21 April 2010

Looking for some light reading?

I found this yesterday while looking for ideas books to read.

Like most stitchers, I like to read. I've always liked to read. My sainted grandmother's only flaw was that she did not value my passion for books when I was a child; she used to ask me couldn't I find anything else to do but stick my nose in a book? Probably my mom heard her saying that one day and told her to cut it out because, long about middle school, she stopped saying it. In college, with my major, you picked an "emphasis," with a secondary emphasis, and then a supplemental field of study. As I so often said, "I'm-majoring-in-arts-administration-with-an-emphasis-in-theatre-and-a-secondary-emphasis-in-music." My supplemental field was English and History, and I focused on American history and literature. So I'm not up on my English Lit. I just read Pride and Prejudice last fall. I have never finished Wuthering Heights. But I decided to see just how many of these 1001 books I have actually read.


I've read 46 of them. And that may be generous because I don't remember if I actually did read Nana, by Emile Zola. I know I read Germinal; I had mono in the spring of 1995 and my doctor told me that, if I wanted to get better, I HAD to sit in a chair for an hour a day and do NOTHING. So I read. Voraciously. Vanity Fair is on my "read" list because of it. Also The Jungle which, the nasty parts that supposedly inflamed the country into action against the meat-packing industry, that all of us read in high school, and then refused to eat lunch and toyed with vegetarianism as a result of, are the only mentions in the ENTIRE BOOK. I read it and thought, "Why the hype?" Maybe it was just the mono talking, I don't know . . . But I am not sure I read Zola's Nana.
But, I figure, I read The Little Prince in the original French in high school, so it all kind of evens out.

What strikes me today is that, of those 46 books, they came to be on my "read" list from so many sources. I read "Le Petit Prince" in French. It's hard for me to think about it any other way. I didn't know Camus' L'Etranger was The Outsider in English, but I read it in high school.

A lot of books came from references in my classes. They talked about the literature in my theatre classes. I'd write down the titles and then read them. It was confusing--theatre was so low-class back then, and there was all this fancy literature. I asked how these people read these books, then went to minstrel shows. My professors explained that no one read the books, LOL. Makes sense, right?

Anyway, I printed off the list, and I'm going to start to try to read the ones I've missed. Not all 1001--I don't really want to read all of them. But I could probably read another 300 or so and be OK. I did make a trip to the used bookstore today--I bought maybe 5 off the list, including a big volume of Edgar Allen Poe. I liked him in college, and it's a good thing to re-read. I also have War of the Worlds now, which I've meant to buy for a while. I know it will not be like the movie, and I want to see the difference.


Julie M said...

I looked at that list Rachel and I have to admit, I haven't read a single one of those books. I read, I read alot. But not the books on that list. Not sure what that says about me but that's the way it is.

mbroider said...

I do refer that list occasionally. I just checked - i have read 45 books off this list. Dont think it could have got closer!!! (to your 46)

Bette said...

I also love to read. I'll have to check the list and see what I've read.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls