Vulcan’s Peak

Talkin’ books

July 6, 2006 6:49 pm

Bragging, bibliophile style. And I wish it were a little more nuanced: I thought Animal Farm was interesting, but in no way did I love it the way I did Harry Potter or Pride and Prejudice. However, that’ not going to stop me from going overboard on this. Hang on to your hats. Real content tba.

What have I read?–Overall
from What Should I Read Next?

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
1984 – George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

And of course you can always…

What have I read?–Sci-fi

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Neuromancer – William Gibson
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Dune – Frank Herbert
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
Pattern Recognition – William Gibson
A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Stand – Stephen King
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett

People were running around with copies of Pattern Recognition and saying neat things about it right under my very nose for three years, and I never got my hands on one…I think this makes me a failure in bookwormdom.

More notes on lack of nuance: I say I liked Jonathan Strange because it kept my interest. At least, it kept my interest after I slogged through 80 pages. However, since the book is 800 pages long, there was plenty left. I think it would have been a better book at 2/3 the length, though. There were an awful lot of subplots and tangents.

Snow Crash, however, was super cool. I need to read it again one of these days.

What have I read?–Classics

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Emma – Jane Austen
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Candide – Voltaire, Norman Cameron
Complete Tales and Poems – Edgar Allan Poe
King Lear – William Shakespeare
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Frankenstein really should be in the same category: I am ambivalent about both. The distinction is that I enjoyed Tess most of the way through, but got frustrated by the ending. I was annoyed with Frankenstein all the way through, but I think the way the story is told is really neat.

Some of you will be amazed that I marked two of the three Shakespeare plays the way I did. For the first, I merely point out that it is, after all, R&J. As for Lear…I dunno. I’m waiting for a production that really makes me like Lear. There’s neat stuff in the text, but the productions I’ve seen (one stage, one film) haven’t cut it. I like the subplot with Gloucester and his sons, but a play loses something when you can’t stand the main character.

And here’s the shocker for some of you who had AP European History with me: I had to read Candide during my freshman year of college and guess what? It was hilarious! Amazing. I think it was a better translation that the thing I slogged through in 10th grade…

What have I read?–Modern Classics

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Nineteen Eighty-four – George Orwell
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Hmm. So the 20th century isn’t my forte… I probably ought to read some Steinbeck and Hemingway just because. No–I have read some Steinbeck! We read The Pearl in eighth grade. It was depressing…

Well, still.

I really just want to read Lolita because I want to read
Reading Lolita in Tehran.

Slaughterhouse Five is cool, but it warps your mind.

What have I read?–Popular Contemporary Books

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Atonement – Ian McEwan
High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The World According to Garp – John Irving
Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture – Douglas Coupland
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

A lot of these I just haven’t heard of. However, I’ve just started The Shadow of the Wind, and it’s exciting so far. And I’ve started Kavalier and Clay at least twice, but never in times and places where I can finish it…then I keep forgetting that my dad actually does own the book… Long story.

I’m not even bothering to include the non-fiction section. The only one I’ve read is Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (well put-together; likely to make you avoid fast food for a long time). I also own Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves, which I have read parts of, but not cover to cover. I like it, though. And of course there’s Tuesday’s With Morrie, which we heard part of in ToK. I think there’s a copy of that in the house too, but I’ve never read the end.

What have I read?–Children’s and YA Books

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White, Garth Williams
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Sabriel – Garth Nix
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Watership Down – Richard Adams
Eragon – Christopher Paolini
The Giver – Lois Lowry
The Once and Future King – T.H. White
Abhorsen – Garth Nix
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle, Keith Scaife
The Witches – Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
Time Quartet – Madeleine L’Engle
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
A Little Princess: The Story of Sara Crewe – Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett, Robin Lawrie
The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L.Frank Baum

I adore good YA lit. And so many of these are old friends of mine: Little Princess, Secret Garden, Wrinkle in Time, The Giver, Watership Down (which I wouldn’t have classified here, but okay). I’m also a little puzzled about why A Wrinkle in Time is classified separately from the Time Quartet (which starts with Wrinkle).

Philip Pullman rocks.

I admit that I never got through all of a Lemony Snicket book. In my defense, I tried, if not very hard.

What have I read?–Originally Not in English

I liked it! I didn’t like it! I want to read it!
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
Dance, Dance, Dance – Haruki Murakami
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami
Blindness – Jose Saramago
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
A Wild Sheep Chase – Haruki Murakami
The Stranger – Albert Camus
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
The Outsider – Albert Camus
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow – Peter Hoeg
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami

Take the ‘What have I read?’ test

Again, lots of books I’ve never heard of. And are The Stranger and The Outsider actually two separate books, or was Camus just on a roll? However, I recommend the other two I’ve read.

Anyone actually make it to the end of this mess? Real news coming up real soon…stay tuned.

Edit, 11/26/06. Color Angels & Demons red, Sense & Sensibility green, To Kill a Mockingbird very green, and I’m in the middle of Pattern Recognition. Green so far.

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