"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, July 1, 2016

Books representing my lifetime

Earlier this week I posted a list of the 75 best books of the last 75 years. The list was put together by Ann Pratchett for the 75th anniversary of the PARADE magazine. At the end of the post I challenged myself and my readers to create a list of best books read in our lifetime. The following is my attempt to cover my life with books. As you will see, I did not read the books during the given year necessarily, they were just published in that year. 

Creating the list was way harder than I thought it would be. For one thing, I have not gone back and read many books published during my childhood, hence the high number of (C) children's titles without an (A) adult title. I discovered a few things along the way, too. Little Bear was not written by Maurice Sendak, as I always thought. He was just the illustrator of my first childhood book. In 2008 there was a shift in publishing and more YA titles than adult titles were sold that year. That trend continues. One more note, many of the books I have listed were books I liked fine but in no way represent the best books I've ever read. Often I included them on the list because they were memorable in some way and I continue to think about them even now.

Here is my original post about the Parade Magazine 75 best in past 75 years. I challenge you to create a list of books which represent your lifetime. Good luck!

Books I’ve read and enjoyed over the course of my lifetime;
 published 1957-2016
A=Adult titles; C=Children’s or YA titles
A-On the Beach by Nevil Shute
C-Little Bear by Elise Holmelund, ill. By M. Sendak
A-Beloved by Toni Morrison (tied)
A-The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher
A-Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
C-Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
A-Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
C-The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
A-Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
C-The Birthday Book by Dr. Seuss
A-The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
C-Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
A-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
C-Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
A-The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
C-Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
C- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
C-The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (Tied)
A-The Firm by John Grisham
C- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A- The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
A-The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
C-Where the Wild Things Are by M. Sendak
C- The Giver by Lois Lowry
C- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A- Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres (tied) 
A-Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
A-In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
C-The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
C-The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (tied)
C-Sabriel by Garth Nix
A-Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
A-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
C-The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A-The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
C- Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone by JK Rowling (first pub. in UK, series complete 2007.)
A-The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
C-Ramona the Pest by  B. Cleary
A-The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
C-Holes by Louis Sachar
C-The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A-Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham
C-Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
A-The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
C-The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
A-In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
C-Because of Winn-Dixie by DiCamillo
A-The Hiding Place by C. ten Boom
C-Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH by O’Brien
A-Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (tied)
A-Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
A-All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
C-My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
C- Feed by M.T. Anderson
C-The Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
A- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A-All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein
C-There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
A- The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
C-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
A-The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
C-Looking for Alaska by John Green
A- Roots by Alex Haley
C-The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
A-The Worst Hard Time by T. Egan  
C-The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
A-The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
C-Miss Nelson is Missing by Allard and Marshall
A- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
C- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
A-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Barrows and Shaffer
C- The Hunger Games by S. Collins
A- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
C-The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
A-The Help by Kathryn Stockett (tied)
A- Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

A-A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
C-The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Noble
A- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
A-When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
A-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
C-Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
A- The Color Purple by AliceWalker 
A-Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally (tied)
C-Jamberry by Bruce Degen
A-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
C- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
C-The Berenstain Bears and a Messy Room by Stan Berenstain
A-The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
C-Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
A- Cold Sassy Tree by Olive A. Burns
C-The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by A. Wood and D. Wood
A-All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
C- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
A- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
C-The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
A-Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
C-Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
A-Maus I  by Art Speigelman
C-The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A-My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
C-The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (4th in Raven Cycles eries)


  1. This was very interesting to look at! I've read some of the titles, but no where near as many as you. :)

    1. It was a lot harder to create this list than I thought it would be because I don't really know when books are published and had to rely on lists created by someone else, usually based on sales. I bet if you embarked on this task you would find that you have read at least one book per year of your life which you enjoyed.

  2. Wow - so it's books published every year of your life, not read in each year? Cool thing to do.

  3. Since I was born in 1956, I could use your list as a starting point...

    1. Deb, that is a great idea. Grab my list and add and subtract from there. Help yourself.

  4. Wow, that is a ton of work to figure out what year the books you liked were published and to ensure you found books for every year. Looking through the list brought a smile to my face as I remembered books that I also enjoyed (1965, the year I was born: The Mouse and the Motorcycle!). Great list and a fun activity!

    1. What I did was used the Internet and typed "Books published in 1957" and then looked through the list of books offered up by google or goodreads. What I missed doing it this way were books I loved which were not best sellers. So then I went back and plugged in special titles to find out their publishing dates. I finally decided to include both children's and adult titles because I was having such a tough time deciding or choosing for some of the years. Feel free to grab by list and then adjust from there. Leave me a link if you do create a list so I can see it.

  5. Love this idea so much! I'm not sure I've read a book published every year since my birth, but I do like the idea of seeing the evolution of literature over the course of a lifetime.

    1. Hey, feel free to grab my list and then change it around to fit what you have read. Hope you join in. As you see from my list. I couldn't find a single book published in 1966 that I've read. It is my only hole. (But now I am going to choose something from that year and read it!

  6. Oh my gosh, this is such a neat idea! Ellen and I may have to steal/borrow this from you :)

    1. I hope you do. It was an instructive activity, and fun.


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