I got the idea for this list from The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog hosts a weekly meme called “Top Ten Tuesdays”; and on November 8th this was their theme. I don’t actually follow the blog as closely as I should, and I have yet to officially participate in a TTT, but I loved this question, and I love lists, so I thought I’d answer it.
I am chosing only books that I have read this year due to the NYR/11; therefore the answer as to why I have read them is going to be the same for each book. I’ll simply state how I had pre-judged the book, if applicable, and how I felt about the read. Please note SPOILERS, don’t read past the title if you don’t want me to give away my *gasp* moments.
- His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman; I am 27 and am so over YA. I was a bit snobbish thinking this was just one more fantasy type book series I could do without. I cried like a baby over Hester and Lee, I enjoyed the whole story.
- Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol; I learned in my socials 11 class that this was a satire aimed at old rich folks in London, I was never interested in reading it as I thought it would probably be lost on me and I would be annoyed. I was right.
- Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy; All I knew was he had written War and Peace, and I wasn’t particularly interested in Russia or its history. Big, old, and boring was my pre-judgments. Amazing, engrossing, and beautifully descriptive with an awesome redemptive story line was my end feelings. This book is currently the top of my favorite reads of all time.
- Moby Dick – Herman Melville; This is going to sound bad, I thought it was a men’s book and I wasn’t interested. Reading it I decided it’s definitely a mens book, the beginning was funny, and I really didn’t need to know that much about whales or the killing of them.
- 1984 – George Orwell; I knew it would make me mad. It did. I knew everyone would either die or sell out. They did.
- Tess of D’ubervilles – Thomas Hardy; I’m not all too interested with Hardy so I wasn’t overly keen to read this. I find him overly wordy, flowery and somewhat depressing. Seems this is exactly how I felt about Tess.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood; I was worried it was going to be overly preachy, feminist propaganda. It was actually a great read, if not a quick one. I have a lasting impression of the main character, and I find myself referring to the book in many of my political discussions with people.
- A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens; I thought I knew all about it because I knew the first twelve words; I was bored with it before I picked it up. This is an amazing book, I shouldn’t even have to tell you it’s the best Dickens novel out there, and the characters are so real it hurts.
- A Brave New World – Aldus Huxley; I knew nothing about this book. If I had I would have stayed away as it’s so far away from anything I normally read. It was interesting, and it was stretching. I felt un-comfortable the whole time as it was so weird to me, but I am glad I read it.
- The Inferno – Dante; I’m not into epic poems. As amazing as the imagery is in the Inferno, it’s still a long, epic poem. Beautiful and terrifying, and long.
Go read something that scares you.
I finished The Great Gatsby. I decided to underline it due to latent English lessons always haunting me when I write a book title and make no indication it is a book. Mrs. Mac would’ve killed me if I handed in a report without the proper punctuation. So upon finishing the book I was once again at a loss as to which book to read next. (Yes I am still avoiding Tess, although I am plunking away at it slowly. She’s finally agreed to marry Angel, but we know it’s just not meant to be, poor girl.) I asked the boyfriend if he could pick a book off the list for me to read and he so helpfully said- “The first one”. “I’ve already read that one” I said so he countered with “the first one from the top you haven’t read yet, I wouldn’t make you re-read a book!” “oh”.
I was looking for a fun way to pick a new book, or a unusual way. One of my most cherished ways to pick something when I can’t make a decision is to assign a code word, or letter, or number to each and ask people to pick one. Here’s an example. I was trying unsuccessfully to decide between Maple Glazed Salmon, and Curry Rice Pot from a restaurant so I ask TBF “Beavers or Ducks?” He is quite aware of my strange system so he picked Beavers, which were assigned to the Curry, so I ate Curry. (It was great.) My brother DogTango knows about this too and hates it. He gets all freaked out and says “I need to know what it is I’m deciding for you! This is crazy!” He’s the type of guy who likes all the information… I find it amusing. I have asked waitresses, friends, relatives, and innocent bystanders in a mall to make my decisions for me. It’s fun, and liberating. But I have a problem; how to do this when no one is around?
Mr. Jones! I am going to buy myself this, one day when I have money. This watch has been on my wish list for a year now. I think it’s one of the coolest ideas out there! Of course if you browse the watches on his page you’ll see he’s a genius. I love the “remember you will die” watch as well. However, I am left with using people until then. TBF is getting annoyed with my deciding methods now, so he’s picked the boring approach, but I will listen. Jane Eyre! She was third from the top, and easily located on my bookshelf as Gatsby was sitting beside her a week ago. I’ve watched the movie a hundred times, so there will be limited surprises on a certain closeted crazy. Until the next fun time… and should I have tea or coffee now… ?
|I never toss a coin for one simple reason. I can never catch it again.|