Friday, July 25, 2008


OK, OK, I'm a thief--I admit it. I have copied tapes, records, and CDs--even DVDs, despite Disney's getting Congress to uproot the Fair Use Doctrine. Did you know that the Sonny Bono Act not only protected the Mouse from the fast-approaching end of its copyright, but saw to it that corporate copyright outlasted the copyright of an actual person?

How do people get away with this stuff?
Are we all asleep?
Yes, we are.

This meme is stolen from Closeted Pastor, who got it from Alex, who got it from someone called Pastor Peters. It's a cultural literacy guide from the NEA, of all things. You bold the books you've read, and then look to see where your homework lies. [That would be easier to do if I bolded the books I hadn't read...] Unable to follow directions, I "pinked" them instead:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(I was stranded out of town on an endless job in 1978, and read all of Jane Austen and George Eliot. A good summer, all things considered.)

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
(I was given the books for my twelfth birthday, way back in the Mesozoic era...)

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
(and I got very cranky waiting for them to come out--I even liked the movies, after the first two, which were dismal)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(The movie made a lasting impression on me. I saw it at a drive-in when it first came out and was terrified, both by the attack on the kids and by the cruelty of all the white people other than Atticus...)

6 The Bible
(from cover to cover, which I don't recommend. I was desperate.)

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
(as the Ziegler cartoon had Heathcliff say: "Ye Gods, will this novel never end?")

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
(Scary ending: I hate rats--and snakes)

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
(written to knock C.S. Lewis off his pedestal. I am planning to return the favor.)

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
(boy, was I mad when Pip didn't get Stella--good thing for him, though)

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
(not as treacly as you might think)

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
(Roman Polanski's movie is one of the best filmed novels I have ever seen.)

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
(OK, so not complete, but I did read Hamlet when I was 7--ooh, look, it's #98!)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
(enjoyable tripe--nothing beats Judith Anderson as the Wicked Witch of the Cornwall coast, though)

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
(Come on, Guillermo del Toro!)

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
(her best book, though Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda come close)

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
(Well, some of it anyway. What a bad, bad book)

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
(I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Maybe I should try again...)

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
(as Gary Oldman sez in Fifth Element: "Mah fav'rite!")

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
(including all 100 pages on the Masons... Jesus!)

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
(straight from God's mouth to Adams' ear...)

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
(I put off reading it because I thought I had to read the first volume first, but t
here is no book called Brideshead. Duh.)

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(and the Brothers Karamazov isn't on the list? Shame!)

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
(had to: high school)

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
(source of my Inner Girl imagery, of course: try to find the records of Cyril Ritchard reading it)

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
(another fave--I was the Mole once--but I always skip the "Pipes of Pan" chapter)

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
(reading novels about adultery when you are 12 is probably a mistake--not only don't you get it, you can't get it)

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
(I loved reading this one aloud to my kids)

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
(I loved reading these aloud, too. God, they were patient)

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
(I'm showing my age here: when I first read Persuasion, no one I knew had heard of the book...)

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
(I thought we just did The Chronicles of Narnia. Is someone asleep?)

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
(One of my all-time favorite books. God, I love it! Terrible movie, though.)

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(Terrific book, written by an American man, completely believable as a Japanese woman)

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
(My mother's vocabulary was ruined for life by being steeped in Pooh Corner. The Heffalumps are my favorites still. I was always Piglet)

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
("But, oh, what precious nonsense!" --W.S. Gilbert)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(I just started reading Garcia Marquez, and I loved Love in the Time of Cholera)

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
(I read Setting Free the Bears in 1970 and loved it. I've since fallen out of love with Irving, who has called his Vermont neighbors as "trailer trash")

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
(and not likely to, either, whatever the Japanese may think of PEI)

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
(you can't beat Hardy for the grim results of one thing going awry...)

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
(Atwood has a typically snotty Canadian view of the US. I heartily return the favor)

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
(ah, 8th grade English--what were they thinking?)

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
(really precious, really overrated--the Goat hated it)

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert
(but do yourself a favor: skip the sequels)

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
(Fabulous movie, though. Ian McKellen chews the scenery as an itinerant preacher, and he's just a supporting player)

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
(it is the best of Dickens, it is the worst of Dickens--at least it's the shortest)

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
(8th grade again: spooked me completely)

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(see One Hundred Years, above)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
(heart-wrenching: so is the movie with Sinise and Malkovich)

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
(and yes, I do think it's pornographic:
Nabokov thinks she wants it, just like Humbert)

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
(and what a slog!)

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
(tried, couldn't keep reading--my kids love it, though)

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
(someday, surely)

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
(love the idea, though, and the movie[s])

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
(no matter what they tell you, it really is about a whale)

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
(hard to read aloud when you have to keep saying "the Jew this" and "the Jew that")

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
(One of the most boring books of all time: the play made its reputation, and a star out of Lugosi, who then went on to repeat the same role until his death at the hands of Ed Wood)

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
(and Widdle Wawd Fontwewoy, too--Jesus!)

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce
(Um, "just the final fifty pages..." Joyce readers are fanatics; they tend to spend as much time reading and dissecting the novels as he did writing them--just as he wished, God help us)

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
(if she hadn't committed suicide, would we care?)

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
(too Badittish fah me)

78 Germinal - Emile Zola
(perhaps the most depressing book I've ever read: grim, grim, grim)

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
(no one tells you it's funny)

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
(I read it aloud every year till the kids went on strike)

82 Cloud Atlas - David MitchelL
(it's been recommended, though)

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
(an amazing writer)

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
(a bit of a slog, frankly)

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
(I still cry at the end--could never finish The Selfish Giant without crying, either)

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven -
Mitch Albom

(watch out for the killer twist at the end--oof)

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(The movies tend to leave out things like the actual period, the question of what those two guys are doing living together, and Holmes' cocaine addiction...)

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
(pretty much all of which turns out to have actually happened)

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
(I loved it once, but find it impossible sentimental now)

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
("Flay hraka" to all you bad guys out there...)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
(I wanted this book to be great, and would have settled for good)

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
(my spies tell me its story-line in no way resembles that of the TV movie)

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
(but I ran out of steam on the sequels--try the deliciously silly movies by Richard Lester)

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
(see the Complete Works, above)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
(at one point in my life, I set out to read everything he'd ever written: what a creep he was)

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
(yes, I skimmed:
you have no idea how loooooooooooooooong it is)

Do you know what this says to me? I think it says I need to get out more.

1 comment:

  1. Need to get out more? That was evident in '78 when you were stranded out of town. Were you hiding?

    This is one meme I could easily do. Very little pink ink would be necessary. I counted eight that I think I had to read in school. I honestly don't remember anything about them. Several I've seen on film, To Kill a Mockingbird I remember vividly ,as that was the south in which I grew up.

    Plus there was #75. When I was in high school, I visited my older brother at college and he let me read his copy. I only remember I creamed in my jeans.