March 2008 Archives

Literary List Meme

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Thanks to jank for introducing me to this one. It made for an interesting read.

Rules are simple - Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you’d like to read. I'll follow in jank's footsteps and throw in some comments.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) - It's been spoiled for me, but I don't think I ever had any interest.
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) Bound to be a BBC adaptation or three out there, if I never get around to reading it.
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Like so many others, I loved it. Avoids being saccharine.
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) Loved them. Not the best fantasy out there, but engrossing.
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) I may be Canadian, but I'll still take a pass.
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) Never heard of it #1
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) Cool cover, but no idea.
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) Decent books, but maybe not quite worth the billions Ms. Rowling has made.
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) As per DaVinci
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) No idea #2
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) No interest.
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald) No idea #3
18. The Stand (Stephen King) Stephen King has never appealed.
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) Best of the bunch. They went slightly downhill from here.
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) Like Austin, the Brontes are probably worth at least a watch, if not a read.
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) Used to read this to my son, long ago.
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) No interest.
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) Saw parts of the movie, ergo really no interest.
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) No idea #4
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) No offense to the immensely popular Pratchett, but he's in Adams mighty shadow. I actually find that it's harder to make truly funny comedy from the ridiculous than from the mundane. Adams made it look easy.
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) Tried and failed. The movie was ok, but as a child this book did not capture my interest.
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) I liked the move Of Mice and Men, but it didn't encourage me to go out and read all his stuff.
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) No idea #5
31. Dune (Frank Herbert) Sci-fi at its best. A straightforward adventure story with a ton of depth if you look for it. I adored Frank Herbert for his willingness to challenge his readers.
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) Yet another movie I haven't seen, from a book I'll never read.
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) I won't close the book entirely on Rand, but from encountering her ideas second-hand I'm less than impressed.
34. 1984 (Orwell) Quite possibly the worst book I've ever read. Once Herbert wrote "the more control, the more that needs control", the world of 1984 fell apart before my eyes.
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) I'm so overdue on this one.
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) No idea #6.
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay) No idea #7.
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) No idea #8, unless Wally was in Spandau Ballet.
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) No idea #9.
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) 10... wow, I'm illiterate!
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) A friend introduced me to it in grade 8. Decent, but not outstanding.
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) I might see the movie someday, I guess.
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella) No. Thank. You.
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) Intriguing title.
45. Bible Haven't read as much of it as I should have I suppose.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) I'm curious enough to read it, and find out what all the fuss is about vis a vis the russian authors.
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) Would prefer to read it in french.
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) #11
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) See above
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) #12
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) #13
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Started it, stalled. From what I remember, Dickens style was way too wordy for me.
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) Very good book. The foreword may be the best part of the book, though.
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) I need to write in to my high school, ask for the hours I spend reading this back.
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) No to book and miniseries both.
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) Missed it, thank goodness. Not my cup o' tea.
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) Another intriguing title.
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) As per Tolstoy.
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) No to Rand, for now.
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) Movie made me interested enough to try one of her books.
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis) Go go Canadian lit class. It was ok, but I don't think that "literary" novels like this one are quite my cup of tea.
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) No idea, yet again. I've lost count of books I've never heard of.
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) No thanks.
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) Unlikely.
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) In french, if possible.
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) Movie was good, but that was enough.
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay) Nothing has ever captured me like the Fionavar trilogy. Fast paced, and every one of the 5 main characters was completely memorable. Well, except maybe Jennifer.
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) No idea.
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) Saw part of the movie on CBC. DIdn't look bad, but Laurence is probably too literary for me.
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) Skipped it as a child. My "kid's books" phase was very, very short.
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley) After reading Findley's The Wars, NO THANK YOU.
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) Enjoyed the movie, insofar as a depressing movie can be enjoyed. No intention of revisiting.
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) No idea.
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind) Fionavar is my favorite, but this may be the single best crafted fantasy novel there is. The sequel was 95% as good, but nothing thereafter was even half as good. What shone through was the intelligence of the main characters.
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)> Good book, good movie.
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) Read on the heels of 1984, I was ready to hate it, too. Didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. I don't think utopian/distopian novels work for me.
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago) NO idea.
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91.The Skin of the Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) NO THANK YOU.
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) This was "in" when I was young. Never piqued my interest, though.
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) Probably not.
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) Someday...

My own list to add:

Germinal (Emile Zola) - Stupendous book that completley exceeded my expectations, and made taking that french course in university worthwhile. In a sense, this is what 1984 should have been. Should be required reading for anoyone who thinks they're an anarchist.

Anything by Molière. I've read Le Bourgeous Gentilhomme and Le Malade Imaginaire. Funnier than anything I've read by Shakespeare.

Chariots of the Gods? (Erich von Daniken) Interesting point of view. Probably helped me develop critical thought.

Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C Clarke) Perhaps the perfect sci fi novel.

Nightfall (Isaac Asimov) Perhaps the perfect sci fi short story. Wait, scratch the "perhaps".

Seed Stock (Frank Herbert) I love space operas as much as the next guy, but this short story is probably far closer to the truth than any spce travel vision of Asimov, Roddenberry or Lucas.

A Man For All Seasons (Robert Bolt) A lot like To Kill A Mockingbird, I guess.

Galileo's Daughter and Longitude (Dava Sobel) History. Smart people. Hooray!

Connections, or anything else (James Burke). History + technology = win!

Anne Frank's Diary Read it as a kid, after I saw a movie about her.

Stranger in a Strage Land (Robert Heinlein) While I generally dislike Heinlein, this one was decent.

Joseph Campbell - Read something of his in High School, forget what exactly. Always intended to revisit him. Someday, I guess.

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