Friday, July 4, 2008

Foley Revels in The Depths of His Own Ignorance

Because it's been too long since I blogged (outside of a Z2H prodblog in Wednesday) but I was up till all hours of the morning proofing KNIGHTCAP: NOVEMBER'S SONG and cursing my sharp alertness, or whatever it was that was keeping me awake, I shall now throw myself upon my sword and expose the depths of my ignorance to the world with a book meme shamelessly stolen from argentla.

I'm already getting self-defensive about this list. I feel a burning need to preface it by stating that I read because I like reading. At least, I like reading the writing that I like to read, if you follow. There are few things in my life more enjoyable than getting caught up in the way writers like Julian Barnes, Dashiell Hammett, and Douglas Adams turn a phrase. At the same time, for me, reading a Stephen King novel is like taking a ten mile hike through 4 feet of wet concrete (I always enjoy his interviews and what non-fiction of his I've read, though. It's weird.) It's not that he's a bad writer--too many people whose opinion I value say otherwise for me to believe that. There's just something about the way he uses language that doesn't appeal to my sensibilities.

Because I read for enjoyment, I won't generally push myself to finish a book that I'm not enjoying. The Lord of The Rings is undoubtedly a classic, but I don't care. There are plenty of other classics I'd actually enjoy reading; I'll go find one of them before I try and force myself to slog through a fifty page description of a tree (again.)

Finally, there may well be books on this list that I read and just flat out forgot about. There are several that I know I've read, but couldn't tell you the first thing about, thanks to the deficiencies of my swiss-cheese memory. It's particularly embarrassing in the case of something like Iain Banks' THE CROW ROAD, which I know I thoroughly enjoyed reading once and will thoroughly enjoy reading again someday, seeing as my recollection of the story is limited to a single image.

On the upside, I could probably get by reading the same 50 or so books over and over again for the rest of my life, and enjoy them like they were new each time. Of course, if I did that then lists like the one below would be even more embarrassingly devoid of bold text.

Huh. That turned into an actual post. Maybe I'll just leave it there and not publicly expose my literary failings.


The Meme:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Strike-through the books you hated.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
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 Traveler'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
25. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
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
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - A. A. 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
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
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' 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

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

No comments: