19 Books You Need To Read Before You Die


Does it ever make sense to murder your father?

Death and destruction is a main objection in war. Especially in total warfare.

I became fascinated with WWII.

I think it is unbelievable how people view all history as some distant thing. The whole world, so to speak, was at war less than 100 years ago.

There are still survivors.

Massive devastation. Ruined lives. Slave camps. Atomic bombs.

This was our world.

For about 6 years the world was in utter turmoil.

My life was in disorder too for a four year period once. Thankfully, it didn’t involve everyone else.

Reading, in part, brought me out of it.

One time in college I took a 3 week May-mester course on WWII. The class was 8AM to 12PM on Monday through Thursday. On top of the 4 hours of lecture, we were assigned no less than 6 books to read in just 11 days of class.

I had to read so much in such a short time that it reignited my love for reading.

As a kid I spent a ton of time by my self. The finer moments included reading. Several times I would climb the oak tree in our front yard and then wedge myself in the crook of branches. And then read for as long as I could stay up there.

Or else I would use a flashlight under the covers and read when I was supposed to be sleeping.

My elementary school once had a program to read for 600 minutes. My young mind quickly calculated that to be 10 hours. That made the task seem more achievable because 10 is way less than 600. If I did it I would be rewarded with a personal pizza.

A FREE pizza!

Behold the birth of the power of pizza on my life.

I loved reading because it took me away from my present and transported me into adventure.

Beyond adventure, I have come to respect reading fiction for the depth of humanity that is showcased within great works. The intense emotions, the psychological insights, the fun and frivolity, charm, surprise, journey and crescendo until the ultimate outcome or resolution.


This list of 19 Top Fiction Books I’ve Read And You Should Too Before You Die is full of known classics, some comedies and a few off beat books that will have you rethink the world we live in.

Day 76 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine.


I can not overstate how much reading has and continues to have a marvelous impact on my life.


1 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Too long you say? Get over it! Just like walking, one step at a time, read on word at a time. You will get wrapped up in the marvelous story that brings personalities to life in an amazing way. It’s a classic for a reason!


2 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I learned that although you can look like a hero solving problems you initially caused, it is best not to mess with the lives of others on such a deep level. Plus if I were an eccentric billionaire I too would become a great marksman.


3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

That the book is more than about fighting windmills and just because other people want to live a myopic boring life does not mean you have to too. Life is an adventure but you have to go outside to live it.

Don’t worry what people think about you.


4 The Brothers Karamazov
5 The Idiot

6 Crime and Punishment

all by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

From The Brother Karamazov I learned how to commit patricide. Kidding. This one was so packed full of greatness it is hard to narrow down just one thing. The scene where Ivan talks with the Devil is intriguing and reminiscent of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape letters.

The Idiot

Poor lovable Myshkin. The struggles of a pure hearted prince in a world that is not so kind. Not necessarily a lost of innocence story but one of love.

Crime and Punishment

What act will change your life forever? Must you do one thing to set you apart onto a path of greatness? Even if that one thing is murder? And are there consequences greater than the punishments of man?


7 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Why file paperwork when you can just throw it away instead?

People do menial work. But that does not mean they have menial minds.

Everyone has value. Please treat others accordingly. This is a comedy worth every page.


8 White Noise by Don Delillo

I have decided that I need a position such as Professor of Hitler Studies.

If you are an expert on something no one else is, then you have value.

This is even better if you can have this value without having to actually do anything. Or at least it works this way in academia. For the rest of us, we are just doing our best to make it through.

White Noise and “The Airborne Toxic Event” will have you wondering if you too fear death as much as the next person.


9 East of Eden by John Steinbeck

A goldmine of the human condition. This book has a great story told in a captivating manner.

The difference between Thou must and Thou mayest can revolutionize your perspective.

The interwoven look at American history makes this novel come to life.


10 For Whom The Bell Tolls
11 The Sun Also Rises
12 The Old Man And The Sea
13 To Have And Have Not
14 A Farewell To Arms

all by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom The Bell Tolls

If you want to get involved in a war, get a cool assignment like hanging out with locals until you can blow up a bridge. Also I learned about writing and the use of time. Hemingway can really paint a story in vivid detail.
The Sun Also Rises

A travel through Spain in the 1920’s. Writers writing about writers writing in always in style with writers.

Love. Drinking. Bull Fights.

The Old Man And The Sea

Is fishing ever more than just what you catch? This may be the greatest story of the one that got away.

To Have And Have Not

To what lengths will a man go in need of work?

Harry, a fishing boat captain, runs contraband between Cuba and Florida but it ends up costing him more than he bargained for.

A Farewell To Arms

Grab a bottle a vermouth as you enjoy this tale of a weary love stricken medic.


15 The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Is the Devil a lie?

Intertwined Freemason symbols may make you feel like this story has more to offer than meets the eye. Satan’s magic show at the Variety Theatre is one of my favorite scenes.

And alas, The Master, an author who wrote a novel about the meeting of Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Notsri (Jesus of Nazareth), which led to the ruination of his career by the Soviet literary bureaucracy.


16 Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Illuminati? Check. Knights Templar? Check. Freemasons? Check.Vanity publishing? Check.

“The ultimate conspiracy theory thriller, which predates Dan Brown by many years. Three learned book editors decide to have some fun by inventing a history of the occult that predicts that the ancient society of Templars is plotting to take over the world. Gradually their spoof becomes chillingly real. Some readers hail Eco’s immensely erudite follow-up to The Name of the Rose as the thinking person’s Da Vinci Code”

If that does not make you want to read it, then don’t.

This awesome story blurs the lines between research, creativity and real life. It will leave you wondering about the world around you. Gradually their spoof becomes chillingly real. Some readers consider Foucault’s Pendulum to be the thinking person’s Da Vinci Code.


17 Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

The captivating story of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 and the 256th Squadron merely want to avoid certain death.

Is that so wrong?

Chapter 22 where Milo is discovered to be more than a simple supply runner is one of the most memorable from the book.


18 1984
19 Animal Farm

by George Orwell


We already live in a world where we are being watched. GPS tracked. Monitored on surveillance cameras.

It has manifested itself differently than described by Orwell.

Instead of a superstate or nanny state, we pay for the devices to do it to ourselves.

We make it too easy because we love Big Brother.

Animal Farm

A single phrase sums it up best:

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Plus pigs calling for prohibition once they get a hangover is good too.


This list could go on and on…

If you’ve not read any of these books, pick one and start reading it today. If you have read any of them and want to discuss them, please drop me a message and we’ll chat!

What great works of fiction did I leave out?

I am always looking for a good book to read.


Have something you want advertised?

You can have it posted here at the end of my blog via my Fiverr gig.



Conspire To Inspire: Everything Is Awesome When You Are Part Of A Team



Looking to make a change but need a swift kick in the pants to get you started?

Sometimes it takes a little push to get going.

In Conspire to Inspire you will get a jolt of inspiration via a compilation of profiles of the people that have inspired me to do more with my life. This book will share with you who the people are who inspired me, when I first came to know about them, why I think they are inspirations and how they have impacted my life in a positive direction!

This quick read will encourage you to build your own team of influencers and share your inspirational story with the world!

That is why I ask you to join me and Conspire to Inspire.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s