88 books that shaped my life

88 books that shaped my life

Recently, the Library of Congress selected 88 books that shaped America, including such classics as "The Sound and the Fury," "Joy of Cooking," and "Everyone Poops." (OK, that last one isn't really on there. But it should be.)

After reading through the list, I started wondering whether I could find 88 books that had shaped my life to this point. I started writing down books that had affected how I acted or thought and reached 88 before I knew it.

So, without further ado and without any particular regard to order, let's begin:

1. "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary

2. "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens

3. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and the rest of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

4. "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and the rest of  the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

5. "The Fellowship of the Ring" and the rest of the Lord of the Rings series by J.R. Tolkien

6. "The Golden Compass" and the rest of the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

7. "The Bad Beginning" and the rest of the A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

8. "The Gunslinger" and the rest of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King

9. "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius

10. "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume

11. "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster

12.  "Ender's Game" and the rest of the Ender series by Orson Scott Card

13. "Dave Barry's Greatest Hits" by Dave Barry

14. "The Bible"

15. "Charlie Brown's Cyclopedia"

16. "My Antonia" by Willa Cather

17. "Danny the Champion of the World" by Roald Dahl, as well as many of his other books

18. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

19. "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

20. "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel

21. "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman

22. "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner

23. "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn

24. "Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History" by Richard Shenkman

25. "Selected Lectures, Essays and Poems" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

26. "Naked" and "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris

27. "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy

29. "The Iliad" by Homer

30. "The Epic of Gilgamesh"

31. "The Cave of Time" and the rest of the Choose Your Own Adventure series

32. "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis

33. "The Nose Knows" and the rest of the McGurk Mystery series

34. "The Elements of Style" by E.B. White and William Strunk Jr.

35. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White

36. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain

37. "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger

38. "Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" and the other Encyclopedia Brown books by Donal J. Sobol

39. "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

40. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst

41. "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller

42. "A Separate Peace" by John Knowles

43. "Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates" by Tom Robbins

44. "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck

45. "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

46. "The Tipping Point," "Blink" and "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

47. "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse" by Jared Diamond

48. "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" by Nassim Nicholas

49. "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" by Bill Bryson

50. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

51. "Ramona the Brave" and other books about Ramona, Beezus or Henry Huggins  by Beveryly Cleary

52. "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien.

53. "The Cardinal of the Kremlin" by Tom Clancy

54. "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown

55. "The Last Days of Socrates" by Plato

56. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

57. "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder

58. "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

59. "Watchmen" by Alan Moore

60. "The Dilbert Future" by Scott Adams

61. "American Gods," "Stardust," "Neverwhere" and really anything written by Neil Gaiman including "The Sandman" series

62. "Peanuts Revisited" and any other collection of "Peanuts" comic strips by Charles M. Schulz

63. "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson

64. "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire

65. "Aesop's Fables"

66. "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess

67. "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Green

68. "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare

69. "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

70. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

71. "The Indian in the Cupboard" by Lynne Reid Banks

72. "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

73. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

74. "Cider House Rules" by John Irving

75. "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier

76. "Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane

77. "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

78. "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London

79. "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton

80. "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

81. "1984" and "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

82. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon

83. "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

84. "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka

85. "The Art of Drowning" by Billy Collins

86. "Where the Sidewalk Ends," "A Light in the Attic" and "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

87. "Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli

88. "Slaughterhouse-Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace that looks for the awesome in life. Please support Going for Gusto by liking the Facebook page at Facebook.com/GoingForGusto.

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