So I’m becoming a Librarian… Ten books to read before September in order to ‘fit in’.

The Catcher in the RyeIt’s actually worse than that. August 26th is only 32 days away and I know I’m going to give in and read a few chick lits while the sun is still shining. I’ve been working at this over the years, last year reading the wonderful To Kill a Mockingbird and the ‘OK’ Lord of the Flies, besides also reading the less popular Austen novels and some great contemporary literature. Besides these I’ve seriously got to get my butt in gear and finally figure out who Holden Caulfield is.

My List: (the page count will fluctuate)

  1. Animal Farm, George Orwell, 1945, 112 pgs. 
  2. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, 1949, 326 pgs.
  3. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, 1951, 220 pgs.
  4. Ulysses, James Joyce, 1922, 632-1000 pgs.
  5. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh, 1945, 351 pgs.
  6. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961, 453 pgs.
  7. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955, 368 pgs.
  8. To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf, 1927, 209 pgs.
  9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , Mark Twain, 1884, 366 pgs.
  10. Farenheit-451, Ray Bradbury, 1953, 179 pgs.

Ulysses To the Lighthouse

A pattern has emerged! With the exception on HuckFinn, these are overwhelmingly mid-century literature.  Encouragingly on the short side, but then again, there’s a reason I left Anna Karenina off my list. Of course I will take the ‘quantity’ approach and start with the shortest ones to knock ’em off the list. A few weeks from now I’ll be flinging Joyce quotes all over the classroom! No, not really. Even if I wanted to, I have no memory for quotes. Have you read any of these novels? Any cautionary tales or favourites? Do tell.

The Ten Greatest Books of All Time:

LolitaYou may have heard about this 2007 phenomenon: Numerous authors rate their top ten novels and when you compile their lists- Bam! You’ve got a top ten list.

2/10 (pathetic)

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare Check!
  7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Check!
  8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot

    These are the books that haunt me! How many times have they popped up and I keep telling myself ‘I have to read that!’ One day…

The Top Ten Books You Were Made to Read in School:

Of Mice and Men7/10! Not too shabby.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Why couldn’t my teachers pick this instead of some of the other messed-up stuff?
  2. Of Mice and Men
  3. A Seperate Peace ? Never heard of it.
  4. The Catcher in the Rye
  5. Animal Farm
  6. Lord of the Flies
  7. The Great Gatsby
  8. A Farewell to Arms Ugh, glad I never had to read this in school- one of my least favourite books ever.
  9. The Scarlet Letter
  10. Macbeth

Top Ten Books I Read in School (from my sketchy memory):Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang

  1. Jacob Two-Two meets the Hooded Fang We would beg our teacher to read one more chapter.
  2. Macbeth My favourite only because of how much fun we had with it in class.
  3. Dante’s Inferno I remember we had to create our own layers of hell. Good times.
  4. Hamlet
  5. The Scarlet Letter  This one got an ‘A’.
  6. Brave New World 
  7. Flowers for Algernon
  8. I am David I remember this as the first time I was properly taught symbolism: Jumping in the ocean=baptism!
  9. Othello
  10. Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare, much? I’m not complaining though- these ones are much harder to pick up on your own.

Bonus: The Outsiders, Of Mice and Men and April Raintree ( the latter probably unknown to those outside of Manitoba, and most of those within), along with all the other books I’ve completely forgotten, did not make the cut. Worst book I read in school: Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Any favourites or hated books you read while you were in school? Anything I should add to my TBR list? Hope you guys are having a great summer- I’ll be hitting the books!

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One response

  1. Pingback: Let me fill you in… | A Novel Thing

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