Books To Read Before You Die

One of my favorite students asked me to list the books I think people should read before they die. So here goes:

A work in progress


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (Thanks, Jennifer!)
Maus by by Art Spiegelman
Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston
Anamalia Gaeme Base
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy
The Stand by Stephen King
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess
A Step from Heaven by An Na
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Red Azaela by Anchee Min
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
She’s Come Undone Wally Lamb
The Giver by Lois Lowery
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
Icy Sparks by Gywn Rubio
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
Like a Splinter in Your Mind by Matt Lawrence
ALL of the Oz books by Frank L Baum
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Rising by Brian Keene
The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
Blue World Robert McCammon
The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
anything by A.A. Milne
The Alchemist Paulo Coehlo
Alice in Wonderland
Mad Woman in the Attic by Gilbert and Gubar
Star-Bellied Sneetches Dr. Seuss
Metamorphisis by Franz Kafka
Pretend We’re Dead by Annalee Newitz
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Language Myths by Laurie Bauer
Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams
Zen and art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
The Hobbitt by JRR Tolkein
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch
Poems of Emily Dickens, but must be accompanied by a concordence and My Wars Are Laid Away in Book by Alfred Habagger—you can’t appreciate the genius of her insanity without it.
Foucault and Derrida: The Other Side of Reason by Roy Boyne
Harry Potter (all of them) by J K Rowling
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
Angela’s Ashes and TeacherMan both by Frank McCourt
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
Sula by Toni Morrison
Anti-Intellectualistm in American Life by Richard Hofstadter
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The short stories of Vladimir Nabokov
The short stories of Edgar Allen Poe
Saussure for Beginners by Terrence Gordon
Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice
Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan
That’s all I can think of for now, a nice spattering of fiction and nonfiction in there. J Add suggestions to the comments please!

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