Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some books I'm going to read . . .

Here are some thoughts on books I have read, or am going to read:

The Silmarillion -- I've read the beginning part of this, and it's an amazing, epic tale.  Written in an arching, (ahem) epic style, there's very little showing and a lot of telling . . . and yet it's gripping and poignant.  It has a lot of sorrow and sadness, for it's how middle earth began.  It also is where we found the name of one of our daughters.  I highly recommend it, and I need to put it on my "to read" list so I don't forget to finish it again in the whirlwind that is my life.

The Tale of Two Cities -- I read this in high school, and remember being really touched at the end.  I would definitely read it again, and probably understand it a whole lot better, to boot.  I have a far, far better mind now than I did then.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- Curiosity, mostly, drives my desire to read this one.  I've heard it mentioned in enough books that I've read that I want it to be part of my cultural knowledge.

Foucault’s Pendulum -- Ditto.

The Poisonwood Bible: a novel -- I've read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Loved It.  I really like Barbara Kingsolver's writing, and this one is currently on my list.  It was recommended by one of the women in my book review club, and several of us have read it.

To the Lighthouse -- I did not like this one.  At all.  I read it for a college literature course, and the strangeness of the family culture just didn't do it for me.  Well, that, and the incest.  (I have a hard time with that kind of thing in lit.  Just don't like it.)

Les Misérables -- I've gone back and forth on this one, but after reading a recent review, it's back on my to read list.

Dune -- Vern has read these, and I've watched the first movie.  I just can't quite get into it now, as the move ruined them for me forever.  They should have waited until now to make them, as they may have been more believable.  (Star Wars was more believable than Dune.)

Slaughterhouse-five -- I thought I had read this in high school.  But, after reading up on it at Amazon, I realized I hadn't.  But I'm going to.  And it puts Catch-22 back on my list.

Catch-22 -- Because I didn't read it in high school, and I'm highly intrigued by the reviews.

Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything (Nothing by an economist, please.) -- I think you should give this one a chance.  I've read several economists, and they're a fascinating bunch (if you get the right type).  Economics isn't a finance-bound discipline.  It's the study of behavior, and what motivates it.  So, banish thoughts of Keynes from your mind, and see what this guy has to say. ;o)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values -- This is one of the  most interesting and mind-bending books I've ever read.  It's beyond explanation . . . you've just got to read it.  (And make sure you've got some quiet time to digest it, too.  This isn't a speed-read.)

The Three Musketeers -- Love the story and movie.  I wonder if I'll love the book, too?  It's on my list.

Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West -- I've heard smashing things about the play, and want to read this one.  Update: Here's a bit of a note from a friend: "I saw Wicked on your to read list, and I thought I'd tell you that it's pretty nasty. Apparently the musical took the general idea, (I don't know, I haven't seen it, but I've heard it's fabulous), but the book made me cringe. And it is hard to make me cringe."  So, this one is off the list.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time -- The title alone had me at "hello".  Didn't it for you?  (Edited to add: I read some of this at Amazon, and while the book is fascinating, the recurrence of pretty foul language has me looking elsewhere.  I was really hooked at first, because I have two autistic nephews, and found the point of view intriguing . . . but my mild OCD kicks in when the f-bomb drops, (don't ask me why) and it's all I hear in my head for at least a day.  So, this one's out.)  In other news, I found it funny that the reviewer talked about how this "first-time novelist" did such a great job.  Well, he's a professor of creative writing at a British college, for Pete's sake.  It's not like he's a freshly-stamped BA. ;o)

5 comments:

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- that's a great list. You have several on there that I really want to read (Tale of Two Cities (and not because of Oprah LOL), Slaughterhouse Five, Portrait of the Artist, etc.) I can't even find time to read one book lately -- how on earth will you find the time???

Shan said...

The Curious Incident: yes, the title made me want to read it. But not badly enough to move it to the top of the list.

Looking forward to your thoughts as you work your way through this list!

El Panal de la Abejita said...

HOLA ANNALEA!! VINE A CONOCERTE Y ASEGUIRTE DESDE VENEZUELA. TE INVITO A VISITARME. FELICIDADES Y BENDICIONES PLENAS EN ESTE NUEVO AÑO. BESITOS. MARISELA:)

Ryan said...

I highly recommend the Silmarillion! You described it very well and you won't be disappointed.

As for Dune, don't let the movie ruin the experience for you. You have enough imagination to overcome Hollywoods attempt to ruin an intriguing story. Read the book then read the following stories. What you think you know at the end of the first book may surprise you at the end of the last book.

The Three Musketeers is an interesting case. If you've only seen the movies (especially the Disney versions) you do NOT know the whole story. Disney only covers the first part. There are actually six books in the series of which I have read ~4.5 (The Three Musketeers being the first and followed by Twenty Years After, The Vicomte De Bragelonne, Ten Years Later, Louise de la Valliere and The Man in the Iron Mask) and they were all written, initially, as serials. That is to say they read like a soap-opera because that's how they were published. If you can handle the social structure and habits of 17th century France, you'll be fine. It is a fascinating story once you get past the social quirks of the setting.

Annalea said...

Thanks, Ry. I love stories in old settings (even 17th Century France), and so that one is moving up on my list . . . along with the rest of the series.