book series from the list.  Therefore to accomplish my goal, I had to read 12 pages per day for 10 years.  (I warned you that I am a numbers person).

In recent years, I have enjoyed comparing the book against the movie that portrays it.  I love to watch movies, and have only begun to read for fun in the last few years.  With this being said, when I find a good book like the Stephanie Plum New Jersey bounty hunter series, I can fly through a book. This year, I read about 25 of the Stephanie Plum novels.  This was part of the reason I decided to embark on my journey.  I was reading so much junk food, that I decided I probably should read some books that were more powerful, memorable, epic masterpieces.  I found that the Hunger Games movie was so similar to the book that I just loved it.  I decided that I wanted to watch the movie after reading the book, if the movie was available.  It turns out that there are movies made of 70 of the 100 books on my list.  I am thrilled to be able to read such literary masterpieces and then watch the movie about it.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and mom determined that I was not allowed to listen to books on tape.  I am not sure when they got a vote, but somehow the angel on my shoulder agreed and I resigned to read all 44,236 pages in the 3,652 days.  Also over that Thanksgiving weekend, my mom decided that she was going to read some of the books with me.  That is when we decided to share our journey over a blog.  I have historically liked to narrate my endeavors, such as my blog about our year living in Holland and traveling everywhere in Europe.  As well as our pilgrimage to Egypt amidst the revolution, with a highlighted venture to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.  I digress.  Mom began reading the first couple of books that I had already read, but wasn’t convinced that she was going all in.  I didn’t get mom’s complete buy into the journey until her visit to the eye doctor.  Her doctor was so enamored with our plan and acclaimed how reading wards off dementia.  This scientific statement sold mom and she was in.

Leave a Reply