Wednesday, December 01, 2010

And Another Reading List Meme

Okay, so when I commented on Thomas's list that I stole (which came from Facebook, and, supposedly, the BBC), he suggested I really ought to take a look at this list from The Modern Library. So, I give you, yet another list of "reads" and "unreads." (I promise this is the last for a while.)

Blue = read
Italics = partially read
Bold = Will never read
Red = been in the TBR tome forever

I've commented when felt moved to do so (especially on those titles not included in the BBC list).

1. Ulysses - James Joyce. I plan to start with more accessible Joyce when I eventually do (supposedly in 2011. We'll see) and decide if I'm brave enough to move onto this one or not).
2. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald.
3. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce. See #1. This is the one I plan to read first.
4. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
5. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
6. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner. The book that convinced me what a genius Faulkner was.
7. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
8. Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler. Is it terrible for me to say that it just sounds too much like a "boys' book"?
9. Sons and Lovers - D.H. Lawrence. No interest.
10. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck. It just wasn't the right time when I started it, but I know it's a brilliant work and will return to it one day.
11. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry. Has just always seemed too depressing, which is a ridiculous reason not to read something. I mean, like the Hardy I've read isn't depressing?
12. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler. Read it in college. Remember absolutely nothing. nothing. about it.
13. 1984 - George Orwell
14. I, Claudius - Robert Graves. I've been pulling it from shelves and putting it back for years. Maybe I just ought to give up on the notion of ever reading it.
15. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf. An all-time favorite.
16. An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser. I think I've said before that I couldn't get through it, but scenes from it have stuck with me all these years, a friend of mine recently read it, and I've been thinking about revisiting it. We'll see...
17. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers. And I've got a nice biography of hers to read when I finally get around to reading this one.
18. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut. Believe it or not, I haven't read any Vonnegut.
19. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison. Powerful stuff.
20. Native Son - Richard Wright. Devastating stuff, very much like An American Tragedy.
21. Henderson the Rain King - Saul Bellow. I tried to read Bellow when I was too young, couldn't get into him, and have never really given him another chance. At this point, I doubt I ever will.
22. Appointment in Samarra - John O'Hara. Don't know anything about this one, so probably won't ever read it.
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) - John Dos Passos
-- The 42nd Parallel
-- 1919
-- The Big Money. Just never been interested.
24. Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson. Another one I never seem to get around to reading.
25. A Passage to India - E.M. Forster. Want to reread.
26. The Wings of the Dove - Henry James. I haven't read as much James as I would have liked.
27. The Ambassadors - Henry James. See #26.
28. Tender Is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald. Tried but just couldn't get into it.
29. The Studs Lonigan Trilogy - James T. Farrell
Young Lonigan
The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan
Judgment Day. No real interest.
30. The Good Soldier - Ford Maddox Ford. Ditto.
31. Animal Farm - George Orwell
32. The Golden Bowl - Henry James
33. Sister Carrie - Theodore Dreiser. Despite my experience with An American Tragedy, I really do want to read this one.
34. A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh. Have seen the movie...
35. As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner. Like James, I haven't read as much Faulkner as I would have liked.
36. All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren. Loved it. A masterpiece.
37. The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder.
38. Howard's End - E.M. Forster. Another one that went in the TBR tome after seeing the movie when it came out (so you can see how long it's been in the TBR tome).
39. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin. As a multicultural studies editor, I really ought to be more interested in reading James Baldwin, but I'm just not.
40. The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene. I've never read any Graham Greene, although I want to, but this isn't the book of his that's been in the TBR tome forever.
41. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
42. Deliverance - James Dickey. I haven't seen the movie, either.
43. A Dance to the Music of Time (series) - Anthony Powell
-- A Question of Upbringing
-- A Buyer's Market
-- The Acceptance World
-- At Lady Molly's
-- Casanova's Chinese Restaurant
-- The Kindly Ones
-- The Valley of Bones
-- The Soldier's Art
-- The Military Philosophers
-- Books Do Furnish a Room
-- Temporary Kings
-- Hearing Secret Harmonies. Never even heard of these (she notes, while polishing her ignorance badge).
44. Point Counter Point - Aldous Huxley. I probably ought to read Brave New World first.
45. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway. I will read Hemingway one day...
46. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad. Just loved it!
47. Nostromo - Joseph Conrad. But have no desire to read any other Conrad.
48. The Rainbow - D.H. Lawrence. Okay, so should I read Lawrence?
49. Women in Love - D.H. Lawrence. I mean, three of his books, and we haven't even gotten to 50 yet? (Actually, I may have read this one. I can never remember if we read it and saw the movie in one of my classes in college, or if we just saw the movie.)
50. Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
51. The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
52. Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth. Until this year, this probably would have been bold. Stay tuned to this blog for more on Roth in the not-too-distant future (I hope).
53. Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov. Sadly, the only thing I've read by Nabokov is Lolita and I'm not sure I'll ever read anything else.
54. Light in August - William Faulkner. See #35.
55. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
56. The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett. It actually hasn't been in the TBR tome all that long, but I'm hoping to be reading it soon.
57. Parade's End - Ford Maddox Ford
58. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton. After I saw the movie (big mistake. Read the book first, if you haven't and haven't seen the movie).
59. Zuleika Dobson - Max Beerbohm
60. The Moviegoer - Walker Percy. This one probably holds the TBR record. We ran out of time in the course for which we were going to read it in college, and so it got dropped from the reading list, and I've been wanting to read it ever since.
61. Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather. I highly recommend reading it on your first visit to Santa Fe, NM.
62. From Here to Eternity - James Jones
63. The Wapshot Chronicles - John Cheever. I hope to get to this sooner rather than later.
64. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
65. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess. A mistake that this one was assigned in high school. I didn't understand it at all (having not studied behaviorism in much depth). Went back to reread it in my twenties after seeing the movie several times. It's a masterpiece (but you must read the original, English version, not the first version that was published in America that omitted the Epilogue, which ruined Burgess's scathing attack).
66. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham. The book that sold me on Maugham.
67. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
68. Main Street - Sinclair Lewis. I love Sinclair Lewis and think it's a shame that he's sort of gone out of style.
69. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
70. The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell.
-- Justine
-- Balthazar
-- Mountolive
-- Clea. They're even better if you've read Gerald Durrell's takes on "Larry."
71. A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes. Just discovered this one last year and absolutely loved it.
72. A House for Mr. Biswas - V.S. Naipaul. Maybe, one day, I loved the one Naipaul I have read (even if, right now, I can't for the life of me remember the title. It's somewhere in this blog. You can look it up if you're really curious).
73. The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West. It's too much of a "should," so I'm assuming I never will. (Of course, why I pick on it and not the billions of other "shoulds" out there, I can't fathom.)
74. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway. When I get around to reading Hemingway, I think I'll start with this one.
75. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh. Read it in one night when I was suffering from insomnia. It was a great thing to do when suffering from insomnia. I loved it.
76. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
77. Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
78. Kim - Rudyard Kipling
79. A Room With a View - E.M. Forster. Another one I read in college that I don't remember at all. And suddenly, blogger denies me the ability to reformat (brown italics are not mine).
80. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
81. The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow
82. Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner. I definitely will one day, because I so love Stegner.
83. A Bend in the River - V.S. Naipaul. Ahh! That's the one I read, and I'd highly recommend it (despite my inability to remember the title).
84. The Death of the Heart - Elizabeth Bowen. I was supposed to read that one this year for my own TBR challenge. Stay tuned to see if I get it read in 2011.
85. Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad
86. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow. After reading my first Doctorow this year, I'm much more interested than I've ever been, so it might be about to turn red.
87. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett. Another swipe of polish is needed for the ignorance badge.
88. The Call of the Wild - Jack London. I love dogs. I love wolves. I love nature. Why am I not interested?
89. Loving - Henry Green
90. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
91. Tobacco Road - Erskine Caldwell. Another writer I wish hadn't gone out of style. I love Caldwell.
92. Ironweed - William Kennedy. No interest.
93. The Magus - John Fowles
94. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys. Don't watch the movie, though. Horrible. Nowhere near as good as the book.
95. Under the Net - Iris Murdoch
96. Sophie's Choice - William Styron
97. The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
98. The Postman Always Rings Twice - James M. Cain. We maybe ought to read this one for the CT mystery book club.
99. The Ginger Man - J.P. Donleavy
100. The Magnificent Ambersons - Booth Tarkington


Rebecca said...

Ok,this is a much more interesting list. I've read 47 of these but I'm giving myself extra points for having read all of Dance to the Music of Time. Most of the others I'm not going to bother with: Joyce, Conrad, Rushdie, Doctorow, Hemingway, absolutely not. Bowles, yes. Durrell, I've read the first part of the quartet and I'll get there.

Stefanie said...

I liked the other list better, I've read more books on that one. This one makes me feel inadequate as there are far too many of the books on my TBR list and not enough on my already read list.

Thomas Hogglestock said...

Emily, Emily, Emily... So much to say I don't know where to start. Although there are many books on this list that weren't my favorites I was glad that I read them for various reasons. And, although there are a lot of dead white men on this list, there is actually a pretty wide range of writing styles and subjects that make exploring the list worth it. I agree with you on DH Lawrence. I have read two of the three and I liked them just enough to want to read the third, but not enough to actually like any of them. But there are some here that you really should give a chance, at least until page 50. Darkness at Noon is a really fantastic book. The Dos Passos I found painful. Brave New World and Point Counterpoint are such different books it is hard to believe they are by the same author. Deliverance is such a great,suspenseful book, and this is from someone who doesn't normally like suspense. Although it was short I had the hardest time getting through Ironweed. I totally understand your aversion to some books on this list, but I really feel the value of this list has been to open my eyes to stuff I would have avoided like the plague and ended up enjoying to various degrees.

Emily Barton said...

First of all, sorry, everyone, that the formatting on this sucks. It's hard to tell what I have and haven't read.

Becky, you've reminded my elderly and forgetful brain that, of course, I've heard of Powell, having browsed the "books read" tab of your blog many times.

Stef, I know the feeling...

Thomas, so, just when I was feeling that I don't need to add to the length of the TBR tome, you make a very good argument for me to do so. Sigh!

Anne Camille said...

I, too, had read far more on the other list. Only 24 on this list. Iam surprised that you've never read any Hemingway. When I was in college, it was very popular to read Hemingway to dis him as a sexist boor. One couldn't pass a class if you tried to argue the merits of his work outside of that particular lens. I don't recall much about his novels, but there are stories in In Our Time that I still think of 30 years after first reading and Hills Like White Elephants is a marvel of conciseness whether you like his portrayal of the man and the woman in that short story of or not.

Rebecca H. said...

I did better on the other list also, 42 on this one. Still, not too bad, right?

Emily Barton said...

Cam, I do plan to get around to Hemingway sooner rather than later. I'm most intrigued.

Dorr, not bad at all, I'd say!