Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top 100 Books Update

I'm still continuing with reading my list of Top 100 books. Refer to this article. Over a year since my last update. One thing I am noticing, looking at the dates I have started and completed the books in my little tracking spreadsheet, is that large or hard books slow me right down. While this may seem obvious, it is more than just a simple words-per-minute ratio. Hard books tire me out, and I usually end up having a break from reading, or resorting to familiar, small or kids books immediately afterwards.

These are the latest read in order of finishing:

  • The Berlin Stories — Christopher Isherwood. A bit different to Cabaret. Really.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray — Oscar Wilde. Spooky.
  • Treasure Island — Robert Louis Stevenson. Rollicking.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude — Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I really liked this one.
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps — John Buchan.
  • The Great Gatsby — F Scott Fitzgerald. Strange. I've read this before and remember it as mainly a "fun" book. How wrong I was.
  • Lord of the Flies — William Golding.
  • Frankenstein — Mary Shelley.
  • Moby-Dick — Herman Melville. I read this via Daily Lit, one page per day.
  • The Stand — Stephen King. I chose his most recent version, with all the cut out bits added. The ending stretched on and on and on.
  • Guards! Guards! — Terry Pratchett. Funny.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee. Not sure if the movie spoiled it for me or not.
  • The Executioner's Song — Norman Mailer. Creepy. Long and drawn out.
  • BFG — Roald Dahl. The Queen?
  • Charlie And The Chocolate Factory — Roald Dahl.
  • Charlotte's Web — E. B. White. And then I watched the cartoon.
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe — C.S. Lewis. OK. Enough children's books already.
  • Pilgrim's Progress — John Bunyan. Another Daily Lit read. Tortuous. But I'm sure it is responsible for saving someone's soul.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams.
  • The Catcher in the Rye — J.D. Salinger. I really don't think this helps me understand John Lennon's killer. Not that I really want to.
  • Lucky Jim — Kingsley Amis. Amusing.
  • Things Fall Apart — Chinua Achebe. Unexpectedly good.
  • Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone — JK Rowling.
  • Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets — JK Rowling.
  • Matilda — Roald Dahl.
  • Money — Martin Amis. It took a long, long time for me to get into this one, and then I got into it, and rushed it at the end to finish it. Martin Amis turns out to be Kingsley "Lucky Jim" Amis's son.
  • Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain. I struggled with the American patois.
  • The Portrait of a Lady — Henry James. Daily Lit again but in two parts. So just when you finish the first you realise there is a whole second-half of the story to go. Why say two words when you can more eloquently express the fullness of your ideas in a more abundant literary manner.
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie — Muriel Spark. Yeah, I liked this. I'm sure it was shocking in it's day.
  • Lolita — Vladimir Nabokov. I struggled for ages with this. Dare I say: a little bit boring.
  • The Unknown Terrorist — Richard Flanagan. This is one of those books you read and immediately think it is preposterous, and then it gradually eats into you, and you start closely reading the news for hidden agenda. I rush read it the story was so good. Yea gods, one of the characters in this lives in Panania. Panania. That's the suburb next-door to where I was raised.

My current Daily Lit read is David Copperfield (Part 124 of 447). This is a bit embarassing, because I was supposed to read this for English in High School, but I ended up giving up quickly and reading the Brodie's Notes on it. I must admit I like it better the second time around. The book by the side of my bed is Part 1 of Lord of the Rings, and my read-on-the-bus book is The Wide Sargasso Sea. This latest is a very hard book to read in an environment that is conducive to travel sickness.

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