Thursday, April 30, 2009

100 must read books, really?

OK, I'll admit it upfront. I am procrastinating. Otherwise I probably wouldn't be dwelling on this so much. So there it is.

Anyway, while tooling around on Facebook, I came across this list: the BBC Reading List. The idea is that the BBC put together this list of 100 books with the claim that most people probably only read six of them. Always up for a challenge, I went through the list. But I was a little suspicious. Why, for example, was the Harry Potter series (the whole series) on there and yet Upton Sinclair's The Jungle not?

So I did some quick research as to where this list came from. Well, this wasn't a team of experts, literary or literate professors or librarians. It was a survey. In 2003, the BBC had a project called The Big Read, where they asked their readers to submit their favorite book and they put together the top 100. So now, this has been spreading all over the Internet as a challenge for people to read all 100 books, for, as it turns out, no other reason than they were the most popular in the UK in 2003.

In the interest of full disclosure (not to mention the fact that it's already on my Facebook profile), following are the top 25 books on the list along with my checkmarks. I could let this go, but of course I probably won't. My challenge is not to read the unchecked books on the following list, but to either find a better list or fool around with this list. Stay tuned!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling [Why is this here?]
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible X [parts]
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 1984 - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare [I have read some, but not the entire collection.]
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot X
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy X
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams X

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Week

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Week

"Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."

~~Abraham Lincoln (from his second inaugural address) who was shot on this date in 1865.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Quote of the Week

"Close observation of a passion often reveals the panic that feeds it."

~~Nick Bantock (from The Museum at Purgatory, 1999)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Forty-one years ago today...

...Martin Luther King Jr. spoke these words:

"...and I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man."

The next day he was assassinated.