Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Oooo! A Book List!

Hello out there! Anyone still reading this thing?

I usually roll my eyes at any list of things I "must" or "should" do but I'm inclined to take this list of 200 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once a little more seriously because, hey, it's books! Even if I don't agree that I should read them all (which I don't) it's still a good list. So, you can follow the link and read the whole list but I'm going to make two lists of my own out of it: books I have read and books I want to read.

Books I Have Read

Bleak House by Charles Dickens - I wasn't sure which list to put this one on because I haven't finished it yet. This is the book I'm reading right now. I'm 32 percent of the way through it. At first I found it charming but it soon became almost unbearably tedious and now I'm kind of between, "I can't take any more of this," and "Dammit I will finish this book!"

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White - Does it count that I had this read to me when I was a kid?

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M Auel - Do not waste your time reading this book. It's awful.

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky - I have read this one twice, first in high school, mainly because I wanted to appear smart but I did find it interesting then, and then again just a few years ago.

Dune, Frank Herbert - Yes! Several times. I read the first 4 or 5 books in the series. First three are excellent, the rest were disappointing.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck - At least twice, maybe three times.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley - Such a famous character I had to read the original. Actually liked it better than I expected to, though it is by no means one of my favorite books.

The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett ? - I did read one novel by Pratchett. I think it was this one. It was okay, not really my cup of tea but I might try one of his other novels sometime because I do sort of feel like I should.

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

The Green Mile, Stephen King - One of his better ones, I think.

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad - Didn't like this one. In particular one detail kept bothering me. He kept talking about how silent the jungle was at night. Sorry, I know better. My back yard out here in the middle of nowhere is not silent at night and I'm pretty sure the African jungle isn't either. Besides that, there was just nothing about it that I found interesting or enjoyable.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams - A long time ago and I'm not sure if I finished it.

Johnathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach - Yes! I loved this book. I need to get another copy. Somewhere in our several moves I let it go and now I wish I still had it.

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien - I didn't love this one as much as I feel like I should.

Moby Dick, Herman Melville - Twice. I actually read it the second time because I hadn't liked it the first time and for some reason felt like I should give it another try. I think I "got it" a little better the second time around but still not one of my favorites.

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde - It was okay.

The Stand, Stephen King - Didn't care much for this one.

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens - Two or three times. Excellent book, with arguably the best first and last lines of any book.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - I should read this one again. I read it when I was probably too young to really get it, I think.

War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy - I actually read this one because it has such a reputation for being a long book. I enjoyed it and it didn't seem unusually long to me because I have read other very long books.

War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells - I hate to say this but the movies were better.

Watership Down, Richard Adams - A lovely, unusual book. I want to read it again sometime.

1984, George Orwell

Books I Want to Read (An incomplete list, just the ones I most want to read)

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll - I've seen numerous cartoon and movie versions of this and it has never been one of my favorite stories but my mom once told me it was one of her favorite books when she was a kid so, for that reason, I have always sort of felt bad that I never read it.

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy - I liked War and Peace so maybe I would like this one too.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres - Have never heard anything about it but it's about a captain? and a mandolin? Sounds interesting.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker - Just because I've heard so much about it.

The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye - Because I like the title

Flowers in the Attic, Virginia Andrews - Because my mother mentioned it once or twice

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

The Once and Future King, T. H. White

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez - When I was in high school one of my classmates did a book report on this - the kind where you stand in front of the class and talk about the book - and I sort of thought I wanted to read it but never got around to it.

Ulysses, James Joyce - Because people have said it's challenging or "difficult"

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera - Maybe. I like the title but...

In addition to those, I of course want to read anything by Charles Dickens that I haven't read yet and I want to read at least one book by Jane Austen. And I want to read at least one more book by Terry Pratchett.


  1. it took me 3 years to read Bleak House because I kept getting so annoyed by it. (I liked the Esther parts considerably better than the non-Esther parts).

    I also wanted to backhand Mr. Skimpole (don't know if you've encountered him yet) across the room. And I'm not a violent person by nature.

    I'm trying to motivate myself to finish Moby-Dick, I have 150 or so pages to go but uuuuugggggghhhh right now I need something LIGHTER to read, so have been sticking to Golden Age mysteries and children's books because the heaviness of the world right now makes reading a heavy book harder.

    1. Oh yes, I have "met" Mr, Skimpole. I do want to slap him around and his enablers too.

  2. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a bit tricky, perhaps, until you catch on to Kundera's refutation of Nietzsche -- specifically, Nietzsche's notion of eternal recurrence, that everything happening has happened before and will happen again.

    If you're seeking Gabriel García Márquez, I'd suggest Love in the Time of Cholera might be an easier intro than One Hundred Years of Solitude.

    1. Not seeking Gabriel García Márquez in particular, just that particular book, One Hundred Years of Solitude has long been in my mind to read "someday". A high school student read it for a book report so I think I can handle it. :-)

  3. "Flowers in the Attic" was one of those books that got furtively passed around in my sixth grade class with "certain" passages highlighted. It was one of those books that "nice girls" didn't read.

    (I have never read it, I presume the highlighted passages were S-E-X.)

    1. Hmmm... that doesn't sound like something my mom would have read. Maybe I was thinking of something else. On the other hand, she wasn't a total prude so if it was just a few passages in an otherwise good book...

    2. It was a gothic horror novel about kids locked in an attic. Don't know if your mom was into gothic horror or not.

    3. Yeah, she was into that. That and mystery or detective novels.