Wednesday, August 18, 2010

30 Before 30

I am embarking on a little journey over the next 23 months. There are 30 books I would like to read before I turn 30 years old. Some of them I have read cover-to-cover before, some of them I have read bits and pieces of (or Cliff's notes on), and others I have never read.

I chose my 30 Before 30 based loosely on the following criteria:
1. Have I ever wanted to read this book?
2. Is this book generally considered a game-changing/life-altering/otherwise profound piece of literature?
3. Did I pretend to read this book in high school?
4. Do I think this book will have a marked impact on how I view my circumstances (and the circumstances of those around me)?
5. Do I believe that I will enjoy this book?

{Note: #1 and #5 are very different - There's a difference between wanting to do something and actually believing you'll enjoy it. I WANT to lose 30lbs, but I do NOT ENJOY the process of losing 30lbs. Those things are done for discipline so that I can get what I want in the end. In the same respect, some of these books have been chosen for pure enjoyment (Winnie the Pooh), and others have been chosen because I think it's "the right thing to do" (War and Peace).}

I should have probably used some sort of a rubric to weigh out the books and decide which ones made the cut based on my 5 criteria above, but I didn't. I just picked randomly based on a whim.

So, in no particular order, the 30 books I want to read before I turn 30 on July 14, 2012 are:

Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Crime and Punishment - Feodor Dostoyevsky
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The Holy Bible - God :)
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Sallinger
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein
The Little Prince - Antoine de St. Exupery
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Sidhartha - Herman Hesse
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

Here are the ones I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up last night...they were in the bargain section - aren't they beautiful?

I am going to keep a spreadsheet with how long each book is, what date I start, and what date I end. I'm also going to be keeping you posted along the way. I hope I'll make my goal, and I'm going to really try to do it, but if I can't, I'm not going to beat myself up - worst case scenario, I'll have still read at least some of them, right?

Tonight's book: Wuthering Heights

Let me know if you want to jump on board!



  1. ech! I dont think I would want to reread some of those from High School! (Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies ) but maybe I would understand them more....

    I like some of your list.
    Im not ready to commit to reading (since I can barely read the 'easy' novels I have right now)
    But I will cheer you on- "go Kendra, get your read on, Go Kendra"

  2. Love love love this list! These are all great reads (well the 20+ that I have already read). I think you may have to share some of these with cute little Sadie.

  3. Thank you!! I will definitely share these with Sadie - I'm hoping that by the time she gets to high school, she will appreciate the books a lot more than I did :)

  4. Ah To Kill a Mockingbird, is my most favorite book :)


  5. Hello. Just thought I would ask how you did on your 30 before 30 reads? I am reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh which has all the boxes ticked for a great read. How to win friends and influence others seems interesting how was that one? Thanks:)


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