Sunday, 22 February 2009

One More Challenge and other stuff

In the last few days I have noticed just how much I'm unread in terms of Classics (mostly British, American and French and the odd Russian), so I told myself: this is ridiculous. You can't be a booklover and a bookworm, not to mention a bookseller if you haven't read THE CLASSICS!
It's not that I'm completely unaware of what those books are, I have studied them at school, read the excerpts required in class, wrote essays about them...but never actually read the whole thing!
You can observe what asserted above on this meme I've done on Facebook.

I've marked with a cross those that I've read:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Running Total: 6

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
Running total: 7

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House- Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams X
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Running total: 9

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy X
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (reading it now!)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Running total: still 11

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
Running total: 15

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Running total: 16

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
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
Running total: 16

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
Running total: 17

81 A Christmas Carol- Charles Dickens X
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 X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton X (Only the Faraway Tree,I'm too old for those now!)
Running total: 20

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery X
93 The Wasp Factor
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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

TOTAL: 22/100

Ok, other than The Bible and Ulysses, which classic should I run and read right now?

I was thinking:
Pride and Prejudice
Great Expectations
The Grapes of Wrath
Of Mice and Men
Cather in the Rye
Wind in the willows
The secret Garden
Watership down
Little Women
Animal Farm
Madam Bovary
Crime and Punishment
Cath 22

I'm not going to make a proper list cause we all know it's gonna put me off it, no matter how changeable it would be. But I hope to read at least 4 for the challenge from April to November (1st April-31st October).

I should also suggest a classic for beginners. If you haven't read it, totally Jane Eyre.
Ditto for To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies.

For the new classics....can I say The Book Thief again?
On a complete different note, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed the Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer Event in chapters last tuesday!
Nymeth sent me this picture where you can actually see me standing and looking really bored (or asleep), but I wasn't! I really liked it!

I'm wearing the green "Reading is crazy" t-shirt. More pics here.
Also the event has been reviewed comprehensively here so I'm not going to repeat what has been said already. Just that it was awesome. I love listening to Neil Gaiman reading and even though I didn't know who Amanda Palmer was, I thought she was great. Best song on the ukulele was about her best friend, the house, being on sale now. Sad and funny at the same time.
I'd love to get their new book, but I doubt I can afford to buy it, which leads me to the final thing I wanted to mention: my being broke and my enrollment into the affiliates!!!
Yes, I sold my soul...but for a good cause, or two
1) my financial state, which is crying at the moment.
2) And the independent bookstores (only in the US though, but better than nothing).
From now on I will link to their websites, so if you're interested in the books I've reviewed, you can get them pronto from an indie local bookstore, and hopefully it'll help me as well raising some funds! yay!

Shop Indie Bookstores


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Interesting list--some of those I don't think are classics yet but might be one day (too modern/recent!). I love the tentative list you've put together and of course you can suggest The Book Thief again! I think that was the #1 suggestion last year--everyone loves that book!

Thanks for joining Valentina. :)

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend GREAT EXPECTATIONS, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE and MADAME BOVARY from your list of potentials.

Karen said...

I would give either Little Women or Pride and Prejudice a go to begin with (but that's just because they are 2 of my favourites!).

Ana S. said...

I definitely recommend Catcher in the Rye, one of my favourite books ever! Animal Farm and 1984 are excellent too. And I really enjoyed Watership Down and Pooh. Oh, and Frankenstein and Slaughterhouse-Five!

Some you aren't considering but should: Rebecca, Lolita, On the Road, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, A Confederacy of Dunces :P

lol, and I don't think you look bored! You look attentive. It's funny; pretty much everyone around you has a similar expression. I bet Neil loved your shirt :D

Sorry to hear about your financial troubles :( But worry not, no one will think you sold your soul.

Becca said...

Okay, the first thing you need to read is 1984 because it is amazing. So deliciously frightening. And Pride and Prejudice because it is just a great read. These are 2 of my favorite books of all time.

I agree with Trish that some of these are not classics yet because they are too modern, but they may very well be someday! Life of Pi was really good I thought.

Melody said...

Wow, you've a great list of classics there! I'll have to refer to it for reference for the Classics Challenge. :D

And it's so cool that you got to attend Gaiman's event! I'm jealous, LOL.

raych said...

You know how you read a 'classic' sometimes and you're all *face hits desk* because they're classic and all, but they're also long and difficult? When that happens to you, pick up The Wind in the Willows and you will be charmed and pleased and totally refreshed.

raych said...
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raych said...
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valentina said...

Trish, it wasn't meant to be a list of classics, just a list of famous books. Sorry I should have mentioned that.
I'm really excited about reading all those classics and become a well-rounded bookworm:P

Memory, I'll keep those in mind, thanks! (I think they were high in the list already, although the first might be Pride and Prejudice because I see it EVERYWHERE !)

Ana, I am considering all of those, except Sherlock Holmes because I have the feeling I'll end up hating the guy!
and about the, I hope he noticed eheh...

Melody, it's a very optimistic list, but even if I read half I'll be happy.
Neil Gaiman is great at events, I hope you can see him too one day:)

Raych, I know what you thanks for the recommendation, I'll be looking forward to be refreshed by the Wind in the willows!

Amy said...

o gee! that's alot of books, many of which are on my to be read list. i really want to read philip pullmans books but i'm slacking offo on reading classics lately;)

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a similar challenge this year, I've already enjoyed Wilkie Collins, Anne Bronte, Somerset Maugham and Wilde... among the books I should be reading very soon I have listed "Pride and Prejudice" (second reading, but "Lost in Austen" has made me want to dive into it again) and "Atonement".
If you wish to read French classics (I see Flaubert, Dumas and Hugo on your list) or even contemporary writers, don't hesitate to ask me for some advice :)

Cheryl said...

So many books I need to read as well when I see lists like this.

Please do read A Catcher in the Rye. It's such a special book. Very accessible. Quick read. I think I've read it 3 times and will probably read it a few times more. I also crack myself up by having to buy that gorgeous red cover with the gold title EVERY time I see it. I have like 7 copies. :)

Anonymous said...

Cool I have read 47 on that list! Catcher in the Rye and Dracula are definitely worth reading as well as Great Expectations which is funnier than you might expect. 1984 and Animal Farm are mush reads but I didn't enjoy Madam Bovary at all to be honest. I must read Winnie-The-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows soon.