Tuesday, April 27, 2004

What have you read?

Take this long list and highlight everything you've read (I stole this from Johnny Logic who stole it from Pharyngula who stole it from Reflections in d minor).

I've decided to include commentary because it's my blog and I can.

I like them epic poems. I miss the days when poetry was a form of story telling rather than pubescent love. This is the original superhero (in the English language, at least). I mean he had the strength of ten men in each arm. How is that not the beginning of superstrength?
Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
Ah, the birth of subtraction theater. As excellent to read as it is to watch, which is rare for any play. I'm also impressed that its first performance was in a California prison and the inmates loved it. Wonderful.
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily - Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
Many excellent stories all in verse form. If only people were better at translating this and keeping a rhyme scheme, that's the way it was meant to be read. my favorite is "The Tale of Sir Thopas," which is a riot. If only the other pilgrims let the Host finish the tale.
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
While reading this, I kept thinking that most of the people deserved to lose their home, almost all of them were thoughtless jerks.
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness
Yeah, I get it. "The horror." Yeah. I think it would have made a better ghost story, though.
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
"Dulce et decorum est / Pro patria mori." That's what this book was about to me. Maybe I read it wrong, it was sixth grade after all. Still, why not have “The Open Boat”? A most excellent short story.
Dante - Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
I told my creative writing teacher that I thought this book was sad and felt sorry for Quixote, he said I was wrong. I like the book, I laugh when I read it, but it's still sad.
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
After you read this book, read Foe by JM Coetezee, it'll then be a really great novel.
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Sure, he was a great man, but if you want a fun autobiography that's full of exaggerations, read the one Ben Franklin wrote.
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
When being forced to read his essays in school, I kept wondering what he'd think of the state of literature in the modern age, and the more I thought, the more I thought he wouldn't like it at all. Although, I don't think he cared for most of the literature of his age, either.
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
I've read it thrice for school and once for me. I love the description of the billboard. How it watches over the land. Is it judging them? And that ending image is brilliant.
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter
Upon my second read of this novel, I wasn't as impressed as I was the first time. Sure, it's still good, but his short stories are better. Read "Young Goodman Brown," it's my favorite of his.
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Okay, so I haven't finished it. I bought it last week and started it, but figured it would be better to finish a book that I don't own first. So far it's good, but I liked The Sun Also Rises better, but I suppose people prefer a "love story."
Homer - The Iliad
Greek mythology is one of my favorite things in the world. This story is more of a history lesson than mythology, I suppose. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie that they made based on this material, though. (You know, it stars an Elf, the Hulk, and Brad Pitt.) I hope they remember to make Achilles arrogant and Odysseus sly.
Homer - The Odyssey
Here's the mythology I crave from the ancient Greeks. Islands with gods on them. Winds being trapped in bags. Ten years on the sea. Traveling to Hades and back. Oh yeah.
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Thank goodness we don't worship Henery Ford.
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll's House
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
I'd like to think I'd have been treated better by my family if I had turned into a cockroach, wouldn't you?
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
Why? Dear god, why did I read this book?
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
It didn't inspire me to run out and pick up the next book on the list, but it was good.
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
Probably his best play. Read it or watch it performed live. Avoid the movie, it just doesn't work (even though Miller worked on it). The dangers of mob mentality and believing in your fears more than each other even rings true with the crap that's going on today.
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
I had a teacher who complained that the movie made the story out to be merely a ghost story, but that's what this book is, a brilliant ghost story.
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
This wasn't what I expected it to be, but I was blown away almost as much as the lady in the story.
O'Neill, Eugene - Long Day's Journey into Night
If you read nothing else in this play, set dressing. That booklist describes the father perfectly.
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
First, I hate that people believe this books about Communism, it's about FASCISM people. Great read. I love the end: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales
I've read them all. I love his hypnotic use of rhyme and meter, especially in "Annabel Lee."
Proust, Marcel - Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Finally, a novel about war that's honest, not the crap foisted upon the readers in The Red Badge of Courage. I was, however, disturbed that it was written by a guy who died and the novel didn't end with his death. Disturbing.
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
Great, great, great. The story of a man pretending to go insane to keep from going insane. Brilliant. And without this play, one of my favorite plays would never have been written.
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Not at good as the one above, but still nice. The best scene is the one with the porter ("it provokes the desire, but it takes / away the performance"), brilliant.
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Probably my favorite of the bunch. None is more fun or lyrical, to me.
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
Am I the only person in the world who doesn't think this is the greatest love story of all time, but instead it's making fun of teenage love? I think I am, but I know that I'm right, even if you all refuse to acknowledge my brilliance.
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
My Fair Lady has better emotion and some great songs. Go see that instead.
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
I think that the monster should have just left the doctor alone to go mad, that would have been a more fitting punishment.
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
It was the Oracle's fault. If it hadn't have sent the prophecy, Oedipus wouldn't have been left out to die and he wouldn't have killed his father and he wouldn't have married his mother and he wouldn't have had to blind himself. It was the Oracle's fault.
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
I don't think he knew what he was writing about. Three miles out of city isn't a wilderness, even in the 1800s.
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
I don't read the last ten or fifteen chapters of this book anymore. I hate them. If I had the nerve, I'd rip the pages from my copy and burn them.
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Excellent story, but even better is the preface. But it doesn't matter because, to quote Wilde, "All art is quite useless."
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie
Why this one instead of A Streetcar Named Desire? I do like this one, I just think the other is better, that's all.
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son

So, if you made it through the list, what surprised you that I didn't have bolded? What surprised you that I did? What should I read that's on the list? Why, do you think, there aren't more late 20th century writers on this list?

'Night all.

No comments: