Friday Reads · On My Bookshelf

Friday Reads: A Peek at my Book Bucket List (5 of 15)

I like lists. From my blog posts, you can probably tell that I like lists. So it makes me happy to have an excuse to do a series of 15 blog posts that is essentially each a list of books I want to read.

For this review of my list, I’ll go over the next ten books on my list (sorted alphabetically) and let you know how many lists they were on, whether or not they are priority reads, whether or not they are re-reads, and whether or not I’ve read them yet.

*Side note: I used eleven lists to compile this master list. The most lists that any book was on was 10.

Prior reviews can be found here:     Post #1     Post #2     Post #3     Post #4


1. THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by ERIK LARSON

  • Number of lists: 1
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I wasn’t sure I would like this one, because from the title it sounds like it’s a political book (white city makes me think White House) and I don’t usually like political books. However, this is NOT ABOUT THAT. Instead, it’s about a series of murders at a Chicago World’s Fair, and I remember now that I read a fantasy novel which also used this location as a place where the main characters traveled to (back in time) for something. All of a sudden this book sounds so much more interesting.
  • Added bonus: I was talking with my grandma last weekend, and she highly recommends this book. So now not only do I want to read it, but I want to read it SOON so that I can discuss it with her.

2. THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by ANNE FRANK

  • Number of lists: 2
  • Priority read? YES
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: 5/7/2018 — 5/27/2018
  • Thoughts: This was an important, and a very hard, book to read. Still, I’m very glad to have read it.

3. THE DIVINE COMEDY by DANTE ALIGHIERI

  • Number of lists: 1
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: RE-READ
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I’ve read at least most of this for school. I don’t remember how much, though, and I’m curious to go back and re-visit it.

4. DON QUIXOTE by MIGUEL DE CERVANTES

  • Number of lists: 5
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I know the story, and love the musical inspired by the novel (The Man of La Mancha). I’ve never read the book, though, and want to remedy that.

5. DOOMSDAY BOOK by CONNIE WILLIS

  • Number of lists: 1
  • Priority read? YES
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: 3/12/2018 — 3/24/2018
  • Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. A LOT. It’s one of my favorite reads of 2018.

6. DRACULA by BRAM STOKER

  • Number of lists: 7
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: RE-READ
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I’ve read Dracula both for school and for pleasure. It’s been a while, though, and I remember enjoying it, so I want to read it again. Oooh, maybe I’ll find an audio book with a good narrator, and listen to it this time around.

7. DUNE by FRANK HERBERT

  • Number of lists: 3
  • Priority read? YES
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I’ve never read this, and don’t want to be forced to give up my Nerd Card, so I must at least attempt to read it.

8. EMMA by JANE AUSTEN

  • Number of lists: 4
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I’ve read other Austen (well, really just Sense and Sensibility) and have seen the movie version of Emma, so I want to compare the book to the movie with this one too and see what I think.

9. ENDER’S GAME by ORSON SCOTT CARD

  • Number of lists: 1
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: RE-READ
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: I read this book, but it was ages ago. I do want to re-read it, but there’s no urgency for me on this one.

10. THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

  • Number of lists: 1
  • Priority read? NO
  • New or re-read: NEW
  • Reading dates: N/A
  • Thoughts: To be honest, the main reason I started wanting to read this book in the first place was because of a Star Trek TNG episode. I know nothing else about this story beyond what Picard said in that episode.

Darmok and Jalad at Tinagra. Darmok and Jalad on the ocean.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu at Uruk.


Have you read these books? Are there any I should watch out for, or that I should move to the top of my priority list?

And, more importantly, I am looking for other like-minded list makers. Please let me know that I’m not alone in my love of lists.

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16 thoughts on “Friday Reads: A Peek at my Book Bucket List (5 of 15)

  1. Devil in the White City was very creepy. I read it years ago so my memory isn’t that great, but just the way the murders were committed got to me!
    Emma is actually one of my favorites by Jane Austen. Depending on which film you saw, it may have been quite faithful or may have taken some liberties. Either way, I love how Emma develops as a character.
    I read Gilgamesh in college and wasn’t really a fan. It felt more like work than anything else.
    Anne Frank is, of course, a tremendously important book, but very hard to read. Especially when you think about her gifts as a writer. It’s heartbreaking to imagine the novels/stories/plays/essays/whatever, that she may have given us if she’d been allowed to live. And then to remember that she was just one of the millions.
    I thought that Dracula was OK but I wish that I’d come to it without the preconceptions from a lifetime of seeing and hearing references to it. I feel like some of that spoiled it for me.
    Love The Doomsday Book, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the Oxford Time Travel series.
    Happy reading!

    1. I’ve learned a little about the historical events around Devil in the White City, so I’m curious to read more. I keep learning more about the book, though: I thought it was fiction, but I’m seeing it referred to as narrative non-fiction. Neat.

      I saw the Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow. Not sure how faithful it was, but it was fun!

      Thinking about what stories Anne Frank could have given us as an adult is incredibly sad, especially with the quality in her teenage diary. And yes: you are right. She was one among many to die needlessly in that war. It makes me devastated to think about what talents we lost.

      Doomsday Book was my third Connie Willis book, and she is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.

      1. The Devil in the Whit City is narrative nonfiction. There are times where I’m pretty sure the author used his imagination to fill in details about how someone may have been feeling (because I don’t think there’s any way he could have known that for a fact!) but for the most part it’s based on factual research.

        As I recall the Gwyneth Paltrow film was pretty faithful. I know that a lot of people feel it was too Hollywood-ized but I sort of thought that worked with Emma’s character.

        The book Tales From the Secret Annex gives us an idea of Anne’s development as a fiction writer https://amzn.to/2L5fwpU But of course with time and practice her talents would have undoubtedly grown and matured. All we can say for sure is that she had a ton of potential that will never be realized.

        1. Thanks for the clarification! I thought that Devil in the White City was more fiction that it seems to be, but it does make sense that at least some of it would be fictionalized.

          I enjoyed Gwyneth’s Emma, it seemed to fit the story well. I’ll have to re-watch it after I read the book, since I haven’t seen it since it initially came out in cinemas.

          I didn’t know any of Anne Frank’s fiction had survived! It makes sense, though, since her diary did.

          1. I believe that the decision not to include some writings in the diary was an editorial decision when it was initially published. I think that there were also a few entries that Anne’s father wasn’t comfortable with including. I think you can buy an edition now that includes some entries that were initially left out, as well as some of her fiction.

          2. I’m not 100% sure now, but I think the version of the diary I read had some of the entries which were originally edited out. I picked up the version I did with that intent, anyway, but I don’t remember any notes indicating which sections were the prior edits.

    1. I especially liked the beginning of Dracula, I felt it was the creepiest part.

      I remember when I read Ender’s Game the first time, and my reading tastes have changed since then, so I’m curious to see if I still like it now.

    1. It is! I thought it was fiction based around truth, but it seems it’s called “narrative non-fiction” and some people lump it in with true crime stories. It sounds creepy but good!

  2. I recently tried to read The Divine Comedy. I feel like I need some uninterrupted, concentrated time to read it and I don’t see that happening any time soon. I need to save it for a really relaxing vacation…if I ever take one of those (not vacation, just a relaxing one). And can’t wait to hear what you think of Dune when you read it. It’s my husband’s favorite series…he keeps telling me to read it. Then I look at how thick it is and the font size and the fact that I’ll probably want to read all of the books if I read the first one…Then I say..maybe next month. 🙂

    1. As far as Dune goes, I’ve heard people say that you can read the first one and then stop. I’m hoping that’s the case, because otherwise the series looks way too intimidating… 🙂

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