Random books

I don’t normally do the meme thing, largely because the definition of meme bothers me and partly because I simply can’t be bothered. However, when Reed indulged in a particularly booky meme, I thought I might as well hop on the bandwagon and show the strangeness of what I have and have not read:

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole, put a cross infront of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk* the ones you’ve never heard of.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) [Twice!  Once for myself, and once for book group.  Why did I allow myself to be put through that a second time?]
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. + To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. + The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. + The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. + The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance* (Rohinton Mistry)
11. + Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) [Yes, sorry, but I haven’t read the other Dan Brown ones]
13. + Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. + Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. + Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. + The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. + The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. + The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) [All of it, even the terribly dull ones at the end]
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. + The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook* (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent* (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner* (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. + Bible [Fairly sure I’ve read all of it now]
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens) [Why haven’t I read this yet?]
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. + Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. + Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. + The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage* (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind) [I wouldn’t bother if I were you]
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) [During my teenage years of reading anything]
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees* (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce) [I just can’t be bothered]

Make of that what you will.  There are quite shocking gaps in my reading, particularly shocking when you consider that I have an MA in English Literature.  However, I was mostly concerned with eighteenth-century novels, and have read an awful lot of those.  There is, I promise, more on my bookshelves than hobbits and wizards.  It seems I’ll read most things once, really, or twice if I have to for study or book group purposes.  And I’m quite ashamed to see how many I’ve never heard of.  Surely I should have heard of every book ever written?  That’s the attitude that the users of the library tend to have, anyway.

Interestingly, few of my favourites are represented.  How do my readers feel about my personal selection of Tom Jones, The Woman in White, Riddley Walker and Remains of the Day?

  1. Well, Riddley Walker is odd but good. I haven’t read the others, but do like the film of Remains of the Day.

  2. Can I play?

  3. Oops sorry, should have read Reed’s post first then I would have known there was no need to ask… *looks sheepish*

  4. I really enjoyed Clan of the Cave Bear

    It’s an interesting mix of classics and best-sellers (and best-selling classics, in some cases). I was actually surprised by how many I hadn’t heard of.

  5. I’m afraid the Cave Bear book really doesn’t appeal. Maybe because you only have to change one letter to get Care Bear…

  6. For my taste the list is a bit too heavy in the magic and wizards genre. Certainly a random list. Rather than some of that stuff I would read Phillip Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’ trilogy. Good to see a couple of Steinbeck there – I would read those. Would stereotype it and say it is a young person’s list of unfocused reading. The kind of list you acquire if you travel a lot and need to break up the tedium of the journey.

  7. Hey, let’s hear it for eclecticism here! I did the meme but didn’t publish it. And yes, there was stuff on there I hadn’t heard of, let alone read. I think any single person’s taste would inevitably be biased. It is certainly possible that one person could read the whole lot, and surely it isn’t necessary to put down every single volume of LOTR – just the third one would do if you want to weed out the dilletantes. But I liked the mixture of Literature, cr@p and best sellers in between on the list, and the fact that it includes a good mix of American, Canadian, British and European literature.

    To answer your question: I’ve always loved The Woman in White, though he does of course marry the wrong one which is made even more interesting given Collins’ own unconventionality. Tom Jones I really should read. I like the way that 18thC novellists don’t have centuries of convention telling them what A Novel is and is not. Also I believe it to be a Romp, and I like Romps. Riddley Walker is on my List simply for the wordplay, and one of these fine days I’ll find it for a quid in a charity shop and buy it. The Remains of the Day blew me away, because not only had Ishuguru got the tone so exactly right, but because it could have been written in the 1950s and I am rather fond of English fiction of the 30s 40s and 50s.

  8. Tom Jones is indeed a Romp with a capital R. It has the odd random digression, as C18 novels tend to have, but on the whole it’s just good almost-clean fun. Better plotted than Moll Flanders, and much less tedious than Pamela.

    Marian is one of literature’s most overlooked heroines, I think.

  1. February 15th, 2007
  2. November 23rd, 2010

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