- Poem-a-Day Collection 100% complete
- DailyLit's Book Channel 100% complete
- Berlitz DailyLit Spanish Lessons finished
- 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin finished
- 30 Stories in 30 Days finished
- Fetching Raymond finished
- Get Cooking finished
- On the Origin of Species: Part 1 finished
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow finished
- Defining Twilight finished
- Confessions of an English Opium-Eater finished
- Best of Technology Writing 2007 finished
- Rumpelstiltskin finished
- Hell-Heaven finished
- A Princess of Mars (Barsoom Series Volume 1) finished
- Walden finished
- America's Greatest Hits finished
- Classic Shorts: Eight Stories for Summer finished
- Emeril at the Grill finished
- Little Brother finished
- Book: The Sequel finished
- Burn This Book finished
- The Adventure of the Speckled Band finished
- The Castle of Otranto finished
- Who is Mark Twain? finished
- Masters of Verse finished
- The Seagull finished
- Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom finished
- 3 Short Reads by Edgar Allan Poe finished
- The Black Monk finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Masterpieces of Western Art finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Cheese 101 finished
- Bartleby the Scrivener finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Famous Spies finished
- Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife finished
- Pride and Prejudice finished
- The Metamorphosis finished
- Divine Comedy - The Inferno finished
- Poems of William Blake finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Famous Poets finished
- Wikipedia Tour: World Capitals finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Major World Religions finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Famous Women Throughout History finished
- Wikipedia Tour: Famous Inventors finished
- The Pit and the Pendulum unread
- Wikipedia Tour: The Grand Tour unread
- Book Sampler: Shakespeare unread
YES, Severus Snape! From Neil Gaiman's Sandman, I love Death and Delirium.
a bunch of graphic novels / comic books, Infinite Jest!
I think that you can discuss EVERY book you read with a group, and that discussion will add to the way each person thinks about the book. I think that for any book, you can always find something to talk about!
The first line of The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka!
(It's a little difficult because of the translation, but still awesome!)
"One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin."
I love Hamlet, and one of the things I always think of when I hear about a Hamlet performance is the man who died and donated his skull to be used as Yorick's in the play. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3519640/Pianists-dying-wish-fulfilled-as-David-Tennant-uses-his-skull-in-Hamlet-performance.html)
Although I think they've stopped using the real skull, I think that the story is amazing -- it shows just how dedicated some people are to Hamlet and how interesting and universal its themes are.
I recently read A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World by Marcia Tucker, the woman who founded the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. It was excellent!
I'd really like to see A Confederacy of Dunces as a movie, but I'm not sure who'd be good enough and funny enough to play Ignatius. Wikipedia says that John Belushi, Chris Farley, and John Candy had been considered for the role before their deaths and that Will Ferrell was cast as Ignatius in a version that hasn't been filmed yet, but I think Jack Black could also be good...
Be happy and make some good art!
& Great Expectations.
The movie V for Vendetta is a sorta weak / lame version of the ideas in the graphic novel / comic. I just finished Watchmen, so I need to watch the movie now (I have a feeling it's going to be disappointing though, compared to the book).
I like The Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson -- the book is amazing and the movie does it justice.
Also, it's not film, but season 1 of Dexter on Showtime is a really good adaptation -- I like it better than the book it's based on.
This year I'm going to be Lisbeth Salander from the books by Stieg Larsson. Someday, I'll fulfill my ultimate dream of being Cyrano de Bergerac.
(I'll send a picture of me dressed up this weekend!)
When I was really little I liked Goodnight Moon! And Two Bad Ants! And Where The Wild Things Are!
Four bodies: one rotting, two breathing rancid air in black conspiracy, and me.
They thought it was done, buried, but I dug deep -- unearthed their skeletons 'til they had no choice.
Dispose of the evidence. For good, this time.
I emerge, smiling -- soon, I'll have three bodies on my hands.
I like Howl by Allen Ginsberg -- it was considered obscene, but its publisher won the 1957 obscenity trial.
I agree with cresswga -- it's horrible and sad and disgusting that people try to ban books! We should all read the ones on the banned lists... :)
I love Sherlock Holmes, but I also love Dashiell Hammett's novels and short stories.
The Crying of Lot 49! *Thomas Pynchon!!!*
I took an excellent Shakespeare class in college that made me really love and appreciate Shakespeare's plays. I've had good teachers for Frankenstein in high school and in college, so I like Frankenstein a lot too.
Although I love reading and enjoyed most of the books I read in school just as I read them, I think the quality of the teacher and the way books are taught have a lot to do with how much they stay with you. I can think of a lot of books that I find completely fascinating because I've studied them, and now when I read something interesting, I wish I could take a class on it or write a paper about what I think.
When new Harry Potter books used to come out, I'd reread all the ones up to the new one in preparation. I also regularly reread some of my favorite books -- The Crying of Lot 49, Leaves of Grass, and Shakespeare.
Quests: food, friends, freakishness, photography, employment!
Dirty sand, dingy arcades, rickety rides, bright lights and fireworks, all shot through with the essence of hot dogs, beer, and funnel cake: Coney Island is my summer love!
Don Quixote would be a fun friend. Also, Holden Caulfield! They're both interesting and sort of crazy, but very loyal, thoughtful, etc.
Ignatius Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces would be an awful friend. He's totally selfish, disgusting, mean, irritating, and delusional! It'd be awesome to be able to follow him around and see all the strange stuff he gets into though.
I'd have to help save Shakespeare! Maybe Hamlet, Macbeth, or The Tempest? Also, I'd have to memorize some Leaves of Grass!
In honor of Bastille Day, I must choose a French writer! Balzac! His characters and stories are touching/interesting/sad/wonderful!
The Twilight series, haha. I also used to enjoy some Harlequins...
A Study in Scarlet
The Red-Headed League
The Five Orange Pips
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Yellow Face
The Adventure of Black Peter
- all Sherlock Holmes stories (I think there are even more with colors in the titles!)
My best guess is that Thoreau uses "cerealian" to mean of or pertaining to cereals or grain -- makes sense with the leavening / bread reference, and the "rising influence" = sort of witty way to refer to rising bread made of grain. Cerealian billows could also be rising dough or bread, or could also be waving, growing grain.
The Metamorphosis: Being a large bug really sucks.
A Void: Wholly lacking our most common vow(?)l!
The Crying of Lot 49: O paranoia! The signs are everywhere.
ATTICUS FINCH. (from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
Dad-wise, I really like how he takes his kids' opinions and feelings seriously. Also, he's an excellent role model for them by being fair/kind to everyone in a racially polarized town.
Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare's history plays, etc
Faust - Goethe
This one should be easier... I can think of a lot!
The Red and the Black -- Stendhal
There are A LOT.
But here are two to start.
Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
The Seagull - Anton Chekhov
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
The Wings of the Dove - Henry James
The Raven - E. A. Poe
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Some short story collections --
I just read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace, and it was excellent. Also, Pastoralia or In Persuasion Nation or CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, all by George Saunders.
Addie Bundren from As I Lay Dying. Besides her death and burial driving the plot of the story, the book is about the relationships between her family members and especially about the relationship of each one TO Addie.
I think that some of the major ideas in the book revolve around selflessness vs. acting in self interest, and Addie (and then, notions / stereotypes of motherhood) is at the center of it all. The chapter she narrates and what she says about her life are also fascinating!
Hansel and Gretel is good -- I like the idea of an edible house. Also, for me, the gruesomeness of the story is more interesting and preferable to the damsel-in-distress / princess stories that usually come to mind when one thinks about fairy tales.
(miserable, wacky) + New York = getting happier
At the end of McTeague by Frank Norris, the harsh and empty desert first highlights the titular character's greed/stupidity, and then it finishes him off. It is awesome!
Here's a passage:
"As McTeague rose to his feet, he felt a pull at his right wrist; something held it fast. Looking down, he saw that Marcus in that last struggle had found strength to handcuff their wrists together. Marcus was dead now; McTeague was locked to the body. All around him, vast, interminable, stretched the measureless leagues of Death Valley.
McTeague remained stupidly looking around him, now at the distant horizon, now at the ground, now at the half-dead canary chittering feebly in its little gilt prison."
The Trial is in English and on PG.
It might be interesting to have something in German too -- The "Ein Landarzt: Kleine Erzählungen" is short stories.
Thank you thank you!
Really famous for his short stories. English versions of his collected stories are available on PG. Could be broken up into individual ones.
Yessss, Flannery O'Connor! She's my favorite. Her characters are fascinating and she writes in a way that empathizes with multiple and conflicting viewpoints.
Mary Shelley is also awesome -- writing Frankenstein when she was 18.
Also, Virginia Woolf.
OneBttrfly - I've found a twenty dollar bill on the street two different times!
Because I'm relatively young, I think the Benjamin Button-like idea of appearing 95 and having the rest of my life to look forward to is maybe closer to my actual situation, so:
I still want to accomplish a lot of things in my lifetime, but many of them are too big or too personal or too up-in-the-air to really discuss here. A good one that I know I want to do soon is to keep getting better at knitting so that I can make myself a dress.
Although I think a few of his books and stories are ok, I'm generally a Hemingway hater. For Whom the Bell Tolls is an especially good example of the kind of weirdo masculinity / angst-ridden young man (and then the accompanying portrayal of female characters) stuff I hate.
I can't just pick one! So I pick three:
Cyrano de Bergerac, from Edmond Rostand's play
Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter books
Jewel Bundren, from Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
They're all long-suffering / tortured types with flaws, but each one is freakishly patient, self-sacrificing, passionate, and absolutely loyal to the person he loves. They're also intensely smart and independent.
They have pretty different interests, so I'd split my time up: Cyrano and I would write some awesome poetry together, then Prof. Snape and I could do some magic and make some potions, and then Jewel would take me for a ride on his horse.
And then, at the end of the day, the four of us would have a delicious French/magical/Southern feast!
Swann's Way, by Proust. I've started it a few times but I've never finished it. I think it's because I like to start reading a couple books at the same time. All the times I've begun Swann's Way, I've always switched over to and finished a different book. Maybe someday I'll finish it!
The best book and the worst book you've read in the past year
The character that you believe you are the most like
Your favorite villain
Favorite non-fiction book
A book you have that you have no intention of reading, ever
Hard question, because there are lots of authors I want to meet. But I'd like to get these five together and have an awesome party:
Walt Whitman - He was one of the first writers who I really identified with.
Flannery O'Connor - She died young and spent a lot of her adult life in relative seclusion, but her characters and the ways she writes about people are amazing. She must have been a really intense and interesting person, and I'd like to talk to her.
Edward Gorey - Had a really wild imagination - his work is bizarre and funny and morbid. I like it a lot.
Thomas Pynchon - His work is so complex and expansive and fascinating that I think talking with him would be great. Also, I can always find echoes of what I've been thinking about recently in his work. He once said something like, "Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength." Haha.
Vladimir Nabokov - I want to talk to him about synesthesia, wordplay, and writing stylistic things.
Sort of like what Basilisk said, I think Conan Doyle has Holmes use cocaine to emphasize his eccentricities and his need for constant stimulation.
But also: Holmes stops using cocaine (or at least does much less frequently) in the later stories BECAUSE Watson dislikes it and tries to make him quit. I think that, in this way, Conan Doyle uses Holmes's cocaine use to illustrate the relationship between Holmes and Watson--Holmes had never been the kind of person to have a close friend or confidant until Watson came along, and Watson becomes important enough to him to influence his actions.
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley is his account of an experience with mescaline. Huxley saw psychedelic drugs as a means for everyone to access a hidden or forgotten mystical/spiritual life. It's really interesting to read how he describes his surroundings under the influence of the drug and then what he makes of the experience.
Alternately: towards the end of The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, the hero of the story realizes her husband has started using LSD. Through the drug, he's found an ecstatic and spiritual place, but he sounds crazy when he describes it and his wife knows that she's lost him forever.
The book is about trying to understand and discover the truth about something that's cryptic and un-understandable. I think that with that scene, Pynchon is acknowledging drugs as one way to try to reach a transcendental state, but not necessarily an effective one.
The Remains of the Day is an excellent movie from a book. And my roommate's boyfriend mentioned Fight Club and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as good movies from books. The Color Purple is also good. The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies, and it's based on a novella by Stephen King (I haven't read it though!). And To Kill a Mockingbird. And The Silence of the Lambs.
I don't really like the Harry Potter movies compared to the books. Aside from one actor I particularly enjoy, I think the movies are pretty weak.
The collected works of William Shakespeare. MaggieH said that they would all definitely read the book, and I think that Shakespeare is important enough and universal enough to be required reading for everyone.
The version I'd give them would be one with lots of footnotes and definitions for unfamiliar words, so it wouldn't be too hard to understand.
I was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes when I was in third grade or so - I had this huge book with every Sherlock Holmes story in it and I read it through a few times in elementary school.
I loved books and read a lot before then, but that's the one that sticks out most in my mind...
Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird. He's super-smart, fair, and not afraid to stand up for what's right. And although he's a great shot, he doesn't like violence.
Parts of It are pretty scary. Also, the scene in Red Dragon (Thomas Harris) where Will Graham is walking through a house where a whole family was killed.... scary, the first time you read it.
I really want to dress up as Cyrano de Bergerac. But I want to take the time to make the costume look amazing, so I hope to do it another year. This year I'm going to be a character from an anime series.
The Great Gatsby!
I'd be Alice, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - I think it'd be fun to see all of Lewis Carroll's bizarre characters.
The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Sport of the Gods
(both on PG)
By Arthur Conan Doyle, published 1917, and on PG. Has some really awesome Sherlock Holmes stories!
Some books I think would be good to have:
McTeague - Frank Norris
The Confessions of Nat Turner
Eugene Onegin - Pushkin
A Hero of Our Time - Lermontov
Carmen - Prosper Merimee
Against the Grain - J.K. Huysmans
Concerning the Spiritual in Art - Wassily Kandinsky
Essays by Emerson
And although there isn't anything by him on Project Gutenberg, it would be awesome to have some Max Weber!