Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thinking about books

I've been seeing the reading meme pop up again all over the place and have been thinking about it. So tonight when I ran in to it on Janet's blog, I thought I'd give it a play.

Here's how to play:

Look at the list of 100 books below. Bold the ones you’ve read (movies don't count). Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave the ones that you aren’t interested in as they are.

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) ....(but where would I find the time?)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) -- one of the best books ever!!!!!!!
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)

87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Since I have such a poor showing above I thought I'd make myself feel better by seeing how I did against something I'm more likely to have read-- scifi. So I hunted down a Top 100 SF and I'll try it with the same rules as above....

----======= THE INTERNET TOP 100 SF/FANTASY LIST =======----
Edition Number 256 6th July 2003
See for more info

I pulled the list and explanation and more info at

1 A Song of Ice and Fire -- George R. Martin
2 Lord of the Rings -- J.R.R. Tolkien
3 The Vorkosigan Series -- Lois M. Bujold -- I've only read part of the series
4 Ender's Game -- Orson Scott Card
5 The Wiedzmin Stories -- A. Sapkowski
6 Dune -- Frank Herbert
7 The Discworld Series -- Terry Pratchett
8 Roadside Picnic -- A & B Strugatski
9 Hard to be a God -- A & B Strugatski
10 The Hyperion Cantos -- Dan Simmons -- I've only read the first one
11 The Lions of Al-Rassan -- Guy G. Kay
12 Tigana -- Guy G. Kay

13 Beetle in the Anthill -- A & B Strugatski
14 A Fire Upon the Deep -- Vernor Vinge
15 Palindor -- D.R. Evans
16 Armor -- John Steakley
17 Deathbird Stories -- Harlan Ellison -- I read some of this anthology, but as much as I love Harlan, his writing gives me the creeps
18 The Dragon Never Sleeps -- Glen Cook
19 Replay -- Ken Grimwood
20 Bridge of Birds -- Barry Hughart -- hmm sounds interesting
21 Flowers for Algernon -- Daniel Keyes -- dang I hate this book
22 The Stars my Destination -- Alfred Bester
23 The Nine Billion Names of God -- Arthur C. Clarke
24 Tales of the Continuing Time -- Daniel Keys Moran
25 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress -- Robert A. Heinlein
26 The Deed of Paksennarion -- Elizabeth Moon
27 The Hobbit -- J.R.R. Tolkien
28 Fiasco -- Stanislaw Lem
29 Lord of Light -- Roger Zelazny
30 By the Sword -- Mercedes Lackey
31 The Coldfire Trilogy -- C.S. Friedman
32 The Blue Sword -- Robin McKinley
33 The Best of Cordwainer Smith -- Cordwainer Smith
34 The Once and Future King -- T.H. White -- a classic of all classics
35 The Annals of the Black Company -- Glen Cook
36 The Hero and the Crown -- Robin McKinley
37 The Farseer Trilogy -- Robin Hobb
38 The First Chronicles of Amber -- Roger Zelazny woo hooo let's hear it for Amber!
39 Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson
40 Doors of his Face, Lamps of his Mouth -- Roger Zelazny
41 The Princess Bride -- William Goldman
42 Watership Down -- Richard Adams
43 1984 -- George Orwell
44 The Cyberiad -- Stanislaw Lem
45 The Invincible -- Stanislaw Lem
46 Persistence of Vision -- John Varley
47 The Island of Doctor Death and -- Gene Wolfe
48 Quarantine -- Greg Egan
49 The Demolished Man -- Alfred Bester

50 Soldier of the Mist -- Gene Wolfe
51 Legend -- David Gemmell
52 True Names -- Vernor Vinge
53 God Stalk -- P.C. Hodgell
54 Memory, Sorrow and Thorn -- Tad Williams
55 The Foundation Trilogy -- Isaac Asimov
56 Norstrilia -- Cordwainer Smith
57 The Honor Harrington Series -- David Weber
58 Vlad the Assassin Series -- Steven Brust
59 Green Hills of Earth -- Robert A. Heinlein
60 Player of Games -- Iain M. Banks
61 A Deepness in the Sky -- Vernor Vinge
62 The Anubis Gates -- Tim Powers
63 The Book of the New Sun -- Gene Wolfe

64 Raising the Stones -- Sheri S. Tepper
65 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -- C.S. Lewis
66 Tea with the Black Dragon -- R.A. MacAvoy
67 Stone of Tears -- Terry Goodkind
68 The Last Unicorn -- Peter Beagle ----- I read one Beagle and feel no compulsion to read another.... yawnsville
69 The Chung Kuo Series -- David Wingrove
70 Startide Rising -- David Brin
71 A Song for Arbonne -- Guy G. Kay

72 Way Station -- Clifford Simak
73 The Tactics of Mistake -- Gordon Dickson
74 A Night in the Lonesome October -- Roger Zelazny -- I rad this book in one night and wished it were longer! wonderful stuff
75 The Madness Season -- C.S. Friedman
76 A Wizard of Earthsea -- Ursula Le Guin
77 The Fionavar Tapestry -- Guy G. Kay
78 A Clockwork Orange -- Anthony Burgess
79 Ubik -- Philip K. Dick
80 Last Call -- Tim Powers

81 On Stranger Tides -- Tim Powers
82 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams
83 The Crystal Cave -- Mary Stewart
84 Something Wicked this Way Comes -- Ray Bradbury
85 A Canticle for Leibowitz -- Walter M. Miller -- great text for a nuclear age class, but other than that, nah
86 Futurological Congress -- Stanislaw Lem
87 Against a Dark Background -- Iain M. Banks
88 More than Human -- Theodore Sturgeon
89 Neutron Star -- Larry Niven
90 Sojourn -- R.A. Salvatore
91 Crystal Express -- Bruce Sterling
92 Dying Inside -- Robert Silverberg
93 Cat's Cradle -- Kurt Vonnegut
94 The Shadow Rising -- Robert Jordan
95 The Sparrow -- Mary D. Russell
96 Tides of Light -- Gregory Benford
97 City -- Clifford Simak
98 Cugel's Saga -- Jack Vance
99 What Mad Universe? -- Frederic Brown
100 Magic's Pawn -- Mercedes Lackey

Sigh. I don't feel any better. lol

*******special notes: for some reason the entire list is itals and I don't know why. Please ignore them! There's no way I want to read everything on here. Sure I like SF, but even I draw the line! lol

I'm off to read myself to sleep. Night night!

Ok, I found my hanging code error so now the list isn't all itals. Poor computer, it can't read my mind.


Kathryn said...

Books in the first list that are worth reading:
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
maybe not 22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger), but definitely Franny and Zoey
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
(a guilty pleasure) 58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
plus the ones you picked, though I would skip the Bible and Ulyssess.

Books on the second list I would read:
1 A Song of Ice and Fire -- George R. Martin (a hundred times better than LoTRs)
6 Dune -- Frank Herbert (yes, you should really read the first book and ONLY the first book)
14 A Fire Upon the Deep -- Vernor Vinge (and 88 A Deepness in the Sky)
19 Replay -- Ken Grimwood
25 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress -- Robert A. Heinlein (again, ONLY this Heinlein)
29 Lord of Light -- Roger Zelazny (could be the best book ever written)
46 Persistence of Vision -- John Varley (some of the best short stories EVER, except maybe for Theodore Sturgeon)
62 The Anubis Gates -- Tim Powers (he's Baycon's GoH, but I suggest Last Call instead)
72 Way Station -- Clifford Simak
If you like Zelazny you MUST read his short story, A Rose for Ecclesiastics
I love most all of Iain M. Banks, but YMMV
NOT 96 Tides of Light -- Gregory Benford (but definitely Timescape).

There are other good ones on the list, but these are Required Reading.

Barbara said...

Watership Down is sci-fi?

I think the lists are too narrow. Some of us simply have eclectic tastes!

Terri M said...

From the sci-fi/fantasy list, I have actually read:
19. Replay
27. The Hobbit
41. The Princess Bride
42. Watership Down
43. 1984
65. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
95. The Sparrow.

OK, way more than I thought (3).

Query about 7. The Discworld Series: Do you have to have read the entire series to count it? Because, Dang! there's a lot of books in that series. I have not read any of them, I'm just sayin'.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Kathryn! I'm still not sure about GWTW and Thorn Birds, lol, but I really appreciate your shortlist on the scifis!

Barbara, I'm with you -- the lists are always at least a little "off." They are entertaining though... I find myself grousing about how could they pick that? What were they thinking not picking so and so. lol

Terri -- You don't need to read all of Terry's books, nor read them in any real order-- certainly they develop, but no so much so that you'd not enjoy bok 6 because you hadn't read book 2 first. Depending on what you like I'd suggest The Color of Magic, Equal Rites, or Guards! Guards! I hope they bring you at least half as much fun as they bring me.... they make me laugh like a goof.