Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Great Novels I've Read (or always meant to)
Slate interviews various authors about the Great Novels they just never got around to reading (article). I think I am doing fairly well in comparison.
Great Novels I Have Read, and a very short review of each
Ulysses (incomprehensible without a reader's guide)
Beowulf (lots of fun to read Heaney's translation and pretend that you are actually reading the Old English on the facing page)
Middlemarch (could have used an aggressive editor)
Slaughterhouse-5 (my first Vonnegut; I expected it to be about five tough guys in some sort of gang, and never dreamed it would be about aliens and time travel and POWs)
To the Lighthouse (my third attempt at Woolf was finally successful; this is a really wonderful book)
The Sound and the Fury (I read it in high school and hated it; read it again as an adult and hated it all over again. Written dialect just enrages me for some reason.)
Crime and Punishment (part of my dark, moody Russophile phase)
Anna Karenina (ditto)
Frankenstein (not as frightening as I'd been led to believe; also way too much talking. Show, don't tell!)
On the Road (roadtrips can be tedious, just like this book)
Most of Dickens (my favorite is Barnaby Rudge, a lesser-known novel filled with plenty of the snarky humor he is famous for)
Most of Austen (her mood and themes are surprisingly changeable and she is often very funny)
Great Novels I Have NOT Read, though I expect to any day now
Anything by Hemingway (I tried once... I just couldn't do it)
Don Quixote (my bookmark sits halfway through and has for years)
Remembrance of Things Past (or anything else by Proust)
War and Peace
ETA: There are currently 96 books on my Amazon wishlist. Am I alone in feeling terribly sad that I probably won't live long enough to read everything I've ever wanted to read? Movies I can do without, travel I can take or leave, but unread books are a true tragedy.
Also ETA: I finished The Last Full Measure. The North won the Civil War. Who knew? When I was in 8th grade, my friend Joanne and I had to do a Civil War project for history class. Nearly everyone did a trivia game, Trivial Pursuit being insanely popular at the time. We opted instead for a map-based board game in which rolls of the dice determined the outcomes of each battle. The title, which my mom came up with, was The Uncivil War Game.