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Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier

I am not I sure would ever had read Rebecca if it hadn't been included in '1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die' despite Mrs. Danvers playing a part in the Eyre Affair novels. I knew a little bit about it but for some reason was never motivated to seek it out.
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The Bell Jar

I read this book in about 3 hours. I simply couldn't put it down. I could relate to Esther so well (maybe I'm crazy, too) and everything that happened was clearly explained and it wasn't stuffily and overbearingly philosophical.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I loved this book! There are six separate stories within the book: a 19th century clerk in the S. Pacific, an aspiring musician in between-the-wars Europe, a reporter in 1970's California, a publisher in modern England, a genetically altered clone slave, and a primitive tribal man. Each of the stories are worked into the next...I really don't know how to explain it, but I would definitely recommend it.  

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

I know I only posted a couple of days ago, but this book was such a quick read.  I liked it--the story moved quickly, the characters were likable (I even felt sorry for the crazy fanatical mom), there was some poetic/fairy tale stuff but not enough to be confusing.  It doesn't wrap up nicely at the end, but when do true (or semi-autobiographical) stories ever end neatly?  I would totally recommend this book to other people.

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Wow, another post so soon.  The good new is that this book just flew by.  I'm sure we all have writing styles that just work for us, where we get into a groove and before we know it we've read the entire thing.  This book was like that for me.  The bad news is that White Noise is trying really hard to say something important about people in modern society, and the characters just get lost in the theme.  I kind of started to like them by the end, but they were still super flat; they mostly existed to spout brand names and say vague, weird things.  Plus the book is almost entirely without plot.  I think that was part of the point, that modern people don't have anything important or meaningful to do, but it still doesn't make for great reading.  So I didn't really like this book, but it wasn't painful or anything.  For anyone taking contemporary lit, though, this is the kind of book that begs to have papers written about it.  It's so vague you could make up anything you want and make it work. 

The Voyage Out and Anna Karenina

In my intro post a couple weeks ago I was slogging through Anna Karenina.  I finished it, and by the second half of the book I was starting to enjoy it pretty well.  I still prefer War and Peace, though.  Anna Karenina was a lot slower and the characters weren't as likeable.  Plus I found the war stuff in War and Peace really interesting.

Okay, after that I read The Voyage Out, by Virginia Woolf, because it was already sitting on the to-read shelf in my living room.  It's easy to read and flows pretty well, but nothing about it really grabbed me.  The book had a lot to say about social dynamics and about women's lives and the limited choices they had back then (early 1900's), but most of the characters weren't that interesting, and the ones that were didn't really get enough attention.  This was her first novel, though, so you can't expect perfection.  Later, when I've sampled enough other authors, I might try one of her later, more famous works.  But for now I'm on to Don DeLillo. 

Um so I guess that's 39 then?

Hey, here goes an introduction.

I found the list here a few days ago and after some major huffing and puffing (too many contemporary authors who won't stand test of time, etc) and a minor journaling rant and some of reading Harold Bloom's recommended reading lists at the end of The Western Canon just to appease my inner hooray for the classics booksnob, I have thought about it some more. My main complaint is that it is (obviously) only novels, not all literature. Which is why the list mostly stops after the 1700s. Poetry and drama have been around so much longer and I think the 'danger' of such a list is to forget them. I mean, if you haven't read Oedipus or Shakespeare, I don't care how many flipping Ian McEwans you've downed, you haven't really got it all, you know? That said... obviously I've joined the community because it does intrigue me, this notion of these books defining The Novel as an art form. (also my husband is a NUT for book lists, top 100s, you name it, in almost any genre. It rubs off.) I would like to find the book itself in order to read the reviews, as I hear that's the best part of it.

What I've read.Collapse )

Bookworm friends and further reading suggestions/discussion is/are most welcome. Also, upon rereading the list yet again... I have to say it's pretty impressive.