BBC’s The Big Read: Top 100 Novels to Read in Your Lifetime

Fearing that it will eventually be taken down, I copy/pasted the list from the BBC website. I want to read all these for my 40-by-40, so I need to have access to this list for the next ten years.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Goals for the Fall

-Continue the Six Week Shred (5 weeks left)

-Continue good food choices

-Get at least one draft of Chapter 2 down

-Figure out how to pull over Doug’s Walmart 401k

-Finish organizing the garage

-Get the cabinets sold

-Buy a fridge

-Take care of traffic ticket

-Continue writing every day

-Continue working through writing textbooks

Huge Transformation, Zero Pounds Lost

DSC00956 Size 12! 9-29-15

2011 175 lbs, size 16                  2015 175 lbs, size 12

First of all, in case anyone reading this is thinking “oh, she’s bragging,” I totally am. Just wanted to clarify that.

My name is Lindsey and I weight 175 lbs.

I’m not a bikini model, but I have changed my body in a hugely visible way this year and I wanted to show some pics. Beware: I am showing off my white, voluptuous belly.

I’d like to bring your attention to photo #1, taken four years ago as a “before pic” for an online Biggest Loser contest I was doing with some friends. In this picture, I weighed 175lbs and fit into size 16 pants. Even though I was a little chubby, I was never anything out of the range of what you would consider normal for someone who’s had a kid. I was never unsatisfied with my body- I was content to be healthy and normal.


Fast forward to this week. Picture #2:

175 lbs 9-29-15

In the last year, I ran/walked one marathon, ran one half marathon, and then joined the gym and started lifting heavy. My weight is 175lbs. My clothes are down two sizes to a size 12. SAME WEIGHT, TWO SIZES SMALLER. And get this: my BMI- you know, the number that compares your weight to your height as a health indicator- is exactly the same from pic to pic because my weight is the same. I’m thrilled that I’m gotten some fat off and can fit into more manageable clothing sizes- it makes life much easier. I’m also thrilled that I have muscles that show up when I flex now. Again, if my tone sounds like I’m bragging, you’re right- I am.

I learned a few things that might be helpful to my reader(s) as you follow your own health path:

1- BMI is garbage.

2- The weight on the scale is useful, but also can be deceptive. Use fat percentages instead, if you can.

3- Lifting weights, heavy weights, will change the shape of your body.

4- Eat more protein than you think, fewer carbs than you think.

5- There’s not “one right diet” or “one right exercise”. Everyone’s bodies work differently. The important thing is that you exercise regularly, do your best to eat well (yes, vegetables), and be willing to retool your strategy as you go along.

6- Love your body fat; love your body thin. It’s yours. Take care of it and love it even when it doesn’t do what you want it to.

I’m not done with my journey yet. In fact, I’m having so much fun, I’ll probably continue my health habits indefinitely. I have some awesome girlfriends who are there with me every day challenging me and motivating me, and a supportive, excited husband who pretends to enjoy the healthy dinners I make him eat. The journey so far has been fun and pleasant, and I have no intention of stopping any time soon.

There. Now do you feel motivated?


2013: 218 lbs, size 20