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Friday, August 8, 2008

So You Think You Can Read?

I have been tagged by my sassy blog crush What Possessed Me for this meme. The rules, from her post, follow; however I felt the need to explain myself and also ask questions in certain situations:

The Big Read (whatever that is) reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or for whatever reason loathe.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling (I have read only one, funnily enough while sick with a fever. Is this fever thing a trend? I think that is what made me look upon the book more fondly than I might have otherwise. Then I tried to read another one and couldn't finish it.)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (I have only read little parts of it, so I don't think that counts.)
7 Wuthering Heights (I have seen the movie with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon like a million times. Does that count?)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (I make it a rule to read this book every few years to quench my optimism.)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles (I read Jude the Obscure so I think this gets me off the Hardy hook?)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
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 (No freaking way)
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (No freaking way)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina (No freaking way.)
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 (This movie had Nicholas Cage in it, which means the cover will have him on it, so I can't read it.)
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 (Yeah, I read it. I liked it. You gonna make something of it?)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Tried very very hard to read this book, since every other person in SF reads it on the train. Could not do it.)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
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 (Loved this book. Love love it. Read it.)
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

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 realized I read this when I had a fever, too. But it is a very good book.)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (This is the only one of his books I haven't read yet, I think.)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (I think I tried to read this. I can't remember. Maybe I just walked around with it, trying to look smart.)
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
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 (Love the film and own a copy. Does that count?)
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 Ablom (I can't tell you exactly why I am not going to read this book, but I'm not.)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
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
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


Whew. That took some doing. Even though I've read more than six on the list, apparently there is no prize or reward.

What I see here is a preponderance of Dickens (and there's more I've read that didn't make this list), I'm a little light on the "girly" classics, and I have deep-rooted avoidance issues with the Russian classics. Two books I have read while in a feverish state. And no plans whatsoever to change my list, although there are other books I would have added that I think should be on there.

I hereby tag the following: Stopping to Eat the Roses, TheElementary, Come Sit by My Fire, Aurea, Moments of Perfect Clarity, and Studio Wellspring.

Now, if there are others of you who I did not tag and feel like I have left you out, please don't be blue...do participate and let us know what your list is. I still have a fever so I'm going to milk that for what it's worth.


Johanna August 8, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

Interesting list, TB. From looking at it, I find that I'm pretty heavy on the classics, and increasingly lighter the more contemporary the list gets. You and I have a lot of crossover :-)

Christina August 8, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

Would you believe that # 59 is one of my all time favorites?! That seals the deal, we are officially sisters! As though I didn't already know this : )

smith kaich jones August 8, 2008 at 3:45 PM  

OMG! I got as far as the Nicolas Cage comment and commenced to laughing so hard I had to stop.

But I WAS doing really well!

:) Debi

b August 8, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

Shame you'll never read Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and for such a silly "reason." I've read most of the books on this list and would say Corelli's is in the top 5 books I've ever read.

julochka August 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

hello dahling, as you know, i have done it and i'm not really as grumpy about you tagging me as it sounded. i was out very, very late last night and the html tags for striking through were very nearly beyond me. :-) but i'm better now and even having a glass of wine. i'm glad i did this meme, it's always fun to think about books. i still say i'm going to come up with what i think MY top 100 must-reads are...i'm already pondering THAT list.

hope you're feeling better!!!

tangobaby August 9, 2008 at 1:40 PM  

Hi Johanna,

I think you'll agree that this is kind of a bizarre list, half composed of books you have to read in freshman college English and half of the recent best-sellers and prize winners. There were a few I had not heard of and some that I think should have been on the list.

I'm not surprised that you have some crossover with me...when does that NOT happen? ;-)

Maybe sometime you'll make your list and let us take a peek.

Hi christina,

I love that you love that book too! I just could not stop reading it and was so sorry to see it end. One thing about reading a book like that is that feeling of newness. You can never re-read a book and capture that excited feeling a second time.

So I'm always looking for books that make me feel like that.

Hi debi,

Welcome to my blog, and I'm glad I added some mirth to your day. I think everything went downhill for Nic Cage after Raising Arizona and his hair transplants, what do you think? Somehow, I think we're on the same page about that.

Hey b,

Thanks for the chastisement. I bet there are a lot of serious blogs you can read where no one writes anything silly.

Hi julochka,

I loved your list and you did make me think what my top 5 books might be. Let alone a top 100. I'll be interested to see what you come up with. I agree with you that this list is random and oddly arranged.

Carol August 10, 2008 at 4:34 AM  

There are copies of Captain Corelli's that don't have Cage on the front *lol* I would recommend reading it because it's funny, tragic and a wonderful story... and just totally disregard everything that was in the film (a very, very poor adaptation)

Loving your list so far :-)

Relyn August 10, 2008 at 9:46 PM  

Done! That was fun. Posting it on Tuesday. Tomorrow is the next letter in Alphabetica. Your comments cracked me up. That is also why I have never considered Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

tangobaby August 11, 2008 at 11:19 AM  

Hi Carol,

Welcome to my blog and thank you for not holding it against me that I am somewhat shallow. (For the record, I did not see the film, either. My impressions are based on nothing of actual experience.)

I am hopping on over across the pond to visit your blog right now!


Hi Relyn,

Oh goody! I'm looking forward to reading your list tomorrow then. I just did enjoy your G's.


Tomate Farcie August 11, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

Hello. I couldn't sleep so I started following links and I got here from Don Kinney's link to the beautiful SF Blog, then to you...

I'm glad to see "The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery" on the list of books you love. I read it once every 10 years since I'm a little kid, and every time, I find an angle I missed before. Seriously!

As to Zola, I found him so utterly depressing when I first read him years ago, it was just agony getting through the book.

By the way, I gotta ask, what is the big deal with Catcher in the Rye in this country? I read it, nothing jumped out... ???

Tomate Farcie August 11, 2008 at 11:30 PM  

By the way, if you want a good book, pick up a copy of The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. It's a memoir, and you might think at first glance that it's just another hard-luck story, but just give it a chance and see what happens. I just couldn't wait to get back in the commute every day so I could get back to the story. Frank McCourt, by comparison, is a little tedious and depressing.

tangobaby August 12, 2008 at 12:54 PM  

Bienvenue Tomate!

I'm so glad to see you here (I think you found me via FogBay as I'm not familiar with the other blog) because I thought perhaps that you had retired. I enjoyed your blog and will add you to my blogroll.

I agree with you, Le Petit Prince is a magical book. I used to read it, a version in French in one hand and an English version in the other as a guide. It's a story that is timeless.

I think when I read Germinal, I was in college and it was the right mood for me. I thought it was depressing too, but so well written.

As to the allure of Catcher in the Rye, it's a book that speaks to your heart when you are a teenager and everyone is wrong except for you. There are certain books that make an impact on you that because you can relate to the character so well, and I think Catcher is one of those books for some people.

Thank you for the reminder about The Glass Castle! I have been meaning to read that for some time now and other books always get in the way. I have heard nothing but good things about it. And I totally agree with you about Frank McCourt. I read Angela's Ashes a long time ago, and that was enough for me.


studio wellspring August 15, 2008 at 2:00 PM  

ummm...yeah so i've been totally slow on responding to this. it's not that i didn't read your list & love it & feel inspired to make one too. i've just been so swamped with other things lately i can barely take the time to put up very quick posts on my own blog. sigh. but i do want to do this ~ i really do. maybe next week will be better?? i do adore you tb!