Monday, August 18, 2008

I Like Books

Apparently, the National Endowment For the Arts has decided that Americans have read an average of 6 books on this list of a hundred and people are posting it on their blogs to show that they are not part of that statistic. I was kind of hoping I had read over 50%, but I fell short at 42 (I think). I need to take up Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy to raise my percentage. I probably should anyway.... Anywho, here is my list, the yellow ones are read by me and I did one in pink because I am in the middle of it right now. Feel free to copy the list and put on your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell**
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

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
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

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
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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
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

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
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
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (en francais)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

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

The most haunting part of the statistic is that many of the people I know have read many of these books, far more then 6, I am sure. That just means that many people have read none of them.
Ok, THE MOST haunting thing is that my own dear husband has read only one of these books.
It's the Color Purple, if you were all burning with curiosity. I bet he has read the Bible cover to cover too. I know who would have predicted I would marry a man that didn't enjoy reading? Strange things happen all the time.

Alright, here is what I really want you all to do. Tell me the books that I haven't read that you all think I would really like, or that you all think is really lame that I haven't and I will read them.


Anonymous said...

Crap, I've only read 9. But that's not bad for having read my first classic novel only 6 years ago... I guess. Anyways, I own like 20 of them, and I need to start reading them. And that doesn't mean I don't read. I've just read the entire works of Nerdville rather than Shakespeare (which I did start!!). Btw, Harry Potter should count for 7 books, because it is. But I have started 30 of them, and I did read The Little Prince in French, so that should count a little more too. I'll have to read all of them again before I make any recommendations.


Emily said...

Well, the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were great. And Emma, I enjoyed. I started A Brave New World, but felt it was very similar to 1984 and didn't finish it (as was the case with Wuthering Heights, not in that I thought it was very similar to 1984, but that I didn't finish it. I was terribly depressed by the end of the 2nd chapter and felt I couldn't go on :)). Yuck to Ulysses. My sister-in-law would highly recommend Middlemarch. And I'm started Madame Bovary next. That's a fun list to keep and refer to when you're making your reading selections :) Hey, did you have a chance to talk to Rob? Hee hee. Just thought I'd ask :)

Sue said...

I've read 51 of them. You need to read all the Thomas Hardy ones! Jude the Obscure is such a good book. He is one of my favorite authors. You should read the Dickens too. Handmaid's Tale is a really good book, so is A Prayer for Owen Meany and Heart of Darkness. You should also read the Gabriel Garcia Marquez books. And it goes without saying, Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit are awesome!

Why do they have the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? The second is part of the first. They also list Hamlet separate from the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

And here is a big problem I have with this list. They have the Harry Potter books, but nothing by Kurt Vonnegut.

Emily said...

Sue -
I had very similar hang ups as you about this list. I noticed that about Hamlet and The Lion, etc. weird, but didn't complain since I can't say I have read the complete works of Shakespeare, but many of them, so adding Hamlet seperately let me cross one off, same as the CS Lewis books. If they wanted more Lewis, why not add the Screw Tape Letters or something.
I thought adding the Harry Potter books was something of a cop out for the list people unless they were going for popularity/pop culture, which that seemed to be the job of a few of the books on the list.
Vonnegut is a blaring omission.

I have over ten years of reading on you, and I am indeed impressed about reading one in French. But I had read Anna Karinina and I think War and Peace by the time I was your age. If you aren't impressed, take a look at those two books. You have your work cut out for you, haha........

Em -
I'm called Rob right now! I suck!

Sue said...

I'm glad you agree with me on my hang ups. I didn't want to come across as nit-picky. I've decided I have a couple more problems with the list. Fahrenheit 451 and Frankenstein are not on the list. that is just not right. Crime and Punishment should be on there too. And I don't understand why they chose Ulysses as the Joyce one. Portrait of an Artist is much more readable. Anyhoo, I've decided the list was made by the National Endowment for the Oprah. We should come up with our own list.

Emily said...

Crime and Punishment is on there, but I agree, we should make our own list.
Something along the lines of my 15 albums everyone should own kind of thing-
One wonders what we could unearth from B with that..............

Marcus and Haley Crook said...

Ok, I was all proud of myself because I read 12....and then I saw Sue's 51 staring me down. Dang! Ok, must agree with the Narnia and Hamlet thing, that is weird. I have read about 5 Shakespeare's and they are freakin awesome. No Narnia though, I hear they are good. However, pretty much most of those are some I have wanted to read for so long and stupid Twilight got in my way! Haha. Half of those I have started and then stopped because of school, not enough time. My mom has read so many of these in her book club such as The Little Prince, A Town Like Alice, and The Count of Monte Christo (which I hear is a must-read!) Jane Austen rocks. My biggest problem with the list is that Les Miserables is last!!! It should be first. Anyway, there is my two cents.

Sue said...

Oops, I missed Crime and Punishment, I see it now. I was also wrong on my count. I've actually read 59 of them. I just posted it on my blog and it was easier to count once I highlighted the ones I had read.

We should put a list together! We should get dad, Cat, Amy, Matt and B, mom and anyone else from the family. Everyone should have to come up with a minimum of 15 books. And it has to be books you've actually read. None of that I know it's a "classic", but haven't bothered to read it. Then we could compile them into a fine Wright Family Reading List.

It would be interesting to see what everyone came up with. I'm surprised we haven't heard more from B about the list. Like "The Hobbit! That is the Neil Young of books!"

Marcus and Haley Crook said...

Yes! 13! I forgot I read Charlotte's Web. I'm gaining on you guys! Not really....

Sue said...

13 is not bad Haley! Believe me I was shocked when I realized I had read 59 of them. I guess that is what happens when you are an English Lit major! A lot of them I was assigned to read in college.

Anonymous said...

I could NOT get into the Lord of the Rings, or the Hobbit. I read the Hobbit comic book 5 times, but the novels are something to be waded through, and I like diving. If we are going to start our own list, Matt's additions will be "Les Miserables, How to produce wedding videos for Profit, and the Bible". AND it must have Farenheit 451 and Midsummer Nights Dream in the top 15! But if you wanted things that I've read multiple times since I was young,or books my mom read to me as a child, they would have to be things like the complete works of Mercedes Lackey (go to, I gaurantee you'll laugh) or Anne McCaffrey. So I cannot safely contribute to the list for a few more years.


Anonymous said...

P.S. That part about diving was so nerd... I'd really appreciate it if you never told Matt I said something like that. Thank you.


Marcus and Haley Crook said...

B, I also could not get into the Hobbit. I only read a few chapters though. It was a few years ago. I do have it and the whole Lord of the Rings Trilogy (mostly because Legolas was on the cover of one of them! Ha) JK I guess 13 isn't bad though. Thanks Sue for making me feel better! I would totally love to make a list! And Em this list inspired me and as soon as a got off the computer I grabbed Sense and Sensibility off the shelf and started it. Thanks for the motivation! PS-A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favorite things ever!!! I have read it, seen the play, and watched the movie and I love it. The play made me roll in the aisles with laughter and almost pee my pants, it was awesome.

Marcus and Haley Crook said...

I just had Marcus read through the list and he has read....6! Haha. That is funny. I was pretty impressed though. He has read Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and The Three Musketeers. The other three were the Bible, Lion, the With & the Wardrobe, and Harry Potter. He said he wants to read a lot more of them though. Hey I wonder why Uncle Tom's Cabin isn't on the list?

Sue said...

I thought of Uncle Tom's Cabin too. And there is nothing by Mark Twain, Huck Finn should be on there. There is also nothing by Hawthorne. Hello, Scarlett Letter? Other authors that are missing that I think should be included are Egdar Allen Poe, Ayn Rand, Chaim Potok and William Faulkner. Yes, we must make a list.

And if you guys want to read something really funny by Shakespeare, read A Comedy of Errors.

By the way B, that diving comment was really nerdy. Sounds like something my mom would say, hee hee. I'll try not to tell Matt.

Anonymous said...

ok ok...I am feeling slighted here. I have read more than one of these dumb books! I'll leave it up to your imaginations as to exactly how many, but I'll let you know it's more than 2 and less than Sue.
I am really shocked that they left a few of my favorites off the list also, namely golf digest and architectural digest, if they were on the list I would totally blow all you out of the water cuz I've read like a million of em'.

Come on Em give me some credit here !(

Sue said...

Is that you Rob? So, is the answer 3? Let me guess, The Bible and you snuck in a Harry Potter while Em wasn't looking. Golf Digest and Architectural Digest are magazines, not books, so they wouldn't be on the list. Well, Hamlet isn't a book either, it's a play, and it's on the list. This list is messed up.

Emily said...

Ah gee zing, no need to feel slighted. You are the one always proclaiming that you don't read books. Even though you don't read, you are amazingly smart and learned, you get props for that. By the way, what is this -- !( , it kind of looks like a sad or angry "winky" (that's what we call my gynecologist, you can all guess why)
Rob told me his number and it was 9 I believe, The Color Purple, Crime and Punishment (I knew that, I forgot), the Bible (twice), Of Mice and Men, and that is all I remember, or possibly all he told me, the rest is "left up to my imagination". I KNOW it's not Harry Potter, I can just picture him reading Jane Austin, he makes fun of those movies endlessly, he thinks all they do is drink tea and take walk-abouts around the garden. Oh, To Kill A Mockingbird, that is one he has read......

Oh, and good point you guys! Where's Hawthorne! Where's Mark Twain! You could certainly scrap Bridget Jones in favor of either of those. Good grief.
Haley-- Have you never read Sense and Sensibility?? Holy crap you are going to love it! Maryanne's lines are so much better, and you have far greater sympathy for Willoughby and his motivations, oh I love that book, I am going to read it again (When I am done with Brothers.) And while I am at it, I LOVED Wuthering Heights! I couldn't put it down, it really fascinated me. It's dynamics were so interesting and I just had to know where it was going.
We need to make our own list, I have been working on it in my head today. Question: are they going to just be "our favorite books" or "must reads" or what?

Emily said...

Oh and B, have you read Les Mis, unabridged in French too? Cause that would be fairly impressive.

Sue said...

Wuthering Heights is one of my all time favorite books. I think Emily should give it another try. I love Heathcliff. And Rob is right in a way, they do drink a lot of tea and take a lot of walks in Austen books.

I think the list should be books that you really, really liked. I think a "must read" puts too much pressure on you. Besides, I have a feeling me, you and Cat are all going to put Invisible Monsters on the list, and I can think of a few people who probably wouldn't really appreciate that book. Probably everyone except me, you and Cat. Can you imagine Amy reading that felching scene? hee hee.

PS-I'm glad Rob read the book that inspired his daughter's name. And reading the Bible twice does not count as 2 books.

Anonymous said...

What on earth is felching? That sounds really scary. This summer I started reading Animal Farm and Wuthering Heights, and I'm intrigued to finish it and see why it's so good. And I have not read Les Mis unabridged in French, that sounds scary! I did read an abridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo in French, but it was only a half an inch wide, so I didn't count it. And I took Matt to, and I think it really scared him.


P.S. Winky was my dads childhood nickname for me. That whole conversation just scarred me for life.

Emily said...

Hey, this is a lot of comments, Em. I love that. And if Wuthering Heights is really so high on everyone's lists, I will give it another try. I think it was just on the heals of something bright and cheery and so the comparison was really drastic. And just so you know, I knew that The Lion, part of the Chronicles of Narnia.:) And I would like to add a book for consideration: Silence b...someone Japanese. That's lame I can't remember. I'll get back to you on that. And also Family by Pa Chin. They are both ones I had to read for an Asian History class and I loved them! I should get Andi on here. I'll bet she's read a tidy amount of them.

Emily said...

I know Em! I love the comments, I like how my blog's comments are really more of a "discussion forum", it's much more interesting that way. Give Wuthering heights another try! Heathcliff is an amazing character. He hurt so so bad and loved Cathy so so much, he just really didn't know how to be human. It was so tragic. I will give your books a go, just need to know the "something Japanese".

B, what was it that scarred you? The felching or my winking gyno? Which turned out to be a tick, but only after a lot of puzzlement, time and inappropriateness.
You probably don't want to know what felching is, are you familiar with the term "snowballing?" That is all I'm saying. Or you could probably ask your mom- haha!
By the way, I had a good laugh looking at the covers of the Lackey books. B, we have a long road ahead of us...........

Sue, I like the idea of the list being "books we really really liked" and yes, Invisible Monsters would probably be all ours and so would Wonder Boys. Man I love that book though!! Maybe we should put "*" next to our selections that could possibly scar some people for life. I also love how you told B you'd "try" not to tell Matt.

All of your comments have gotten me thinking--- especially the ones about Huck Finn and Uncle Tom's Cabin ----- this is the most whitey, white, white-bred list ever! To be fair there are a few books I am unfamiliar with, but Memoirs of a Giesha, To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi and Gone With the Wind (which sympathizes with the South, may I add) are the only books even approaching the fact that other races are out there. What's the deal with that?

Marcus and Haley Crook said...

I totally thought that too. Why the heck isn't roots on there??? Totally white list. I also agree that it should be our favorite books. Way more fun. My mom came and looked at the list and has read 32. Pretty good. I know Em, I can't believe that I haven't read Sense & Sensibility yet! I'm such a slacker and I love Jane Austen, even if they prance around gardens. I love how ahead of her time she was. By the way, Becoming Jane wasn't a half bad movie. I liked it. Marcus said he needed to start taking Prozac after watching it! Haha. She did have a pretty sad life though. I want to read Wuthering Heights now, another one I am ashamed I haven't read yet. That is next.

Sue said...

Em, besides The Color Purple you missed a couple of other books that deal with other races. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have Elves, Hobbits, Dwarfs, Orcs, Ents and Gollom. Geez! (That must be read with Comic Book Guys voice in your head) And the Marquez books are about people in South America.

Your snowballing comment to B made me laugh for about 5 minutes. And your gyno has a tick that makes him/her wink? Oh man, there should be some rule against that! That is too funny. Sounds like a character the Farrely brothers or Monty Python would make up!

And B, please don't read Invisible Monsters because you are curious about what felching is. Things have a way of scarring you for life, and I guarantee you would be scarred in a bad way if you read it.

Emily said...

I know Sue! It was late when I wrote that and my censors were down.
My doctor is an old man too, so it makes it even more funny. It would make a great monty python skit.
I totally missed the Color Purple you are right and I have no idea about those other books. And how could I have been so insensitive to miss the dwarfs and hobbits and nugnuts and doof-dorfs?

I have wondered about Becoming Jane, perhaps I shall Netflix it. I love to mentally prance around the garden drinking tea sometimes. I watched Sense and Sensability for the first time in a few years about a month ago and it made me so happy. Pride and Prejudice took me about 5 attempts to read, I kept quitting after the first 2 chapters or so, when I finally plowed thorough, I loved it so much. Just thought I would admit that.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am easily scarred for life, I'd better not read Invisible Monsters. I am very afraid to look up felching or snowballing, and I will not ask my mom, because then I would know. But I would love to read books about dresses and tea and strolling about the garden. That's totally my era. And gynecologists and anything related to them scare me to death, so I am never ever ever ever answering to Winky again.


Emily said...

It's Shusaku Endo. I've got it you want to borrow :) Also, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang (which is 100% horrifying. It's one of those that you read mostly with your mouth hanging wide open and peeping, "Holy smokes" every few minutes. And yet I love to read histories, brutality and all. Not FOR the brutality, you understand, but because I think it's always interesting to see how the past relives itself and how things developed, etc. :) Anyway...there is that.

Emily said...

And I wrote peeping, which is a word I love. Peep.

Emily said...

Ha! I loved your term "peeping", in fact I pictured you peeping holy smokes and it made me smile.
I was just reading through the comments because they are entertaining, and I realized I didn't comment on one or two things. I LOVED Uncle Toms Cabin, Haley, I laugh so much anytime I get the chance to watch A Midsummer Nights Dream, it is freaking hilarious. Equally funny in my eyes is Much Ado About Nothing, if you have never seen that, you just gotta-- a pretty good film version is available, made in the mid-nineties it has Robert Sean Leonard in it along with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh and a very young Kate Beckinsale, it's pretty good, better at the Shakespeare festival though. Also, I don't know what the casting director was smoking, but Keanu Reeves is in it, watching him do Shakespeare is great entertainment. (Please note that I do not hate Keanu, I just don't feel he is quite cut out for Shakespeare.)
Ok also I would like to say Frankenstein was one of the most pleasant surprises I have read. First off, I absolutely loved it, second, I couldn't believe how much Hollywood slaughtered the monster. He is NOTHING like what you see in the movies, unless you see De Niro do it, that one is the only one close to accurate.

Emily said...

Oh, and Em, I am all about reading about history too, blood guts unpleasantness and all! It is interesting to hear about what other times were like, and how luckey/crappy we have it now.


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