Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long, long time

So sorry I have been MIA. No legitimate reason. A tonsillectomy rendered June a wash of a month for me, but otherwise, I'm just busy. I'm learning how to knit, we went on vacation, I've been reading a lot, and my days are spent exhausting my children which usually exhausts me as well. And I've slacked off on a lot of things, like weeding my garden and blogging.
It's hard to pick up where I left off, or whatever, so when I saw this meme on Busted Babymaker, I thought it would be a fine way to make my return. Never done a meme before and usually don't even read them. But this one was interesting.

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read. In an ideal world, I'd read most of them, but I just highlighted the ones I intend to read in the next few years. Catch up with me in retirement and maybe I'll have finished the list.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red
4) Reprint this list in your blog.

The basis of this meme is that the National Endowment for the Arts is under the impression that the average American has only read 6 of the books listed below. Um, I've never heard of a few of them. And why are they encouraging people to waste their time reading things like The Lovely Bones? Honestly, there are a few on there I've tried repeatedly to read and they have put me to sleep again, repeatedly.

I took a fiction writing class in college and was warned by my professor that the class and its exercises would ruin reading forever for those of us in attendance. I was inclined not to believe her, but, sadly, it was true. I read with a much more critical eye (or ear) than I did before. But I guess the flip side of that is that I can appreciate fine writing in a way I could not before. So some of these books seem to me to be strange inclusions. But whatever. It is what it is.

Anyway, here is the list:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - technically I have about 100 pages left of book 4 (I started with book 5, but I'll be done with this set by the weekend probably).
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens -
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien – tried to read it. Can’t get into it.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger – sitting next to mynightstand…next book up.
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - okay, maybe that's a retirement book.
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden – I loved this book..
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown –
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - not if I can help it.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan -
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel -
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - see # 51
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold – didn’t like it. Kept my attention probably because it’s so disturbing, but I tought the writing was a bit amateurish and predictable.
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - I think I've read this about 5 times.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce -
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath – I have read this book at least 3 times and did a term paper on Sylvia Plath in high school. Probably says a lot about my dark side.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery- I have had a copy of this since I was a child and have intended to read it for the past 30 years. I tried when I as little. Maybe I’ll try again.
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams –
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


xmas said...

I've read 21 of these! I'll have to p do this on my blog...but I'll tell you about it at book club today - how appropriate. You should print out the list and bring it today!

Beth said...

I'm expected to remember which of these I've read? That's just absurd because when you reach my age you can barely remember your children's names.