Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Books you should make your kids read...and you should too!

Recently, I was informed by my wife that she wanted to get the kids interested in reading.  I have also tried to encourage my kids to read but the two older ones haven't expressed a lot of interest and I don't want to force it because I'm sure they'll come around sooner or later.

Anyway, I figured I'd jot down a few books I considered "Classics" and must reads.  That list grew pretty quickly to over 140 books.  I've sneakily interjected some of my own personal favorites but if you give this list a quick glance, I think you'll find some of your own best beloved books from your own childhood, many deserving of a re-read.

I've left out a lot of great books such as "Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon", "Where the Wild Things Are" and the unquestionable classic "Everyone Poops" which are all aimed at a much younger crowd.  I would consider most of these suitable for 7 years old and up.  A few of these books might be considered a bit more risque and better suited for a 13 and older crowd depending on how puritianical you are.

You might find some of these books a bit hefty for younger readers.  As a child, I was a voracious reader myself.  Our local library had a lending limit which they quickly lifted for me because I was bringing back books I had just borrowed the next day.  When I was about 9, I begged my Dad to let me borrow his large, leatherbound edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare...the one without any pictures!  I actually had a reading test as a child, in which the surprised teachers informed me and my parents that I was reading at an adult level.  As a consquence of being so well-read, I also wrote at an accelerated level which for a short time caused my teachers to question some of the written work I turned in until they realized I was just a really good reader/writer.  Math...not so much though.

Many of these books are also what I would call "Gateway" books, introductory books to great writers and literary genres such as fantasy, science-fiction, horror and mystery to name a few.

Anyway, here's the list.  If you copy it, you should be able to paste it right into Excel or any other spreadsheet program as a "comma delimited file".

Aesop's Fables , Aesop
Brave New World , Aldous Huxley
The Three Musketeers , Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo , Alexandre Dumas
Black Beauty , Anna Sewell
Dragonflight , Anne McCaffrey
A Clockwork Orange , Anthony Burgess
Childhood's End , Arthur C. Clarke
2001: A Space Oddysey , Arthur C. Clarke
The Lost World , Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes Complete Works , Arthur Conan Doyle
Dracula , Bram Stoker
The Chronicles of Narnia , C.S. Lewis
Pickwick Papers , Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist , Charles Dickens
Nicholas Nickleby , Charles Dickens
Great Expectations , Charles Dickens
David Copperfield , Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities , Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol , Charles Dickens
Tales of Mother Goose , Charles Perrault
Robinson Crusoe , Daniel Dafoe
The Divine Comedy , Dante Alighieri
The Postman , David Brin
A Voyage to Arcturus , David Lindsay
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Douglas Adams
Charlotte's Web , E.B. White
Complete Stories and Poems , Edgar Allan Poe
Tarzan of the Apes , Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess of Mars , Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Worm Ouroboros , Erick Eddison
The Sun Also Rises , Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby , F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Secret Garden , Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess , Frances Hodgson Burnett
Dune , Frank Herbert
Gateway , Frederik Pohl
The Phantom of the Opera , Gaston Leroux
1984, George Orwell
Animal Farm , George Orwell
War of the Worlds , H.G. Wells
The Time Machine , H.G. Wells
Tales of H.P. Lovecraft , H.P. Lovecraft
The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales , Hans Christian Andersen
The Beast who shouted love at the top of the world , Harlan Ellison
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream , Harlan Ellison
To Kill A Mockingbird , Harper Lee
Uncle Tom's Cabin , Harriet Beecher Stowe
Walden , Henry David Thoreau
Moby Dick , Herman Melville
The Iliad and Odyssey , Homer
Foundation , Isaac Asimov
The Catcher in the Rye , J.D. Salinger
The Call of the Wild , Jack London
The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales , Jacob Grimm
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone , JK Rowling
The Forever War , Joe Haldeman
Swiss Family Robinson , Johann David Wyss
Grendel , John Gardner
Paradise Lost , John Milton
The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men , John Steinbeck
East of Eden , John Steinbeck
Gulliver's Travels , Jonathan Swift
The Lord of the Rings , JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit , JRR Tolkien
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and other verses from the Red Book , JRR Tolkien
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea , Jules Verne
Journey to the Center of the Earth , Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days , Jules Verne
Slaughterhouse Five , Kurt Vonnegut
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz , L. Frank Baum
Ringworld , Larry Niven
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass , Lewis Carroll
Little Women , Louisa May Alcott
A Wrinkle in Time , Madeleine L'Engle
Gone with the Wind , Margaret Mitchell
Dragonlance Chronicles , Margaret Weis
The Prince & The Pauper , Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , Mark Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court , Mark Twain
The Borrowers , Mary Norton
Frankenstein , Mary Shelly
The Neverending Story , Michael Ende
Don Quixote , Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Ender's Game , Orson Scott Card
The Picture of Dorian Gray , Oscar Wilde
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep , Philip K. Dick
On a Pale Horse , Piers Anthony
A spell for Chameleon , Piers Anthony
The Broken Sword , Poul Anderson
The Martian Chronicles , Ray Bradbury
Something Wicked this way comes , Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 , Ray Bradbury
Watership Down , Richard Adams
James and the Giant Peach , Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , Roald Dahl
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress , Robert Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land , Robert Heinlein
Starship Troopers , Robert Heinlein
Magic Inc. , Robert Heinlein
Glory Road , Robert Heinlein
Citizen of the Galaxy , Robert Heinlein
Conan , Robert Howard
The Wheel of Time , Robert Jordan
Treasure Island , Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped , Robert Louis Stevenson
Nine Princes in Amber , Roger Zelazny
The Jungle Books , Rudyard Kipling
Just So Stories , Rudyard Kipling
The Outsiders , S.E. Hinton
The Missing Piece, Shel Silverstein
Peter Pan , Sir James Matthew Barrie
The Red Badge of Courage , Stephen Crane
The Stand , Stephen King
Pet Semetary , Stephen King
Needful Things , Stephen King
The Once and Future King , T.H. White
The Wasteland and Other Poems , T.S. Eliot
The Wasteland , T.S. Eliot
The Sword of Shannara , Terry Brooks
Magic Kingdon for Sale -- SOLD! , Terry Brooks
The Colour of Magic , Terry Pratchet
The Sword in the Stone , TH White
The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights , Unknown
The Earthsea Trilogy , Ursula Guin
Collection of Greek Mythology , Various
The Hunchback of Notre Dame , Victor Hugo
Les Miserables , Victor Hugo
Rob Roy , Walter Scott
Ivanhoe , Walter Scott
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow , Washington Irving
Neuromancer , William Gibson
Lord of the Flies , William Golding
The Princess Bride , William Goldman
Romeo and Juliet , William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream , William Shakespeare
The Adventures of Robin Hood,
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table,

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