cresswga is not currently reading any books.
I’m 39 years old, male, from the United States. I’ve been a DailyLit member since January 31, 2007. My reading interests include Classic Fiction.
- Frankenstein finished
- Dracula finished
- A Christmas Carol finished
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue finished
- Craphound finished
- Hell-Heaven finished
- The Gods of Mars (Barsoom Series Volume 2) finished
- 3 Short Reads by Edgar Allan Poe finished
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button finished
A Princess of Mars (Barsoom Series Volume 1) finished
Quick, easy and enjoyable read This was my first ever "pulp" novel and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
With many of the novels on this site the language is so dense that I sometimes find it a chore to read through some installments.
By contrast this was both an easy and engaging read filled with lots of action and excitement. Indeed I enjoyed it enough to queue up the next book in the series to start tomorrow.
I recommend this book as the perfect antidote to anyone who has recently struggled to read a 400+ installment book. I posted this on 29 January 2009
- The Last of the Mohicans finished
- 2BRO2B finished
- Robinson Crusoe finished
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz finished
- The Call of the Wild finished
- Moby Dick finished
- On the Decay of the Art of Lying finished
- A Modest Proposal finished
- Don Quixote suspended
- The Picture of Dorian Gray suspended
- Dubliners suspended
- Book: The Sequel unread
- The Gold-Bug unread
- The Tell-Tale Heart unread
- The Raven unread
- The Masque of the Red Death unread
- The Pit and the Pendulum unread
- The Diamond as Big as the Ritz unread
- Daddy Long Legs unread
- Macbeth unread
- King Solomon's Mines unread
- Romeo and Juliet unread
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde unread
- The Swiss Family Robinson unread
- Treasure Island unread
- Around the World in 80 Days unread
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea unread
- Pudd'nhead Wilson unread
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland unread
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer unread
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn unread
- Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom unread
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth unread
- Little Brother unread
- Jabberwocky unread
- Antigone unread
- The Bacchae unread
- Oedipus at Colonus unread
- Electra of Euripides unread
- Oresteia: Agamemnon unread
- Oedipus Trilogy unread
- Oedipus Rex unread
- The Odyssey unread
- The Iliad unread
- The Island of Doctor Moreau unread
- The Invisible Man unread
- War of the Worlds unread
- The Time Machine unread
Either Neil Gaiman's Sandman or Robert Rankin's Elvis Presley with Barry the time travelling Brussel sprout in his head (Armageddon: The Musical for anyone who is curious. Very funny book)
I was not surprised that neither character made the list!
Three month assignment in Austin. Hard work. Lots of play.
I have not because I never take a new book on holiday with me.
I cannot do a holiday where I sit by a pool or on the beach all day. I would be bored by lunchtime of the first day. I prefer to see the sights and visit museums and end up with very little time to read.
As a result I always take with me a book I have started so that I can dip into it more easily when I do have some down time.
I am surprised no one has mentioned it yet but Phileas Fogg. It is not that I long for the days when you could travel the world with a British passport and a big bag of money but I would like to visit Africa, India and the far east one day.
I do not know if there is another way but the easiest method would be to click on the Get Next Installment link in the bottom of the email and then keep reloading the page to send additional installments until you get to where you want to be.
Your reply has intrigued me. I will check it out. Thank you.
I loved Life of Pi but I haven't read this yet. Would you recommend it?
An interesting questions and I am sure I will want to revise my answer after I have given it more thought but: the two that immediately spring to mind are:
The Iliad - Homer (kick started a love of Classical Studies that I went on to study at University)
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (a remarkable book that is still my favourite book ever. Prior to this I had only been reading modern fiction. This book put me on a path to read a lot of older classic fiction and has considerably broadened my literary knowledge as a result)
I would struggle to come up with 8 more that have played as important a role.
Courtesy of my dad:
"Work hard. Play hard. But do not get the two mixed up"
I like Tumblooks.
The only other one I can think of is TumblReads.
Mine would have to be Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman.
A colleague I was living with at the time was given a copy for his birthday. We both read the back (without realising it was an autobiography as neither of us had heard of the man) and rolled our eyes at what a ridiculous and over the top character had been created.
He started to read it and told me some of the stories from it so I read it too.
An amazing book about a remarkable life.
Travel the world and happily grow old with my wife.
I did not realise that this book had been added to the site. I had all sorts of trouble trying to find a copy years ago.
Do not be put off by the dedication poem. The rest of the book is prose and much easier to understand and I do not remember any obscure references.
I think the book can best be summed up by the Kingsley Amis quote I have on the back of my copy:
"The Man Who Was Thursday is not quite a political bad dream, nor a metaphysical thriller, nor a cosmic joke in the form of a spy novel, but it has something of all three"
I hope you all enjoy it.
I always thought it was a means of grounding the novel in reality without tying it to a specific place. This allows you to place the action wherever you want.
I have noticed a similar thing with dates. For example Dracula and Frankenstein use 18-- and 17-- for dates. This gives you an idea when things took place without giving an exact date.
Seeing as Dickens and Orwell have already been chosen I will go with Tolstoy's Anna Karenina:
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"
But I also rather like the opening to G.K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill:
"The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games since the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the people who grow up."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the first (and the one the film was based upon). That is the only one I have read.
This page lists the rest of the books in the order they were published:
From what I could find out that is the order they should be read in but perhaps someone who has read them all can clarify.
I am glad I am not alone with The Sound and The Fury!
Which book are you talking about? You posted this under the author forum rather than a book.
Moby Dick was the hardest I have ever finished. (Thanks Daily Lit!)
Don Quixote and The Sound And The Fury are the hardest I have ever failed to finish. (I have tried twice on both)
Somewhat fittingly to this topic I suspended my email of The Dubliners because I was having trouble getting into it. I will eventually try again.
Sorry, that date should have been 1697 not 1967 :) Perhaps the capability to edit posts would be handy.
Of course, being that they all originated in an oral tradition perhaps it could be argued that both versions were equally valid variations.
Some research shows that Charles Perrault had the earliest published version of the story in 1967. This page contains his version of the story (translated into English).
This is very similar to Lang's version that I have. From that I would conclude that the Grimm's invented the name and used it to name a character that was previously not given one.
My reply was too long so I have had to split it into 2 parts...
In the version of Sleeping Beauty I have the princess does not have a name. She is just referred to as "the princess" throughout the story. This is taken from Andrew Lang's 'Blue Fairy Book' collection.
The name Briar Rose was mentioned in Grimm's Fairy Tales. However, the brothers often re-wrote stories and changed details about them (for example adding the happy ending the Red Riding Hood) so the name may have originated with them.
Although Lang's book was published after Grimm's he collected his stories from sources that had written the stories down when they were still being passed on by oral tradition. This could mean that his is closer to the original.
Lolabean: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
I went all through the settings before posting my reply just to make sure I was not missing something but I had not been back into my list since I created it so I did not know that had been added.
OK, well you can all ignore the first part of my post now :)
My main suggestion for an improvement is this:
If I am reading book A and then decide to join a Big Read or read a short story at the same time then when the short story finishes the next book in my queue automatically starts and I end up with 2 books on the go at the same time.
My book list now has several suspended books and whilst I can resume them when I finish my current book I know I will also have another book automatically started.
I do not want to delete my To-Read list but it would be nice to have an option at the end of a book to decide whether you want to start another immediately or not. This would also give users a chance to re-order their To-Read list before starting up.
It would also be nice to send messages to users directly. This way I could ask a single person a question about a book without having to start a forum post. However I do not know to what extent you want to enhance the social aspect of the site.
This will have to be a 2 part post. My comment was not displaying and it seems it was because I went over the 1,000 character limit. One improvement would be to have a warning message or an on-submit verification for the form ;)
I like the community that is growing here. It is nice to have literary discussions with like minded people. I also really like how responsive you are to questions or support issues. You have a very good connection with your users.
My first thought in seeing this topic to this was to try and enter into a discussion of Machiavelli himself and whether one should view his works as a textbook for manipulation and deceit or whether his works carried a deeper hidden message.
But then, as I was unfamiliar with the book that carried the quote, I looked up what it was about and who wrote it.
It is perhaps unfair to judge a 15th century quote using 21st century morals. However, depending on the context, it certainly seems tasteless to use it to make a point in this day and age.
So Christmas has come and gone and most people are probably back at work today but I was wondering what books people received as presents.
I got James Elroy's "Blood's a Rover" and Tom Wolfe's "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test".
I always try to make sure I have finished whatever I was reading before Christmas so that I have the chance to start reading whatever I get as a present straight away.
This discussion pops up every so often on the forums. The copyright of all Lovecraft's work after 1923 is still contested in the US (where I believe this site is based).
However, most of his stories are available to read here (which is an Australian site) and therefore not liable to the same copyright laws:
haha - I love the title. It remind me of Dorothy Parker's "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think".
How to narrow it down to just one? I am sure every quote posted here will be a good one so I will just go with the first one that popped into my head:
"Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education" from Puddnhead Wilson
I am also fond of the quote:
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first"
...but in all of the books I have read I never came across it and never found any source other than it being attributed to Twain so I do not know if it was really his or not.
dreamdust - I don't mean to intrude on Maggie helping you out but when you typically receive other emails do you see pictures and nice formatting? Or is it all plain text? Have you had pictures appear in any of the other instalments?
I only ask because I just finished some work with producing email newsletters and had some problems with Outlook only displaying the plain text version of emails rather than the HTML emails.
I would be interested in what the most popular books. What has been read the most and what has been reviewed the most?
Well done. Those were some of my favourites too.
Now I can go and buy my copy without waiting to see if I had won :)
hkschoof: hahahaha. That's great!
The one I remember the most is something my dad always used to say to me:
"Work hard, play hard but don't get the two mixed up."
It is a different translation to the version I have in my copy but you can get an English translation from Project Gutenberg here:
A few others I remembered although these were more favourites of my mum who passed them on to me were:
Anthony Buckridge's Jennings stories set in a British boarding school
Richmal Crompton's William stories about an 11 year old boy who was always getting in trouble
...and lastly some books that I am lucky enough to still have which are Ivy Wallace's Pookie books about a rabbit with wings. They were gloriously illustrated but there doesn't seem to be a lot of information on line about them. They were marvellous books.
Depending on my age Beatrix Potter, then Enid Blyton and then Roald Dahl.
Did Beatrix Potter or Enid Blyton make it over to the states?
I must admit, despite my gender, I did also enjoy Judy Blume books during my awkward teen years :)
I never cared for Dr Seuss though. The repetition always annoyed me and I wished he would just get on with the story.
Thanks Maggie. I had not thought that possibility. I will bear it in mind for future recommendations.
I am so used to reading the classics through Daily Lit that I rarely come across anything stronger than an exclamation of "My goodness!"
Oooh I hadn't heard of that Golem. I am reading Dracula at the moment and I could see how that could work really well. I shall have to check it out. (Hopefully it is better than Wicked was for the Wizard of Oz)
Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. (And try to forget the terrible movie)
Anything by Neil Gaiman or Douglas Coupland
Also, how about James Elroy's new novel? I am waiting to hear the outcome of the contest before I go and buy my copy.
Wow - that list is like a "Must Read" list for anyone interested in classic literature. It saddens and angers me so much that small minded people feel that banning a book is an answer to anything.
Perish the thought that people might be able to exercise self censorship and simply decide not to read something because they don't want to rather than trying to tell someone else what they can and cannot read.
I could not even begin to choose a favourite from that list. I have read a lot of them. But I have not read them all so at least I have a new list of books to read in the future.
It is funny that you mention the WIzard of Oz because I was worried that I would have the songs going through my head constantly when I read it. But I found the book so very different from the film (and much sadder - especially the Tin Man's story) that I rarely even thought of the film beyond recognising where certain events matched up.
The 'Family' Debt
The shot echoed around the palatial house as the body crumpled. Blood pooled on the Italian marble.
His debt was squared with the mob and now he just had to worry about the police.
He carefully rehearsed his story, picked up the phone and got ready to turn himself in.
I looked through all of my CDs yesterday and then I looked through all of my bookcases and I am sorry to report that I couldn't think of a single book that reminded me of a song or singer or indeed find a single song that reminded me of a book.
I listen to music almost constantly but songs typically remind me of a time, a place or a memory rather than a book or author.
To give you a modern example Prince Harry (3rd in line for the British throne) was christened Henry but everyone refers to him as Harry.
As strange as it sounds Harry is an abbreviation of Henry so the names can be used interchangeably like with John and Jack.
seagoat: Yours really made me laugh! Great job.
Another Day in LA LA Land
The dame waltzed in like she owned the place. She was a few whiskeys shy of my type but she dressed like money.
"My husband's death was no accident", she said.
My cigarette smoke curled towards the ceiling. "Fifty dollars a day," I said "plus expenses" and grabbed my hat.
Sherlock Holmes or any of Raymond Chandler's stories. I always preferred Philip Marlow to Sam Spade.
Kiss Me Deadly is one of my favourite films but I could never get into Mickey Spillane's books.
My sister is a HUGE Christie fan but I always liked the films and TV series more than the books.
I read Lord of the Flies when I was about the same age as the boys in the story. It gave it an extra dimension that was not there when I re-read years later.
I also read The Iliad when I was 17. I remember skipping to the end to find out about the Trojan Horse. (After all it was about the Trojan War wasn't it?) It launched a love of Greek history and mythology that continues to this day.
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.
It perfectly captures what it is like to work for a huge corporation (which I did) and then a start-up (which I now do).
My friend and I both read it after watching the Mel Gibson movie Conspiracy Theory! :)
Maggie - I think Eliott is referring to a post in the Book Sequel Challenge forum topic where a user misspelled the name of the author not a spelling mistake in one of the books themselves.
As for the spelling mistake itself it does not offend me as much you but I do not hold online discussions to the same rigorous standards that I would expect from a graded project.
Perhaps it is a cultural difference which is something that interests me as a Briton living in the United States. I often come across differences which both surprise and annoy me but I always enjoy learning about the differences between nationalities.
elana456: I loved that book. It made me cry my eyes out. I gave it to my wife - she loved it. I gave it to my mum - she loved it!
I saw the trailer for the movie and it looked awful. I am not too enamored with the idea of them making a TV show out of it either (which they have been discussing).
Sorry to hear about your financial troubles.
I do not have any experience with rare books but have you tried looking online? There are a few sites that seem to deal with antique books. Perhaps you could describe the book to them and they might be able to give you a quote.
Here are one that is selling some very expensive Poe collections: http://www.baumanrarebooks.com
Otherwise it might help to describe the book in more detail for the other site visitors. Good luck.
Generation X and Microserfs by Douglas Coupland.
When I first read them I was at an age where I could totally relate to the characters, their thoughts, hopes and aspirations. I re-read them to remind myself of how I used to be.
I do not re-read many books though because I know I will never feel the same way as I did when I first read it and I do not want to ruin the memory.
I want to visit Steinbeck's California.
I have visited over half the States but never made it west of Vegas. I am planning on going to San Francisco for my 5 year anniversary in October but we won't be leaving the city. It is frustrating to know I will be so close but it will still be waiting for me when I am able to visit.
For a less serious answer I would have to go with Ankh Morpork from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.
keda: I have had to consider what I would grab because I live in an area that could potentially be hit by a hurricane every year.
A hurricane gives me more time to think about what to take than a fire would but it really makes you contemplate what is important and what is just "stuff".
The one time I did evacuate I left all my books, my music and my DVDs. I can buy those again. Instead I left with my computer and a box full of letters.
Katy - when I wrote that I considered Homer for the same reason. But I always preferred E. V. Rieu's translations. :)
Ask me again in two weeks ;)
First off I must confess to only having seen the movie and not read the book so I would be interested in hearing if there were any major differences between the two.
Nevertheless, as this is an oral tradition I would want to learn a book that would be fun to recite and that would also be entertaining to listen to and lastly one that would have a message.
As such I am thinking I would learn Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson.
Nukedoom: Go to Amazon.com and look up your book. It will say how many pages the book has.
For example, I am reading Dracula at the moment and that apparently has 448 pages in this edition:
I am currently 3% complete which means I am on page 448 / (100 * 3) = page 13.
Thanks Cory. Good catch. I had it right in my test page and then failed to copy it correctly.
I cannot offer more detailed advice without seeing your blog and how seeing how it but you can try this.
In the CSS for your site add the following: (and I do not know how well this will format so bear with me)
Change the font-size number until it is at a size you are happy with. This should only affect the part of the book roll that says "Daily Lit"
oops, it removed the HTML from my comment. So much for that plan :)
Susan, your link to the book is not correct. It should be:
I am now off to check this book out.
dreamdust: I had no idea that film was based on a book. The film was amazing. I will have to try and find it.
Maggie, I checked IE8 and the arrows do not appear for me either. Neither do the edit controls.
I see them fine in Firefox.
I feel left out of this one as we didn't have summer camps in England. I would go on a week long Scout camp but that was it and as that was camping there was never time or the facilities to read. Once it got dark you sat around a fire until it was time to go to sleep.
Lots of happy memories but sadly none that are book related.
Probably 1984 by George Orwell. I read it with Aldous Huxley's Brave New World for an English essay on dystopian futures (back before I even knew the word dystopian). I had to pick any two books and write about them.
I cannot remember why I picked 1984 but my dad suggested Huxley for the second one.
I remember them both very clearly, even though it is 20 years since I read them, but I have never read them again. Something about them unsettled me in a way that I have never been able to put my finger on.
I am sure if I re-read them now I would not have the same reaction but the memory of them is more powerful by not re-reading.
I just thought that if we are allowed to include some Greek plays then we could also add:
Antigone - Sophocles
Medea & Electra - Euripides
In fact, now that I think about it most of their plays were a person's name (although how popular those names are today is another question!)
Just checked by bookcase and found a couple more :)
Father Brown - G.K. Chesterton
Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
How Green was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn
Apologies for the double post but another one just came to me:
The Gold Bug - Edgar Allan Poe
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
Black Dahlia - James Elroy
Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (only works for American spelling!)
It's a play but does Chekhov's Cherry Orchard count?
Susan - I thought of Moby Dick but I didn't think it would count :)
Oooh this is trickier and you picked the obvious ones already...
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov
Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Don Quixote? - Cervantes
Kim - Rudyard Kipling
If the title can include more words than just a persons name then I can think of a lot more!
I knew there was a blog widget but as I don't have a blog and haven't used it I couldn't remember where it was :)
It might not tie up exactly with the pages but there are two possible alternatives.
If you imagine one installment is the length of a single page then your page number is the number of your current installment. This may not be exact but as different editions of books have different length pages it should not be far off.
Alternatively, if you look at your profile it shows what percentage you are through each book. You could use this as a different means of tracking progress.
I think Madicus found the answer he was looking for as he suggested Tripods in the book request forum.
I remember watching a TV series based on the books when I was a kid that I really enjoyed but it was cancelled before they were able to film the last book so that was the only one I read.
Did you enjoy the Venus novels? They sound very similar.
By the end of book 2 of the Mars books I felt like I had had my fill of that character for a while.
This was a forum topic a couple of years ago. The stories became public domain at the start of last year in many countries but there is still controversy about the copyright status in the United States (where I believe this site is based) regardless of the claims of Arkham or Derleth.
Any works published before 1923 are in the public domain though.
However, most of his stories are available to read here which is Australian and therefore not liable to the same copyright laws as this site:
Desert Island Books would be a great question of the week. I am not sure how I would make my choice. Would they be books I have tried to read but never made it through like Don Quixote? Would they be ones I like to re-read? (Or would they be ones with lots of pages just to pass the time?)
I certainly cannot list 5 off the top of my head.
I actually all but gave up on contemporary literature a while ago because I was so disappointed with a lot of what I read.
That started me down a path of reading all of the famous books I had heard of but never read. I have been doing that for many years now and the list was drying up but this site has introduced me to a lot more books than I would have considered otherwise.
There were some books that I dreaded trying to read because of their reputation but were easier to get through thanks to this site (like Moby Dick).
And I just started the Dubliners myself yesterday after a recommendation from a user on this site. Hopefully it will lead in to Ulysses.
Lullah - Labour will be out at the next election (fingers crossed) but be careful of thinking that the grass is going to be greener somewhere else.
I come from the south of England but I live in the U.S. now.
Poe was very dark and I can understand if that is not your thing.
If you did want to try a couple more of his stories then I would recommend The Gold Bug which was one of the first examples of cryptography and code breaking in a story or Murder at the Rue Morgue which, whilst still quite dark, was the first detective story.
Both were very influential on later writers.
Average childhood. Happy adulthood, thus far
(More autobiographical version)
"Try harder!" Discovered computers, emigrated, married.
It is going to take a bit of getting used to but I really like the new look forum. Well done to everybody involved.
Yeats' He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven:
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
I am not familiar with that site Susan so it shall have to remain a mystery unless it comes to me. Thanks anyway.
I set out with high hopes for my grand journey.
I planned to traverse the country and see all of the sites; to venture off the beaten path and explore the America that most people bypass on the Interstates.
Sadly my car broken down on the second day outside Chattanooga
I cannot remember how I found the site as I joined so early (Although my profile says Jan 2007 I actually joined in Sep 2006). Susan, can you remember what your early press was that I might have seen?
I was drawn to the site because I knew there were books that I wanted to read but would never be able to make it through if I sat down with one. That is why I started reading Moby Dick as my first book.
I spend most of my day programming in front of a computer and so it is easier for me to take a 5 minute break than find some quiet time to sit down with a book.
The site has opened me up to a lot more literature than I might ever have read otherwise and I also like that there is a like-minded community of literate people that I can also discuss them with.
I agree with Macbeth (and Romeo and Juliet was another good one). The other one I would recommend is Midsummer Nights Dream because it is referenced so often in popular culture it is nice to know the original source.
My problem is that I am not very good at reading Shakespeare's plays and much prefer to watch them (theatre or film) so I cannot offer any others.
If you enjoyed The Tempest go and rent The Forbidden Planet. It is great 50s SciFi movie based on the play.
I have not read any classic fiction that I can immediately think of that was written by women. Indeed I am struggling to think of any recent female authors I have enjoyed (I shall have to check my bookshelves tonight) But that doesn't matter because my favourite female author would be Enid Blyton.
I read so many of her books as a child.. As I would grow older it seemed there was another series that I could move on to.
Indeed I just looked up what she wrote and there are even more books listed than I remember.
She was such a large part of getting me to enjoy reading that she is an obvious pick for me for this.
(Other female authors I enjoyed reading when I was younger are Beatrix Potter and Richmal Crompton who wrote the William books but neither of those were as prolific as Blyton)
It is not that I am unsentimental but this quote did make me laugh and perhaps sums up John Carter's character better than any other description:
"Never have I been much of a ladies' man, being more concerned with fighting and kindred arts which have ever seemed to me more befitting a man than mooning over a scented glove four sizes too small for him, or kissing a dead flower that has begun to smell like a cabbage."
Thanks Dinosaur. You have talked me into it. I shall check it out as my next book. It will make a nice change from Burroughs.
Lectrice: I would actually be happy with any Poe. It is a long time since I read his short stories and I could happily read them again.
Dinosaur: I was thinking of Joyce because I know I want to read some his stories soon. Do you have any recommendations?
Is the Dubliners a good place to start or should I dive right in to Ulysses?
There are lots of short stories that look good but I guess it depends on how long it can be. The site considers Joyce's Dubliners a short story at 84 installments but I am not sure how many people would read it.
So what about Edgar Allan Poe's Murder at the Rue Morgue? (for some classic horror)
Alternatively, is there a way to split out one of P. G. Wodehouse's short stories from The Man With Two Left Feet?
Otherwise, for people who have not read any of the stories, any of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are interesting.
OneBttrfly: What a fantastic idea. Would you share the entire list?
There are lots of things that I want to read, do, visit, learn, etc and I accept that even if I live to be 95 (still 60 years away) I probably will not get to do them all.
So at the end of my life all I want to be able to do is to look back and have no regrets.
I am surprised at how many people said Robinson Crusoe. I was worried that I would find it boring but I liked how he got himself set up on the island and made a life for himself. The only problem I had was with Crusoe's actions at the end.
Perhaps if I had sat down to read it as a book I would have had more problems so thanks once again to this site!
1) The Sound and the Fury. I have tried twice and never been able to make it through the first section written from the perspective of the retarded character.
2) Don Quixote. I have tried twice on that one too. I think I might need to Daily Lit that one to make it through. If it can work for Moby Dick it should work for this! I just haven't been able to hit that point where I wanted to keep reading. I was always reading it for the sake of it.
I also didn't finish 100 Years of Solitude. No particular reason - I just didn't get into it but I will try again one day.
I cannot believe you didn't like Grapes of Wrath though Maggie. That is without doubt my favourite book ever. It was a depressing read but very powerful and turned me into a huge Steinbeck fan.
This was my first ever "pulp" novel and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
With many of the novels on this site the language is so dense that I sometimes find it a chore to read through some installments.
By contrast this was both an easy and engaging read filled with lots of action and excitement. Indeed I enjoyed it enough to queue up the next book in the series to start tomorrow.
I recommend this book as the perfect antidote to anyone who has recently struggled to read a 400+ installment book.
tristiseye took my question! I had been hoping you would ask that one too.
I have tried and failed to read both Don Quixote and Sound and the Fury twice.
The only other question I can think of is which book have you not read that you wish you had? (Aside from the 2 I have failed to finish mine is Ulysses by James Joyce)
I didn't read the sampler but Moby Dick was the first book I read through the site. It was a tough read but I am glad I did as it differed quite a lot from both the movie and mini series.
English IS my first language and I come across words I do not know! The language has evolved so much in the last century that you will encounter this with many of the old books available on the site but it is a good way to expand your vocabulary.
I definitely think that novels work better as mini series. The BBC has done Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Wilkie Collins, etc all very successfully. The longer running time gives each character a chance to breathe.
Thanks. I was looking for something like this too.
A few stinkers that are worse than their source novels, in no particular order, Breakfast of Champions, Perfume, The Shipping News, Bonfire of the Vanities, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Da Vinci Code, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and most things by John Irving or Michael Crichton (especially Jurassic Park and Timeline).
(Apologies for the triple post - I haven't run over the character limit before)
There are plenty of films that I enjoy as much as their source novel like Empire of the Sun, The Name of the Rose, L.A. Confidential, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, To Kill A Mockingbird, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. It is a very eclectic mix so I am not entirely sure what it is that makes them so good. I think it comes down to understanding what only works in the novel and not on the screen and removing it.
This is my biggest problem with the Harry Potter films. Their slavish devotion to the source material hurts the films. If the Lord of the Rings movies demonstrated anything it is that you can prune and change the source material, sometimes quite radically (Elves at Helm's Deep), but still please the fans if the end result fits in the context of the universe you are creating.
My short answer would be that short stories make the best films. It is often so hard to condense a complex novel into a 2 hour movie that so much has to be removed and you are left with a shell of what made the book so great in the film place.
The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me are perfect examples of this.
Long books are obviously harder to make into good films and most films of John Irving novels are great examples of this (with the exception of Cider House Rules which I prefer as a film).
The Princess Bride is another fantastic film adaptation. I personally prefer the film over the book but I think that is because I saw the film first.
I also prefer Fight Club as a film (David Fincher again!). When I read the book it did not really impress me that much (I have enjoy Palahniuk's other books more) but the film expanded on the book in a great way.
That is very interesting. I must admit I am not that familiar with the play beyond a very basic knowledge but can you expand on that at all?
Please post here again if you ever reach the same conclusion and explain how you feel they are similar because I am interested in your thoughts on it.
I hope you stick with the book though. I won't say I enjoyed it but I am certainly glad I read it.
Thanks for the review. I did not realise that the site had added any Wodehouse. I shall have to add some to my queue.
tristiseye: That reminds me. When I was in London a few years ago my wife wanted to see where Virginia Wolfe had lived after reading Mrs Dalloway. (And also see one of those old Bloomsbury squares like in the movie Gaslight).
In a similar vein I chose a small Bed & Breakfast to stay in that was on Ebury Street because that was the intended target for a rocket attack in Ian Flemming's novel Moonraker.
MaggieH: I do not feel that visiting these places changed my perception in any way. I believe that all artists are as much a product of their time as well as their surroundings and so visiting somewhere that they once lived can only give you half of the picture. Also, visiting a house where an author spent their last few years as a success is not as interesting in seeing their humble beginnings like Jackster mentioned about Hemmingway.
I have been to Twain's at Hartford but for me I am more interested in seeing the places that were written about than the places they were written.
I wanted to visit Hannibal, MO on a cross country trip to see the town that Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were based upon but it never worked out.
I am also looking forward to one day visiting Cannery Row and the rest of the "Steinbeck Country" if I ever make it on my planned California road trip.
Purely for the devotion he shows for district and his leadership I would choose Adam Wayne from G.K. Chesterton's "Napoleon of Notting Hill".
And the person most definitely not getting my vote ever is Ignatius Reilly from Confederacy of Dunces.
As a Brit I would certainly be interested in everyone's thoughts on a classic British novel using a similar criteria. As an outsider living in the states I feel I have a more defined idea of the spirit of America than I do of the spirit of Britain.
Indeed I believe that by EHartshorn's definition it would be even harder for there to even be a classic British novel. We have always had such a culture and class divide that I do not believe one story could be all encompassing.
My instant thought was the Grapes of Wrath as there has never been a better novel about strength in adversary but that was written 10 years after it was set so I am not sure if that counts.
Otherwise I would offer up On The Road by Jack Kerouac. The only problems are that it was largely autobiographical (which seems like a bit of a cheat) and it did not represent the spirit of the whole United States but only a small partof it.
Huckleberry Finn really is a great suggestion by danahuff but as I picked that as my answer to the last question I did not want to look like I was repeating myself :)
I like tymbr's suggestion of Dorian Grey. I am not sure I would necessarily live as debauched a life as him but the immortality is tempting.
The best I could think of would be Huckleberry Finn - just for the sense of freedom and adventure that he had or maybe Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse 5 for living such a varied, exciting and fulfilling life.
You might also want to check out Bullfinch's Mythology (also available on this site)
It covers all of the major Greek myths. (The Romans did not really have any mythology of their own. For the most part they just renamed the Greek gods)
In addition to Greek mythology is also covers Norse, Eastern and Arthurian myths.
The only thing it does not seem to cover is the early myths about the origin of the Universe and the rise of the Olympian gods over the Titans.
Specifically in the Ghost Stories forum or the forums in general?
I have had a few posts that got plenty of replies but I think that part of the problem is that with so many books on offer it is not often that you encounter someone who is reading the same book as you and as a result are unable to join in the discussion.
In all Greek tragedy there is a common theme whereby people will always fulfill a prophecy even though they are acting under free will.
But all tragic heroes have a fatal flaw which is usually partly to blame and, as you mentioned, Oedipus' was his pride.
It was his pride that made him refuse to yield to Laius at the crossroads and ultimately kill him.
However, in my opinion his parents were equally to blame for his fate. The prophecy foretold their fate and they tried to avoid it by killing him. If they had instead ignored the prophecy and raised Oedipus as their son then he would have known who his parents were and avoided his fate.
If you enjoyed this then I would also recommend Antigone which was another part of Sophocles' Theban trilogy.
There was a post about this in the Horror forum a few months ago that I replied to.
There is some contention as to whether the stuff is public domain or not in the States. However, it is public domain in Australia and so the full text of his work can be found on a different site:
Nice catch on the date reference there!
As to how much of the author placed himself in the story I know Doctorow is an unabashed Haunted Mansion fan so it certainly would not surprise me if he imagined himself as the protagonist.
I read about this on Boing Boing yesterday and tried using it to look up copyright on a few books (like Beau Geste which just missed out on the 1928 deadline and H.P.Lovecraft which has an unknown/dubious copyright status) but it wasn't easy as the search was pulling up all sorts of books that just mentioned it.
Hopefully someone will take that huge XML file and make it searchable. I wish I had the time to take a crack at it.
I personally always took it to be much further into the future than that. People have been alive long enough to take multiple degrees and create numerous works of art. I took that to mean that people had been alive several hundreds of years.
I received your note about Daily Lit's first birthday earlier today (and already filled out the survey) but I was wondering about what you called your launch date.
I started on my first book in September 2006, well over a year ago. Did I happen to join before the official start date?
Anyway, happy birthday and thanks again for everything.
This is the same problem as with Bulfinch's Mythology. In the introduction to that book there is a passage that says:
"...as our object is to make familiar the stores of general English literature which refer to such subjects, we shall retain, in general, the Latin names"
I grew up with E.V. Rieu's excellent translation of the Iliad and Odyssey so I share your frustration at the Romanised names.
One you missed off your list is:
Mars = Ares
and one that stays the same is Apollo who was called Apollo by the Greeks and Romans.
I had been interested in this too but I couldn't find any concrete evidence as to its copyright status.
I remember seeing a BBC mini series based upon the book (a long time ago) that I enjoyed a lot.
For future reference Maggie, what are the rules for public domain? Is it published works pre-1923?
I was not aware there was any Vonnegut on the site. I haven't read this before so I shall take a short respite from my current book to read this. Thanks.
I think it is most likely that whomever translated the title went for something less literal as I have heard it referred to both ways.
(I just checked Project Gutenberg and their title has the 'the' in it so I suspect that was the translation used)
That is possible but the thought of a beaver skin hat makes me think more of the American mountain men of the 19th century than the women of the 18th.
Perhaps it was the addition of the green veil that made it more ladylike.
Part of the enjoyment of reading old stories like this is the discovery of words that are no longer in use or whose meanings have changed over the years.
However, I did a double take when reading this passage from part 7:
"...she artlessly suffered the morning air to blow aside the green veil which descended low from her beaver."
I looked up some alternate meanings of the word beaver and the best match I could find was related to a type of fabric used for over garments but that does not seem to fit the context.
Does anyone else know what this could refer to?
There was a post about Lovecraft in the horror forum a while ago.
There appears to be a question mark over whether the books are actually in the public domain at the moment but a lot (if not all) of his short stories can actually be found here:
I was not aware that it was even a legend before Irving wrote the story.
I thought it was just a fictional story that has some characters and locations based upon real people and places.
It is nice for the site to get some recognition but it is a shame that the author was not as happy with the site as we obviously are.
For me, this site has not replaced reading but I have used it as a means to get through some novels that I had not or could not get through before whilst still reading books in the evenings.
(Moby Dick was the first book I read here and is a testament to how good the site is for doing that)
Perhaps part of what I like is that my Inbox is not cluttered with lots of jokes and junk email so all I have is personal email, work email and Daily Lit.
It will be interesting to see if more people do sign up as a result of the article though. Fingers crossed.
That's very interesting. I did not realise that. Thank you Maggie.
I am about two thirds of the way through this book and whilst tidying up one of my bookcases yesterday I found I owned an old second hand copy of it.
As I am enjoying it I thought I might as well finish reading the dead tree version rather than through email. However, when I tried to find where I was up to I was not initially able to.
The chapter names (and in some cases the chapter stops) are completely different between the 1965 printing I own and the copy on this site. I checked Project Guttenberg and compared their copy and their chapters match those of this site (indeed that might be where the Daily Lit copy came from).
Does anyone know why there might be a difference and which copy might be the original?
The interesting thing about my book copy is that the chapters are all written in the first person; I Go To Sea, I Build My Fortress, which makes sense given the context of the story.
I haven't read that book but a quick search shows that Cimeter is an alternate spelling of Scimiter.
I too finished Call of the Wild recently but I am so spoiled for choice with this site I think it might be some time before I return to Jack London.
Please let us know if you enjoy the book.
mlybrand - can you tell me more about this book?
I studied Classics at University and have always been a huge fan of Greek myths so I have a thorough knowledge of the stories that make up much of the first part of this book. However I would love to learn more about the Arthurian legends (I was never able to get into Mallory's Morte d'Arthur).
Is this a straight retelling of the tales?
Great. Thank you for the clarification Maggie.
Thanks Albert - I had not seen that option before.
How do the 'longer' and 'longest' subscriptions work. Are they 2x and 3x the length of a usual one?
I was able to catch the Patrick Stewart version on cable this weekend. I really enjoyed it.
It seemed a strange amalgam of the book, the original film and some new material but I was very pleased with the characterisations and found the relationship between Ahab and Starbuck was especially faithful.
Thank you for the recommendation.
Whereabouts are the Advanced Settings? I do not see anything in my Profile.
Well that clears up that!
Thank you for the extra information.
It has been many years since I learned French but I was taught that 'vous' was formal and 'tu' informal. As such I wonder if using 'tu' allowed the characters a middle ground between the 2 Russian extremes.
Yeah I know what you mean. It was inevitable if still a little brutal.
I too was surprised at how dark they were. Baum was not joking when he said he wanted it to be a modern fairy story. It easily matched some of the 'classic' fairy tales in tone. I was especially surprised and saddened by the Tin Man's tale.
Thank you. I will try reading another one after my current book and see how it compares.
I just finished reading the Wonderful Wizard of Oz as I was interested in seeing how it compared to the movie but I know nothing of the other books.
Can anyone tell me about them? Would you recommend them?
I am interested in reading it in the future but I am partly put off by its reputation of being such an difficult novel to read.
Please let me know how you find it as you progress.
I agree that it is an amazing book. Definitely worth checking out.
I had actually started designing a program to try and do the work of splitting up the pages but I just haven't had the time recently to pursue it.
Perhaps when Albert opens things up I will be devote some more time to it.
I completely agree. I have tried to read this book twice and failed both times.
I am determined to try again one day and maybe this will be the site that will make it happen. But having just taken 9 months to read Moby Dick I am looking to read some shorter stories first.
It is certainly historical but it is from one persons point of view so you have to take that into consideration when reading it.
My version (1997 - paperback first edition) goes up to and including chapter 26.
And it does include a chapter 19.
If you have any other questions about the book let me know.
As an aside, for anyone who is not familiar with this book I highly recommend it. It is very funny.
It was the old version with Gregory Peck as Ahab.
I haven't seen the Patrick Stewart version but I am very interested in seeing what he did with the role.
I own this book. I will try to remember to check for you. If you do not hear back post again and nag me :)
I actually found the 1960 movie very accurate to the book with the exception of an addition referencing World War II.
This story was the first of Wells' that I read and I enjoyed it enough to read more.
I finished the book on Friday and then watched the movie last night. I had always thought the movie was held in high regard and considered faithful and so I was very surprised at how much they changed the text.
Ahab became obsessed with Moby Dick to the point where he did not care about hunting other whales. Starbuck tried to talk the other officers into mutiny. Queequeg requested the coffin be built after foreseeing his death.
The biggest change that surprised me was Ahab's death. The ending was one of the few things I remembered from seeing the movie as a child with Ahab's body lashed to the side of Moby Dick. By contrast the ending of the book seemed almost rushed and anti-climactic.
I appreciate that the book was very hard to adapt and the film did capture a lot of the tone but it just made me wonder if all of the people who thought the film was a good adaptation had ever read the book...
I am now only a few episodes from the end and looking back it has been an exceedingly informative book. But I agree with what you have both said above.
Moby Dick is half novel and half treatise on whaling and that is what makes it so fascinating and frustrating at the same time.
But I am glad I am going to finish it. It might have taken me 9 months with the daily chunks but if I were reading this as a physical book I would have put it down several times.
According to wikipedia there is some on going contention as to when the copyright expires on his work so it is unknown whether anything published after 1923 is in the public domain yet.
However I did find this page:
which contains a lot of his short stories if you were interested.
There is also a book he wrote called "Supernatural Horror in Literature" here:
Yes! Less than 40 installments to go now.
The film was on tv a few weeks ago and I recorded it but I am determined not to watch it until I am finished with the book because whilst I want to watch the film again, I do not want it to colour my perception of the characters in the book.
Thanks for the recommendation. I will see if I can find the book.
I am on part 209 of Moby Dick and I can happily say I have been spam free. They really have a great site here. I hope you enjoy it.
I only read the book a few years ago so by that time I had been tainted by many film and tv variations of the story.
I enjoyed the book but was initially surprised at how short it was.
I personally viewed it as a study of the two sides of a persons nature and the capability for good and evil within them.
What seems amusing now is that whilst it is never explicitly told what Mr Hyde got up to some of it would probably seem tame by todays standards (I am thinking drinking and sex rather than the murder) so it now also serves as an interesting look at Victorian society.
There were only published in the 1960's so they won't be available for this site any time soon.
I remember the tv show when I was young and it was cancelled at the end of the second series. It took me a long time to be able to find the 3rd book to finish reading.
I really enjoyed the tv show.
I just looked up the series on wikipedia and it appears there was a 4th book written in 1988 that served as a prequel. More information can be found here:
...but Ishmael is narrating the story himself which makes me think he survives to tell his tale.
I'm up to part 189 now and it has gotten easier to read. Maybe I have just become inured to the the language.
I read it some time ago so I do not remember the pacing. The problem I had was that the original film was vivid in my mind when reading it so it was very hard to imagine anything outside of the movie.
I am not familiar with the book but I am reading Moby Dick at the moment (up to part 175). Does it directly relate to Moby Dick and so should I wait until I have finished it before reading this?
I would say that all of those books became classics a long time ago. Unfortunately Salinger is still alive so Catcher is definitely still under copyright.
I want to say Orwell died in 1950 so I am not sure what the status is of his books as to whether they are in the public domain.
awesome! I am going to bookmark this to read after work today. Thanks for the link.
I would enjoy that too. I have Tarzan and Princess of Mars on my list to try for Burroughs.
I thought it might amuse you to know that in part 127 of Moby Dick that I read today was the sentence:
"Meanwhile, Stubb retaining his place in the van, still encouraged his men to the onset, all the while puffing the smoke from his mouth."
It seems perhaps that this was common word that has since fallen out of favour.
I only know Doyle from Sherlock Holmes so I might have to add this to my list of books to check out.
I would think it meant van as in Vanguard or front. It makes sense because the person at the front of the party would be the person to notice something first.
Another possibility would to have a very short critical essay on the novel. Something to say how the book fitted into the society of the time and its impact - kind of like the introductions Robert Osbourne does on Turner Classic Movies.
Sometimes knowing why a book was influential is as interesting as knowing what it is about and can make it more attractive to readers.
Yes, that was one thing I was starting to notice the further I got into the book. I must admit I skimmed the Whale chapter although I think that might be common as I have heard several other people admit the same thing.
I do find myself often clicking to receive the next fragment whenever the story is about Ishmael or the Pequod and waiting for the next day whenever the fragment has not advanced the plot.
In terms of age this is one of the oldest novels I have read (outside of the Greek plays and poems I read at University) and I look forward to seeing as I read more on this site whether this style is symptomatic of novels of the time.
I was going to assume that the link changed with each fragment but it doesn't. I just tried clicking next fragment in my part 115 and got 116 and then 117. So I am not sure what the problem might be. Does this happen to anyone else? I am using gmail if it makes any difference.
I was only thinking of keeping it within the realm of the Daily Lit library but I hadn't heard of that site before. Thanks for the link.
I think there is always value in debate because it everyone to confront why they hold their belief even if you both believe the same thing. Do you accept something because you were told it or have you come to this conclusion by your own research?
The problem as I see it is that belief is not about looking at the evidence. Belief ends the debate in your own head about something.
So when there is no certainty in either direction I think the value of having someone explain their beliefs is less important than having them explain what led them to that conclusion.
If they can do that they must have considered both sides of the argument which should mean they are aware of the lack of certainty. So the question not longer becomes WHAT they believe but WHY they believe it.
And if someone is unable to explain that then that is where the value of the teaching comes in.
I know that after time my profile will grow with a list of books that I have finished. But there are lots of books in the list that I have read already that I will never receive through Daily Lit.
It would be nice if I could select these to show in my profile so that you could more easily see what other people have read outside of their current and past subscriptions.
It would also be nice for my profile to show what books I would like to read next.
Not sure how easy any of that would be for you though :)
I have not personally encountered any problems with gmail. Sorry.
I think it is hard to really get a grasp on how tortured Holmes might have been because the stories are narrated by Watson as an observer.
He seems more interested in the deductive reasoning than any inner demons and always writes his accounts from the standpoint of an admirer.
I always found Holmes bachelor lifestyle lonely and his pursuits insular but it is hard to know what was considered acceptable at that time.
I really enjoyed this book and it gave me some added enjoyment when I went back to Disney late last year. I hadn't really enjoyed the Haunted Mansion or Hall of Presidents when I had visited the park as a child but got a lot more out of them having read the book.
If you enjoy the book I can recommend everything else Cory has written.
Thank you for the encouragement!
No I have been leaving those until last because I am so familiar of the story from the movie versions. I was thinking of Don Quixote and James Joyce's Ulysses next and I can only hope they are easier to read than Moby Dick is!
haha indeed I am. I recognised your user id too :)
The Holmes/House is not a coincidence.
Did you not notice that House also lives at the address 221B?
I am nearly half way through this book and it seems to veer between quite gripping and exceedingly frustrating. Some of the passages are so florid as to be almost unreadable.
As much as I am ashamed to admit it I am glad I have seen the movie (many years ago) as it is helping me through.
What does everyone else think?