Amazon’s 100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime

Oh look, another list :) I am actually surprised how few of the YA books on it I have read, or want to read.


  1. The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
  2. The Call Of The Wild, by Jack London
  3. Carrie, by Stephen King
  4. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
  5. City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare
  6. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
  7. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
  8. Divergent, by Veronica Roth
  9. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
  10. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  11. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
  12. A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
  13. Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling
  14. His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Philip Pullman
  15. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  16. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  17. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  18. The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness
  19. Legend, by Marie Lu
  20. Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
  21. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
  22. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
  23. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
  24. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  25. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
  26. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  27. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  28. The Sandman Vol. 1, by Neil Gaiman
  29. The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett


  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  2. American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
  3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
  4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
  5. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
  6. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  7. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
  8. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
  9. Maus I, by Art Spiegelman
  10. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
  11. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
  12. The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
  13. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
  14. Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas
  15. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart


  1. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
  2. Dune, by Frank Herbert
  3. Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld


  1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  3. Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery
  4. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X
  5. The Basketball Diaries, by Jim Carroll
  6. Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
  7. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  8. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne
  9. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
  10. The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
  11. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  12. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  13. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
  14. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  15. Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
  16. Every Day, by David Levithan
  17. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
  18. Feed, by M.T. Anderson
  19. Forever…, by Judy Blume
  20. Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen
  21. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
  22. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  23. Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
  24. Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos
  25. The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
  26. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
  27. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
  28. I Know What You Did Last Summer, by Lois Duncan
  29. I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
  30. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  31. Luna, by Julie Anne Peters
  32. Marjorie Morningstar, by Herman Wouk
  33. Monster, by Walter Dean Myers
  34. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
  35. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
  36. The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton
  37. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
  38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
  39. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
  40. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
  41. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
  42. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
  43. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
  44. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  45. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
  46. This Boy’s Life, by Tobias Wolff
  47. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
  48. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
  49. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi
  50. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
  51. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
  52. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher

Amazon’s 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime

These lists are like catnip to me. So, of course, I am going to inflict it on you, poor souls who still check this blog. All two of you. :)


  1. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
  2. Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb
  3. The Color of Magic, by Terry Pratchett
  4. The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold
  5. The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper
  6. Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
  7. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
  8. The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams
  9. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
  10. The Eye of the World, by Robert Jordan
  11. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  12. A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin
  13. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
  14. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  15. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
  16. Guilty Pleasures, by Laurell K. Hamilton
  17. The Gunslinger, by Stephen King
  18. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  19. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
  20. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  21. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  22. Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
  23. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  24. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
  25. Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey
  26. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis
  27. The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  28. The Martian, by Andy Weir
  29. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
  30. The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
  31. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
  32. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
  33. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  34. Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey
  35. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
  36. The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley
  37. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
  38. The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks
  39. The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells
  40. The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
  41. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
  42. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
  43. World War Z, by Max Brooks
  44. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle


  1. 1984, by George Orwell
  2. Among Others, by Jo Walton
  3. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  4. Foreigner, by C. J. Cherryh
  5. The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker
  6. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
  7. The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
  8. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  9. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
  10. The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon
  11. Wool, by Hugh Howey


  1. Dune, by Frank Herbert
  2. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
  3. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
  4. Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
  5. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
  6. Sabriel, by Garth Nix
  7. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
  8. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld


  1. 2001: a Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick
  2. Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
  3. Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer
  4. Blood Music, by Greg Bear
  5. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  6. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr.
  7. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
  9. Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany
  10. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  11. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
  12. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
  13. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
  14. Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  15. Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper
  16. H. P. Lovecraft: Tales, by H. P. Lovecraft
  17. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, by Charles Yu
  18. Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
  19. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
  20. The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin
  21. Lord Foul’s Bane, by Stephen R. Donaldson
  22. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
  23. Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter
  24. Pawn of Prophecy, by David Eddings
  25. Perdido Street Station, by China MiƩville
  26. Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  27. Riddle-Master, by Patricia A. McKillip
  28. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
  29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  30. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
  31. Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem
  32. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
  33. The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester
  34. Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang
  35. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
  36. The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi
  37. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Buyer’s Remorse

Well, I am already regretting asking my parents to come visit.

Apparently, when I say “everything is pretty much booked over Christmas Break”, it means that I am looking for excuses and don’t want to give them a straight answer. Because OF COURSE nobody else wants to go to Florida, Puerto Vallarta, or Bahamas over the holidays. Duh.

And then, because I am stupid, I called my cousin, looking for comfort. And got “maybe you are not being enthusiastic enough” and “you are more worried about what Bill’s family will think than how much fun your kids will have.”

Fuck my life.

I Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Yesterday, I told my parents that Bill and I are separated, and that he wants a divorce. Of course, they wanted to know when it all started. I said, “August”, because, technically, that’s when things got really bad. Had I said “November”, it would have opened a whole ‘nother can of worms, and I was so not up to it.

I’ll immortalize the details of our discussion later (tltr: it’s my fault, and I made my Mother sad), but here’s the email I received today from my Dad:

“Whether or not your marriage survives, in any case, you need to IMMEDIATELY start working on getting your citizenship. Do not waste time. DO IT RIGHT AWAY. That the first and MOST IMPORTANT.

Second. ALL your attention and free time should go to BILL and CHILDREN, not kittens, books, computers, and girlfriends. Call him more often.

We understand how you feel and feel sorry for you, but THIS NEEDS to be done, if you don’t want problems for yourself and us in the nearest future.

Pull yourself together and move forward.”

I have no words.


Sunday, September 7, 2014 – Bill tells me that he does not think trying to save our marriage is working out. When we talked at the airport before I left to pick up the kids from Russia, I hoped that maybe we had a chance. It took less than two weeks after I returned to prove me wrong.

Sunday, September 20, 2014 – I can no longer bring myself to sleep in our king-size bed, because it is painfully obvious that Bill does not want me there. I sleep in the study now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – we fill out a family update form during the kids’ annual check up at the pediatrician’s office. The first question is asking about parents’ status. We circle “Separated.”

Still to come: talking to the kids. Telling my parents. Notifying HR office at work. Letting my family know. Changing relationship status on Facebook… Something tells me I’ll be crying myself to sleep more often than not in the coming weeks :(


I’ll be doing OK, and then something will happen, and my bubble of denial pops, and I am confronted once again with the fact that my marriage is over. The eHarmony app on Bill’s phone. The printout of “Your Guide to Separation and Divorce” in the minivan. His casual, “I hope we can stay friends, but I’ll understand if you don’t want to.”

Seventeen years. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health… Now that it looks like “for better” is finally here, I am no longer good enough. It feels like a slap in the face. Another proof of what a failure I am.

Some day, I will make my peace with what my life turned out to be. But today, and tomorrow, and as far into the future as I can see, I am just broken.