Monday, March 05, 2007

100 Books Meme

This is my second post in Meme Week, where it is all memes, all the time.

One of the fun types of memes is where you have to pick things out of a list. This one has a semi-random list of 100 books and these are the rules:

  • Bold the ones you’ve read
  • Italicize the ones you want to read
  • Leave blank the ones that you aren't interested in.

I first saw this over at Used To Be Me, and it got picked up by Claude as well.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) I parodied this awful book in my three-part post on Paris.

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) I’ve read it and seen all the different versions of the movie. My wife loves this story.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) I wouldn’t be a good geek if I hadn’t.

6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)

7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) Why are these listed out of order? This sure makes the list look random.

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)

11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) Life is too short to plow through all of these.

12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) Started, but haven’t finished. I have to wait until I get really desperate.

13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

16.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling) My token Harry Potter book. It lets me know what the big deal is.

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)

18. The Stand (Stephen King)

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) After reading The Eyre Affair, I’m tempted, but it sure is a thick book.

21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)

22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) I read it cover to cover in one night during the summer after I graduated from high school. I reread it recently because it’s on my son’s school reading list, and it didn’t age well.

23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) I’ve seen the Broadway show and that is as close as I need to get.

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) This is constantly on the bargain table at BigBoxOfBooks, so I’m curious what the big deal is. But not curious enough to buy it yet.

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Again, essential geek reading list material. I just got the audiobook out to the library to refresh my memory.

27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) Not until my kid was old enough for it.

29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. Dune (Frank Herbert) Several times.

32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

34. 1984 (Orwell) Truer than ever.

35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)

37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)

38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) Who the hell is Wally Lamb, and why does he have two books on this list?

39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)

42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)

44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

45. Bible – not cover to cover, but enough to get the gist of it.

46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)

49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)

51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Required reading in high school, but not the best Dickens.

53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) I just commented this instant classic.

54. Great Expectations (Dickens) A much more representative Dickens book.

55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) More required reading.

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)

57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)

58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) Trashy guilty pleasure from when I was in high school.

59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)

61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) I never finished this when it was assigned in high school, so I finished it on my own. I’m glad I did.

62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)

63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)

64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)

65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)

66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)

68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

69. Les Miserables (Hugo)

70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) Won’t ever get to it. I did read a Marquez novella just recently.

73. Shogun (James Clavell) More trash from my adolescence.

74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)

75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)

76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)

77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)

78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) A masterpiece. Beware the undertoad.

79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)

80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) I prefer Stuart Little.

81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)

82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)

83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)

85. Emma (Jane Austen)

86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) All my geek friends read it and loved it. A generation later, it’s required reading in middle school and my son and all his friends hate it.

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) Not as good as 1984, but I should give it another chance.

88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)

89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)

90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)

91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)

92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) I never get past where Piggy’s glasses get broken. I cry and have to put it down.

93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)

96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

100.Ulysses (James Joyce) I have attempted this several times and decided no one that isn’t in a graduate level literature class can even comprehend it.

I would like to know who wrote the list because the books selected seem to say more about whoever started this meme than the people that play it.

Here my count of the different genres represented:

32: Books that could be found on a high school or college literature course required reading list.
31: Contemporary fiction novels, pretty heavy on the chick lit.
15: Science fiction, fantasy or horror.
13: Young adult reading level novels including the entire Harry Potter series.
6: Sappy inspirational memoirs.
3: Sprawling epic novels that have been made into mini-series starring either Richard Chamberlain or Peter Strauss.

I have to guess that the person that made the list is a Canadian woman that reads a lot of Oprah Book Club selections, but I could be wrong. Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

The Lovely Bones is very good - and not very long - quite unusual. Atwood is good - I've read a couple other of her books besides The Handmaid's Tale (which is much better than the movie), but I can't remember which ones. You should read Steinbeck (with lots of water) and Tolstoy - Anna Karenina at least. Those Russian authors are what seduced me into studying Russian - well, that plus James Bond and Dr Zhivago movies. I like Barbara Kingsolver, but Poisonwood Bible is very long - I wasn't able to get through my library copy. Daphne DuMaurier is one of my favorites - romantic mysteries set in England, for the most part. Two Ondaatje books? I read The English Patient and found it very confusing - much preferred the movie.


Impetua said...

I have found that many of the books on the Oprah book club list suck pretty badly. It's a shame since Oprah influences so many people. You'd think she could get better recommendations.

Naturally, I stole this meme from you. I couldn't do the key one because one of the cars is in the shop so I have no keychain at the moment.

Anonymous said...

It's an odd list, isn't it. I note that almost all of the ones I read and liked you have left unmarked. C'mon, you've never read To Kill A Mockingbird?

BTW, it's Robertson Davies, not Davis. A Canadian is sure to mention it, since he was. Or is, not sure. It's a pretty good book, but more of a book for a teen, I think.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible list. I began writing a "why it is a terrible List" and finally decided that any list that two Mitch Alboms on it is beyond redemption.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

What - you aren't interested in reading War and Peace?

Anonymous said...

I meant to say that The Kite Runner is really good - I read it in one day last summer - could not put it down.

It's a weird list - some really good books and some, not so much, AFAIK. Now I want to re-read War and Peace and Anna Karenina - how will I ever get through my own list if I start to re-read?


yellojkt said...

The Mitch Albom books are a deal killer for me too. My son had to read Tuesdays With Morrie for English. I couldn't believe it.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of surprised at a few of the books you haven't read. To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, Wuthering Heights? These weren't assigned in high school? Or did you just cruise by on the Cliffs Notes?

I can still get behind Catcher in the Rye—which was also assigned to us in high school—though. Maybe because I'm still kind of alienated. Heh.

yellojkt said...

I had three years of "AP" English and we did read a lot of things that don't normally make the high school reading list like Camus and Sartre. I guess something had to give and Harper Lee and Steinbeck got the heave-ho. I'm shocked I made it through school without ever reading any Steinbeck. I've read a fair share of Hemingway on my own. Someday.

The books that still give me night sweats include Ethan Fromme and Moby Dick.

Anonymous said...

I can second mostlylurking on the Kite Runner. I read that just last month. Very good book.

Also you should add 100 Years of Solitude to your list. Magical realism...probably the best book I've ever read. I'd love to learn Spanish some day and reread it in the original.

As to War and Peace, the secret is to set aside a big chunk of free time. I started this book three times and kept getting confused by all the different Russian nicknames. The secret is really you just need to get about 100 pages into it in a single sitting.

Moby Dick. what can I say, but that I started reading it in 1987 and I'm only about halfway through it. Narrative descriptives put me to sleep.


Mitch McDad said...

I Know This Much Is True, is actually a pretty good read--you just have to skip the endless flashback scenes.

Though I've read a good number on this list...I agree with your overall perceptions of it.