Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm 34% cultured? And some other good news.

So, I decided that I just HAD to fill out this book list when I saw it on Mer's blog. Books were my first love. I spend far too much money in bookstores, especially in used stores and on the clearance racks at major chains. The $3-for-a-grocery-bag-of-books sales get me every summer.

I bolded the ones I have read, italicized those I own but have not yet read, and in general provide commentary about my thoughts on the books.

Also, saying I'll read something this summer depends a lot on whether or not I go to Kenya; I tend to read more when I'm traveling for extended periods of time because there isn't much else to do to relax.

1. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen -->
I'm almost ashamed to admit that I haven't read this yet, but I recently acquired a copy and plan to read it this summer.
2. The Lord Of The Rings – JRR Tolkien --> I read them in elementary school and came back to them when I heard about the movies. Excellently done, and they always make me think.
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte --> Oddly enough, I hated this the first time I read it for AP Literature my senior year in high school. I randomly picked it up again last summer at a friend's and enjoyed it much more. Go figure.
4. Harry Potter – JK Rowling --> I'll admit it: I love these books.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee --> This might be one of the best books I have ever read. It sums up racial relations in the United States far more simply and eloquently than I ever could.
6. The Bible --> We were a big church-going family when I was little, and I recently re-read parts of it when I was on a "learn about world religions" kick.
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte --> Another one I keep meaning to read and haven't gotten to. I have been informed that I will love this book, so I'm worried my expectations will be too high.
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell --> This book is both lovely and terrifying.

9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman --> I was SO disappointed in the movie.
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens -->
11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott --> I cry every single time I read this book. Or watch the movie.
12. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works Of Shakespeare --> I've read a good deal of Shakespeare (I took a class on him in high school, did lights for Much Ado About Nothing, and designed the set for Midsummer), but I haven't read everything. Yet.
15. Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien --> Like LotR, but more fun.
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger --> It was okay. I don't think it's a classic, but I don't hate it as much as Mer does.
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell --> This was my favorite book for years, and I re-read it every summer.
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy [Has anyone ever read this?]
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. The 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. The Chronicles Of Narnia – CS Lewis --> LOVE these books, and was pleasantly surprised by the movies.
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – CS Lewis --> Technically part of the Chronicles, but I read this one first and often read it again as a stand-alone.
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossini --> A Thousand Splendid Suns was better. But I love how honest this book is about Afghanistan and American perceptions of the Middle East.
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
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 --> Read it on spring break in Las Vegas. Not the most intellectually stimulating, but neither is the Strip.
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 --> I read all the Anne books when I was little. I really wish I could find my box set...
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. The Lord Of The Flies – William Golding --> It made me think.
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. The Life Of Pi – Yann Martel --> Another one that made me think. We had some great discussions about this one in AP Lit.
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Thomas Hardy
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley --> I loved this one, but the movie is absolutely terrible.
59. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez --> I am NOT writing a book entitled "Love in the time of Genocide." However, when Mer writes it, I will buy a copy.
61. Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck --> Makes me cry, every time. I firmly believe it should be required reading in schools.
62. Lolita – Vladimir The Lovely Nabokov --> I think Evgeni Nabokov needs a nickname...
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold --> I had nightmares of being killed after reading this.
65. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude The Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – France Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows & Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William 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 --> More times than I could ever count... same with Stuart Little.
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn --> I don't believe in heaven, but this book did solidify my belief that all our lives are intertwined.
89. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
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
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 --> I love this play. I've studied it in three different classes and I'm not sick of it yet. The RSC performance of this one is hysterical, by the way.
99. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo --> I read it so I would understand the context of the musical. It ended up being one of the best books I read in high school.

The other good news is that I checked my account balances today and had $200 more than I thought in my checking account and $400 more than I thought in my savings account! I may not starve in NYC after all, haha.

The bad news is that my NCAA bracket is not going well at all. Bother.