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Thread: Yet Another List: The Guardian's Top 100 Books of All Time

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    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    Yet Another List: The Guardian's Top 100 Books of All Time

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/print/0,...-99819,00.html

    How many have you read? What do you think of the list? What do you think about those that you've read (because you were compelled to in school, or otherwise)?
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

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    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    There are a score of books I've never seen or heard of, let alone read; about the same number that I've 'sampled', and about 15 that I've read.

    Other than the ones I've never heard of, I've bought almost all these books at one point or another, and they're probably still gathering dust where I left them when I reached for something I found more exciting, stimulating or accessable at that particular moment.

    A nice list of books I'd like to be able to say I've read at some point, but probably never will in most cases.

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    Leia-Jakita-Arendt OnMyLunchBreak's Avatar
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    Hmmmm....A great list, IMHO.

    I think there were probably 10 or so I have read at the compulsion of the academic taskmasters during my life (Homer and Charles Dickens being amongst these ).

    There were 10 or so I have read for fun and are some of my most favorite books ( 1984).

    And almost all the rest that I WILL before I die!!! [i]Crime and Punishment[/b], for sure!

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    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Well, I've read at least 26 of those, and probably more, mostly at the behest of literature professors.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

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    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    I posted a reply in the "What are you reading?" thread, but I might as well post in the correct thread.

    I've read 27 out of those books. With a few exceptions - Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights (why isn't Jane Eyre on the list?), Pippi Longstocking and Edgar Allan Poe's Complete Tales - they've all been some form of school assignment. I've loved some of them (Madame Bovary, The Stranger), liked most of them, while some I found tedious (hello, Balzac!).
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftcoaster
    There are a score of books I've never seen or heard of...
    I was afraid I was the only one who had never heard of some of these books.

    (And it didn't help that the very first novel on the list--Things Fall Apart--made me think, "Who what?" Nice title, though, IMHO, and it makes me wonder if the title was inspired by one of my favorite poems of all time: The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leftcoaster
    A nice list of books I'd like to be able to say I've read at some point, but probably never will in most cases.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by OnMyLunchBreak
    I think there were probably 10 or so I have read at the compulsion of the academic taskmasters during my life (Homer and Charles Dickens being amongst these ).

    And almost all the rest that I WILL before I die!!! Crime and Punishment, for sure!
    You know, I somehow got through school without reading The Iliad & The Odyssey. When I mention that, people who have been through college look at me like I'd just admitted to setting fire to a classroom.

    As for Dickens, . Most...overrated...writer ever! Here's a guy who never met a run-on sentence he didn't like. But that's what happens when you're being paid by the word.

    Do read Crime and Punishment. My favorite classic of all time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    Well, I've read at least 26 of those, and probably more, mostly at the behest of literature professors.
    You (ETA: and geek the girl) are the current leaders.

    Although I think J. told me she'd read something like 30 or 40 off the list. I stared at her and asked, "What are you, some kind of freak?!"

    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl
    I've loved some of them (Madame Bovary, The Stranger), liked most of them, while some I found tedious (hello, Balzac!).
    I loved Huckleberry Finn and Crime and Punishment off the list, but any time I see Dickens or Faulkner's names, I feel my will to live ebbing.
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

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    FORT Fanatic GlitterxGold's Avatar
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    I read the following (in middle/high school):

    Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales
    Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea
    Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea
    Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad
    William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet
    Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    George Orwell, England, (1903-1950), 1984

    "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee should definitely be on there in my opinion. That's my favorite book that I was ever made to read in high school. I noticed there wasn't a lot of asian influenced titles on there. I read this book in high school "The Warrior Woman" by Maxine Hong Kingston and loved it. I remember reading "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison as well. My high school principal said he slept with "1984" under his pillow every night (lol). To be honest, I didn't really get into it that much, but to each its own.

    I love reading books from a variety of cultures. I admit I'm not an avid reader, (err except for textbooks) but once I am done with college, I definitely hope to be able to "read for fun" a lot more than I do now.
    Last edited by GlitterxGold; 07-30-2005 at 06:54 AM. Reason: forgot one

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    Proud Grammy Dinahann's Avatar
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    I've read 23 of them, and have had a good number of the rest in my library at one time or another, in the hopes that I would be bored enough to pick them up and read them.

    When I was in my early thirties, before yet another move from apartment to apartment, I boxed up every classic I ever thought I needed to read but didn't want to, and donated them to the local library. Life is too short to browbeat yourself into reading something you're not interested in.

    I'll admit I'm rather plebeian in my tastes so I'm surprised to see any of my favorites on the list. Sons and Lovers? Oh yeah. 1984 remains as one of my all time favorites, ditto anything by Mark Twain and the Bronte sisters. I guess I'm in the minority for enjoying anything by Dickens.

    Quote Originally Posted by phat32
    ...one of my favorite poems of all time: The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats.
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.


    Okay, by memory so I may be a few words off, but William Butler Yeats rocks! Also T.S. Eliot, e e cummings, William Blake, Lord Byron, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and a score of others. Now if this list was the 100 greatest poems I would've read much more of them, I'm sure.

    One of the things I like to do alone in my room is to pull out a poetry book, pick a poem and read it out loud. It's so much more interesting that way - you can hear the cadence and gain a better understanding of what the author is trying to convey. Plus your family thinks you've lost it and they don't expect you to cook dinner.
    I love you, you love me, we're a happy family...

  9. #9
    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinahann
    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.

    Okay, by memory so I may be a few words off, but William Butler Yeats rocks! Also T.S. Eliot, e e cummings, William Blake, Lord Byron, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and a score of others.


    My favorite lines from that poem: "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

    You chose a great line, from a great poem. (And I'm not even a poetry fan. If you play the literary interpretation game, poetry is much too difficult for that exercise--it's chock-a-block full of literary allusions, indecipherable metaphors and experiences that are personal to the poet. Just my two cents.)

    Having said that , I love Eliot! If for no other reason than The Waste Land! http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html

    Excerpt:

    Son of man,
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
    There is shadow under this red rock,
    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
    Amazing. Just...amazing. I think in that stanza-and-a-half alone, that's some of the most powerful writing in the English language I have yet to encounter.

    As for William Blake: I can't think of Blake now without thinking about Thomas Harris' Red Dragon and the use of Blake Harris made in that novel. *shudder*

    ETA: I was also taught to read Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening as a suicide note. http://www.ketzle.com/frost/snowyeve.htm

    When it's read that way, it takes on a completely different meaning. (Duh.)

    Well...this conversation has turned toward the macabre.
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

  10. #10
    Proud Grammy Dinahann's Avatar
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    What are the roots that clutch,
    what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?

    Son of man,
    You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
    A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
    And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
    And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
    There is shadow under this red rock,
    (Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
    And I will show you something different from either
    Your shadow at morning striding behind you
    Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
    I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
    I do calligraphy, and I've written this poem in a faded brown ink on ecru paper. It's framed and sits on my dressing room table. The Waste Land is my second favorite poem, the first being The Hollow Men:

    ...Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow


    For Thine is the Kingdom


    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow


    Life is very long


    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom


    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the


    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.
    http://www.cs.umbc.edu/~evans/hollow.html

    /endthreadjack
    I love you, you love me, we're a happy family...

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