Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Great Books?

Well, Scott reminded me to visit Joanne Jacobs this week, both of whom were talking about's 101 Great Books to read.

Here's the list. Those in bold are the ones I've read. 39/101--not exactly a wonderful score. But better than Scott :)

Achebe, Chinua--Things Fall Apart
Agee, James--A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane--Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James--Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel--Waiting for Godot--why did I waste my time?
Bellow, Saul --The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte--Jane Eyre--worse ways to spend time
Bronte, Emily--Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert--The Stranger --hated it
Cather, Willa--Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de--Don Quixote (read bits of it)
Chaucer, Geoffrey--The Canterbury Tales--some great, some pointless
Chekhov, Anton--The Cherry Orchard--eh, whatever
Chopin, Kate--The Awakening--I would welcome the sweet taste of death before reading this again
Conrad, Joseph--Heart of Darkness--I would read Kate Chopin again, several times before I would read this again
Cooper, James Fenimore--The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen--The Red Badge of Courage
Dante--Inferno--cool, bad theology, but cool
Defoe, Daniel--Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles--A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor--Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick--Narrative of the Life of Frederick

Dreiser, Theodore--An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre--The Three Musketeers--pretty cool
Eliot, George --The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph--Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo--Selected Essays
Faulkner, William--As I Lay Dying--whoa. Absolutely loved it
Faulkner, William--The Sound and the Fury--blew me away, not as good as Dying, IMHO
Fielding, Henry--Tom Jones--considered by many to be the first novel. Definately one of the most enjoyable. Who needs Pickwick Papers?
Fitzgerald, F. Scott--The Great Gatsby--nice, but never left me wanting to read again ('tho I've read it several times)
Flaubert, Gustave--Madame Bovary--dreary, painful
Ford, Ford Madox--The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von--Faust
Golding, William--Lord of the Flies Ultimate Proof-Text for Total Depravity from a totally secular point of view
Hardy, Thomas--Tess of the d'Urbervilles--dreary, painful
Hawthorne, Nathaniel--The Scarlet Letter--worst hack-job on the Puritans ever
Heller, Joseph--Catch 22 (on my "To Read" list, for about 15 years)
Hemingway, Ernest--A Farewell to Arms--ummm, whatever.
Homer--The Iliad--cool!
Homer--The Odyssey--cool!
Hugo, Victor--The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale--Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous--Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik--A Doll's House
James, Henry--The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry--The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James--A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man--Slightly better than Joseph Conrad. Slightly.
Kafka, Franz--The Metamorphosis --great premise, well done
Kingston, Maxine Hong--The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper--To Kill a Mockingbird--THE best novel I've ever read
Lewis, Sinclair--Babbitt--proto-Tom Wolfe, loved the style (that's Tom Wolfe, not Thomas Wolfe, below)
London, Jack--The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas--The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia--One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman--Bartleby the Scrivener--don't remember any of it.
Melville, Herman--Moby Dick --don't want to remember much of it
Miller, Arthur--The Crucible--second only to Hawthorne in Puritan hit pieces
Morrison, Toni--Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery--A Good Man is Hard to Find--hard to get better than this!
O'Neill, Eugene--Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George--Animal Farm--best political allegory starring animals ever. (yeah, yeah, I know--probably the only one, too)
Pasternak, Boris--Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia--The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen--Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel--Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas--The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria--All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond--Cyrano de Bergerac--read this so many times it should count as 50 selections on this list
Roth, Henry--Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D.--The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William--Hamlet--blech
Shakespeare, William--Macbeth--blech, blech, blech
Shakespeare, William--A Midsummer Night's Dream--blech, blech
Shakespeare, William--Romeo and Juliet--blech, blech, blech, wherefore art thou, blech?
Shaw, George Bernard--Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary--Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon--Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander--One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles--Antigone--somehow ended up reading this about a dozen times, never finished the cylcle, tho'
Sophocles--Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John--The Grapes of Wrath--self-important, overly political, waaaay too long
Stevenson, Robert Louis--Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher--Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan--Gulliver's Travels
Thackeray, William--Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David--Walden
Tolstoy, Leo--War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan--Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark--The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--Can't say enough about this
Voltaire--Candide--great play!
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.--Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice--The Color Purple
Warton, Edith--The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora--Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt--Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar--The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee--The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia--To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard--Native Son (but I did read--and hate--Look Homeward, Angel)