The Double Phoenix

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Archive for the ‘Classics’ Category

Posts refer to any comments/reviews I’m doing of books that are considered classics.

Random It Is!

Posted by spragujs on January 30, 2012

The people have voted, and a random, atypical for me book won the next up type of reading poll by a landslide with a whopping 4 votes!  😉  So, the following are the options I’d like for you to choose from this time.  Instead of going for a poll, I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave a comment as to your preference this time.  It’d be especially great if you’d tell me why you chose what you did!  I think I’ll also read a random small book from this set as well, just to give me more time to prep for the next what to read poll, and of course, to help aid in cleaning off my to be read shelves!

A Tale of Two Cities cover artA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

”Beginning and ending with some of English literature’s most famous lines, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities thrives on tension and conflict, all set against a bloody backdrop of the French Revolution . . . . Through the senses, Dickens transports us deeper and deeper into another era with each turn of the page. Smell the acidity of red wine as it spills on the streets and ominously stains the faces, hands, and feet of peasants who lap it up in desperation; feel the competing emotions of heartache and hope as one of Lucie’s suitors stands trial; hear the cries of the raging mob and the clangs of their weapons as they storm the Bastille; see the glint of the guillotine as it falls swiftly to its victim below. The novel’s sense of urgency and intimacy will draw you in and propel you through one of the most tumultuous times in history.” –Oprah’s Book Club

We’ve all heard of this one, most likely you’ve read it.  I had to read this in high school, I think it was, and I distinctly remember enjoying it at the time, but beyond that?  I’ve basically got nothing.  Hence the desire to reread it!

Rum & Razors cover art Rum & Razors by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

Learning about the financial troubles of inn owners Laurie and Walter Marschalk, Jessica tries to enjoy her lagoon vacation anyway, until Walter’s untimely death causes the sleuthing author to investigate a rival hotelier.  –Fantastic Fiction

Ok, so this one’s a little cheating, as mysteries have generally made it onto a typical for me reading list.  But as it’s the only one I think I had on my shelf that wasn’t strictly sci fi or fantasy, it ended up here.  It’d be the fun choice of all these, most likely.

 

The Blood Runs Like a River through my Dreams (ARC) by NasdijjThe Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams cover art

The son of a Navaho woman and roughneck cowboy, Nasdijj grew up among Native American migrant laborers, far from the call of world literature. His writings crafted over twenty years, have only recently appeared in print: In June of 1999, Esquire ran the signature piece of this memoir. “I decided that I had to use the emotions that have been inside me,” the author explained. Touching and lyrical (Nasdijj’s name is Athabaskan for “to become gain.” Apt.) –Goodreads

This one’s an ARC I randomly picked up at a bookstore back when I was in college.  Besides that and the blurb, I don’t know much about it, but I will read it eventually!

Traffic cover artTraffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do by Tom Vanderbilt

“Based on exhaustive research and interviews with driving experts and traffic officials around the globe, Traffic gets under the hood of the everyday activity of driving to uncover the surprisingly complex web of physical, psychological, and technical factors that explain how traffic works, why we drive the way we do, and what our driving says about us. Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He shows how roundabouts, which can feel dangerous and chaotic, actually make roads safer—and reduce traffic in the bargain. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots.”  (From the author’s website.)

This book is one I decided to put on my wishlist after looking for books on traffic in downtowns.  So, while it’s kind of a work-related book, the description of what all is reasearched here actually sounds pretty fascinating to me.

Mapping our Genes by Lois Wingerson

Eye-opening and mind-expanding, “Mapping Our Genes” tells of the experts who are brightly hopeful about using genetic mapping and engineering as weapons in the war against the many incurable genetically inherited maladies.

As you can probably tell from Goodreads’ blurb, this book has been on my shelf for a long time, and is possibly a bit out of date content-wise these days…

Posted in Classics, Off the Shelf, Reading | 4 Comments »

Fahrenheit 451

Posted by spragujs on June 16, 2011

Fahrenheit 451 cover artI finally listened to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.  It (among many others) is a classic I’ve been wanting to read for a really long time.  Interestingly enough, it was listed as recommended reading for young adult males in a fairly recent (and possibly already infamous) Wall Street Journal article.  (I can only speculate on why it was only listed for boys, though I suspect it was partially because of the male protagonist, and partially because almost every female character in it is completely insipid, and not exactly today’s idea of good female role models.)  But before I get to far, the blurb:

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for 10 years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs, nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything, until he met a 17-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

The WSJ writer in the article linked to above comments on how today’s Young Adult fiction …”can be like a hall of fun-house mirrors, constantly reflecting back hideously distorted portrayals of what life is.  There are of course exceptions, but a careless young reader—or one who seeks out depravity—will find himself surrounded by images not of joy or beauty but of damage, brutality and losses of the most horrendous kinds.”  And yet this writer recommends Fahrenheit 451 to YA boys.  I’d like to know how a book full of depressed characters, where it’s fun to go joyriding people down in your car because you have nothing better to do isn’t full of depravity and is full of images of joy and beauty.  And how can a book about a world where all books have been destroyed be a hopeful message to people who’ve been convinced to read at least this one book?  There are so many other ways that Fahrenheit fits that quote above exactly, that I can’t even express how wrong this whole article was (with the exception of the last line).  The rest of the article primarily seems to condemn cursing and explicit sexual and/or violent behavior in current YA fiction.  I have to admit that Fahrenheit has less of these particular themes, but overall the mood and the message of the story and the behaviors of the majority of its characters is more along the lines of what Gurdon quotes as “horrendous” above.  There’s plenty to learn from here, as I’m sure there is in today’s literature that’s geared for the Young Adult audience.  The lessons are just different, that’s all.

I also wanted to comment on the irony of a journalist encouraging book banning.  It’s one thing for parents to do so, and and entirely different thing for it to be encouraged on a larger scale.  And then to recommend Fahrenheit 451 in the same article, the book that tells what comes of mass book banning (and it started out on a much smaller scale even in this novel’s history)…  ::shakes head::

Back to Fahrenheit 451 though.  This novel creeped me out.  I don’t read proper literature, not since high school anyway.  Mostly just fantasy, mystery, and sci-fi.  I’m primarily interested in reading for entertainment, not necessarily for the deep messages and fancy writing.  (Though that’s not to say my prefered genres can’t have either of those!  For me it just doesn’t have to.)  Anyway, Bradbury’s characters lament primarily the losses of literature and history (and for good reason), but whether I read these or not, the idea of a world without books is truly scary.  People in the story are “entertained” by nothingness on their TV screens or in their earbuds.  I’m a TV watcher; I admit it.  But what I watch still at least has a story.  The TV in 451 is literally nothing, there’s no plot, no character, no conflict, nothing.  It’s a wonder to me that the characters in the story could still exist at all.  

The war whose tension underlay the whole novel most likely spelt the doom as well as rebirth of a culture in Fahrenheit 451, and all I can say to that is thank goodness!  ::shudders:: 

I’ve also wondered if the Wachowski brothers got a bit of their inspiration for the Matrix from this book.  There’s a brief mention of how the computers tried to create a utopia for the humans to live in the Matrix, but it didn’t work out, so they went back to what real life had been like.  Well, that seems to be what people were trying to do that caused them to get to the future in Fahrenheit 451.  They decided to destroy books because they contradicted each other and caused people confusion, they caused people to feel strong emotions that weren’t always good, etc.  So with “their” idea of what made people happy, they went forward with their idea of utopia, and in reading (or listening to) the novel, you find out just how well that worked out.

Well, that’s enough rambling for now!  After listening, I went and bought a copy of Fahrenheit to keep on my shelf.  It’s definitely something everyone should read at least once.

Posted in Classics, Reading | 2 Comments »

Lord Valentine’s Castle

Posted by spragujs on May 31, 2011

This novel was my third off the shelf book!  (Oh man, it’s basically already June, this doesn’t bode well for my goal of 15…)  It’s also considered a fantasy classic, enough so that it was printed as such by Easton Press way back when.  It also won the Locus Award in 1981 and was nominated for the Hugo that same year.

Lord Valentine's Castle cover artRobert Silverberg’s Lord Valentine’s Castle, is not really about the castle at all.  It’s about how Lord Valentine got his groove back.  (So to speak, of course!)  At the beginning of the story, Valentine finds himself at one end of one of the giant landmasses on Majipoor with (what turns out to be lots of) money in his pocket, and no memories in his head.  As he goes through the story, he gathers friends to him, and slowly but surely, memories as well.  Turns out his mind/soul/personality has been placed in a different body by the evil King of Dreams whose son has been placed in Valentine’s old body to rule.  This coup creates political ramifications that are large.  And that’s not the end of that story either.

The book also introduces the reader to Majipoor, which I think may have been one of my favorite parts about the novel. It’s an enormous planet, with enormous landmasses, and an ocean that covers more than a whole hemisphere.  And with that size, it contains many species of sentient being that all came from different worlds to colonize.  That’s right, Majipoor is a fantasy setting that came out of a sci fi history.  Interestingly, it’s law and rule are based at least in part on dreams, which is interesting as well.

Some these days might take issue with the characters.  With the exception of the actual bad guys, almost all the good guys are Mary Sues, particularly Lord Valentine (LV).  From Wikipedia’s subsection on a Canon Sue:  “Typically, this refers to a character accused of being overly idealized or having other traits traditionally associated with fan fiction “Mary Sues”, such as being “special” by having a gratuitously tragic past, unrealistic skills or attractiveness, or a seeming inability for the character to do wrong.”  Let’s see, LV can’t even remember who he is, and later finds out his whole identity, including the throne of Majipoor has been stolen from him through treachery.  He draws people to him without trying, people obey him without knowing why, he can juggle almost the instant he’s shown how, and unless you count him getting angry once or twice he doesn’t do wrong.  Even when his comrades suggest his choices are bad ones, they turn out just fine.  I still liked him and his cohorts well enough, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, I do tend to like the good guys, even when they’re overly good.  😉  Still, the characters in this book were not what was enjoyable for me.  Really, I don’t have much desire to read more in the world, but if I ever do, it will be Majipoor that has drawn me back.

Posted in Classics, Off the Shelf, Reading | 2 Comments »

Random Reading Thoughts

Posted by spragujs on January 7, 2011

Kitty Takes a Holiday cover artFirst, I just finished listening to the third Kitty Norville novel, Kitty Takes a Holiday.  I don’t know what it is about these books, but I’m having to restrain myself and set limits so that I don’t just listen to the next one all through work today instead of working…

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The books are pretty short by fantasy novel standards (especially today’s).  They’re only slightly longer than Agatha Christie’s audiobooks (~7-8 hrs, give or take).  But man, do they pack a punch!  So short and yet so full of things-that-happen, and pretty unusual things too, if you ask me!  It’s terrific!  The endings are quite good as well; there’s just enough so that you know the story goes on, but if for some horrible reason it didn’t (thank goodness it has so far up to a turned in 10th book!), it still works as an end and you can imagine whatever future you like for Kitty and her cohorts.

Secondly, I’m going through a bit of withdrawal since I haven’t been reading OR listening to any of Mrs. Christie’s novels.  Randomly I get these ideas that I’m missing out on something and should go start up my audiobook or check my novel, and then realize that it’d have to be a new one!  And I don’t know when I’m going to go back to them, especially since I’m addicted to the Kitty novels at the moment.  (Maybe not going back right away is a good thing at this point.)  Which leads me to my third thought…

Having put the stuff I’m looking forward to over on the left, I realized that I have very little time to prepare (since I’m just over halfway through Imager’s Challenge and intend to read Imager’s Intrigue before moving on) at least for Blackveil (especially since I intend to reread the first 3 books of that series), not to mention The Wise Man’s Fear.  (I’ve never read The Name of the Wind, I’ve just had it on my shelf for ages based on some friends’ recommendations and reading the author’s blog.  I decided to wait on it till I knew the next book was coming out since my TBR shelf is actually more than one bookcase.)

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So, there you have it.  I’ll be reading Imager novels for a while, and probably Green Rider books after that, which will probably mean I’ll be getting to Blackveil later than I’d like.  But I’ll get there eventually!

Posted in Classics, Green Rider, Kitty Norville, Reading | 2 Comments »

Reading Meme Day 29

Posted by spragujs on December 17, 2010

This one’s kinda easy, so I’ll go with it.  It’s even better in one way, as I can come back to it as my “current obsession” changes.  😉  Also, see Day 2 for why I’m doing these all out of order and stuff.

My current obsession is to read (or more primarily) listen to as many Agatha Christie novels as I can get my hands on.  (Thank you Audible.com membership!)  I’ve printed out and gone through this list, mostly in order up to Death Comes as the End, or just slightly past half way (not counting the ones I couldn’t find).  I’ve downloaded 26 audiobooks (and would strongly recommend most of the narrators) and I think I borrowed a couple audiobooks from the library too (the rest I actually read off a page).  O.o  😉  (It’s a little strange actually.  Lately I’ve been reading a few rather than listening, yet when I come home I have a hard time remembering that I can’t get out my phone to listen to them.  The narrators are stuck in my head even though I’m not listening!)  I haven’t been able to get my hands on all of the books/audiobooks though.  According to my marked up list I’m missing 10.  That makes me a little sad.  Audible has many of the short stories available, but I haven’t been able to convince myself to spend a credit on a couple hours of audio (when I normally get 6-7).  I think I need to maybe try out my library system a bit more…

A few random thoughts:  thus far, while Poirot and Miss Marple are always very enjoyable, I’ve found I like her other main characters more:  Superintendent Battle, Tommy and Tuppence, and Mr. Satterthwaite primarily.  (Seriously, how can you go wrong with a name like Satterthwaite?!)  She’s definitely a happy ending type of author, which I’m totally down with.  😉  There’s virtually always a getting together of various couples at the ends of her novels.  She also really felt for those folks who were thought to be suspects in a crime, even if they were never convicted (and obviously especially in cases where there wasn’t ever a criminal truly found to help alleviate suspicion from those other people).  It’s been a pretty big point in at least the past third of the novels I’ve read/listened to.

Enough randomness though, that’s my current obsession!

Below are the remaining memes that I will someday cover:
Day 01 – Your favourite series of books (with more than 3 in the series)
Day 02 – A book that you wish more people had read
Day 03 – Your favorite recent book
Day 04 – Your favorite book ever
Day 05 – A book you hate
Day 06 – Your favourite writer
Day 07 – A writer you don’t like
Day 08 – Your favourite work in translation
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – An book you’ve read more than twice
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure book
Day 17 – Favorite trilogy or tetralogy
Day 18 – Favorite book cover
Day 19 – Best ensemble of characters in a book
Day 20 – Favorite kiss or love scene
Day 21 – Favorite fictional romantic relationship
Day 22 – Favorite ending/climax
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A book you plan on reading
Day 26 – OMG WTF? plot
Day 27 – Favourite non-mainstream writer
Day 28 – First book obsession
Day 29 – Current book obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death

Posted in Classics, Meme, Reading | Leave a Comment »

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (and aside)

Posted by spragujs on February 28, 2009

Frankenstein

Borrowed this one from the library when the next Agatha Christie wasn’t available on audiobook.  The actual story is quite a bit different than all the movies I’ve seen (which admittedly isn’t many, and all of the ones I’m thinking of weren’t the actual story).  For example, the book dwells (and details) only very little on the making of Frankenstein’s monster.  I also didn’t realize that the whole first part of the book was about Frankenstein rather than his monster.  All the vague references I’ve come across (and of course those few movies) always say how the book is about the persecution of FM, but that’s really only the middle part of the book (the last part tells of how Frankenstein pursues FM until he can stop him from his wretched deeds).  In my opinion, the book is really just a pissing contest between two whiny bastards about who had the worst life.  :-\  The story was interesting, but really, I don’t know how many times Frankenstein’s narrative commented about the tragedy that was to become his life, and how FM’s persecution turned him from his gentle ways into a monster…  

So, Frankenstein’s a genius and creates a sentient being (let me tell ya, Victor must’ve really been a genius)!  He made FM out of beautiful parts, but the conglomerate wasn’t pretty.  So, the movies got another thing wrong, mostly that FM wasn’t slow or stupid, but rather he was quite the opposite.  Very imposing physically (giant in stature (which the movies did get right), quick, agile, strong, etc.) and also extremely intelligent.  He managed to learn a language just by observing a family and stealing a few books.  Frankenstein doesn’t realize until FM’s alive that he’s done the wrong thing.  He doesn’t even explain why he thinks it’s wrong, though the hideous countenance of FM doesn’t help matters.  So, once FM is alive, Frankenstein feels guilty for pretty much the rest of his life.  Though FM showing back up and taking revenge surely doesn’t help matters.

FM’s story is told in the second part of the book.  He learns to eat, discern between his senses, understand seasons, and eventually after holing up in an attached storage shed he learns of honor, language, goodness, etc. from some cottagers.  He hopes eventually to show himself to the cottagers, but from past experience (and seeing himself in water) knows that he’s pretty hideous. He approaches the blind patriarch of the cottage to appeal to his sensibilities and to ask for him to vouch for this stranger, but when he reveals that he’s basically been spying on them for more than a year and the rest of the family comes back at just the wrong time and chases him off, he loses his chance as the cottagers quit the cottage and FM never gets a chance to try and re-appeal to the family.  Major persecution #1.  The second is when FM saves a girl from drowning (but the companion doesn’t see him do so) and as he’s bringing her away from the water her companion freaks out and also chases him away.  The third happens when FM (having by this point been trying to track down his creator) stumbles across Frankenstein’s youngest brother.  He expects that a child might not have preconceived notions about looks…  He’s wrong.  He kills Victor’s youngest brother to keep him from screaming.  He discovers that it’s no use to try and make nice with humans, gets pissed and decides to take revenge on his creator.  He then sets up their loyal and beloved servant as the murderer.  Etc. etc.  Frankenstein’s life has become wretched because of his own actions and that of his creation’s.  Piss piss piss, moan moan moan.

The end of the book was a bit of a surprise also.  Frankenstein happens on the narrator of the story in his ship on their way to the north pole.  Frankenstein relays this whole story and Walton writes it down.  Frankenstein has frequently been sick throughout the story due to his issues and also was nearly frozen when those on the ship found him and nursed him back to health.  Eventually he dies due to his frailty.  FM finds him dead on the ship and swears to leave humanity and end his own life up north.  He has finally realized that he’ll never find happiness (at least partly because Frankenstein previously agreed to and then reneged on making FM a girl to have as a companion).  It’s a little hard to believe FM after all his back and forth and also Frankenstein’s own descriptions of FM’s persuasive speeches.  I guess we’re supposed to think that was the happy ending to the story (unless someone did a sequel at some point to indicate otherwise)! 

My bit of an aside pertains pretty closely to my take on the story. I had previously been wondering if there was ever a main character in (at least) a fantasy story that wasn’t whiny about their “fate”.  I know that some are worse than others.  Mac in the Fever books, for example, and in my opinion, is acceptably whiny.  I could deal with Fitz’s whininess in the Farseer books more than some could (from my reading of the interwebs), and apparently the whininess isn’t a new thing!  Victor Frankenstein and his monster happen to be some of the whiniest I’ve heard so far!  Oy!  So, if anybody can think of exceptions, or at least close exceptions to the rule, I’d be glad to hear it!  (I guess a totally non-whiny character could make for some pretty boring reading, so maybe it’s a bit too much to ask.  *shrug*)

Posted in Classics, Reading | Leave a Comment »

Ahh reading!

Posted by spragujs on February 18, 2009

Now that’s more like it! I’m not a fast or a slow reader, just one that enjoys doing it (normally), and last night’s reading was much more like what I usually (used to?) do! The story itself is ~350 pages and I read ~50, so instead of just reading a few pages (e.g. 10 or so like with Once and Future King) I managed to read about 1/7 of the book in one sitting. Very much more satisfying! Hmm, I realize I’ve just made reading sound like it’s all in the numbers, but that wasn’t the point I was trying to make! This was just for me a much more satisfying reading session because I enjoyed doing it, and wanted to keep doing so instead of going to sleep. Or even worse, just not reading at all, which I did do a couple nights while going through OaFK…

Posted in Classics, Reading | 2 Comments »

Once and Future King by T. H. White

Posted by spragujs on February 17, 2009

Well, I’ve been reading for  a while (and had started once before) my fancy copy of T. H. White’s Once and Future King though in this case it was the Easton Press version (’cause they’re really pretty and I have a weakness).  😉  I’ve never really been a fan of Arthur/Camelot stories.  I’m not sure why, possibly because they’re so popular, but more likely because I knew the story is pretty much a tragedy in the end.  Keep in mind as you read this, that I know just about nothing about any other Arthur stories!

This book starts out when Arthur is just a kid and the first section tells of his training with Merlyn.  The next section of the book is Lancelot’s story, and then the last is mostly an amalgam of information on the main characters who are left, namely Lancelot, Arthur, Guenever, and unfortunately Mordred.

Anyway, the book is well-written, made me think, and apparently told the story without too much detail (as the author comments that Malory did that for him), but while I found it interesting, I didn’t really enjoy it.  I had a hard time getting through the book, and while I don’t strictly know how long it took me to read it (somewhere less than two months as I read from my Kindle during Christmas break), it was way too long and has slowed my reading progress immensely!  I’m not sad I read it, but I am bummed that I haven’t been wanting to read because of it.  Unfortunately, now though, due to the lack of detail, I’m going to have to go look up Arthur’s story on wikipedia to see how the thing ended.  Hmm, perhaps more correctly I should look up how Guenever, Lancelot, and Mordred’s story ended, ’cause technically the book ended with Arthur’s death.  Huh, apparently things ended quite a bit differently in Malory than in this book, but not enough to really change the outcome of the story.  *shrug*

Anyway, I just wanted to actually post again, and to get rid of a bit of my frustration over this book.  It’s a “classic” and I keep finding myself stymied when reading these “classics”.  I think my brain is just getting soft or something because I don’t tend to enjoy them much!

Also, as a side note, it’s interesting to me that RJ took the names of the Orkney’s for the Trakand family, which I had never known before.  😉

Posted in Classics, Reading | Leave a Comment »

Blog Book List

Posted by spragujs on July 30, 2008

Ok, so a fellow blogging friend of mine, Mr. Spit, put this list on his blog following in the footsteps of his wife, Mrs. Spit. Seemed like a fun thing to do, and hey, it’s all about books, so I’m up with that!

Here’s how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read. Also, most of those classics I read when I was in high school and barely remember them. I remember enjoying many, but only vaguely.
2) Italicize those you intend to read or just leave a comment. Ok, for me, it was just two that I firmly plan to read, those are italicized. I’d love to read more, but it’d be happenstance…
3) Underline (or mark in a different color, mine’s a kind of hard on the eyes green) the books you LOVE. Again, I enjoyed a bunch of these books. I’m just going to be very selective marking which ones I LOVE.  Just for the record I love the LotR, but I’ve not marked them so ’cause they’re so hard to read!
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them!

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 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
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 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
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 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 Auste
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 – I think I read this one, but it might have been a kids version (if there is such a thing). Either way, I really enjoyed it and the musical as well!
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 – I even did a review of this one!
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Yay!  I finally finished (9-7-08)!  Also, I did a review of one of the cases.  I’d intended to do more, but haven’t been the most successful at keeping up my blog…
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad – BLECH!!!
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams – This one is actually on my bookshelf.
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 – I think I read it, but can’t swear to it. If I did it was in the 6th grade or so.
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Just a side comment… How is Mark Twain (among others) not on this list? Especially when Chronicles of Narnia has a listing and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe has a separate listing. ?!  Oh and YAY!  I’ve read more than 6!  😀

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From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

Posted by spragujs on March 29, 2008

I don’t have a picture for the version I read this time because this one was one of a collection of fancy books I was purchasing from Easton Press. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to purchase anywhere near all of this collection, but I enjoy the ones I do have! They sure are purty! 😉

This book was Verne’s take on what could have happened to the artillerymen who fought in the US Civil War. The men in the books weren’t necessarily into war, but they were definitely into using, improving, and perfecting their artillery, so in an indirect manner they were into war. In Baltimore, several artillerymen had formed a Gun Club and the president of this club gives the members a new mission in order to sate their desires to perfect a piece of artillery. He wants them to determine how to shoot a projectile to the moon. Read the rest of this entry »

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