Fritter fritter

Naturally, with such a lofty set of goals at hand, I’ve been ISO some high-quality forms of time-wasting. And since it’s a holiday weekend, no one is around to play Scrabulous with me… and since rain is threatening, I can’t go putter outside… so I stole this book meme from Rachel instead.

One Hundred Novels, sorta, but not really

So you’re supposed to embolden the titles of the books you’ve read, italicize those of the ones you mean to read and underline the titles of the ones you particularly loved, thereby giving your HTML markup buttons a thorough workout. And for some reason there were only 98 books on this list, so I’m adding two to the end, ’cause, y’know, I can, w’ apostrophes flyin’. And because I cannot resist the urge to annotate every book with a parenthetical maundering, I’m going to break this up into chunks and return to it, as a dog returneth to its vomit*, another day.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (I am interested in how this came to be the first book on the list.)

2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (Oh hells yeah.)

3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (One of a very few classics I was supposed to read in high school, and didn’t, and went back to read years later. And to my surprise, I quite enjoyed it. Especially the line “Reader, I married him,” which is infinitely flexible and lends itself to a zillion funny variations.)

4. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling (Half-bolded because I only read the first one. Jim and Fisher each got much more out of them than did I.)

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (I recently heard the sad story of the untimely death of my friend Jen’s finch, who was, you guessed it, named Atticus.)

6. The Bible (Yes, even the long rambly begats and the downright weird parts of Daniel.)

7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (Started, never finished; would like this to fall into the Jane Eyre category someday.)

8. 1984 – George Orwell (The original list had this as “Nineteen Eighty Four,” which bugged me in all kinds of inexplicable ways.)

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (yes, all three)

10. Great Expectations – Charles
Dickens (See Jane Eyre…)

11. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott (This constant companion of my innocent girlhood was the boys’ nightly read-aloud when we were in California last week. There is little cuter in this world than a couple of floppy-mopped punk-ass little boys hanging on every word of the description of Jo’s first clumsy encounter with Laurie Laurence at the dance.)

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas
Hardy (I *heart* the name Tess.)

13. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller (Jim really liked the movie. I haven’t seen it.)

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (OK, this is REALLY bugging me, even more than “Nineteen Eighty Four.” Why are we glomming all Shakespeare’s works–tragedies and comedies and sonnets and miscellaneous lawsuit-related smidgens–into one big inelegant glumph that sounds like something no sane person would ever take in hand and attempt? I’m not even going to favor this with a boldness or an italicization, though I will allow that Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my most favoritest things ever, and Puck’s “If we spirits have offended…” speech brings tears to my eyes Every. Freakin. Time.)

15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier (My mom adored this book, and I would very much like to read it.)

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (So The Hobbit gets its own separate entry from Lord of the Rings, and yet every jot and tittle from Shakespeare’s pen gets lumped together? Whatevs.)

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (Ought I to have heard of this book?)

18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (I am still, after almost twenty years, a little in love with Holden Caulfield.)

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey
Niffenegger (Started reading it kinda to get other people who’d read and loved it off my back, and ending up being far more affected and impressed by it than I’d expected to.)

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot (See, once again, Jane Eyre…)

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret
Mitchell (The whole southern belle thing kind of leaves me cold. Haven’t seen the movie, either.)

22. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott
Fitzgerald (The other night, I spent quite some time trying–ineffectively, I think–to convince Jim that he should read this fan-freakin-tastic book. It’s probably ten years since I last read it… time to pick it up and encounter the creepy eyes of the Dr. T.J. Eckleburg sign once again.)

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens (I can tell that I am an ignorant slut because Dickens kinda leaves me cold.)

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (If I ever have enough time on my hands to consider embarking on reading this book, I will probably be suffering from some horrible bed-confining terminal illness and not really inclined to spend my last precious months in the company of Tolstoy anyway.)

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
– Douglas Adams (Now this, my friends, is literature.)

*See? See? I wasn’t lying in #6 when I said I’d read the whole thing. Thank goodness for lengthy and unutterably dull sermons that allowed plenty of time to read the primary source instead. (Wanna argue about the Amalekites?)

About Molly Newman

Writer, cook and trivia/spelling bee hostess, living it up in North Portland.
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5 Responses to Fritter fritter

  1. Amy Sorensen says:

    I am totally stealing this for my blog. But…am I blind? Or are there just 25 books on your 100 list? Anyway.
    #11: I didn’t know you were a Little Women fan, too. I think I read it 10 or 12 times. I am now afraid to re-read it, though, because what if it’s not as good as I remember it? And, have you read March, by Geraldine Brooks? You’ll like it if you’ve not tried it yet!
    #12: ooooooh, you’ve gotta read Tess. My absolute favorite classic.
    #14: the dastardly Richard the III is one of my favorite Shkspre. Is that weird? My kingdom for a horse!
    #22: Try The Double Bind, by Chris Bojalian. At least, I think that’s how you spell his name. It plays nicely w/ the GG.
    #25: Dare I confess I’ve not read Douglas Adams? Speaking of being an ignorant slut…)

  2. Herm says:

    Tell Jim again to read Gatsby. After decades of fudging (I’d almost convinced myself I HAD read it) I dug in about two years ago, and it was so marvelously good. Also short. I think of it often.

  3. Janelle says:

    Oh, Molly, GWTW is soooo much more than southern-belle-ness! Tons of history and tons of terrific secondary characters that more than make up for Scarlett’s annoyingness. And actually, Scarlett is much more complex in the book than her movie character/pop cultural character has become. Do yourself a favor and try it–if you hate it, I’ll read War and Peace for you so you don’t have to waste any valuable moments ever with Tolstoy.

  4. Mimi says:

    My plan is to read “GWTW” on the plane next week.
    And, “War and Peace” actually reads quite quickly – really, I promise.

  5. mrsgrovine says:

    Yes, GWTW is much more than southern-bell-ness. It IS full of history. My favorite book is “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. Also, “Alas Babylon” by Pat Frank, about what happens to America when nearly destroyed by a nuclear bomb. It was written during the Cold War. It really is not depressing or anything, but makes you think.

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