Book Shaming


I'm picking this up from E. McPan, who provides some sort of explanation as to why it's relevant beyond being a silly blog virus for a Tuesday morning. I'm posting this mainly to (1) kick my own ass about all the books I've been meaning to read, and (2) see if Kristen and Dr. M repost it.

And so...

Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
One Hundred Years of Solitude (I always wished I had minored in Spanish just so I could read the untranslated version of this book.)
Crime and Punishment
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Don Quixote
The Odyssey (I enjoyed this more than any normal person should.)
The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace
Madame Bovary
A Tale of Two Cities ("It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?!")
Jane Eyre (The fact that I liked this book has created a great deal of marital strife.)
The Name of the Rose (Saw the movie starring Christian Slater's fifteen-year-old ass)
Moby Dick
Emma (Wrote an essay about it but never read it. Take that, AP English and Jane Austen!)
The Iliad (Enjoyed this less than the Odyssey. I guess I like traveling better than war.)
Vanity Fair
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Blind Assassin
Pride and Prejudice (The first paragraph made me want to claw my eyes out and swallow them, but I managed to slog through the first chapter before throwing up my hands in despair. I wouldn't even watch the Colin Firth miniseries.)
The Historian: A Novel
The Canterbury Tales (Did a puppet show based on the Squire's Tale that didn't go well.)
The Kite Runner
Great Expectations (This is the one about Pip and Mrs. Haversham, right? If so, I read it, and it taught me to hate Charles Dickens.)
Life of Pi
The Time Traveler's Wife (Bought this at the SF Library Booksale, will read it eventually.)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Atlas Shrugged (One turgid Ayn Rand "novel" was enough, see below.)
Foucault's Pendulum
Dracula (I enjoyed this but was bothered by the fact that Dracula had a moustache.)
The Grapes of Wrath (I remember really hating the ending in high school but I can kind of dig it now.)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Mrs. Dalloway
Sense and Sensibility
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Sound and The Fury (I really should read this.)
Memoirs of a Geisha
Brave New World
American Gods
The Poisonwood Bible
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (My cousin is playing Glinda in the Chicago production of this.)
The Picture of Dorian Gray Without Any Clothes On
Dune (One of my faves. I'm currently reading Heretics, which I'm enjoying a lot more than that God Emperor piece of crap.)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Without Any Clothes On
The Satanic Verses
Mansfield Park
Gulliver's Travels
The Three Musketeers (This is a book about four dudes, which can throw you off if you don't know that going in.)
The Inferno (I did a movie in high school that combined the plot elements of The Inferno, Frankenstein, and Crime and Punishment -- Raskolnikov kills his landlady, then reanimates her with Frankenstein's help, then Dante takes both of them to Hell so they can ask Satan to help them destroy the monster, which he does by letting them borrow Cerberus, but not before the landlady monster kills Donya. Soundtrack by Marilyn Manson and Alice in Chains.)
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (See Time Traveler's Wife.)
The Fountainhead (Because a cute girl in my class told me that I was just like Howard Roark, because I was a surly, disdainful, redheaded teenager who liked to [SPOILER!!!]blow up buildings and then use courtroom proceedings to spout off objectivist manifestos[/SPOILER!!!].)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (I should read this. I love Thomas Hardy.)
Oliver Twist (I shouldn't read this. I hate Charles Dickens.)
To the Lighthouse (To the Observatory!)
A Clockwork Orange
Robinson Crusoe (I did watch a lot of Gilligan's Island as a kid. And as an adult. I also saw the place in Kinsale from which the real Robinson Crusoe supposedly set off.)
The Scarlet Letter (Really enjoyed this, especially the naked bathtub scene.)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Once and Future King (I just read the part that was later made into The Sword in the Stone for the purposes of a report on the Arthurian Legend; apparently I missed out on the lengthy diatribe about how horrible Irish people are.)
Anansi Boys
Atonement (Reading one page of this book is like reading ten pages of a normal book.)
The God of Small Things
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Oryx and Crake
Angela's Ashes (Ugh.)
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In Cold Blood
Lady Chatterley's Lover
A Confederacy of Dunces (Rock-solid gold, this one.)
Les Misérables (See Emma. Ha!)
The Amber Spyglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Watership Down (I had a very well-used copy and had to stop reading it because the mustiness was setting of my allergies. I also didn't understand why the bunnies were so mean.)
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Not sure of the translation but they got the point across.)
The Aeneid
A Farewell to Arms
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Treasure Island (For a story about pirates it was surprisingly dull to my twelve-year-old mind.)
David Copperfield
Sons and Lovers
The Book Thief
The History of Tom Jones
The Road
Tender is the Night
The War of the Worlds

Now you go.


Heh. What if you were supposed to read it for school and refused to because you were pretty snotty in those days, but then read it years later for your own pleasure?

And re: The Sound and the Fury, don't you have a policy against reading books with Shakespearian titles? You're about to spawn, dude; now is no time to give up on your strange ideas, or what will you have to pass on to your offspring?

Ok, and also (I'm just commenting as I go along, obviously), I am very jealous of the awesomeness you have in store from your library sale purchases. I wound up with a handful of tragically bad fantasy novels, while you have Kavalier & Clay AND The Time Traveler's Wife ahead of you.

The ban on Shakespearean titles does sound like the sort of irrational thing I would come up with, but I don't think I've adopted that particular one. Though I am rather tired of "It's Shakespeare, but..." movies, plays, and books (i.e., Romeo & Juliet in Mexico, Othello-as-high-school-basketball, Henry V in Space).

I think my main title embargo is that I refuse to consume any piece of entertainment titled "American _________," or read any book whose title involves something happening or having happened to America (Ruined America, Changed America, Saving America, etc.).

What about Jon Stewart's America: The Book? (And where is THAT book on this list, I'd like to know. Anansi Boys but no Stewart? W.T.F.)

P.S. I also found this for you, in case you guys are struggling and had forgotten about the conqueror thing. I am strongly pushing for Vlad.

I answered your challenge and posted my version of the list. What flummoxes me is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this list. Why is One Hundred Years of Solitude on the same list as Wicked? Why two Umberto Eco books, but none by Richard Russo, for example? Where is the logic? Citing your "have reads" on this list proves nothing, other than you've either been to high school or purchased a recent bestseller.

There was some sort of explanation of how this list of books was created, and I thought it was pretty b.s. but I was going on vacation for a week and needed something to post about.

In other words, I take no credit for the randomosity of this list.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on May 27, 2008 9:06 AM.

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