wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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"Yes, but we think that anyway."

Mark Steyn on politicians' reading habits:
I mean, he [President Bush] is absolutely not the guy, this sort of fratboy idiot that they paint him as. He's a man who is greatly...he's not interested in...you know, when Al Gore says that he's reading Stendhal, The Red And The Black, we think what a pretentious twit.

(Hugh Hewitt, via Kate.)

I bring this up to make a political point only in passing, but primarily because it reminds me that I wanted to comment on yet another list of God-awful books seen over at Rachel's joint. I mean, sweet bleeding Jeebus, what kind of moist, pretentious sphincter would name a book 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die? I mean, I'm a pretty opinionated guy, but as far as fiction goes I wouldn't presume to tell anyone there's some novel, or set of novels, they must read before they die. Novels are fiction, entertainment, something you read to fill your spare time. Insofar as they have any use in the real world, they might help to illuminate a society at some point in the past while being about the main business of entertainment, or provide a useful thought experiment, but expecting them to do any more than that is just stupid, imao.

For what it's worth, I've read about seventy of the books on the list. Another five or six got started but I couldn't finish them. List behind the cut, if you really want to know.

Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx (dnf)
The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole (dnf)
Smiley’s People – John Le Carré
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Shining – Stephen King
Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Fear of Flying – Erica Jong
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
The First Circle – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov (dnf)
Giles Goat-Boy – John Barth
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico
The Once and Future King – T.H. White
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
The Plague – Albert Camus
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Finnegans Wake – James Joyce (dnf)
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner (dnf)
The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek
Ulysses – James Joyce (dnf)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce (dnf)
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (dnf)
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Moby-Dick – Herman Melville (dnf)
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Count of Monte-Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens '
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (dnf)
Tags: books, culture w/o politics
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