Saturday, July 19, 2008

I love to read!

I love books. Reading them, collecting them, listing them, the smell of them. I love nothing more than getting absorbed into an excellent book for an entire day, or staying up way past my bedtime because I just can't put it down.

This summer I've done a fair amount of reading. Last week or thereabouts I tore through three books in four days. I've been meaning to write a little bit about some quality YA books I've read recently. Since I've been busy and lazy to do that, here's a fun meme that I got from Happily Ever After.

"The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed."
1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE (I'll use asterisks)
4) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen--Read it only once. I should read it again to appreciate it more.
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien--will never read it.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 **Harry Potter series - JK Rowling **--I LOVE these. Especially the later books. So much more than 'just a kid's book'.' Sigh.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible--I wouldn't mind reading it in a historical analysis course, but not as a religious thing.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell--Utterly fascinating! Although I think I didn't actually finish it. I have a copy of it, somewhere.
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott--I think I read like a third of it in middle school.
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy--Do real people still actually read this book? This is one that I've only heard of in books, where characters are forced to or supposed to read it.
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller--Been on my list for at least five years. Have a copy somewhere.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare--Pshaw. Yeah right.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien--Another never. Sorry.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger--Totally didn't get it.
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot--I bought it, read like fifty pages, and then lost it at an airport. I don't think I would have finished it anyway.
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell--Won't read this one either. I saw the movie one time in college, and it wasn't my kind of thing.
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy--No freaking way.
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams--I'm so dumb because somewhere, I have the book with all five novels, but never read it.
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck--Henry Ford was really hot in the movie version. :)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll--Eh, probably another never.
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis--Doubtful.
34 Emma - Jane Austen--I should read this. I've liked all the movies based on this.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini--Did not love it.
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres--Maybe someday; I heard it's really good.
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden--Meh. Interesting historically, but overflowery descriptions got on my nerves.
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--Also been on my list for years.
44 **A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving** I. Love. This. Book. So. Much.
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins--I've heard it's an excellent creepy ghost story, so I don't know if I could handle it.
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery--This series was the staple of my childhood.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood--I love her stuff.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding--Read it in high school. Really fascinating.
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel--Couldn't get past the first forty pages.
52 Dune - Frank Herbert--Never.
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--Is it wrong that I always get this one mixed up with Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell, which I have read?
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley--Freaking awesome.
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez--Heard it's good.
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck--Coudn't get past the first chapter. The dialogue style gave me a headache.
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov: On the list. Or is that Reading Lolita in Tehran?
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt--Also has been on my list for years, but eh.
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold--Creepy.
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy--I only know about this book because the main character in Ordinary People--my all-time favorite book--had to read it. Another one that I've never heard of anyone in real life/modern time reading.
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding--Bloody brilliant. Many overlook this because it's so ubiquitous, but she basically started a new genre. And the book is good! Deeper than one might think, as most quality 'chick-lit' books are. The film adaptation is great. The sequel is excellent, although not the film version.
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker--I have this book at school but I think it might be too icky for me.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett--Childhood classic.
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson--I love Bill Bryson, but I don't think this is his best book.
75 Ulysses - James Joyce--Never gonna.
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath--Very tragic.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola--Never heard of this one, but I read most of Nana in college, and I visited his grave in Paris. Does that count?
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--I think this one has also been on my list for years and years.
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert--I bought this one years ago and still haven't read it.
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White--Surprisingly, I never read this childhood classic, I think because I heard it's really sad.
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom--Blah. Too overhyped.
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--Have it, didn't read it. Maybe someday I will.
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad--The horror! The over-symbolism!
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery--Surprisingly haven't read this one either.
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--Truthfully, I can't remember if I've read this one all the way through or just seen the movies. I was in the play too. But again, I don't think this is his best book. A couple years ago I reread The BFG, and that was just utterly delightful.
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo--I read parts for a class while in Paris, does that count? :)


East Coast Teacher said...

You loved Brave New World, but didn't enjoy Catcher in the Rye?

I don't know if I can be your blog friend anymore ;)

I read BNW in high school and it was the only book, I can honestly say, that I thought was horrible.

ms. v. said...

I lost count a couple of times, but I think I've read 50ish of these. It's a weird list, though - complete works? 7-book-series? And if you've read the complete works of Shakespeare, doesn't that kind of cover Hamlet? Jane Austen seems seriously over-represented. There are long periods of time with hardly any books mentioned - On the Road is one of the few books from the middle of this century - and then a dozen or more from the last 10-15 years, some of them excellent books, some of them books that made a splash but are going to get lost in the literary ocean as time moves on. Anyway, I know it's not your list, just thought I'd add my 2 cents.

Dr. G said...

Try reading the Hobbit, out loud. I swear it is a play.

Fred said...

I need to read more. I'm behind.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I read most of the "classics" on the list in high school (I went to private school, where they actually made us read and analyze novels). And if it makes you feel any better, I, too read "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".

I lost my fascination with John Irving after I read "The Cider House Rules" - but "The World According to Garp" is still a classic in my eyes.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Three years ago, I spent the whole year reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings aloud to my students--and they loved it, even though most of them had seen the movies.

Jennie said...

I borrowed the meme for my own blog. It was fun to fill out! (of course, I am a book-nerd).