I’m getting older. What should I read?

I’ve been freaking out about getting older for my entire life. When I was a kid I wanted to be able to say a magic spell like the kids in Pippi Longstocking so I could stay a kid forever. As a teenager, I shared in the more popular feeling, among my peers, that we *were* adults, and that older adults were simply old. When I was 19, I panicked about getting out of my teens and becoming an adult. With each passing year of my 20s, I mused about which year would mark the year when I could no longer be considered “young.” In my late 20s, commercials started to play upon my insecurities the havoc that my 30s would wreak upon my skin. When I turned 30, I felt like I was lying when I told people I was 30. I felt like I was telling them that I was the Pope; it just didn’t sound possible.
Now I find that some dictionary definitions mark the beginning of middle age at 35. No way. You can’t have it both ways, society, if you want to extend adolescence into the late 20s or early 30s, you can’t start middle age at 35. We need some time to breathe somewhere in there.
I prefer to think of myself as “one-third-aged.” Now, the likelihood of my living to 99 is probably not exceptionally high, but in qualitative rather than quantitative terms, I think this makes sense. However, I feel I need to get ready for the second third of my life. I’d like to say I’m going to approach this by doing something really profound, like learning to repair my own car or finally getting some of my own opinions on music instead of borrowing those of my friends.
However, in the first third of my life, I’ve learned that those are not the sorts of things I’ll every actually carry through on. So few of the things I want to do, do I ever attempt, and of those; only a couple do I ever work at for more than a day or two. Finally, those which have proved to be long-lasting projects (as I’ve mentioned before, those are Christianity, graduate school, this blog, and my marriage, in that order of longevity) effectively take up all of my time. I’m not planning on giving up any TV or Sims time just to find out the difference between a carborateur and a distributor.
One thing I can do, however, is read. I would like to set up some kind of list of books that I want to read before I’m 35 or 40 or some other arbitrary deadline. So, I’m asking for suggestions! I’m particularly interested in theology and the history of Christianity, but I’m liable to get through fiction and lighter stuff and a faster rate. Anyone have any ideas on genres or specific books that everyone should read before they’re two-thirds-aged?

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