Tuesday, February 15, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Day 261 and Lists of Books

Today I'm giving thanks and praise for these random blessings:

1. Waking up to see a vase of a dozen roses! I received them last night, but I'm enjoying them even more this morning.

2. Dusky red, on deep green.

3. Salt water gargles for a sore throat - they actually mostly work.

4. Time to talk to my husband in the morning about inconsequential things.

5. Any moment alone with my husband feels like a date.

6. Caribener clips. They're handy.

7. A room with a view. For me this just means being able to see the horizon in the distance.

8. Old dollhouses.

9. The affectionate rubbing of my cat.

10. Lists (see below this list for another list adventure).

11. Jesus offers us living water.

Scripture Blessings:
"On the last day of the fest, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let hiim come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has aid, streams of living water will flow from within him.'" John 7:37

Lists of books you "should" read. . . who makes them?
This is the question I've asked myself every time I've seen this particular list that's gone around on facebook, and which was recently featured at Kelly's Compositions. It's a list of classic books, and according to BBC most people have only read 6 of the 100 listed. The first time I saw this, I thought, ok, I'm going to break their record. And I did. But then . . . I wondered, should it matter? Some of these books are books I don't particularly like, but I've read them. For what reason? For class, to impress, to expand my literary horizons. Are those good reasons to read a book? I'm not so sure that they are.

Someone has decided that these books have literary and/or cultural importance to us as people. Again, I'm not so sure. So, I've decided to play the game, but with my own variation. 2 stars = finished, 1 star = started but never finished, no stars = haven't read, and smiley faces are for the books I actually liked or found meaningful.

Anyway- take a look at the list and see how many of these 100 book you have read, and then decide if it matters to you, really.



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 M Alcott ** :) (read three times before I liked, Little Men is way more fun to read)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare ** :) (a few I don't like)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien ** :) :)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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 ** - can't remember if meaningful
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens **
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams ** :) mostly like this one
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck ** :) meaningful
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll **
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame **
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy ** - hated it, threw it across room twice
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens ** :) Depressing, but I liked it.
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis ** :) :) loved this series
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 ** :) wouldn't recommend to kids
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne ** Every little bit of it is wonderful.
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 ** (horrifyingly depressing)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding ** strongly disliked but meaningful
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 ** :) (liked it on the 3rd read)
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 ** :) meaningful
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 * haven't finished it yet
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 ** meaningful
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazu Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White ** (liked it)
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 ** (hated it, and had to read it for class)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery ** :) read it at age 9
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 ** :) meaningful

Scarily, I read most of the "literary" ones before graduating from high school. I started reading Dickens at age 10, and read all of Alexandre Dumas' work for a high school paper. I started Les Miserables in French and finished it in English. I was a Shakespeare fan from age 10 to age 25, and still like most of his works. I read like it is water, or bread. However, I wouldn't recommend all of these books. In fact, some of them are probably better left unread.

So, tomorrow, I plan to make my own list. A list of meaningful favorites. I don't think it will make a BBC special, or become a list of "must reads" or "should" reads. And it won't stay static, because I keep reading, and reading, and reading, like I think everyone "should." ;)

1 comment:

The Golden Eagle said...

I filled out that list some time ago--I ended up with something like 21 read. You've certainly covered a lot of them!

Looking forward to seeing your own list of titles!