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Five Books You Must Read Before I Die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 10, 2022
Hey, I didn’t come up with the title.

Just so you know, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, and this isn’t meant to be a morbid post. A few months ago, I read a book called 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and at the time I thought putting 1000 books on a list like that was obnoxious.

I’ve read more than five books on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. I haven’t counted them, but I know it’s more than five, and I like the number five. If you have an internet list, five is a good number, especially if you’re going to explain each listing. 1001 is way too many for an internet list. Five is way too few for a book.

If you think my title is morbid, remember that I’m not the morbid one. I didn’t come up with the concept of reading a certain number of books before I die. That was somebody else. I even posted the book cover to prove it. I’ve never had an actual book published, so you know that’s not my name on the cover.

To make things easier for potential book readers, I made my own book list, and I think you should read these books before I die because it doesn’t do me any good if you read them after I die. If you read these books after I die, we can’t talk about these books.

I feel uncomfortable telling you that you MUST READ THESE BOOKS BEFORE I DIE. I don’t like bossing people around. Yeah, I was a teacher for 30 years, but I still didn’t enjoy bossing students around. When teaching, I tried the soft approach as much as possible. I never told the students they had to read this book before they died; I just said they had to pretend that they’ve read this book if they wanted to pass my class. I thought it was a fair policy, but some students didn’t even bother to pretend.

Anyway, I have a few guidelines for my FIVE BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First, you have a lot of time to read these books. I don’t plan on passing away any time soon. I know things can happen unexpectedly, but I’m not writing this post out because of morbid thoughts.

Also, I’m not including literary fiction. I don’t want anything that can seem pretentious. I’ve chosen five books for their entertainment value only. Even if I thought Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy was a MUST READ BOOK, I wouldn’t include it on the list. What did Leo Tolstoy know about happy families anyway? There were no happy families in 19th century Russia. Tolstoy had no frame of reference for his first sentence in that book.

What I’m trying to say is that every book on my list is schlock, and I know it.

And don’t worry about the consequences. Nothing bad is going to happen to you if you don’t read these books. I’ll never know. When you’re on your death bed (hopefully that won’t be until decades and decades from now), you won’t regret not reading these books. It shouldn’t be on your mind in that situation. You should be happily unaware because of drugs at that point. Again, I’m not trying to be morbid.

Enough explaining! Here are FIVE BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Different Seasons by Stephen King

I don’t even like reading Stephen King books anymore, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the novellas in this collection. Two of the stories are great (though implausible) and made pretty good movies.

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The dialogue is great. There is too much exposition through dialogue, but that’s true for most mysteries. It’s still very entertaining, and there isn’t any other mystery novel quite like it.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Yes, The Godfather was a book before it was a bunch of movies. I can’t believe I still have to tell people this. You could watch the first two movies instead of reading the book, but that wouldn’t be reading.

The Warlord Chronicles: The Winter King, Enemy of God, and Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell

It’s a trilogy (yawn!), but it’s a real trilogy, not a fake one (if you know what I mean). The first 80 pages of The Winter King might be a little slow, but then… things pick up a little bit.

Marathon Man– by William Goldman

Most readers know William Goldman for The Princess Bride, but I’m partial to Marathon Man. It’s shorter, more fast-paced, and I prefer “Is it Safe?” over “Inconceivable!” WARNING! The Marathon Man movie is so 1970s that it hurts my eyes and ears. You’re better off reading the book.


There you go. These are the FIVE BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE!!!!!!!!!!! If you want, leave a comment with your FIVE BOOKS I MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t promise that I’ll read all the books (or any of them) on your list, but I won’t think you’re morbid.

  1. We definitely have a different list, but then that’s what makes books so extraordinary. My top 5 fiction would include such titles as Bless Me Ultima, Great Gatsby, The Hate U Give, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill A Mockingbird. But then as a lit teacher, my list tends towards classics. Usually, I prefer to list the top 5-10 authors to read. That includes Ishiguro, Atwood, Coelho, at least one White male American, Dickens, Kingsolver, T. Morrison, Momaday . . . But why stop there!

    On Mon, Jan 10, 2022 at 8:53 AM Dysfunctional Literacy wrote:

    > dysfunctional literacy posted: ” Hey, I didn’t come up with the title. > Just so you know, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, and this isn’t meant > to be a morbid post. A few months ago, I read a book called 1001 Books You > Must Read Before You Die, and at the time I thought putting 10″ >

    • If you’re not careful, you’re going to end up with 1001 books on your list. And the books on your list are definitely more appropriate for classroom reading than the books on mine.

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