Thursday, August 10, 2006

Read me, Seymour. Read me all night long. Part 3: The final countdown.

Part tres in my trilogy o' literacy. I make no apologies...but I will preface the post by admitting you'll find most of these books on everyone's 'read this to be literate' list. This is because I've purposely used lists of the classics to make my book selections. I'm playing catch up after 10 years of illiteracy, remember? In no particular order. Except for the first one. It's my favorite.

Gone With the Wind - I read this book every year. And every year I say, "Damn you Margaret Mitchell for not writing the sequel yourself." I've never read "Scarlett"...I hear it's crap. So anyway, during the week or so I re-read the book I find myself thinking, WWSD? And I slip into a fake southern accent and swish my hips a lot and say, "Oh Will! You know I'm just a country girl. Can't you get those chilluns to bed without my little ol' help?" And he avoids me until I've gotten all my southern debutante fantasies out of my head.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- Lovely little story that completely captures urban povery, adolescent female angst and the struggle to make life better. Anyone who actually knows me in person would know why I love this book.

The Bell Jar - This is a must read for housewives everywhere. Plath precisely articulates the frustrations and drudgery that goes into being a housewife. Especially a housewife with a college education. The woman in the story toys with madness and this isn't light fare.

Rebecca - Jealousy! Obsession! Insecurity! A mousy ex college girl marries a wealthy widower. A widower whose dead wife was the model of sophistication and beauty. For anyone who's ever had an unhealthy obsession. Easily my favorite suspense novel.

The Ordinary Princess
- I fell in love with this story when I was 10 years old. (see above picture) The baby princess is cursed with "ordinaryness". Her creamy complexion sprouts freckles. Her fine blond hair turns brown. She prefers climbing trees to princessy activities. Sweet and fun.

Atlas Shrugged - What can I say that hasn't been written a million times over by fawning post grad students trying to save the world? This book falls into the "change your life" category. Dear decadent gods of Hollywood, please don't let Angelina and Brad get cast in this movie. I'll hate you forever if you do. In Frank Capra's name, Amen.

The Grapes of Wrath - Any novel that convincingly paints a portrait of a historical reality is cool with me. This one is as heartbreaking as it gets. And beautifully written.

The Good Earth
- Very simple story of a Chinese farmer who struggles to improve his life. I wish I could spice it up...but that's really the story. The writing and imagery are pretty.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
- I loved this character like I love Scarlett. Calculating, manipulative, yet intelligent and non conforming. And a 40ish dame Maggie Smith stars in the movie version.

The Jungle - Don't read this on a full stomach. And don't read it at all if you plan on eating a burger in the next 24 hours. Do read it if you're a vegetarian and you want more ammunition for torturing your carnivorous friends.

Animal Farm
- I read this in a day. And I'm linking to this post for a funnier review of the book.

That's all for now. You probably can't tell this, but most of the books listed above are shockingly short. I already mentioned my attention span so there you go. Six months from now I'll post a new list with much more intelligent books. You'll be shocked at all the crazy smart books I'll be reading. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and I swear I'm going to actually finish something by Jane Austen. I think my ovaries are actually mad at me for not being able to get through Pride and Prejudice.


Blogger Awesome Mom said...

I can't believe you have not finished Pride and prejudice. That is one of my all time favorites. I try and read it at least once a year.

8/10/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Angel said...

Ok, Rebecca is going to be my FIRST purchase and FIRST read from your list. I just might go get it today when I get a couple hours to myself soon! WHOO-HOO! Borders here I come!

8/12/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

When I was senior in high school, I wrote a paper addressing the theme of self-alienation, and compared The Bell Jar to Kafka's The Metamorphoses. It was pretty good. My teacher ate it up. And I'm sure you can now understand the sarcasm that drips from my voice when I say, "I was really popular in high school."

Contrary to the general sadness of the book, I find it has the funniest line in all of literature, which is when Buddy takes off all of his clothes for Esther to see him naked and this line follows:

"The only thing I could think of was turkey neck and turkey gizzards and I felt very depressed."

Poor Sylvia.

8/12/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

P.S. Thanks for the link to my post.

8/12/2006 09:44:00 AM  

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