11.29.2008

We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming after the holiday weekend. In the meantime, here's a little quiz.

A literary meme, taken from Eliza:

Apparently most people will have only read 6 of the 100 in this list. I find that hard to believe. Well, maybe not so hard, but I don't think that I know "most people".

Instructions:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them.


1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (see 35.)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (A great revisiting of the traditional boarding school novel. If you like these, I highly recommend Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling.)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (When I read this in high school, my English teacher told me that he envied me the ability to read it for the first time. Now I understand.)
6. The Bible (I went to parochial school, but the whole thing? no.)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte(Read it for an English Lit class in college and found that I prefer Austen to Bronte.)
8.Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (This book made me cry.)
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 (blurg)
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (Complete? no. How many people have really read Timon of Athens? I do really love Henry IV, pt.1, a great riff on St. Augustine's story, one of the basic themes of Western literature.)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (I also recommd the Hitchcock adaptation. The cinematography alone makes it a classic!)
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (Wants to be Proust. Isn't.)
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (Isn't this everyone's favorite American novel? Strangely, few people read it as an adult. It has much more depth if you re-read it once you've done a bit of living.)
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
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 Meh.
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (I couldn't believe that Oprah put this on her book list. The pacing makes Pasternak look like a Reader's Digest Condensed Book.)
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 (I loved these books when I was a kid, until I caught on to the blatant Christian imagery.)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
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 Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (I just read this. Very engrossing. Apparently one of the first books to use multiple narrators in Western literature.)
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (I'm a big Montgomery fan)
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 (The end of this novel is absolutely heartbreaking.)
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (If you meet any Colonel Brandons, please send them my way.)
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
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (Not as good as its rep would lead you to believe, sadly.)
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt (I found the ending of this novel unsatisfying.)
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (Incredible narration.)
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (in English and French. I'm an overachiever.)
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac (I agree with Truman Capote: "That's not writing. That's typing.")
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (I'd recommend the Mayor of Casterbridge before this.)
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
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
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 - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (started)
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 (This novel was hugely popular during the American Civil War)

I've read an improbable 50% of this list. Apparently, all I did was read when I was a kid. That probably accounts for my total lack of coordination. Other books that I recommend without reservation:

* The Portrait of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. Wit beyond measure, in rare prose form. Thank God Wilde wrote in English.
* The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather. Not her usual dreck about Scandinavian immigrants fighting it out on the dusty plains. This novel deals with the emotional and artistic development of a young artist, which leads her away from home towards greatness.
* I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith. The development of the narrator's voice in this novel is nothing short of incredible. Possibly the best first person limited I've read.
* Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman. I read this book in college and it changed my life. I cannot tell you how many times I have given this as a gift.
* Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor. Possibly the best researched romance novel ever, it is the classiest trash. A real page turner good for transatlantic flights, rainy weekends, and trips to the beach. Often compared to Gone With the Wind for scope and sauciness.
* All of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I adored these books when I was a kid, and I thought it was the coolest thing that one of my mom's quilting books was written by her daughter. Full of great anecdotes like the ox putting its foot through the top of their dugout house and the infamous fight with Nellie in the creek full of leeches. Nellie clearly needed to be taken down a peg or two.
* Time and Again and From Time to Time, by Jack Finney. Time travel similar to the movie Somewhere in Time. I should re-read these again soon....
* The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy. Epic, multi-generational love affairs and scandal within the august Forsyte family. It's a thick book, but quickly draws the reader in. My mother recently told me that there are more books following the Forsytes, which I intend to look for the next time I'm at Powell's.
* Maus, by Art Spiegelman. Yes, it's a graphic novel about the Second World War using cars and mice, but that's just the surface. Beautiful layout and art as well as an incredible story.
* Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. A distinctive voice and vivid design used to describe the Islamic Revolution from the viewpoint of a teenage girl.
* A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. One of the few Hemingway books I really love (please everyone stop recommending The Sun Also Rises), this is an autobiographical treatment of his early years in Paris. If for nothing else, read for the anecdote involving Zelda Fitzgerald telling F. Scott Fitzgerald he has a small penis.

If you copy this meme, please drop me a link in the comments. I'm always interested in good book recommendations!

2 comments:

eliza said...

oh my god! i can't believe there wasn't any hemingway on the list! gasp.

anyways, fun to think about though, eh?

KellyS said...

huh I'm doing this, too. I am curious at the choice of books though

 
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