Playing with another book list.

I just discovered Book Riot.  Here is their list of Readers’ Top 50 Favorite Novels.  I am marking the ones I’ve read by bolding.  I will strike through the ones I gave a shot, but hated too much to finish.  And just because I read it doesn’t necessarily mean I liked it.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (Excellent)
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen  (Required reading in High School.  Cracked me up.  I didn’t understand why my classmates hated it because she is so sarcastic.)
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (It’s very uneven.  Some parts are well done and some parts just aren’t.  I’m glad I read it, though.  The well written bits are very good.)
4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (I started it to share the experience with my son and found it to be  a good story that doesn’t talk down to the reader in spite of being aimed at Young Adults.)
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Oh my god, I wanted to beat the crap out of everybody in it for being vapid.)
6. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien  (It was fabulous when I was 15.)
7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (I read it when I moved to Charleston, SC. It was worth reading once, but not really a Good Book.  More of a soap opera than anything.)
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte  (I hate it when the main characters are all assholes.)
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I read this because it is one those that every one reads and it’s always considered Important.  I was unmoved.)
11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  (I even tried it in audio form when I couldn’t get through the book and it was so dull I just stopped.)
12. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
13. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (It’s really, really dated.  And I’ve already read M.A.S.H.)
14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
15. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (I read everything Vonnegut had written to that point in 1997.  I adore/d him.  This wasn’t my favorite, but it was still good.)
16. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (Read as part of an Irving extravaganza when I discovered him.  I really like this one.)
17. The Stand by Stephen King (I’m a big fan of SK and this is one of my favorites.)
18. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Very different in tone from LotR.  Much more fun.)
19. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (I was praying for her to kill herself, so I just quit.)
20. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
21. Persuasion by Jane Austen (Not her very best but still quite entertaining.)
22. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I read this so I would know the real story that is so frequently referenced in later books and movies.  I’m glad I read it, but it isn’t one I expect to re-read.)
23. The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
24. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (I only tried the first one and it SUCKED!  Time traveling bodice ripper is NOT my thing.)
25. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Man!  The James Dean movie was only about 1/5 of the book.And, as usual, the book is much better.)
26. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
27. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (An entertaining love story.)
28. American Gods by Neil Gaiman (This is fun.)
29. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Dumas is very thorough.  Movies always lose at least half and frequently more than 2/3 of the story.)
30. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (I do actually think this should be required reading in High School.)
31. 1984 by George Orwell
32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
33. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (I read this whole series when I was less than 12, which I think is the correct age for them.)
34. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville  (I read the Illustrated Classic.  I think that doesn’t really count but I do know the story.)
35. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (It is long and sad and excellent.)
36. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood  (Not a fan of Atwood.)
37. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams  (I think not reading this is doing yourself a disservice.  It is purely silly and entertained me greatly.)
38. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov  (Awful people.  I read it to know what was actually in it and think it just became famous because so many other people got noisy about it.  I don’t think it deserved the attention.)
39. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (I was 14 when I read it and thought it was most excellent and VERY creepy.)
40. Ulysses by James Joyce
41. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Complicated and entertaining. I expect to read it again.)
42. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
43. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Really excellent science fiction.)
44. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (I really liked this, but I felt like the author chickened out at the end.  There could have been some significant examination of gender differences and he simply flipped from one to the other with out doing much comparison.)
45. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
46. Dune by Frank Herbert (Required reading for anyone at all interested in science fiction.)
47. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
48. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Too much preachin’ even though the story itself is excellent.)
49. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  (Very fun, very sweet.  Steam punk fantasy. Very pleasant light reading.)
50. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (I tried another book of hers and hated it so much I didn’t bother with this one.)

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3 thoughts on “Playing with another book list.

  1. Liana says:

    put everything else down and read MIDDLESEX…I’ll be very interested in reading your review

    • I finished it last night. I really enjoyed the story. However, I was disappointed by how little s/he discussed hir perception of gender differences. Or the ways they/we are less dissimilar than we think. There was great detail in the early story and the “now” was very sketchy. I almost felt like it was a set up for a story that didn’t get told.

      Have you seen John From Cincinatti? It was a good season that should have been the beginning of a great series. But they never made another episode.

      This book felt a little like that for me.

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