Monday, July 14, 2008

Reading Is Fundamental!

My lovely friend Sugar Mag posted this book meme, I noticed. I've seen this a time or two in the past, thought it might be cool to do, but for whatever reason just never got around to it.

So.... I thought today wouldn't be a bad day to give it a whirl.

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

“Someone” reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. It’s not the Big Read though — they don’t publish books, and they’ve only featured these books so far. In any event...I am not sure who's list this is, I didn't follow the links back far enough.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.

1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams :: seen the movie
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood :: i hope to read a Margaret Atwood novel someday

4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding :: high school read which meant nothing to me
at the time. saw both movies

5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker :: saw the Spielberg film adaption
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle :: have seen several
1930's/40's Sherlock Holmes B-movies.

9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte :: i've wanted to and hope to one day.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee :: in high school it meant nothing,
since then it's become a favorite!

11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte :: seen the Olivier film several times,
which I prefer over the book. Maybe someday I'll give it (the book) another try.

12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman

14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
:: i read both before I could truly appreciate 'em; I oughta read 'em again!

16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien :: (early?) high school, don't really remember it.

17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger :: borrrrrrrrrrr-ring!!! (seriously! sorry.)

18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky :: i really like Dostoyevsky,
want to someday explore all, especially his lesser-known, works!

20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne :: seen the cartoon
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell

25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley :: i read it in high school ...
not on this list, I really dug his Doors Of Perception!

26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck :: such a touching story. I love Steinbeck, probably my favorite author. Not sure there's anything left of his that I haven't read... and I'd read each again!
27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac :: required hippie reading
It's on the syllabus!!!!

28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens :: years ago this was tedious, like Great Expectations,
but I'd like to give it another shot someday.

29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White :: it's been years but i've seen the original.
30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare :: gag me with a spoon.
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl :: been years since I've seen the original.
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare :: gag me with a spoon times 1,000.
33. Ulysses - James Joyce

34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad :: i now prefer non-fiction accounts of history and exploration but this i really liked at the time as it spoke to my sense of adventure. if i could live 100 years ago i'd love to be someone who explores places no white man (or anyone) has ever gone.

35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo :: i saw the play, too.

36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen :: was once upon a time on my list of classic literature to read,
maybe someday.

37. The Bible :: most of it but I'm sure there are still gobs of scripture i haven't gone over.

38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald :: didn't care for it.

39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy :: Garbo!! ... somehow i've never cracked open Tolstoy
but have wanted to ever since I got into reading classic literature

42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini :: want to
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen :: seen the Ang Lee/Emma Thompson film
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien :: still haven't seen the movies!
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling :: still haven't seen the movies!
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott :: seen the Kate Hepburn film and the Susan Sarandon - Winona Ryder - Kirsten Dunst film but not the Liz Taylor one.
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier :: was inspired to read it after watching Hitchcock's film
with Laurence Olivier.

54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks :: I've heard the song a few million times Grateful Dead Steal Your Face
55. Middlemarch - George Eliot
56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell :: seen the Vivien Leigh-Clark Gable classic film.
started reading it once but lost interest.

57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame :: playin' "Tea for Two" ... sky was yellow and the sun was blue?

59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens :: first Dickens that I've read.
60. Emma - Jane Austen :: and I think the only Jane Austen.

61. Persuasion - Jane Austen

62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown :: oh puh-leeeeeeeze
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

69. Atonement - Ian McEwan :: it was suggested that i might like McEwan's Amsterdam
so I got it and will dive into that sometime soon

70. Dune - Frank Herbert :: wasn't the Stinger in that?

71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding :: seen the movie
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville :: one of the first classics I ever read!
also saw the film directed by John Huston that starred Gregory Peck

83. Dracula - Bram Stoker :: was inspired to read it after seeing Interview with the Vampire
84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson :: i wasn't expecting to see this on the list. it was good, i love travel books, but should it be on this list? then again, are there others here that shouldn't be here, as well?

85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath :: i bought this once but never read it.
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

87. Germinal - Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession - A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens :: seen like a dozen or two movie versions
91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro :: seen the movie w/ Tony Hopkins & Emma Thompson
93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom :: nope but yes on Tuesdays With Morrie
(which was also a good movie with Jack Lemmon.)

96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams :: saw the movie when i was a kid...
bought the paperback once but never read it. i still hope to someday!

99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas :: have seen several film adaptions including one with Keifer Sutherland and one with Gene Kelly and I'm a-believin' a silent from the 20's... and of course there's the Tom & Jerry cartoon The Two Mouseketeers!

Okay, I didn't keep track of how many I read and I'm not gonna count how many... it's not really important. But it was interesting, I think, to see how many more movies I've seen than the books they came from. And I also realized how many of these I read years and years ago. At one time I had a semi-major infatuation with classics that all started with an ex-girlfriend handing me William Saroyan's The Human Comedy to read. Next was Steinbeck's East of Eden and so I say, Thanks, Meg!!!

Many books on this list I've never heard of and probably, no disrespect to the authors or people who love them, I just have no desire to ever read. Others I'd be happy to someday. Still I'd rather, when reading -- and learning something new about the world or the history there's been -- get into some non-fiction, some real-life accounts of places, people, events. Fiction, for me, is good sometimes for something to get lost in, to enjoy the story and the characters, to have a fun distraction... but being someone who studied film in college and who really digs that storytelling medium, I'm happy with just watching a movie!

And P.S. where the hell is Thoreau?! Or Hawthorne?! Or Henry James? Or one of my favorites -- James Fenimore Cooper?! I'd also put One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest on there. Kesey, man! Kesey!!!!!

What bothers me most -- what about Danielle Steel?!?!?!?

1 comment:

The Man said...

7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker- read it for a class in college

10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - once again, in class

20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne - both read when I was very young

31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - read in elementary school more than once.

37. The Bible - not much recently, but I have read it completely in the last five years

65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving- never read it, but I would like to take this opportunity to protest that John Irving's best work is not even on this list. I speak, of course, of The World According To Garp. Read it four times in my senior year of high school alone.

So six, but four on my own- man, I suck.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated