After graduating from St. Ed’s I told myself I’d continue reading. No matter how chaotic life will get, I will always make time to read a book. J’ai refusé de vivre sans les grandes histoires de Tolstoï, Hemingway et d’autres!

I created a list. The challenge to myself would be to read 30 books in three years. 10 books a year! That’s no sweat. It’s April 2017. I’m on book six. Yeah…life got more chaotic than I imagined. C’est la vie. Granted, I’m currently reading Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and that 700+ page baby is basically three books in one.

I know. I know. You’re just dying to know what the list is. Enough chit-chat, here’s the list, in no particular order:

1. Anna Karenina – Tolstoy (currently working on)

2. The Catcher in the Rye –  Salinger (damn phonies!) (read)

3. The Things They Carried – O’Brien (read. Highly recommend if you are into the Vietnam war era)

4. Night and Day – Woolf (who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf? Oh Edward Albee, RIP) (began)

5. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Hemingway (because you know, this is Zelly & Ol’ HEM’s. That and this book has been sitting on the shelf for a couple years. Still waiting on that adventurous spirit to kick I’m and actually pick up the thing.)

6. 1984 – Orwell (the fact our world is slightly becoming Orwell’s 68 year old nightmare is both fascinating and terrifying.) (read)

7. War & Peace – Tolstoy (gotta love them Russkies!)

8. Portrait of a Lady – James

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Smith

10. Le voleur d’ombres – Lévy (because you know, can’t waste the French skills)

11. The Princess of Cleves – de la Fayette (this one has been sitting on the shelf longer than Hemingway!)

12. The Beautiful and the Damned – Fitzgerald

13. Save Me the Waltz – Z. Fitzgerald (you can’t have one without the other!) (read)

14. Atlas Shrugged – Rand

15. The Last Tycoon – Fitz

16. The Crucible – Miller (As Radiohead would say, “Burn the witch!”)

17. Le Petite Prince – Saint-Exupéry (the original French version. English translations are never fun when you know the original language.) (read)

18. How the Other Half Lives – Riis

19. Invisible Man – Ellison (Funny story: English teacher in high school had the option to choose this and James Joyce’s “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man”. She chose the latter. To this day, she regrets not choosing the former.)

20. La Fortune d’Alexandrie – Messadie

21.On the Road – Kerouac

22. The Count of Monte Cristo – Dumas

23. Les Miserables – Hugo

24. Brave New World – Huxley

25. A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens (I can finally learn everything that happens after “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”)

26. The Glass Menagerie – Williams

27. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Williams

28. Momo – Ende

29. Age of Innoncence – Wharton

30. The Moviegoer – Walker (a mid-20th century New Orleans man constantly questioning the purpose of life and comparing life to movies? Sure why not?) (read)

The great thing about this is you can customize your own plan. Try a book a month! Or join in on the 30 in 3 Book Challenge. Get your friends to join! Create a book club. Don’t have all the books? Get it on your kindle. Old fashioned like me? Save the trees and buy used books at Half Price Books. Don’t have this amazing place of heaven in your town? No worries! Check them out at

Point is, there’s no excuse. Keep reading. Escape the world of politics and news and enjoy the world of dystopia or 1800s Russia or the Roaring 20s. Books are a great way to establish relationships and connections. Not only that, but they open our minds and provide various perspectives on events of the past, present and future. Save the books. Share the stories. Remember the artistry that is literature.


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