Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Thank God, a meme

Can't think of anything worth writing about unless you'd like to hear about departmental (emphasis on the mental) politics, a very bad Indian meal, or mesotherapy. So I'm grabbing this meme encountered at Badbadbadger's and I'm running with it. You can all fall out now.

I had to change the original instructions because I still can't do scoring out with Mac and Blogger. So here's my own system:
  • green for the ones I've read,
  • an asterix if I have them on my bookshelf (or in a box in the loft),
  • red for the ones I won't read,
  • italics for the ones I might read and
  • brackets around those I've never heard of.
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown *(I started this anbd thought it was drivel)
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger* (read it when I was 12. Favourite line at the time: "He was about as sensitive as a goddam toilet seat".)
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams*
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald*
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling (Read the first H.P., do not feel impelled to read the others. Will my children want this one read to them?)
Life of Pi - Yann Martel (Borrowed it from the library and never got round to reading it)
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell* (Read it a school)
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller* (Does anyone still read this?)
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien (What was i reading when everyone else was reading this?)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (Loved it)
Lord of the Flies - William Golding (another "required reading" school book)
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (did I really read this or do I just think I read it?)
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (was given this as a present when it first came out. Didn't finish it for another five or six years)
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini) Never heard of it, but I like the title
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (I felt that there was something dishonest at the heart of this book. In my experience, dead people are dead.)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown (puleeze)
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

(Neuromancer - William Gibson)
(Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson)
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley*
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis (missed out on this. I think my primary school teacher was reading us Biggles when everyone else was in this fantasy world.)
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides (Borrowed this one from the library too and didn't read it. There's a librarian with very good taste in English books at our local library or médiathèque as they like to call it.)
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman)
Atonement - Ian McEwan *(Liked this one except for the ending. Loved "Saturday")
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (started, couldn't finish)
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (Picked this one up in the library last Tuesday and wondered if perhaps I shouldn't borrow it. Maybe I will)
Dune - Frank Herbert (Sat through this at the cinema. Despite Sting's good looks, that was quite enough)

Who chose these book titles and why I wonder? It's a strange mixture.


David (TEFL Smiler) said...

Re 'strike' on a Mac. If you don't want to put in the HTML 'strike', 's' or 'del' in those '<' and '>' things (what are they called?), then you can download a great tool that goes on your Menu bar from here. It's a real time-saver, and dead easy to use - I've just used it now, in fact, for the links!

[Via here]

As for me, I'd be too embarrassed to do this book meme, as most of them I haven't read!

Oh, in previewing this comment I now see that Blogger won't let me use any of those strike tags, and now I see what you mean! Oh well, I'll leave the links, anyway, as it's a really handy tool.

deborah said...

Here are some rather good adjectives/words/synonyms and love the ones Badger has at the top of her blog.

What The Times said: The Da Vinci Code

‘THIS is without doubt, the silliest, most inaccurate, ill-informed, stereotype-driven, cloth-eared, cardboard-cutout-populated piece of pulp fiction that I have read. And that’s saying something.

“It would be bad enough that Brown has gone into New Age overdrive by trying to draw together the Grail, Mary Magdalene, the Knights Templar, the Priory of Sion, Rosicrucianism, Fibonacci numbers, the Isis cult and the Age of Aquarius. But he’s done it so sloppily.’

Peter Millar — June 12, 2003

but he is still laughing all the way to the bank .....

Memoires of a Geisha, unrivetting and unmemorable
Life of Pi, my niece said a bore

rana said...

Memoirs of a Geisha is worth reading, so is The Lord of the Rings though it is short on women and humour. You are absolutely right about The Da Vinci Code, but one should read it to see what the fuss is about.

deborah said...

It takes some doing to get through something you find poorly written.

I once spent 16 days on a ship crossing the Pacific and the only English book I could find on board was 'The French Lientenant's woman'. Well I know half the world probably enjoyed it, but the other half, me included, found it the most dull and uninteresting novel I had ever read in my life. In fact I loathed it, every sentence was torture. Perhaps I should try again.

As for The Lord of the Rings I'm in the half who does like it very much but can see it would be rubbish for all those impatient with fairy tales.

Rana, what about Frodo's side-kick Sam? I still have my 1959 red hardback so I can copy:
'Once I do get to sleep,' said Sam, 'I shall go on sleeping, whether I roll off or no. And the less said, the sooner I'll drop off, if you take my meaning.'
Well, when I was twelve I found that quite witty! And Gandalf saying 'You tom fool of a Took' did raise a smile too.(did he say that?) I certainly never cared it was short on women. I was in love with Strider so nice not having much competition.

Lesley said...

David:Thanks for the tip. I'm going to download it and use it for other things., just not Blogger.

Deborah: I definitely won't be going to see the DaVinci film either.

Rana: I might try the Geisha thing but perhaps I'm too old for Lord of the Rings.

heather said...

I absolutely loved Donna Tartt's Secret History - but I share all your other red ones.

deborah said...

Yes, Lesley, borrow the Bell Jar, I really enjoyed it and it makes up for all the drivel (nice word) written about Sylvia Plath (groan whenever her name comes up).

Michael said...

I thought I was the only one in the world who hadn't - and wouldn't ever - read DVC. Unremitting tripe deserves to be binned.
As for three you've not heard of:
Neuromancer and Cryptonomicon are fine exmaples of a sci-fi genre called cyberpunk and worth a read;
Shadow of the Wind is a gothic/crime/love/fantasy yarn set in Barcelona in c20th - from Civil war to present. I read it not long after I'd been there. I took Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia' with me to re-read in situ and found that a great experience. Now that Franco is long dead and gone and the Catalans have their own language as THE official language and a measure of regional autonomy, there is actually a Placa de George Orwell in the Ciuta Vella, not far off the tourist track. For someone of George's English prejudices, it's an odd place - a hangout for street people, junkies, blacks, gypsies, drunks and so on.

deborah said...

...... but he did write the Road to Wigan Pier so perhaps Ciuta Vella ok for him after all.

guile said...

i love atonement.. can't wait to read mr mcewan's saturday..