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The Post in Which I Brag

July 19, 2008

I know someone in real life who feels that blogs are essentially narcissistic enabling mechanisms.  He’s absolutely right.  I rarely talk about other people on my blog, the topic of course being moi, but I also feel as if I don’t exactly aggrandize myself either (feel free to disabuse me of this notion!).  Well, for one night, that will change.

I saw this on Lemondrops’s blog and I was intrigued, voracious reader that I am.  Apparently, the National Endowment for the Arts believes that the average American has read only 6 of the books on the list below.  Ouch.  But, it is a great opportunity for me to parade around my ability to read books (oh, and show how well-read and rounded I am. Yea.)

My total: 31. 

Better than six, but damn, who decided that Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen must take up seven spots between them? I think that most will agree that Thomas Hardy is the ultimate buzz kill, but I have to admit I am likely the only woman in the world who doesn’t like Jane Austen.  Charlotte Brontë summed up my feelings perfectly when she opined,

“What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study: but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death–this Miss Austen ignores…”

Anywho, on with the rules:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE – my favs are in red
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve 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 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
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

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2008 4:39 am

    I disagree with your friend’s assertion about blogging. Many blogs I’ve seen are about the people who write them but they are not narcissistic ramblings. They are interesting and informative documents of someone’s life, travels, photography, cooking and so forth. Yes, an individual happens to be the subject, and so what? What are we supposed to do, become cogs in the great collective, taking credit for nothing, humbly grinding days off our lives, toiling in the darkness of anonymity? I’ll pass, thank you very much. Worthiness deserves a name: your own.

  2. July 20, 2008 10:34 am

    This is cool. I am going to bookmark this & come back to it for a possible post later.

  3. July 20, 2008 12:52 pm

    I am all over this one…but I warn you, I’m all about Miss Austen. But the Bronte sisters share my affections as well.

    And as for blogging, I am totally narcissitic about mine. It’s all about me. Well, it’s a little about me. More about my children peeing in their own faces…..

  4. July 20, 2008 6:12 pm

    I fully agree to not hold your dislike of Miss Austen against you. I do find it intersting that you’ve read many of my want to reads & vice versa.

    It’s nice to see we both love Jane Eyre. I think I’ve read it four time. Have you read Wide Sargasso Sea? It’s a prequel of sorts to Jane Eyre about the first Mrs.Rochester before being locked up with Grace Pool. I have yet to read it & have mixed emotions about someone else using the characters.

  5. July 21, 2008 12:01 pm

    I’m all over this like grease on a stripper pole!

    I must admit, I’ve never read any Jane Austen. Or if I did, it was so unremarkable that I can’t remember it.

  6. July 22, 2008 11:14 am

    What a fantastic challenge! I’ll definitely be doing a post on this soon!

    But if I start coming over all smug and self-satisfied, feel free to smack me!

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