Lists

After a while you start to learn things about yourself. You learn that you will always eat the last piece of zucchini bread. You will always notice that the toilet seat is up, but forget to put it down before you sit down anyway. And you will never do New Years resolutions.

New Years Resolutions have turned out to be a failure. No surprise there; I’m incapable of retaining a thought over the course of an entire year. An entire lifetime? Maybe. A year? After several years of failure in fulfilling my New Years Resolutions, I decided to indulge in a Life List instead, like the birdwatchers who check off animals they’ve seen one by one in some massive competitive venture to quantify their success over their colleagues. As time has wore on and I added and subtracted from the list, I discovered that most of the things I wanted were things of knowledge or ability. Acquisition of material things went away, and “I will try,” began to make way for, “I will do.”

Steps one and two to great accomplishment. The first half of my life, I tried before I did. Now I’m living life in reverse.

Life List

  1. I will write a novel from start to finish.
  2. I will skydive at least once.
  3. I will live under a Bushless government.
  4. I will write a family history.
  5. I will learn to read Japanese (fairly) fluently.
  6. I will whitewater raft down the Russian River. Above water.
  7. I will start piano again.
  8. I will run a marathon.
  9. I will earn a black belt in Aikido.
  10. I will revisit 125 lbs.
  11. I will get my cholesterol under control.
  12. I will learn to flamenco dance.
  13. I will learn to sing.
  14. I will compose a lullaby.
  15. I will read the 100 Greatest Books of History (listed below)

Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930), Things Fall Apart

Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875), Fairy Tales and Stories

Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice

Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850), Old Goriot

Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989), Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable

Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375), Decameron

Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986), Collected Fictions

Emily Bronte, England, (1818-1848), Wuthering Heights

Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger

Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970), Poems.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961), Journey to the End of the Night

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616), Don Quixote

Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales

Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924), Nostromo

Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy

Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870), Great Expectations

Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784), Jacques the Fatalist and His Master

Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957), Berlin Alexanderplatz

Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov

George Eliot, England, (1819-1880), Middlemarch

Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994), Invisible Man

Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea

William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury

Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880), Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education

Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936), Gypsy Ballads

Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombia, (b. 1928), One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera

Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC).

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832), Faust

Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852), Dead Souls

Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927), The Tin Drum

Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967), The Devil to Pay in the Backlands

Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952), Hunger.

Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea

Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad and The Odyssey

Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906), A Doll’s House

The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC).

James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941), Ulysses

Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924), The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle Bohemia

Kalidasa, India, (c. 400), The Recognition of Sakuntala

Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972), The Sound of the Mountain

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