Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Go shorty, IT'S MAH BIRFDAY.

Let's celebrate, readers!  Today marks the end of my third decade on this glorious Earth, and the beginning of my fourth.  That's right, it's my birthday, and I'm turning the big 3-0.  HUZZAH!

I have never been one to fear "big" birthday milestones, this one included.  I'd like to think that I packed an awful lot into the last decade.  Graduated college, met/dated/married my husband, got my first (two) real jobs, earned a masters degree, hiked a bunch of mountains, traveled to over 10 different countries, ran a 15k, bought a house, got a dog, had a kid, sold the house and bought another one, and now am nearly ready to pop out another baby.  And those are just the highlights.  If anything, 30 is a celebration of all that awesomeness, plus a mark of anticipation for what's to come.  BRING YOUR A-GAME, THIRTY.
Me and Husband on my 24th birthday, 6 years ago.  So young.  So carefree.  So weird.
In honor of this most momentous of birthdays, I decided to challenge myself and compile a list: 30 books to read before I'm 35.  However, when I started making the list, I quickly realized that there were more than 30 books that I really, really want to read sometime in the next few years.  Actually, there were 53 on the original list.  I kept cutting it down, until finally I got it to 40, and decided that DAMMIT, I am 30 years old, I can break a rule here or there.

So now the list is:

30 Books To Read Before I Turn 35
(plus 10 more, because I'm 30 and I DO WHAT I WANT)

This list might seem odd to you in parts, but it's a mix of classics (which I am always trying to read when I have the time), books that have been on my TBR forever for whatever reason, and more popular recent books that I am dying to read but just never made the time for.  So, without further ado!

The World According to Garp by John Irving
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
1776 by David McCullough
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Paper Moon by Joe David Brown
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackaray
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
The Whole Fromage by Kathe Lison
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
anything by Agatha Christie (never read one!)
Rabbit, Run by John Updike
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Ulysses by James Joyce
Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Jordan Freeman Was My Friend by Richard White
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
The Odyssey by Homer
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
Incendiary by Chris Cleave
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Dinner by Herman Koch
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Dracula by Bram Stoker

I will keep the blog updated with any reviews I do of these novels along the way.  Make sure you cheer me on...5 years goes by in a blink, and when I walk into a library I get easily distracted by well-made book displays.

What do you think of the list, friends?  Anything I should have added?  And what's your take on big birthday milestones: fearsome or fantastic?


  1. Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!! The 30's are awesome.

    Love your list!

  2. Happy birthday! Looks like a great list!

  3. Happy happy happy 30th girl! Hooray! I dig milestone birthdays :) I don't fear them either. Sometimes they sound weird, but they don't make me mad or whatever.

    I love your list, great idea! You have some fab books on there that I want to say READ NOW about. Also, you've reminded me of a bunch of books that I want to get to as well. Hmmm...I have a big milestone bday coming up as well. I might have to steal this idea of yours. Muahahahaha!

    1. Yes, you totally need to steal the idea and do your own...would love to see what's on your list!

  4. Happy birthday! That's a great list of books. I highly recommend Atlas Shrugged (it's a classic, after all) and The Historian. I loved that book!

    1. Thanks! Yes, they have both been on my TBR (and my book shelf) for a very long time!

  5. Ha! I love the title (well, subtitle) of your list. I love that comic as well. I turned 30 in June, and a lot of times I still feel like I'm fresh out of college. I think the real kicker is realizing that I relate way better to people who are ten years older than me than those who are ten years younger... especially on the internet, when so much of the artificiality is swept away. (At least, if you hang out in the right places on the internet...)

    Happy birthday! And good luck with your books! I especially liked Gone with the Wind (and wasn't expecting to at all!) though there are a lot of good books in there.

    1. Yeah, until last month I worked at a college...nothing makes you realize that you're getting older than working every day with 20 year olds...haha!

  6. ~:::Happy Birthday:::~

  7. Happy happy!!!! Hope you had a wonderful day.

  8. Happy Birthday Gingersnap! Welcome to the club. All the cool chicks are 30! Loving your list too, I get bummed by those 30 before 30 lists, here's to 35 and beyond!

    1. Exactly! (Plus, I was too lazy to put together a 30 before 30 list. I like lists so I otherwise would have done it. Truth.)

  9. List looks good to me, except I'd delete Ulysses. I know I had it on my shelf for years, but finally just admitted that I'm never going to read it and donated it for our library book sale. As for big birthday milestones, I think we only have so many of them, six, seven or eight usually if we're lucky, so why not let them be fantastic?

    1. Thanks for the tip on Ulysses. It's one of those books (like War and Peace) that I feel obligated as a reader to at least attempt...even though I know it will be a special form of torture. Haha. I did feel like queen of the world when I finished W+P though, so perhaps I have to keep that in mind...

  10. Happy belated birthday! That photo is adorable, haha =)

    Good luck with your challenge, that's a really great list.

    1. Haha, glad you like it. There are a surprising number of photos of the two of us making similar faces. lol

  11. Happy belated birthday! Good luck with your challenge! I was super pregnant on my 30th birthday, too (which kind of distracted me from the whole turning 30 thing). Now, two years later, I can definitively say it's a fun decade (at least so far!). We over-emphasize age in our culture.

    1. Yes, being pregnant does change the celebratory nature of it...as did being in the middle of a move. But I'm happy to hear that 30 is a good decade!! :) I agree that age is overemphasized, especially the "dread" associated with certain milestones as you get older.

  12. Haaaaaaaappy birthday (belated b/c I'm behind on reading people's blogs) aaaaaand fab list!

    -Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    1. No prob on being late, I am perpetually dayyyys behind reading blogs. haha. Thanks!!

  13. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you... :) I'm belated and behind on blog posts too, but super excited for you about your birthday and the great reading you have planned. I've read hardly any of the books on your list, but I look forward to hearing what you think of them.

  14. Stumbled on this blog looking for someecards... And now I'm wondering if you've actually read all these books 5 years ago! I sure hope so, it's a good list :).


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