One Year, One Hundred Books

I believe in the power of stories. Whether genre or literary, fiction or non-fiction. I believe that a story has the power to save lives, or to create lives for people that they never imagined they could have. I believe a story has the power to speak to the soul, to demolish barriers and build connections. To nourish the heart. To inspire greatness and nobility. To instill ideals.

I believe that a made up story can become part of us in ways that real events sometimes cannot.

I also believe that reading is one of the most important activities children can participate in, at any age. Whether by being read aloud to (which is crucial), or by picking up books themselves. Even if those books are genre fiction. Even if they’re stories with few “merits” outside of their entertainment value. Those stories are often gateways to a vast array of more challenging literature. Whatever it takes to create a reader, is worthwhile.

Because reading is so important to me, I decided to set myself a challenge. This year, before 11:59pm on December 31st, I intend to read 100 books.

I didn’t invent this challenge, there’s a SparkPeople group, a GoodReads group and I’m sure a dozen other groups of valiant book lovers setting out to do the same thing. Will some of us fail? Yes. Will there be injuries, perhaps even deaths? I can’t rule that out.

In addition to the merits of reading for my own pleasure, as a parent, I believe that anything I want to teach my children must be modeled. If I want them to read willingly and to love reading, I have to show them that I read willingly and love reading.

There are three things you can do to support me.

Firstly, insofar as I generally read the books that I want to, when I want to, my backlog is pretty small. I could use some suggestions on what to read. To that end, a comment below recommending a book or books will be helpful. Unless I’ve already read it, I will read the first book in your comment, whether or not it seems like something I would like. Caveat! If I feel that you’re suggesting “War and Peace” or some other horrific, 1,900 page long piece, I will accuse you of cruelty and I will probably decline to read it. Other than willfully attempting to make me fail through sheer magnitude, nothing will cause me to decline a First Pick. Consider this your chance to share something you love.

Secondly, consider this an opportunity to commit to reading along with me. You don’t have to read a hundred books. I will be providing weekly posts on my progress and I would love to get comments about what you’re reading in those posts.

Finally, I’m putting (some of) my money where my mouth is. If I successfully complete the challenge, I will donate $1 per read book to a reading-related charity. If I fail, I will donate $3 per read book to a reading related charity. I have yet to choose a charity, and if there are any reading or literacy driven charities that you’re aware of, support, or are involved with, I’d love to know about them.

If you want to further motivate me, you could commit a dollar-value-per-book-I-read-to-the-reading-charity-of-your-choice(TM). Like a Jog-a-Thon…or a Read-A-Thon! It’ll be on your honor to make any of these donations, at the beginning of next year, since I have no desire to handle your money. Sorry. Money is filthy.

[Parents: While digging up some of the links for this post, I found this awesome reading Milestones graphic]



96 Responses to One Year, One Hundred Books

  1. Jon M January 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Outcast, Star Wars, Fate of the Jedi 1 (because I want you to tell me if it's good)
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    2010: Odyssey Two
    2061: Odyssey Three
    3001: The Final Odyssey (yes I read all of these, you should too)
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
    Starship Troopers (I like Heinlein's other stuff, tell me if this is good too)
    The Andromeda Strain/The Terminal Man
    The Worthing Saga (three books I think)
    Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus
    The Book of Lost Things
    World War Z
    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    ok I'm done… for now

  2. John January 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Try reading 'The Anubis Gates' by Tim Powers if you haven't already read it. I'm currently enjoying Bill Bryson's 'Home'

  3. Liz January 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Cinder – Marissa Meyer

    >.> I shall join you in this interesting challenge.

  4. Icenek0 January 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    You should read:
    Hunger Game Trilogy
    Ender's Game
    City of Thieves by David Benoff

    Power to you!! You have my full support!

  5. Melissa Dow January 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis
    Rubicon, by Tom Holland (a fascinating history of the decline of the Roman Republic)
    The Hound of the Baskervilles (to get ready for the new BBC production!)
    Planet Narnia, by Michael Ward
    Against Christianity, by Peter Leithart
    How to Read a Poem, by Terry Eagleton
    There. That should hold you for a while. =D

  6. Andrea January 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my favorite books and it is a classic!

    I will likely read 100 books this year, mainly because I generally read 2-3 a week anyway (~300pgs).

  7. Ruth January 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    Great challenge, way to go.

    The empire trilogy by Raymond Feist are a great read.

    Daughter of the Empire
    Servant of the Empire
    Mistress of the Empire.

    Good luck.

  8. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Nemesis by Philip Roth (best book I managed to read last year).

    Besides that, here's some others:

    Blood's A Rover by James Ellroy
    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
    Libra by Don DeLillo
    Drood by Dan Simmons
    The Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke
    The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (you've probably already read it, but hey, it's always worth re-reading).

  9. Alison January 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Welllll…not knowing anything about you, I don't know what kinds of books you usually like/read, but I will suggest three of my favorites in both fiction and non that I read last year, and hopefully one of these will be something you haven't read and of interest:

    The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
    Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
    Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (Incidentally, I got here via Neil's RT)

    The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
    The Wordy Shipmates – Sarah Vowell
    The Spirit Level – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

  10. Rob January 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
    The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
    Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

  11. Ryan January 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and sequels)
    House of Leaves (pretty long but still definitely recommended)

  12. Banya January 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. Was the most kind and heartwarming book i've read last year.

  13. Poppy January 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving- a really astounding book. It is a classic but not overly long.
    But, failing that, Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho.
    I applaud your love of reading- I will join your year's plan and do the same on my blog. (I will not leave my URL here as I have a blog than is unsuitable for children.)

  14. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Another Country by James Baldwin- best book I know of on the politics of human relationships.

  15. HumanWrite January 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    This seems like fun! (says the reading nerd) Okay, I don't know what your reading tastes are as I was linked here. So I'm going to suggest The Book Thief. One of my favorites. I'm going to attempt this challenge.

  16. My Two Innings January 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Impressive challenge! I have tried to read more in the past year or two and can suggest a few possibly offbeat titles: The Year of the Hare (short!), Broken Glass (short!), and 2030 (not as short — but worthwhile!). Looking across the room, I have a banker's box full of accumulated, unread tomes, so I will be joining you, though not with a numerical goal. I also offer one cautionary tale, described on my blog this past year (link to follow). Good luck! Bob W.

  17. Jo January 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Sabriel by Garth Nix (I read it in less than 3 hours)
    The Hunger Games Trilogy (three books, quick read, brilliant)
    The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (another read-in-a-day, simply because it is so good)

  18. Larry January 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Try some mysteries, e.g., anything by Jo Nesbo, Poet by Michael Connelly, any Lincoln Rhyme mystery and, to combine SF and Mystery/Detective genre, The Caves of Steel by Asimov. This is just a beginning.

  19. Gerri January 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    I commend you, good sir and shall strive to do the same! 🙂

    At the moment, only a few books come to mind off the top of my head; they're not any genre in particular as I do tend to read quite broadly:

    "Ender's Game" and "Songmaster" by Orson Scott Card
    "Five Quarters of the Orange" by Joanne Harris
    "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" – Ken Kesey
    "Street Boys" – Lorenzo Carcaterra
    "Neverwhere" – Neil Gaiman (for that matter, try the whole "Sandman" series – 11 books in total, and it accomplishes about 10% of your goal! :D)
    "Fahrenheit 451" – Ray Bradbury
    "To Kill A Mockingbird" – Harper Lee

    That's all that I can think of on the spur of the moment.
    I'll get started on my own list now. 😀

  20. punkrockdoc January 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    If it weren't so long, I'd say Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Shelve that one until 2013 if you must, though.
    Barring that, The Golden Compass/Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

  21. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Ghosts of a Tired Universe, by Jonas Samuelle. It's a literary acid-trip, but pretty well done.

  22. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    Looking for Alaska by John Green
    Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
    Saphique by Catherine Fisher (sequel to Incarceron)
    The Giver by Lois Lowry

  23. Luna January 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
    The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block
    Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
    Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates

  24. georgie January 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Here via @neilgaiman retweet.

    Tried to keep away from series and thick books – and if I suggested something long it's because I inhaled it because it was so good. My recs are all over the place because I like to read everything.

    The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
    Prince Ombra by Roderick MacLeish
    The Power of One by Bryce Courtney
    Afterage by Yvonne Navarro
    The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
    The List of 7 by Mark Frost
    Eric by Terry Pratchett
    Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
    Thor by Wayne Smith
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  25. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    the diving bell and the butterfly- jean-dominique bauby

    Nausea- jean-paul sartre

    hmm, i must like the french

  26. Joan Miller January 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Something by Tamora Pierce. Take your pick. She's wonderful.

  27. Kevin January 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
    The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz

  28. Vanessa January 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Great challenge, I'll join you too!

    If you love books you will love Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair and the rest of his Thursday Next series. But if you're done with that, his book Shades of Grey is a great read too!

  29. Hannah January 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Perfume by Patrick Suskind. It's quite a short book and so beautifully written you'll be through it in no time.

    I would also second the recommendation by Banya for Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. If you believe in the power of a book to speak to the soul and nourish the heart, you have to read this book.

  30. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    František Moravec (autobiography): Master of Spies, 1975, ISBN 0-370-10353-X.

    (I'm reading it right now, it's like spy novel, only the stuff really happened)

  31. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Day of the Triffids
    Baltimore or the Tin Soldier and the Vampire
    Any Hellboy title (Comics count as books :P)
    Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
    George R R Martin's A song of Ice and Fire series – starting with A Clash of Kings
    Steven Brust's Taltos books
    Robin Hobb's trilogys (she has many and they are equally wonderful)

    Good Luck, Reading Dad!

    (please don't read) 1984 (don't do it!, unless you already have. It's a let down)

  32. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Cat's Eye Dreaming by Jordan Pennington (only available in digital formats)
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    Face of Deception by Iris Johanson

  33. fieryreddragon January 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Interesting challenge:
    American Gods Neil Gaiman
    Watreship Down Richard Addams
    The Stranger Albert Camus
    I, Robot Isaac Asimov
    Something Wicked This Way Comes Ray Bradbury
    The Happy Prince and Other Tales Oscar Wilde

    those are a few of my favorites:)

  34. Echo January 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" by Sherman Alexie
    this will take maybe a day or two.
    Or for something fatter, "Indian Killer" also by Alexie.
    And don't get so much in a hurry reading that you forget to savor the words in any of the books you read.

  35. Laura January 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I think I'll join you. Let's start 2012 very well!
    I hate to recommend books and then find out that people didn't liked it, so I'll stop doing it. So, good luck and know that there is somebody in the world also trying to read a hundred books.

  36. @Ebenwolfe January 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Just begun a re-read of Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock. Not the best written story in the world but surely one of the most original and beautiful. Recommend it.

    In no particular order:
    Skallagrigg by William Horwood
    Wyvern – A. A. Atanasio
    Bogwoppit – Ursula Moray Williams
    To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    Down and Out In Paris and London – George Orwell
    The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
    The First Chronicle of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson
    Robin Hobb's entire back catalogue
    Terry Pratchett's entire back catalogue
    Heat and Dust – Ruth Prawer
    To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
    Silas Marner – George Eliot
    Rats and Gargoyles – Mary Gentle
    The Box of Delights – John Masefield
    Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
    Atlas Shrugged – Aine Rand
    Redwall – Brian Jaques
    The Stainless Steel Rat series – Harry Harrison
    Who Needs Men? – Edmund Cooper

    I could list dozens more but these I haven't read for years and would happily go back to them. I'll have a think and compile another list of books I want to read but never have the time to. If that would be helpful.

  37. KatRWauln January 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Dirt: the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Logan
    The Eye of Night by Pauline Alama
    The Forms of Water by John Tyndall (available for free online at the internet archive, b/c it's old and hard to find.)

  38. jjjoke January 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    i'm in 🙂 i'll try to finish at least a hundred books this year 😀
    some suggestions

    count of montecristo (it may be thick, but a good read 🙂

    les miserables
    pride and prejudice
    the old country by Mordicai Gerstein
    stardust by neil gaiman
    the thief lord by cornelia funke
    sabriel by garth nix
    fire and hemlock by diana wynne jones
    jackaroo by cynthia voigt
    wringer by jerry spinelli
    the chocolate war by robert cormier
    animal farm by george orwell
    twelfth night by shakespeare
    tom's midnight garden by philippa pierce
    the thief by megan whalen turner
    deerskin by robin mckinley
    whirligig by paul fleischman

    just some of my favorites 🙂 enjoy!

  39. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Great idea!

    – Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann
    – Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    – The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
    – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    – A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (essay collection) by David Foster Wallace
    – The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
    – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    – Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

  40. Kyle January 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Great idea! Some suggestions:

    Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin
    Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett
    Over Sea, Under Stone – Susan Cooper
    Round Ireland with a Fridge – Tony Hawks (NOT Hawk)
    Dracula – Bram Stoker
    My Life in France – Julia Child
    The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood
    Fiddling with Disaster – Ashley MacIsaac
    One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies – Sonya Sones

    They're all books I came up with off the top of my head, and I finished all of them quite quickly. If you like travel, or reading about travel, I would move Hawks' book to the top of the list. Otherwise, have at it. Enjoy!

  41. Patrick January 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Lords of Discipline by Pat Conrad

    Anything by Neil Gaiman is great, but my favorite of his is (w/ Terry Pratchett) Good Omens.

    Raymond Feist's The Magician (and others).

    Anything by Robert Jordan and/or Brandin Sanderson, particularly The Wheel of Time (starts with The Eye of the World).

    On a similar note, Tolkein. Start with The Hobbit, and keep reading as long as it's fun.

    Anything by Dave Barry. You will hurt from laughing.

    I'll second anything by Douglas Adams (Hitchiker's Guide) or Robin Hobb (Farseer Trilogy is her best imo).

    If you can get it for free, I'll also recommend Ender's game. It's a great story, but Orson Scott Card is virulently homophobic and still very much politically active; as such, I can't recommend giving him money.

  42. Daisycor3 January 5, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    Wow you have a lot of comments/followers… Good job!

    Same one I suggested to Jenn! The Pale Blue Eye – Louis Bayard

    Since you didn't go to "real school":
    The Giver – Lois Lowry
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
    Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
    The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
    To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

  43. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    The Illuminatus Trilogy (long, but not super long)

  44. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
    Ubik by Phillip K. Dick
    The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick
    Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
    A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    Dune by Frank Herbert (My favorite book of all time)
    The Count of Montecristo by Alexandre Dumas (second favorite :))
    Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation, Foundation's Edge, and Foundation and Earth by Isaac Asimov

    And I'll stop there, maybe I'll stop by later with a few more books 🙂

  45. Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut (I've read lots of books by this author, who keeps surprising and amazing me, would recommend all his books, but this one is my favourite)
    I would also recommend anything by Frank Herbert, Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman.
    I should warn you that I read mostly sci-fi and fantasy, so what I'm suggesting falls into those genres.

  46. Carlos January 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    Just Kids – Patti Smith. (I Just finisehd reading it and it was a beautiful experience!)

    Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

    The Book Of Sand – Jorge Luis Borges (or any book written by Borges, they're all amazing)

    Bag of Bones – Stephen King

    i love your idea by the way, good luck!

  47. Karen P January 6, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Dirt Music by Tim Winton. Anything by Terry Pratchett, especially the ones in the Discworld series. I already read well over 100 books in a year (teacher with lots of holidays ) so I'll commit to reading 100 books by authors I've never read. Will donate to an indigenous reading charity ( will have to remember what it's called). I'll use the suggested books here too. Good luck, and thanks for the idea! Karen P

  48. Gabriel McCann January 6, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    The Tibetan Book of the Dead
    The Dhammapadda
    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
    The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas

  49. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    And the Ass saw the Angel by Nick Cave
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

    From @UnderTheYoke

  50. Jessica January 6, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Stiff – Mary Roach

    I would have said American Gods, but someone else did.

    I have a similar goal on Cheers! Good luck.

  51. Boop January 6, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Oooh, anything and everything by Philip K Dick, as a starter obviously "do androids dream of electric sheep?" ^_^
    His books aren't long at all, apart from the 5 compilations of his shorts (but they are amazing too! So many cool stories, if only they counted as individual books *hint hint*!)
    Good luck on your quest!

  52. Kittymcdoodle January 6, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea

    The best children's novel I have ever read, you'll fly through it. It's beautifully written and very funny.I'm amazed it's not more widely known.

  53. Robyn-Louise January 6, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    I would definitely recommend reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or if you've read that one then no country for old men was also good! You should finish either in no time!

  54. Dan January 6, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    Anno Dracula by Kim Newman and Baudolino by Umberto Eco.

    Also +1 for Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey, Watership Down, anything Gaiman and Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice

  55. Baellen Wreiner January 6, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (books 1-3 should keep you occupied)
    Stories by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio
    A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin (start with Game of Thrones!)
    Next by Michael Crichton
    The Chronicles, The Legends and The War of Souls trilogies from Dragonlance by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis
    Everything from Neil Gaiman. Seriously.

    Have fun! Hope I can join you; waiting for your FINAL LIST to come out!

  56. Mi January 6, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Best of luck to you! It is a lovely goal.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach (short but one of the best books I know)
    The right hand of darkness – Ursula K Le Guin
    The brothers Lionheart – Astrid Lindgren
    Dogsbody and Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones (or just about anything else by her)

  57. @elisham_m January 6, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    Don't Move-margaret mazzantini
    midnight's children-salman rushdie
    Love in the time of cholera-gabriel garcia marquez
    Stardust-neil gaiman

    I've just started ' the crimson petal and the white' and I really want to read 'IQ84' by haruki murakami because I love him.
    'ella minnow pea' was recently recommended to me, sounds good.anything by georges perec or alain de botton.

  58. @Ebenwolfe January 6, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    BBC's Big Read 100.

    1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
    2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
    4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
    6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
    7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
    8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
    9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
    10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
    11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
    12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
    13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
    14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
    15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
    16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
    17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
    20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
    21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
    22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
    23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
    24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
    25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
    26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
    27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
    28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
    29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
    30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
    31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
    32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
    33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
    34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
    35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
    36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
    37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
    38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
    39. Dune, Frank Herbert
    40. Emma, Jane Austen
    41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
    42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
    43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
    44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
    45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
    46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
    47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
    48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
    49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
    50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilc
    51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
    52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
    53. The Stand, Stephen King
    54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
    55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
    56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
    57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
    58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
    59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
    60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
    62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
    63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
    64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
    65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
    66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
    67. The Magus, John Fowles
    68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
    70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
    71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
    72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
    73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
    74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
    75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
    76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
    77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
    78. Ulysses, James Joyce
    79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
    80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
    81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
    82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
    83. Holes, Louis Sachar
    84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
    85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
    86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
    87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
    88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
    89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
    90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
    91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
    92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
    93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
    94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
    95. Katherine, Anya Seton
    96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
    97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
    98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
    99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
    100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

  59. Nichole January 6, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    "Gilead," Marilynne Robinson. I love many of the other suggestions here, too! Especially "The Hunger Games" series and "Infinite Jest." Although I don't recommend trying to tackle "Infinite Jest" with a time limit.

  60. Afonso January 6, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
    Mr Vertigo, Paul Auster
    The Stranger, Albert Camus
    Wind Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
    Blindness, Jose Saramago
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
    One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  61. emyli January 6, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    i think i might favorite this page, just cause there are so many great suggestions!

    if you're into fantasy, i recommend the dresden files series by jim butcher. 13 books in all (though i believe the 13th doesn't come out until later this year), and although they're about 500 pages each, they're a quick and fun read.

    i also whole-heartedly agree with all the gaiman reccs–though, to be fair, i did come here via his twitter page. 🙂

  62. Ben The Book January 6, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Wow, great idea. I hope you manage it. I thought I'd drop you some rec's, though I see you've been given enough to see you through the next few years a couple more can't hurt.

    The Traitor Game by BR Collins – it's a shortish, YA book which not enough people have read, it's awesome.

    Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith. – I've not read it yet myself, but my best friend told me yesterday that I had to read it because it changed her life, which is a good enough reason for me.

    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – anything by him is good actually.

    American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I saw it recommended above, but seriously it's one of the best books of all time.

    The Secret Country by Pamela Dean – can't recommend this one enough.

  63. arctichamster January 6, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett — the books aren't too long and there are 40 of them, so you could knock out a good chunk of your 100! (note: may be quite addictive!)
    Game Change by John Heilmann and Mark Halpern
    Ender's Game (and/or the series, which I think is 4 or 5 books) by Orson Scott Card
    And if you're interested in a series to chew through (700-800 pgs each), try the Inheretance Cycle Series by Christopher Paolini

    Good luck with your reading — I just might have to try it myself! 🙂

  64. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Read "The Sword of Truth" series by Terry Goodkind. I read all 11 books in 22 days.

  65. Nicole January 6, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Anything by Paulo Coehlo (my favorites are Veronika Decides to Die and Eleven Minutes) and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (a comedy about the end of the world is fitting for 2012, yes?)

    Good luck! This is a fantastic idea!

  66. -hly January 6, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    only a hundred books? i guess if you're into the ilk of pyncon or murakami, sure… most of the suggestions above are quick, good reads (oi, except some on that BBC list!). good luck with your task!

    I do recommend the George Martin series–in between being unable to put it down and putting it down, I've read 10 books whilst in the middle of the second book. There's a need for a break from rape, pillage, and war with 'lighter' reads. It could make your task easier. 😉

  67. EMc January 6, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I did this last year (and again this year), here is my list, made 114, hopefully inspire/encourage you, possibly annoy you…
    J V Jones – A Man Betrayed
    J V Jones – Master and Fool
    Stuart Macbride – Dark Blood
    Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
    Tom Fletcher – The Leaping
    Martin Millar – Lux The Poet
    Robert Jackson Bennett – Mr Shivers
    Simon R Green – The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny
    Adrian Tchaikovsky – Empire in Black and Gold
    Luke Haines – Bad Vibes
    Adrian Tchaikovsky – Dragonfly Falling
    Gary McMahon – Pretty Little Dead Things
    Adrian Tchaikovsky – Blood of the Mantis
    John Connolly – The Gates
    Christopher Brookmyre – Pandaemonium
    Adrian Tchaikovsky – Salute the Dark
    Cody Mcfadyen – Abandoned
    Peter Straub – A Dark Matter
    Suze Rotolo – A Freewheelin' Time
    Lawrence Block – A Walk Among the Tombstones
    John Twelve Hawks – The Traveller
    Mark Billingham – From The Dead
    John Twelve Hawks – The Dark River
    Bret Easton Ellis – Imperial Bedrooms
    John Twelve Hawks – The Golden City
    Kate Atkinson – Case Histories
    Chris Wooding – The Weavers of Saramyr
    Kate Atkinson – One Good Turn
    John Connolly – The Whisperers
    Andrew Martin – The Necropolis Railway
    Chris Wooding – The Skein of Lament
    Alan Warner – Morvern Callar
    Lawrence Block – Everybody Dies
    Chris Wooding – The Ascendancy Veil
    Lawrence Block – Hope to Die
    Steven Gould – Jumper
    Lawrence Block – All the Flowers Are Dying
    Steven Gould – Reflex
    Peter Robinson – Bad Boy
    Steven Gould – Jumper: Griffin's Story
    Chris Wooding – The Fade
    Andrew Pyper – The Killing Circle
    Brian Ruckley – Winterbirth
    Chelsea Cain – Heartsick
    Brian Ruckley – Bloodheir
    PJ Tracey – Play to Kill
    Chelsea Cain – Sweetheart
    John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
    Jonathan Maberry – Patient Zero
    Eoin colfer – Artemis Fowl
    Bob Woodward – Wired
    Eoin Colfer – The Arctic Incident
    Christopher Fowler – The Victoria Vanishes
    Chris Brookmyre – Where the Bodies Are Buried
    Brian Ruckley – Fall of Thanes
    Chelsea Cain – Evil At Heart
    Eoin Colfer – The Eternity Code
    Chris Wooding – Retribution Falls
    Lawrence Block – A Drop of the Hard Stuff
    Guillermo Del Toro – The Strain
    Eoin Colfer – The Opal Deception
    Guillermo Del Toro – The Fall
    Chris Wooding – The Black Lung Captain
    Craig Russell – The Long Glasgow Kiss
    Chris Mooney – The Soul Collectors
    Eoin Colfer – The Lost Colony
    Kate Atkinson – When Will There Be Good News?
    Chris Wooding – The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
    Craig Robertson – Random –
    Terry Brooks – Bearer of the Black Staff
    Stephen King – Full Dark, No Stars
    Felix J Palma – The Map of Time
    Tom Fletcher – The Thing on the Shore
    Eoin Colfer – The Time Paradox
    Brian Ruckley – The Edinburgh Dead
    Ben Mezrich – The Accidental Billionaires
    Simon R. Green – From Hell With Love
    Karen Campbell – The Twilight Time
    Douglas Hulick – Among Thieves
    Mark Billingham – In The Dark
    Chris Wooding – Poison
    Robert Jackson Bennett – The Company Man
    Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers of London
    Chelsea Cain – The Night Season
    Eoin Colfer – The Atlantis Complex
    John Connolly – The Burning Soul
    Guy Gavriel Kay – Ysabel
    Craig Russell – The Deep Dark Sleep
    Jasper Kent – Twelve
    Richard Montanari – The Echo Man
    Tad Williams – Shadowmarch
    Oliver Stark – American Devil
    Simon Green – Ghost of a Chance
    Tad Williams – Shadowplay
    Oliver Stark – The 88 Killer
    Kate Atkinson – Started Early, Took My Dog
    Tad Williams – Shadowrise
    Ian Rankin – The Impossible Dead
    Glen Duncan – The Last Werewolf
    Haruki Murakami – 1Q84 Book 1
    Haruki Murakami – 1Q84 Book 2
    Chris Wooding – The Iron Jackal
    Haruki Murakami – 1Q84 Book 3
    Martin Millar – Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me
    Tad Williams – Shadowheart
    Lawrence Block – Out on the Cutting Edge
    Lawrence Block – A Ticket to the Boneyard
    Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May On The Loose
    Stephen King – 11.22.63
    Caitlin Kiernan – Threshold
    N.K. Jemisin – The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
    Mike Shevdon – Sixty-One Nails
    N.K. Jemisin – The Broken Kingdoms
    Joe Hill – Horns

  68. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    "Throat Sprockets" by Tim Lucas
    "Last Days" by Brian Evenson

  69. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

    Wonderful, funny and filled with an insane number of literary references, the whole series of books is great 🙂

  70. Jennifer January 6, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I don't know how old your children are, but if you're looking for some young adult works to read along with, The Wizard of Earthsea series (4 books) by Ursula K. Le Guin is wonderful, as is the Percy Jackson series… For more adult reads, Wish You Well by David Baldacci is one of his non-mysteries (maybe his only?), and absolutely wonderful. It's also a fast read 😉 Another wonderful book is Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie.

    Meanwhile, this was the first year in ages that I fell short of 100 books, but I've vowed to make it to 100 this year! I admire all that you wrote in your original post too–if you're still looking for a charity project, you might consider the 826 Valencia Project at–they're an org. started by Dave Eggars, with centers in various cities (5 I think) to help kids with reading and writing, and get people excited about reading.

  71. KHäus January 6, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    My number one pick for you to try, if you haven't is, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I found it on the best 100 books list. Short quick, thoughtful read.
    Anything else on said list is a good option also.

  72. Elyse Katz January 6, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Enchantment! I'm going to read it again soon, you should too!

  73. Amy Mable January 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I'm in! Here's my offering for your reading list:

    One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

    Why? Because your brain needs a little vacation reading after taking on some of the list above… and it made me laugh.

  74. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Revenge by Stephen Fry

  75. Sarah Bastien January 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    -"Westmark" (and, if you like it, the other two in the trilogy) by Lloyd Alexander
    -"Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder
    -"Weetzie Bat" by Francesca Lia Block
    "Mr. Timothy" by Louis Bayard

    I'm not setting a number of books to read this year, but I usually read a chapter a day of whatever I'm currently working through. So depending on the number of chapters a book has, I can either read tons of books in a year, or about 10. 🙂

  76. Mel January 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.
    And Abarat by Clive Barker.

  77. MarkB January 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    A Language Older Than Words By Jensen, Derrick

  78. Sarah January 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
    Also, for bonus points read Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog by Jerome K Jerome.

  79. Louise Sparrow January 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    I could list over a hundred so I've picked some that have a wider appeal but have something special:

    World War Z by Max Brooks
    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (or Mistborn)
    Nation by Terry Pratchett (or any Discworld novel)
    The Pawn of Prophesy by David Eddings
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    NeverWhere by Neil Gaiman
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    Dune by Frank Herbert
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    Good Luck, I'll be counting with you!

  80. KarraCrow January 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    This is fantastic. I'm aiming for 100 as well — via GoodReads. One down already — only 99 more to go!

    The first recc in my comment, huh?

    Kage Baker, "Black Projects, White Knights."


    Best of luck!

  81. annajcook January 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I'm also in for 100 … 104 actually (2 x week) … although since I only read 82 in 2011 it's a bit of a long shot.

    Scanning the list, I don't see a lot of books we typically classify as books for young readers on the list … so here are some of my all-time favorite for children of all ages:

    1. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

    And then here are four other fiction titles of enduring awesomeness:

    2. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
    3. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
    4. Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
    5. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King

    And five non-fiction titles for the road:

    6. Whipping Girl by Julia Serano
    7. Stargazing by Peter Hill
    8. The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by S. Bear Bergman
    9. Clover Adams by Natalie Dykstra (Feb 2012)
    10. Nonviolence by Mark Kurlansky

  82. Jen. January 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I am reading and enjoying The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. It would be easier to make a suggestion if you listed some thing you've read and enjoyed! 🙂

  83. Randall and Rachel Beita January 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Shepherding a Child`s Heart – I have been wanting to read this one so let me know what you think.

  84. Jennifer Mabe January 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Since we just talked about these things tonight, I recommend the following:
    Graceling – Kristin Cashore (it has another story that goes along with it called Fire)
    The Mortal Instrument Series – Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls is coming out in May) *both of the above mentioned book sets are young adult, but good easy reads.
    The Paddington Bear books (you could read these with the girls)
    The Giver – Lois Lowry (I agree with Sarah, this is an excellent read)
    and that is all I can think of right now that I know you haven't read… we talk about and read too many of the same books for me to be able to give you many suggestions

  85. Christina January 7, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    My goodness, there's a lot of suggestions already. I read 72 books last year and considered myself rather accomplished, but here's to the 2012 One Hundred! You've inspired me to attempt it along with you.

    I don't have the audacity to choose a book for you or even my own favorites, so I'll just toss out some titles from my 2011 reading journey.

    The Places In Between by Rory Stewart (nonfiction)
    Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (YA fiction)
    The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (adult fantasy)
    Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (adult fiction)

    I wish you all the best!

  86. Niki Rogers January 8, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Last year I was a 'giver' on World Book Night, giving out Philip Pullman's Northern Lights at a children's hospital in Cambridge, UK (highly recommended) & set myself the challenge of reading all top 25 books. This year I'm doing the current top 25 + the 100 long list!
    Must read – if you haven't already – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
    They're launching WBN in the US,why not check it out…

  87. Rodrigo Camargo January 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    If you like a fast and very fun read please try Terry Pratchett and the Discworld series. There are 37 books about this realm. Good Luck!

  88. akshara January 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Love the idea
    River God – Wilbur Smith

  89. C. D. Eagle January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Thanks! I've got Colour of Magic on my list 🙂

  90. C. D. Eagle January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I've read River God! I love Wilbur.

  91. C. D. Eagle January 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I can't wait to read this one. 🙂

  92. C. D. Eagle January 12, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Awesome!! Thanks for the recommendations. How are you doing with your reading goal?

  93. C. D. Eagle January 12, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I will! It's about time I did.

  94. Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  95. Annette February 18, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Love the blog


  1. Bookish Update – It’s Not Me, It’s You - Bookish Dad - March 19, 2012

    […] most of you know, I am endeavoring to read 100 books this year. So far, I’ve read 9 books. The first Seven of those were completed in January. That means, […]

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