Monday, May 29, 2006

Books I've Loved and Lost

Blatantly stolen from Sam. And yes, I visited the website so I didn't feel so bad about it. Very cool site. Will read it.

Felt I had to do this list, considering my current occupation.

Review the following list of books. Boldface the books you've read, italicize those you might read, cross out the ones you won’t, *put an asterisk beside the ones on your bookshelves*, and [place brackets around the ones you’ve never even heard of.]

Yes, I am so dumb I had to make the directions clearer. Shut up. The list:

The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
[The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)]
[His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)]
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)
The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (George Orwell)
Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)--I read half of it. Not sure how that counts.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon)
Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
*Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)*
1984 (George Orwell)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
*Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)*
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)--this almost got a strike out.
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
[The Secret History (Donna Tartt)]
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
[Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)]
[Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)]
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
[The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)]
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
[Dune (Frank Herbert)]
[Sula (Toni Morrison)]
[Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier)]
[The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)]
[White Teeth (Zadie Smith)]
The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)
Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)

Oh man, that was humiliating. I haven't read many of these. I know I am going to catch a lot of flack for the Harry Potter thing, but I just don't do kiddie stuff, ok? I don't like Disneyworld, I don't watch Cartoon Network. I'm sure they're great stories, but they should have been written when I was little. Like the Chronicles of Narnia. Those are awesome.

As far as Curious Incident and Kiterunner are concerned, they just aren't my bag. They seem kind of depressing to me.

And yes, I added the last one.

Don't give me crap about not owning many of these. I am a librarian. I do not believe in paying for books. I believe in getting them for free from your library. And then paying for them in late fines. I occasionally buy books from the sale table at Barnes & Noble. Or steal (I like to use the term "borrow") them from friends.

As a librarian, I am ashamed to see that I haven't heard of some of these. Some sound familiar....and I am familiar with Toni Morrison, I have just never heard of that particular title. What can I say? I'm more of a nonfiction reader. And when I grab fiction, I reach for classics. They make my brain work. Trust me, it's needed.

Trivia fact: I have been thisclose to the typewriter used to write Catch-22. And original unpublished screenplays written in F. Scott Fitzgerald's own hand. They're in the library at University of South Carolina. I took a special course in grad school. Bow before me.

If you have read any of the ones in italics, please tell me how they were. I will appreciate it!


Vixen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vixen said...

I've read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Loved Jane Eyre---my mother gave it to me on my 16th birthday and I have read it over and over again. It's a very interesting story, spans the life story of this young girl turned woman and watches her whole life and choices she makes. It takes you to all kinds of depths, has it's darker elements (just really depressing stuff) with the storyline but has a happy ending. I recommend it.

Wuthering Heights---kind of the same thing. I dind't enjoy it was much though.

I read the first 3 Potter books when I used to work in a daycare for the kids during nap time but haven't touched any of them since. I'm not on the Potter boat at all so you aren't the only one. If I did this list, I would have waaay less bolds than you.

CharlestonGuy said...

- Reading "Da Vinci" now. It's ok. Not giving me the giant boner it seems to give everyone else but it's not bad. I hate stories where the characters are all archetypes (Langdon the perfect gentleman/Sherlock Holmes type, Silas the brutish albino lackey sub-villain, Sophia the damsel in distress...zzzzzz)Its not realistic or interesting to me. It might as well be a James Bond movie. I wish Mike Myers would spoof it like he did those with Austin Powers.

- Read "Catcher in the Rye". Love it. One of my all time favorites. I love that kid - I so relate to him (or at least my younger teenage self does). He's such a douchebag! Not a lot of action but if you enjoy books with a lot of insight into human nature its a classic.

- Read "The Hobbit" as a kid. Loved it then. Still find it to be good, but if you don't dig Harry Potter type stuff you should definitely skip it.

- Read "Animal Farm" very recently. Pretty short book - you can read it in a weekend easily. Very much a social commentary. I listened to some Pink Floyd ("Animals" album of course!) right after it! Read an analysis after this one too. It's supposed to be about social classes/corruption, etc.

- Don't waste your time with "Hitchhiker". I found the writing style to be very cheeky and annoying. Long ass book too. I just don't enjoy the British wit that much. Blah.

- Never read "Old man and the Sea" but everyone who has tells me its great.

Probably more review than ou wanted, but I'm working 10 hour days here in Okinawa and I'm not always busy. Enjoy!

Virginia Belle said...

vixen-- thank you so much for the review! i have been meaning to read both of those. now i know what i will read next. and i'm glad to hear that i'm not the only adult who doesn't have an inner child. i love kids. but i don't want to be one.

CG--yeah, i am with you on DaVinci Code. It was ok. i found parts of it to be pretty predictable--the whole woman thing got to be very "beating a dead horse" to me. kind of annoying. plus, as complex as the whole theory was, i just didn't buy it. i too hope mike myers spoofs it. then again, i wish he had his own show where he spoofed everything. he is my absolute favorite comedian.

thanks for the low down on "Catcher in the Rye". Have always thought that would be a cool book. wasn't it one of the first to use the F word? maybe i heard that somewhere...and for some reason, i LOVED the tolkein movies, but couldn't make it through the books. i heard "Animal Farm" was all about communism. i think i'd need the Cliff's notes in hand as i read that one. i'd need help catching all the political commentaries. i am surprised to hear that about "Hitchhiker". i like British humor, but i always thought guys loved that book....

Stuck said...

You will like Hitchhiker's Guide. You can borrow one of my three copies.

Catcher in the Rye is a book I absolutely hated. I didn't read it until I was 30, so maybe I just forgot what it was like to be young and awkward. I hated it so much that I threw the book away when I was done with it.

Life of Pi was an interesting read. It had a slow start, but it sets up a lot of information you need to know once the boat sinks.

I don't consider the Harry Potter books to be kid's stuff anymore. I finally read the first one, thinking it would be beneath me, and found myself enveloped in the story almost immediately.

CharlestonGuy said...

Stuck is right about the Harry Potter books. They are pretty good. You won't feel like you are reading a kids book.

I loved "Catcher", but it is definitely about teenage angst. Since you were never an awkward teenage boy you may not relate. As an awkward teenage boy in an almost 30-year old body I find it to be my life's story.

Animal Farm is basically about communism and corruption in government. You won't need cliffs notes. It's an easy and quick read.