Lists of books to read combines two things that I've liked for a long time - reading and lists. One of my earliest ones was an attempt to read through all the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans books in my elementary library (the older ones); I even kept a journal with a one-page entry per book I read. Well, I didn't finish that one, but I still remember a lot of the history I learned through them.
Another list was in high school - my 9th English teacher gave us a list of books commonly used in part of the AP English exam (here is a larger list). I used that list as my general reading list all through high school (didn't read all of those either, but I read a lot of great literature I might not have picked up otherwise). In grad school, to escape the constant science, I picked up biographies once more (not the Bobbs Merrill ones) and thought about reading through the US Presidents - that was in 2004, and I'm still on John Adams.
Now that I'm on the brink of homeschooling, I'm getting into new lists - lists to read to Stephen and Lydia and lists for myself to read in preparation. Also lists to buy for the future. With Stephen, I'm currently going through the preschool list in The Book Tree to find stories that he will like - a great resource!
Another list I'm adding to my lists is the Great Books. As I guide, I'm using Susan Wise Bauer's
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. This list hits on many of the works she lists in the recommended reading for the rhetoric stage (high school age) in The Well-Trained Mind, which I plan to use as a guide in homeschooling my children. I'm going through chronologically (her guide is organized by genre) and reading the second book, The Iliad. We'll see how it goes!