Monday, July 07, 2008

33 and a Third

So KTBuffy has posted her list of the NEA's top 100 books, and Jayananda and Sharon GR have done the same. So I figure, as long as the bandwagon is rolling, why not hop on?

Books I've read are in bold. Books I intend to read are in italics. Snarky comments are in snarkycomment sans serif.

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 (I've read two of the seven, maybe three. Someday, when people stop yapping about 'em, I'll probably read more. To my mind, there's such a thing as too much word of mouth.)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (One of the best books ever.)
6 The Bible (Yeah, eventually. At least the sexy parts.)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (At this point, I wonder if it could tell us anything we haven't found out firsthand.)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (Man, do I love A Tale of Two Cities, even if it took me two tries to finish it. So I should read more Dickens, certainly.)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (And if you think Orwell was prescient, Heller is prescient and hilarious. Until it becomes straight-up horror, that is.)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (What? I don't get any credit for the 10-12 plays I've already read? Complete works, my ass. That's a cop-out. Pick one.)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (I think I read this when I was a kid, in my read-anything-associated-with-Alfred-Hitchcock phase.)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (See, Tolkien gets two slots, but Shakespeare only one? Jerks.)
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 (Breaks my heart every time. Did you ever love me, Daisy?)
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 (Great book. Heck, all of Steinbeck is great. The Compleat Works of John Freakin' Steinbeck, ya hear me?!?!)
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 (Oh, I've read three of the seven. That'll do. I'm bolding it, and you can't stop me.)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (I don't know why this has more appeal to me than Emma, but somehow it does.)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Wait a minute-- what the hell is this doing here, after #33? Who proofread this list???)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (Pooh!)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (Yeah, maybe I should read 1984. Because this freakin' rocks.)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Okay, you caught me.)
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 (Complete works of Margaret Atwood wouldn't be a bad entry, either. This is the one that's most likely on the list, but my favorite is The Blind Assassin.)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Piggy has the conch!)
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 (I think this is the one Jane Austen book I've read. I should read more, since she's a total list-hog and is crowding poor Willy Shakespeare out.)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (That's the soap-opera I love!)
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 (Hell yeah!)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt (Seriously. Fucking. Good.)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (The Devil Sandwich!)
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
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker ("Your friend, D.")
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (Bryson is terrific.)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (sigh... I'll get right on it, i promise...)
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
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
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (I am more likely to meet five people in heaven than I am to read this book.)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (Can't remember much, but I know I read it in high school.)
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (The most kick-ass bunnies ever -- including in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (I *so* want to like this book, but it's hard when I don't want to spend time with any character in it.)
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute (no, but I read On the Beach...)
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (Huh? Shouldn't this be in the Compleat Works? Do I need to reread it? And they picked Hamlet over Lear? Huh.)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

(UPDATE: Alan M. informs me that 44 and 51 have been left off the list since time immemorial, but he discovered them on the original list and I put them in their respective positions. He also found this link about the murky origins and intentions of the list. Thanks, Alan!)


Sharon GR said...

33 out of 100. That's great!

I wonder if I get extra credit for having nearly memorized #94. I read my copy to rags years ago. I found a short story collection in my library a few years back- Adams went back to the warren and wrote some of the stories that Strawberry told, as well as some further adventures of the current and future society. Pretty interesting.

Travis said...

A pretty good showing, Rob. Certainly more than I would have had.

Greg! said...

Persuasion has more appeal than Emma because it's a better book. Might actually be my favorite Austen.

Rob S. said...

Actually, Greg, I'm probably more interested in Persuasion because of this song, which I love beyond belief. I know it's got nothing to do with the book, but it still would be a fine thing to have it in my head for a month. It couldn't be because it's a better book, because I really know very little about it or Emma. Haven't even seen the movies.

Also, on the counsel of my sister, I've italicized The Kite Runner.

Rob S. said...

I've only read Watership Down once, Sharon .. mayyybe twice. But man, is it good.

Rob S. said...

Hey, I just read Possession by A.S. Byatt a couple of months ago! One more in bold!