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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Confession Redux

It was ten years ago that I confessed to not having read some pretty major titles, books that no self-proclaimed bibliophile should have skipped:

1. Harper Lee- To Kill A Mockingbird
2. Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice
3. Joseph Conrad- Heart of Darkness
4. Bill Bryson- A Short History of Nearly Everything
5. Joseph Heller- Catch 22
6. Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita
7. Gabriel Garcia Marquez- One Hundred Years of Solitude
8. J. R. R. Tolkien- The Hobbit
9. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- The Hound of The Baskervilles
10. Charles Dickens- A Tale of Two Cities
11. Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
12. Ian McEwan- Atonement
13. Douglas Adams- The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
14. Don Delilo- White Noise
15. Carson McCullers- The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
16. Richard Adams- Watership Down
17. Scott O'Dell- Island Of The Blue Dolphins
18. Salman Rushdie- The Satanic Verses
19. Madeleine L'Engle- A Wrinkle In Time
20. Katherine Patterson- Bridge To Terebithia

It was shocking. I could barely show my face in public. But now, 10 years later (at an impressive rate of 2 books per year!), I can finally say I am well-read.

What's the sound of tires screeching while a record scratches?

Yes, apparently my ranking as a reader has only risen to amateur. To be a professional, I will have to commit to reading the following:

1. Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales
2. Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow
3. Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections
4. Anne Brontë - Agnes Grey
5. Ayn Rand- Atlas Shrugged
6. Charles Darwin - On the Origin of Species
7. Albert Camus - The Stranger
8. Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
9. Henry Miller - Tropic of Cancer
10. Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy
11. Unknown - Beowolf
12. Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man
13. Nalo Hopkinson - Brown Girl in the Ring 
14. Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart
15. Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre
16. D.H. Lawrence - Sons and Lovers
17. James Joyce - Ulysses
18. Frank Herbert - Dune
19. John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
20. Marshall McLuhan - Understanding Media

So, yes, a few doozies in there, but I'm guessing that by 2042 I'll have knocked them off of my list. In the meantime, I call on all authors to put a freeze on writing anything important so I'll have a chance to catch up.

How many of this 2nd list have you read?

2 comments:

rox1138 said...

Of your second list, I've only read 2 for sure that I can remember: The Scarlet Letter and Jane Eyre. Although I think I studied all or parts of The Canterbury Tales and Beowulf...but I can't remember for sure as that would have been a while ago!
Keep at it, though! You'll get through your list eventually!

Eric P said...

Hi John --
I've read 13 from your second list (and 12 from the first list). I did start The Corrections but didn't like it at all and know I will never finish it. I also know that I have no interest in reading anything by Ayn Rand -- life's too short to waste on that. I recently read Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle, but I haven't read Origin of the Species. I do expect to get to it one of these days...

A Confederacy of Dunces is quite an amusing novel (about an extremely annoying character), so I would probably start there. Also, The Stranger is super short...

Good luck!
Eric