I recently read that National Public Radio’s expert panel (with input from 7000 listeners) had judged and selected the members of a collection of what they call the 100 funniest books ever. The books are presented in categories with book covers and nice paragraphs to capture imaginations about what delights are to be found in each one.
I first paged through the list to see if I owned or had read any of them. The result was a storm of disappointment that my reading life had been so sad as to have missed so many of these riotously funny contributions to our lives. What right had I to call myself a reader when I’d missed so many bests?!
I printed out the list and placed it alongside my list of best mystery books, printed out a few years ago. I haven’t completed that list but being only modestly old I figure that I still have plenty of time not wasting it on merely good books.
I realized that I’d just have to learn to say NO! To Lee Child, David Baldacci and John Sanford, some of my favorite authors.
Today it hit me. What other lists had I missed? What other wonders had I overlooked or ignored? I considered these possibilities:
- The Best Dystopian Novels of All Time
- The Best Sci-Fi Novels of All Time
- The Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time
- The Best Horror Novels of All Time
- The Best Thriller Novels of All Time
- The Best Romance Novels of All Time
- The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list | Books | The Guardian
- 40 books to read before you die, from Frankenstein to Vanity Fair |
- Best Books of All Time | Book Depository
- The best books to read at every age, from 1 to 100 – Washington Post
- 21 Books You’ve Been Meaning To Read | Penguin Random House
- Popular Easy Reading Books For Adults – Goodreads
Given the expansive, overlapping contents of these recommendations, I have now concluded that I’ll never get them all read, and neither probably will you!… and these aren’t all the lists!
What is important here is that there are wonderful books for people of all ages and interests, and predictably that regardless of a person’s educational background or plans for the future, there are terrific reads out there...and none of us will ever run out!
We must teach our selves to turn to the local public or school library and its team of qualified and dedicated librarians who can steer any of us to the experience of sniffing…then tasting, then devouring personally “just right” books.
In addition, every parent and school must teach the children to walk right up to the circulation desk in any library and just say, “I need some help.” If that is followed by a candid sharing of their interests for fiction and questions for non-fiction kids can get started early in life to discover being enriched by the amazing books of the past, present and those yet to come.