Book meme

Oct. 11th, 2010 04:21 pm
mirrorshard: (Blue flower tea)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
Picked up from various people. This appears to be a list of 100 books or series that are important cultural artefacts - I've bolded the ones I've read, and commented on all the ones I know something about.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - Read this for A-level, which was my first encounter with her work. I fell in love, and read my way through all the other completed novels within a few months.
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - I loved this as soon as I started it, at 12 or so, and every time I go back to it I find new things in it, and new angles on Tolkien's concerns, his influences and the people who've imitated him or reacted against him.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - Read this for A-level, disliked it intensely. Should give it another try sometime.
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - Was entertaining, but no real interest in re-reading.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
6 The Bible - I've read about half of it, in no particular order. Should really read it all.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - Nothing I've heard about this book inclines me to bother reading it.
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - I'm pleased I've read it, as well as absorbing the concepts through cultural osmosis.
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - Read them through once, vague intentions of doing a careful re-read at some point.
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - I haven't read any Hardy; a stage production of The Mill on the Floss put me off more. [Edit: How did I let that one past my guard? Mill on the Floss is Eliot, dammit. I have no idea what it was that put me off Hardy, but there was something.]
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - Immense crazy fun when I read it. Should re-read.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - I'm very fond of Shakespeare generally, but I'm not familiar with all the plays.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - It's amazing how different from LotR this is, both in purpose and in execution.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - Tried it as a teenager and bounced.
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot - Elly got me to read this, and I loved it once I'd finished it. It took a lot of perseverance though, and it's the kind of book that has its effect as a whole rather than while going along. It's about the slow, incremental battle for social justice and progress, and seeing all the work the characters put in towards the things we have now, and they never saw in their lifetimes, is wonderful.
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - race-fail means I have no interest in reading this.
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - Started reading once, but lost access to the copy I was partway through. Should finish someday.
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - Very fond of this, both book & radio series.
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - I don't have the slightest interest in reading this.
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - I like Carroll a lot, so long as I remember not to read his work as even vaguely mimetic.
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - It's impossible for me to be objective about this book, since it's been a friend for so long. It's been too long since I re-read it, though.
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - I'm content to have the Narnia books as part of my mental landscape, but I don't think I want to re-read them consistently.
34 Emma - Jane Austen - The only Austen I've never re-read. I dislike Emma herself enough that she makes me cringe, spoilt overprivileged brat that she is.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - My love for this book is boundless.
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - See 33 above.
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - Started, and remember enjoying it, but I don't remember why I didn't finish. Maybe the book got buried under a pile of stuff and then it had been too long.
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - Only remember it vaguely.
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - I remember reading this for itself, knowing vaguely it was about Communist Russia, but not knowing anything more about Communist Russia than that it existed. I should re-read it now I know rather more.
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - Given the choice between reading this and any given charity shop's entire stock of Mills & Boon books, I would take the latter.
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - See 12 above.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - On the "vague intention" mental pile. I feel slightly guilty for not having read it yet.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - I found this one intensely unpleasant, but I'm glad I read it.
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - Part of the general SF landscape for me. Nothing really special, IIRC.
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - My second favourite Austen.
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - I remember enjoying this a lot when I read it at 14 or so, though I was too young to find the world as truly disturbing as it is.
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - I remember randomly picking this up in Blaenau library when I was 15 or 16, and enjoying it, but not enough to look for more Steinbeck.
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - From everything I know about this book, reading it would disturb and upset me to no good purpose.
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - I adore this book, but then I'm an utter Dumas fanatic.
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - Friends' experience with this book, and the Beats generally, leave me not wanting to bother actually reading them.
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - See 12 above.
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - Had about half the film inflicted on me once. Not interested in the rest.
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie - Wonderful.
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - Was given a severely abridged version to read at school.
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - This is great for the first three-quarters, but then Stoker was obviously in a real hurry to get it over with.
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 - On the "vague intention" mental pile, for when I'm feeling psychologically strong enough.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - Read and re-read this et seq when I was a teenager.
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - Never the book itself.
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - I don't know why I haven't read the whole thing.
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - On the "vague intention" mental pile, since reading Posy Simmonds' Gemma Bovery.
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - I adored this as a child, and haven't read it since.
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 - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - The ending always makes me cry.
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - On the "vague intention" mental pile.
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - One of my absolute favourite historical novels.
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - Not my favourite Shakespeare, but enjoyable, partly because it supports such interestingly polarizing readings.
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - I preferred the Great Glass Elevator, and neither are among my favourite Dahl books. (That would be Danny the Champion of the World, and then Fantastic Mr Fox.)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - On the "vague intention" mental pile. I think I own a copy somewhere.

Date: 2010-10-11 04:19 pm (UTC)
mirabehn: (Books (libellum - midwinter))
From: [personal profile] mirabehn
You haven't read "The Secret Garden"? Hmm. I might have to lend it to you at some point, if you're willing. It's got quite epic class fail, but it's well-intentioned epic class fail, and in other respects I think you'd get on rather well with it. :-)

Date: 2010-10-11 04:24 pm (UTC)
mirabehn: (Books (libellum - midwinter))
From: [personal profile] mirabehn
I love TMG, but I think "The Secret Garden" is even better. Also older.

It has at least two characters in it that [personal profile] yvesilena was probably born to play.

mmm books *crunch*

Date: 2010-10-11 04:32 pm (UTC)
almadsfeika: (bear little brain)
From: [personal profile] almadsfeika
No! Please do not confuse Philippa Pearce with Frances Hodgson Burnett! *smile*

Date: 2010-10-12 06:13 pm (UTC)
nanaya: Sarah Haskins as Rosie The Riveter, from Mother Jones (Default)
From: [personal profile] nanaya
If you're going to read any Tolstoy, do read 'Anna Karenina'. I personally found it to be a wonderful book in all sorts of ways; not the most cheering read ever (though the sad things are tempered by happier experiences for other characters) but an undoubtedly powerful and insightful novel. It also makes some interesting points about he construction of race in 19th century Russia.

If you read and enjoyed 'Gemma Bovary' (&hearts Posy Simmonds;) you could always read 'Tamara Drewe' instead of 'Far From The Madding Crowd'!

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