Friday, April 25, 2008

Interlude: Books, read and unread.

My immune system has been overpowered once more; I've been felled by a meme.

Blame this one on Christopher, at Catalogue of Organisms. I'll let him explain it:
Supposedly, this is a list of the 106 top books that people have lying around at home because they think they should read them sometime but have never got around to reading. Needless to say, it's a list that is heavy on the "classics" and other pretentious wank. As John Wilkins did, I've bolded the books that I've read, and italicised the ones that I've started reading but never finished.
And I will follow suit. Bold, I've read. Italicised, I've started on.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • Anna Karenina
  • Crime and Punishment - I read this in Spanish when my Spanish was iffy at best. All I can remember of it is struggling with the dictionary.
  • Catch-22
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Silmarillion
  • Life of Pi : a novel
  • The Name of the Rose
  • Don Quixote - Read this one in Spanish. Started it in English, and gave up. It didn't "sound" right.
  • Moby Dick
  • Ulysses
  • Madame Bovary
  • The Odyssey In a kid's version, long ago, in English. In Spanish as an adult.
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Eyre
  • The Tale of Two Cities - I read this first when I was 12, and re-read it several times around that time. Much later, I started on it again, found it too artificially dramatic, and gave up.
  • The Brothers Karamazov - In Spanish, because it was required reading for my college Lit. class. Otherwise, I think I would have dropped it half-way.
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
  • War and Peace - I read maybe the first three or four pages. Looked at the thickness of the book, imagined another 400 pages like the first, and put the book away.
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • The Iliad
  • Emma
  • The Blind Assassin
  • The Kite Runner
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • Great Expectations - My son loved this, so I read it. I was disappointed.
  • American Gods
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Middlesex
  • Quicksilver
  • Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
  • The Canterbury tales - I read bits and pieces. The tale of the Wife of Bath, several times.
  • The Historian : a novel
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Brave New World - Twice.
  • The Fountainhead
  • Foucault’s Pendulum
  • Middlemarch
  • Frankenstein
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Dracula
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Anansi Boys
  • The Once and Future King - I think it's still on my shelves, unread.
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
  • 1984 - Several times.
  • Angels & Demons
  • The Inferno - Attempted it several times, always got sidetracked.
  • The Satanic Verses
  • Sense and Sensibility - It seems that I've read all the Jane Austens, some twice.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - English and Spanish. Wilde, writing in English, produced prose that translates as if it were meant for Spanish. Unusual, that.
  • Mansfield Park
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • Oliver Twist
  • Gulliver’s Travels - Another I've read several times.
  • Les Misérables
  • The Corrections
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Dune - I always meant to re-read this, but never have. Yet. I followed up with Dune Messiah, was disappointed, and never read any of the others.
  • The Prince
  • The Sound and the Fury
  • Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
  • The God of Small Things
  • A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
  • Cryptonomicon
  • Neverwhere
  • A Confederacy of Dunces
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • Dubliners
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Beloved
  • Slaughterhouse-five - I started this at a bad time, couldn't finish it. I should look it up again.
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  • The Mists of Avalon
  • Oryx and Crake : a novel
  • Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Confusion
  • Lolita
  • Persuasion
  • Northanger Abbey
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • On the Road
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
  • The Aeneid - Kid's version, in English, regular version, in Spanish.
  • Watership Down - Bits and pieces.
  • Gravity’s Rainbow
  • The Hobbit - What Christopher says explains some of the difficulties I have with Hobbit.
    "Problem is, Tolkein started on The Hobbit as a story for his kids before he realised the possibility of linking it into his "Elven lore" compositions. As a result, The Hobbit doesn't know whether it's supposed to be a light children's story or a serious piece of pseudo-mythology, and there's definite signs of strain."
    I loved the Lord of the Rings series, and re-read the whole series about once a year for a long time. I recently bought a new set; my old one was in tatters held together with duct tape.
  • In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
  • White Teeth
  • Treasure Island - That, and Kidnapped, were frequent re-reads for a while.
  • David Copperfield
  • The Three Musketeers - In Spanish. Quite a lot of the vocabulary was still unfamiliar to me at the time; it added to the romance. Long ago and far away, it seemed. Good escape literature.
Some of the books on this list, I have never heard of. They would not qualify as books I "have lying around at home because (I) think (I) should read them sometime but have never got around to reading."

I do have others that would fit, though. A good shelf full. Someday, I'll sit down and read them. Or take them to my favourite second-hand book store and exchange them for ones that I will read.

No, I haven't seen any on screen.

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