Books, Books, Books

Now that The Goon Squad is letting me read books again, I am on a quest. I want to read all of the good books. I understand that this is impossible, but I am on a mission. (I’m actually on a mission to watch all the important movies too, but that is another post). I am keeping a list in my Palm that contains titles like: “Lolita”, “The Accidental Tourist”, “No Exit”, “Catch 22”, “Mrs. Dalloway”, “Misconceptions”, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and a bunch of other classics and things people have recommended.

If any of you have any suggestions – please let me know. Right now, I am reading “A Tale of Two Cities” which several people told me was great. I hated “Great Expectations”, which is the only other Dicken’s work I have ever read. So far, “A Tale of Two Cities” is like Ambien with better metaphors, bit I have decided to keep at it anyway. Schools must be forcing people to read all of this Dicken’s stuff for some good reason.

In the meantime – here is what I think you guys should read (if you haven’t already):

“The Poisonwood Bible” – Barbara Kingsolver
“Slaughterhouse Five” – Kurt Vonnegut
“The Handmaid’s Tale” – Margaret Atwood
“Angela’s Ashes” – Frank McCourt
“Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” – Rebecca Wells (for women only)
“Atlas Shrugged” – Ayn Rand

Here are some things I have read that I wish I hadn’t:
“Great Expectations” – Charles Dickens
“Moby Dick” – Herman Melville
“The Call of the Wild” – Jack London
“On the Road” – Jack Kerouac
“The Celestine Prophecy” – James Redfield
“Rabbit, Run” – John Updike

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  1. Some random recommendations:
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolf
    The Control of Nature by John McPhee
    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
    I Love Myself When I Am Laughing … by Zora Neale Hurston
    All over but the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg
    Which Lie Did I Tell? : More Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
    Reimagining Christianity by Alan Jones
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    Not Recommended:
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

  2. S. Guttenberg says:

    interesting non-recomendations. i like both of those books. i also like some dickens so you can both ignore my opinion.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sarah – You didn’t like Updike? We have to talk!


  4. Carol, I’m with Sarah on this one – kind of. I like Updike’s essays and short fiction, but his novels seem to drone on and on and on. The one I remember never being able to finish was Couples … but maybe I was just too young when I read it.

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