30 Before 30: Reading List

I’ve been in a prison for the past several months, one I see no hope of escaping. It’s a prison of my own making – most prisons are – but that doesn’t make doing time any easier.

My jailer is a man named Robert Jordan. My jail, his Wheel of Time series. It seems silly that a man who died in 2007 could hold me captive, but with fourteen 800-page books in the series (three written posthumously by Brandon Sanderson), I’m trapped in his world until I turn the last page on A Memory of Light.

I have three more books to go. I’m going to be here a while.

Don’t get me wrong: I like the story. Jordan’s world-building is unparalleled, and I’ve come to love his characters. All 2,782 of them. (I’m only kidding – I only love about half those characters.) But there comes a point when I’ve read the eighty-seventh description of Rand’s tunic or yet another chapter where I know none of the characters that I try to strike a deal with the Gods: if I ever become a writer, I won’t put my readers through this. I swear.

For now, though, I’m a reader, and I’m sick of this shit. So it should come as no surprise that I’m looking forward to #11 on my 30 Before 30 list: read and blog about 30 new books.

Given my passion for speculative fiction, it might surprise you to learn that I actually enjoy most genres. I’ll read the back of a cereal box if it’s the only thing within reach that has words on it. And after my recent foray into Jordan’s epic series, I’m in need of some books that I don’t feel chained to.

I’ve already started a list of things I’d like to read:

  1. The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker
  2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
  3. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
  4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  5. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
  6. Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
  7. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  8. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
  9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – suggested by Andrew C Review: The Shadow of the Wind
  10. Inferno by Dan Brown
  11. White Horse by Alex Adams – suggested by @philosofreaky
  12. This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers – suggested by @philosofreaky
  13. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – suggested by @philosofreaky
  14. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris – suggested by @philosofreaky
  15. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore – suggested by @philosofreaky Review: Lamb
  16. Next by Michael Crichton – suggested by @philosofreaky
  17. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro – suggested by @philosofreaky
  18. My Lobotomy by Howard Dully – suggested by Sheila M
  19. Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson – suggested by Blake L
  20. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – suggested by Dani T
  21. On the Farm by Stevie Cameron – suggested by Dani T
  22. Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey – suggested by Dani T
  23. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman – suggested by Anita
  24. The Girls by Lori Lansens – suggested by Brie
  25. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – suggested by Brie @ Eat Books 
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – suggested by Brie @ Eat Books 
  27. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb – suggested by Brie @ Eat Books 
  28. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt – suggested by Brie @ Eat Books 
  29. Still Alice by Lisa Genova – suggested by Brie @ Eat Books 
  30. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – suggested by Andrew C  Review: Ready Player One
  31. Filth by Irvine Welsh – suggested by Michael C
  32. Acid House by Irvine Welsh – suggested by Michael C
  33. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut – suggested by Michael C
  34. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut – suggested by Michael C
  35. The Story of O by Pauline Reage
  36. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – suggested by Patty M for book club Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Though my list is now “complete”, I’m always looking for book suggestions.

Tell me, friends, which books have changed your lives (or given you the perfect distraction from your lives)? Which books do I just have to read this year?


6 thoughts on “30 Before 30: Reading List

  1. Philosofreaky

    A friend recommended to me Alex Adams’ “White Horse” and I really enjoyed it, so when the same friend recommended Courtney Summers’ “This is Not a Test” I dropped everything to read it, and I enjoyed it too!

    I read a lot of YA and this year I realized I hadn’t yet read any male authors of the genre so I picked up The Maze Runner trilogy and really enjoyed it. Of course, I also enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Mortal Instruments series.

    I’ve read Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series twice over.

    And I haven’t laughed as hard as I did when I read Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I’ve enjoyed the other books I’ve read of his as well.

    I’m also a big Michael Crichton fan and am sad that he’s passed. I haven’t read his last offering yet, but of his books I think I enjoyed Next and Timeline the most. Pirate Latitudes was different too.

    Annnnnd, I’ll toss out there – Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s vampire series The Strain (I do believe I heard is being made into a possible TV series?) was also a fun little horror read before beddybyes.

    (My Reading List Archives since 2010, although I’m with you – I need to read more!!!)

    1. Jen Post author

      I’m really looking forward to reading all your suggestions – I loooove dystopian fiction, Michael Crichton (with Timeline and Pirate Latitudes being my favorites so far), and Guillermo Del Toro (as far as movies go.) And I’ve been wanting to read the Sookie Stackhouse books for a while. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dani

    Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, On the Farm Pickton Story by Stevie Cameron, Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk. Just a few that I think you should add, but you know my reads lol 😉

  3. Anita

    The book that changed my life and continues to change my life is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. It taught me how to be more aware of how we receive and give love.

  4. Brie @ Eat Books

    Well, in an effort to help diversify your reads ;), here are some of my favourite fiction reads off the top of my head:
    -The Girls by Lori Lansens (this is my #1 favourite book of all time so if you read and it and don’t like it, please lie to me)
    -The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    -A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    -I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
    -The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt – I read this one recently and it was so good, and something I usually wouldn’t read, it being a western and all…but read it!
    -Still Alice by Lisa Genova

    Also, you should totally join goodreads. It’s a really fun way to track your books read, track your current reading progress and follow what your friends are reading. Or in other words, a fun way to talk books without having to get dressed or leave the house 🙂


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