Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Book Meme

Alrighty, let's not get all serious and stuff in here, with the science and whatnot. Let's do a meme! It's 2008, memes are the new worm, and juniorprof tagged me with the 100 book meme. Here's the list below, with completed reads in bold and partial reads in italics.

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
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 Traveller’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 Hitch Hiker’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 - They made a book out of that crap Nick Cage movie? Who knew?
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA 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 Meany - 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. Well, the wife read it. Does that count?
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - Yeah, I read the trilogy. Multiple times. It's still sorta whack though.
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - What is UP with the Jane Austen on this list?
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - And the Dickens. What the hell?
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’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - Listen, whoever wrote this list, 19th century British novels are not my thing. You've proved it, ok. Are you happy now?
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - I'll take The Dubliners or Portrait…please.
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 - I sat through Scrooged.
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 - I find "Elements of Style" to have a much better plotline
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
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 - Somehow couldn't get into it. Watched the cartoon on TV with my dad though.
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 And James and the Giant Peach and The Twits and have read some of his non kid stuff.
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wow, 13 completed reads, and 7 partial reads. 20 per cent! Still, this proves two things. Nat doesn't read fiction. Which I freely admit. I am much more of a non-fiction creature. Secondly, overwrought and needlessly wordy 19th century fiction sucks. What a waste of time!

There are actually very few books on this list I haven't read that I actually wish I had. I count only 1984 and One Hundred Years of Solitude on that list. If you got an argument as to why any of the others is a must read, with which I should edify myself, let me hear it.

I won't tag anyone, but if you're reading this, feel free to put your own up, in the comments here if you have nowhere else to put it.


juniorprof said...

This is a very poor showing indeed! But I guess you have your nose buried in Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes all the time.

Seriously though, Crime and Punishment is a must. I can read it over and over again and always find something new.

Nat Blair said...

Yeah, I'm a big huge geek! I love it!

Actually, I think the issue is that I never took a literature class in college, and the books from my high school AP English class (Faulkner's Light in August, Bellow's Herzog, Updike's Run Rabbit, come to mind immediately, but there must have been others) were all absent from this list.

That's not to say that I only took science classes in college. But all the philosophy I read in the Core Curriculum at The University of Chicago seemed to be absent. *wistful sigh* Ah, those college days.

I have read some Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, and some short stories), but I may just have to work my way through Crime and Punishment.

River Tam said...

I noticed that a bunch of the bloggers who did this meme made comments about not having read some book but having seen the movie. I think it would be interesting how often we have "read" a book vs "seen" the guess is that we would all seem more literate if we counted "seeing".

Though, I also think that this list of books was really odd. Anyone know what the source of this list is?

Nat Blair said...

I was also intrigued about the origin of this, but about 5 minutes of searching got me back to this blog, from March 2007.

The trail died there, but I figured that I wasn't any real chance of finding the originator. Oh yeah, I had other things I needed to do. Like analysis.

Alex J. said...

Yes there certainly seemed to be a number of odd choices in there. There are a smattering of titles from the "western canon" but also some strange choices as well. BTW, #14 the entire works of Shakespeare and #98 Hamlet by Shakespeare??

I count 16 that I've read in addition to a handful of aborted attempts. It's depressing that most of the 16 were books that I read before going to college. I find that these days when I find the time to read, I don't tend to read novels.

Anyway, I would humbly add a couple of my favorite books to the list: The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov (hands down my favorite novel of all time), Heart of a Dog by Bulgakov and The First Circle by Solzhenitsyn. All powerful and affecting.

NeuroStudent said...

I was sad that there were no sciencey books on the list (i.e. non-fiction)...there are non-textbook sciencey books out there that could have been included.

DSK Samways said...

"But I guess you have your nose buried in Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes all the time."

Hell, I'd take chapters 14 through 16 over Crime and Punishment any day. I just couldn't get into that novel; I found it infuriating.

Read a lot of good books on that list, but read many more that aren't. I mean seriously, not one Vonnegut? C'mon!

Drugmonkey said...

Lord of the Flies is a must for any parent of boys. Just sayin'

Nat Blair said...

@Alex - That's too much Russian literature for you!

@neurostudent - I know! How about at least something like Origin of Species? Kinda maybe sorta an important book. Which had more impact on humanity, that or Bleak House? ;)

@DM - Sigh, well, I hopefully have a few more years before I open the boy's room to find Piggy staring me in the face, but I suppose I should take the time now to brush up on what's coming.