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Sat 6 Oct 12 #1 
Ajax
Contributor


I read a lot. I make time to do it so I can get through 2 or 3 books per week. I don't do a lot of housework and I think that helps.

Currently I'm working my way through this list:
The 100 greatest novels of all time.

I keep being diverted by reading some other books by the author. My husband says that might be the point. He's not often right. ;)

Anyway, here's another point. So far there have been 2 books that I just could not finish. Don Quixote and Oscar and Lucinda. After reading 1/5 of the book I've had to stop because I just couldn't like them. I didn't like any of the characters and didn't care to find out what happened to them.

Can I still say I've read them?

Are there books on the list that you don't rate?


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Sat 6 Oct 12 #2 
Ajax
Contributor

btw, if I'm allowed to count those 2 books I've read 34.


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Sat 6 Oct 12 #3 
soupy
Member

see all u guys on monday night I am out of heah for awhile!


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Sat 6 Oct 12 #4 
southshoregirl

See you Monday, soupy.


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Sat 6 Oct 12 #5 
southshoregirl

Ajax, I don't think yu have to account to anyone about anything when reading for pleasure. I looked at your list and saw several books which I absolutely loved and a few I would tack up on the outhouse wall. All in all it is a great list. I didn't count how many of them I have read but several popped out as dazzlers for me. I could read The Prime of Miss Jean Brody a few times a year. I adore As I Lay Dying and anything else written by Faulkner. You can keep Hemingway. I also am a tremendous fan of Flannery O'Conner, having had a professor who grew up in the same home town as she. I would say I never liked The Big Sleep at all.

The books written for kids, especially the adventure type are good reads in general so I like most of them. I really despise sleazy modern crappy novels written by the likes of Jacueline Susann (yes, I know she is dead) and the other prodigious smut writers. You won't find their books in my house!

No, you don't have to worry about having read or not read something on SOMEONE else's list, Ajax. In my opinion there are a lot of really good books on there and others which you may find boring. Skip them New books are coming out all he time. You are safe not reading Don Quixote. I read it and then saw the Broadway show, The Man from La Mancha and THAT was fun. Thanks for that list. I saved it to refer to. Have fun reading. I hope you love Flannery O'Connor's works. They are quirky and fun.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #6 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I'm with you on Don Quixote - started it and gave up. Ulysses is another on that list that I gave up on. I know the train of consciousness thing is supposed to be some kind of landmark in literature but, call me old fashioned, I like a plot.

I've started but not finished the Brothers Karamazov. I know you're a fan and I'll get back to it at some point, I'm sure. My problem with it was more format (reading it on my phone) than content. I'll get the paper copy from the library at some point. See? Old fashioned.

I read Jane Eyre quite recently. I wasn't hugely impressed by it. It had a bit of promise but it gets a bit supernatural which, for me, spoilt it.

On the Road is very much of an era. An interesting portrait of the times but again, a bit short on plot for my liking. In that regards, it reminded me of the Grapes of Wrath.

My count was a relatively paltry 26 - only boosted that high because I've just finished reading Philip Pullman's excellent His Dark Materials trilogy.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #7 
Ajax
Contributor

Grapes of Wrath is a cracking read. Not on the list.

Yes, I rate The Brothers Karamazov.


Those two books have something in common which I love. A character you hate on page 1 but come to love.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #8 
kevg
The Grumpinator

hmm surprised to find I've read 8 of them as I don't really do novels. I'm sure a few are books we are meant to read to appear knowledgeable but just the titles of some leave me cold.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #9 
Ajax
Contributor

Kev, I was the same until I started on the list. Really surprised at how funny most of them are. You don't read fiction to appear knowledgeable, you read it for fun.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #10 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

"A classic is a book everybody wants to have read but nobody wants to read" - Mark Twain

Some of those books are very funny. Others, like the Count of Monte Cristo are just a cracking read. There's nothing intellectual about Monte Cristo, it's just a rip-roaring tale of betrayal, revenge and deceit. Real boys-own adventure stuff.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #11 
Ajax
Contributor

That's right. If you want to be smart read a science textbook.

The Thirty Nine Steps is tops. Brave New World is a hoot. Gotta love a book that isn't about sex and shoes.


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Sun 7 Oct 12 #12 
southshoregirl

I have found myself far more interested in reading non-fiction than fiction for about the last decade. There are many novels I would like to read....I mean, I really have a desire to read them or reread favorite books. That is always great fun and reading a book a second or third time is like going out to dinner with an old roommate. Screw the psycological sexual bs thrown out on the best seller lists. Most of them are crap. If anyone tells me they love James Patterson as an author a huge flag go up and it says: Beware! Bad Novel Adoration Nearby. Just my opinion.


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #13 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

56 Ajax.....I also read avidly and hate housework.....no Jane Austin on the list...shame! Jude the Obscure most depressing novel ever written....but much to like on the list


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #14 
Ajax
Contributor

56!! Wow Tabby, you're closer to death than I am. Jane Austen is there at 9. Emma, however.


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #15 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

daft old bat me not you.....fav is Mansfield park....i am ancient !


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #16 
sally906
Contributor

I'm 56 too :)

I love books - I am a book reviewer and I have my own book blog. When I am not playing in here I am being a social bunny in various online book sites.

I have read many, many classics over the years but find I am less tolerant of them nowadays. I use reading to escape from reality so I don't always want reality following me into my books.

I also get annoyed by people who think unless you are a classics reader or a reader of highbrow literature with really big words then you are not a reader. Can't abide snobbery!

When it comes to the classics I am another Austin fan, Bronte sisters, Dickens, Hardy ( except Jude the Obscure - ugh).

This list is a blend of old and modern and have read most of the list - a couple I hadn't heard of so have written their names down.

Oh and I am NOT a Peter Carey fan - I have not finished every one of his books!

It is not a shame to not finish a book - life is too short to read something you have no interest in.

So many books - too little time!


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #17 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

prefer Austin to the Brontes....lot of snobbery around, good writing appears all over from classics to soap opera. would love to see blog sally direct me


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #18 
Ajax
Contributor

Most of the classics are not particularly highbrow. It is a complete myth. Probably perpetuated by schools who ruin all the fun by making you explore the themes and whatnot. But compared to chicklit...

I confess to not being able to wrap my head around most sci-fi and fantasy. I don't see myself finishing Tolkien, but might surprise myself.

I like the classics because they are in the library and cost nothing to read.

I usually make a point of reading anything that is recommended to me, however I have a friend whose taste is diametrically opposed to mine and I'm not taking her recommendations again. Hence the list.

I probably won't get to 56 for another year. I've been diverted by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and John Buchan this week.


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #19 
Ajax
Contributor

Ditto on the blog.


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #20 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

I tend to agree on the classics.

If you think about what books from today people will still be reading in 100 years time then I'd say it's more likely to be Harry Potter than...err..some highbrow stuff that people aren't generally reading today either.

Classics have endured because people read them and enjoy them.

I don't make a point of reading anything that's recommended to me. I will go back to the Brothers Karamozov though because that was the last recommendation of a good friend.


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Mon 8 Oct 12 #21 
southshoregirl

I had a friend from New England who was horrified when I offered her a book because, I told her, I hated it so much that I was just going to throw it out! She was such a typical, puritanical New Englander she took the book and swore she would read it because it would be a terrible sin to waste it. Ho Hum. I hope she enjoyed it. I hadn't thought about that in ages until talking about good books and unreadable books. Reading for pleasure has to be fun at my stage in life. Why should I read for pleasure if it is not fun?


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Tue 9 Oct 12 #22 
jmaxg
Contributor

I was all "Where the hell is Catch-22????"

And then I was all "Oh, there it is."

"Catch-22" is my "The Catcher in the Rye".

They aren't related. It's just the book I wanna be buried with just in case things go all "Edgar Allan Poe" on my ass.

You know, as opposed to being hit by a train with Salinger's book in my briefcase.

:-)


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Tue 9 Oct 12 #23 
Lucy
Contributor

I'm reading Carole King's Memoirs--interesting woman--A Natural Woman.


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Tue 9 Oct 12 #24 
Ajax
Contributor

I read Catch 22 a few years back and wondered why I never had. It's very funny.


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Tue 9 Oct 12 #25 
southshoregirl

Catch-22 is very funny! I loved it, too. Right now i am doing something different. I am reading A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts and The Amateur by Edward Klein.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #26 
sally906
Contributor

my blog

A warning - it is very ecelectic :)


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #27 
Ajax
Contributor

Eclectic is my middle name. Or is it eccentric. Can't remember.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #28 
mapmaker
Contributor

Interesting that the non fiction top 100 (ridiculous concept) is so less pompous, and actually less obvious. The fiction list is every students attempt to impress their tutor they know something about literature, Don Quixote (please!!).
Personal taste is far more important than the pretence of greatness.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #29 
Ajax
Contributor

It is chronological, btw. DQ isn't the best. Just the first.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #30 
JMK
Editor

Interesting Blog Sally. I like the idea of Teaser Tuesday.

My count is 29, although I have read quite a few others I would have thought would have made the list.I enjoyed Don Quioxte, haven't tried Oscar and Lucinda.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #31 
Ajax
Contributor

I love it. I was impressed with the review of Cherry Ames. I have Air Hostess Ann!

Also I love the description for an 'A' rating. :)


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #32 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

love blog now you have a mad brit follower!


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #33 
southshoregirl

Yes, I liked the blog, too.

I have read 47 of them. Most of them were read long ago. I hated some of them but read of them for course work.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #34 
Ajax
Contributor

Did I ever tell you that Robinson Crusoe is one of the most horrible people I've had the displeasure to meet? I realise that he is a product of his generation. I read the whole book, though. I even finished the pornographically boring Gulliver's Travels.

One book that is not on there that is short and funny is Candide by Voltaire. I recommend it. 3 thumbs up.


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Wed 10 Oct 12 #35 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Oh yeah, definitely. Candide is just plain ridiculous. Loved it.


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Thu 11 Oct 12 #36 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

ditto love Voltaire


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Thu 11 Oct 12 #37 
jmaxg
Contributor

Protest! I did not find "Gulliver's Travels" pornographically boring. I didn't even find it titillating.

I DID find it fixated however, on excrement.....during that phase of the book.

I'd also like to point out that Gulliver met other civilisations, not just the sh** obsessed kind.

But watching "Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome" definitely had me thinking "Aw, c'mon.....you just ripped off Jonathan Swift!".

As for the book itself? I found it enthralling. But I found Philip Hosé Farmer's "Riverworld" to be an absolute epiphany but that doesn't mean anybody sees it like me.


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Thu 11 Oct 12 #38 
jmaxg
Contributor

As for Catch-22, I don't see it as a comedy. I never saw the book like that and I never saw the Mike Nichols directed film like that.

I saw Yossarian as an individual trying not to go crazy while being impacted by a crazy world. A world obsessed in direct adverse proportion to how Yossarian is not obsessed.

An incredibly sharp indictment of how the world works and WAY ahead of it's time.

And, I confess, funny as hell.

"It's better to live on your knees than die on your feet." (as opposed to 'live on your feet and die on your knees') Something that haunts me to this day.


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Thu 11 Oct 12 #39 
sally906
Contributor

Catch-22 was the first 'grown up' book I read - I would have been 11 or 12. My swearing vocabulary grew exponentially as a result.

Then I discovered the Angelique series and my sex education was complete!

Aaaah - memories :)


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Thu 11 Oct 12 #40 
TABBYTOES
Contributor

oh yes Angelique and when i was about 12 a copy of room at the top my aunty had hidden in the spare room! [mind yo dont like john Braine]....not that keen on Lawrence no humour or he could not have written th lne in a poem 'not i not i but thewind that blows through me'.....i read some classics [many] and someenjoyabe trivia .....typing terrible will return when awake


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Fri 12 Oct 12 #41 
southshoregirl

I would say Catch-22 is a black comedy and I totally enjoyed it. So, too, Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe. I loved them but they were not so psyological which is fine. I loved Jonathan Swift.


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Fri 12 Oct 12 #42 
kevg
The Grumpinator

I didn't read Catch 22 but I saw the film. I wasn't impressed. Why do people assume everyone who fought in the war (WW2 ) was desperate to get out. In the otherwise "collection of the worst parts" Saving Private Ryan, Private Ryan wouldn't leave his comrades to fight on without him. My own brother when told he was being to posted Northern Ireland could easily have stayed at base but he wasn't leaving his mates. Not everyone who is enlisted is a coward !!


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Fri 12 Oct 12 #43 
southshoregirl

You are right, Kevg. I did like Catch-22 the book, though. People who are in the military are generally, at least in my younger days, committed to serving with pride. Everyone is different and Joseph Heller cashed in. Nothing more or less.


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Sat 13 Oct 12 #44 
jmaxg
Contributor

I disagree with the comparison kev. Or, at the very least, disagree with the inference that if you love "Catch-22", you can't love "Saving Private Ryan".

They are two completely different premises.

"Catch-22" takes the position that the world is crazy, through the eyes of our one, valid, observer, according to the author.

"Saving Private Ryan", the film (I have no idea on what the written basis was) was intended to give us all an impression of "D-Day" on Omaha Beach and to follow with the disconnect between troops on the ground and the abstract ideas of Command. Not the orders of Command, which were followed, but the ideas of Command which, as the movie shows, were the subject of intense debate.

You have to get to the end of this quite long film, and to experience each of it's phases, before the viewer, the troops on the ground, and the Command thoughts merge.

Sorry if I am trite, but at the conclusion of "Saving Private Ryan", I feel we are doing what Joseph Heller expects of us........to do that one sane thing in the midst of an insane situation. Mrs. Ryan has just one son left........let's move heaven and earth to get him back to Her.

"Saving Private Ryan" is not just a good film, it's timeless.

But so is "Catch-22", the book.

And the film was pretty good too.


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Sat 13 Oct 12 #45 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Timeless?

Well, once the beach scenes had ended I did lose all track of time.


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Sat 13 Oct 12 #46 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Sorry chaps I've been in hospital again !!
"inference that if you love "Catch-22", you can't love "Saving Private Ryan"."
Don't remember saying that or even referring it.
My point was that Catch 22 portrayed every serviceman as a coward who just wanted to get home.
Yes they all wanted to get home but very very few were cowards.
Saving Private Ryan was about a guy who the services wanted to send home but wouldn't go. Which backed up my point.


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Sun 14 Oct 12 #47 
JMK
Editor

Hope you have shares in the hospital.


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Sun 14 Oct 12 #48 
sally906
Contributor

Just about ready to have a special wing names after him - The Grumpinator Wing! :)


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Sun 14 Oct 12 #49 
Ajax
Contributor

I wonder if Catch-22 is the sort of movie that really conveys the flavour of the book. I cannot say because I did them in book-movie order.

The book certainly doesn't portray all servicemen as cowards. In a way it is a bit like MASH.


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Tue 16 Oct 12 #50 
jmaxg
Contributor

Good call Ajax.

Although the film "Catch-22" is as brave an attempt at the book as it goes.


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Tue 16 Oct 12 #51 
Ajax
Contributor

I thought of that movie/book order thingy in a quantum way. :D


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