Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1,001 books; or, for a while there, I thought I was illiterate

Well, people, I'm doing a meme. Again. Because I really am that desperate for something to say.

I mean, sure, I could write a blog post on how I find Sarah Palin eerily unlike myself, even though we're both brunettes who wear sexy librarian glasses and live in a cold climate. But you wouldn't want to read that.

You see, Palin has fans who are planning on voting for her because she's just like them.

And that's one reason I'm not voting for her. It's because--no. I can't say it. It would come across as egotistical, and I don't do egotistical. What I really do best is a kind of sprightly self-denigration.

But I can't talk about Sarah Palin without coming up with adjectives like provincial, tacky, uneducated, inarticulate, and bumptious. And this leads me to the inescapable conclusion that I think of myself as sophisticated, classy, educated, articulate, and socially aware.

And I simply can't go there.

So I'm going to talk about books.


OK, here is this 1,001 Books meme thing I grabbed from Jasmine. Except I did it my way. Instead of copying and pasting the entire list and then bolding and italic-ing and whatever, I just deleted all the books I hadn't read. So these are all books I've read, I just couldn't get rid of the bolding and italics and indenting and auto-numbering and such. (You simply would not believe what the html looks like beneath this smooth, dare I say it? Sophisticated facade.)


I have read exactly no books on the list of 69 titles from the 2000s.


I have read exactly no books from the 114 titles from the 1990s.

(Wait a minute. Maybe I'm less sophisticated than I thought.)

1900 - 1980s

  1. Money: A Suicide Note – Martin Amis
  2. Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
  3. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  4. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  6. The World According to Garp – John Irving
  7. Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
  8. Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  9. Fear of Flying – Erica Jong
  10. Rabbit Redux – John Updike
  11. Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  12. Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
  13. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
  14. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
  15. Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  16. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  17. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
  18. Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
  19. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  20. Rabbit, Run – John Updike
  21. The Once and Future King – T.H. White
  22. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  23. The Story of O – Pauline Réage
  24. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  25. Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
  26. Foundation – Isaac Asimov
  27. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  28. The End of the Affair – Graham Greene 1940s
  29. I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
  30. Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
  31. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  32. The Plague – Albert Camus
  33. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  34. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  35. The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
  36. Native Son – Richard Wright
  37. Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys 1930s
  38. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  39. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  40. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  41. Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner
  42. The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers
  43. Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
  44. Miss Lonelyhearts – Nathanael West
  45. Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L. Sayers
  46. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  47. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  48. The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
  49. The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
  50. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
  51. Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
  52. Orlando – Virginia Woolf
  53. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
  54. Quartet – Jean Rhys
  55. Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust
  56. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  57. The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
  58. A Passage to India – E.M. Forster
  59. Ulysses – James Joyce
  60. The Fox – D.H. Lawrence
  61. Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
  62. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce 1910s
  63. Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham
  64. Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
  65. Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
  66. Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
  67. Howards End – E.M. Forster 1900s
  68. A Room With a View – E.M. Forster
  69. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  70. Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Forster
  71. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  72. The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  73. Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann


  1. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  2. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  3. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  4. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. New Grub Street – George Gissing
  7. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  8. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  9. Hunger – Knut Hamsun
  10. She – H. Rider Haggard
  11. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  13. Against the Grain – Joris-Karl Huysmans
  14. Ben-Hur – Lew Wallace
  15. Nana – Émile Zola
  16. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  17. Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
  18. Drunkard – Émile Zola
  19. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  20. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
  21. Phineas Finn – Anthony Trollope
  22. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  23. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  24. The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
  25. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  26. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  27. Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  28. The Water-Babies – Charles Kingsley
  29. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  30. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  31. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  32. Adam Bede – George Eliot
  33. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  34. North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
  35. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  36. Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  37. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  38. Villette – Charlotte Brontë
  39. Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  40. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  41. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  42. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  43. Shirley – Charlotte Brontë
  44. Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
  45. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  46. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  47. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  48. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  49. The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
  50. The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
  51. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  52. The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
  53. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  54. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  55. Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
  56. Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
  57. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  58. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  59. Emma – Jane Austen
  60. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
  61. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  62. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen


  1. Evelina – Fanny Burney
  2. Humphrey Clinker – Tobias George Smollett
  3. Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
  4. Rasselas – Samuel Johnson
  5. Fanny Hill – John Cleland
  6. Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
  7. Pamela – Samuel Richardson
  8. A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
  9. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  10. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
  11. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  12. A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift


  1. The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  2. The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous;
  3. Metamorphoses – Ovid
  4. Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus


Still with me?

Perhaps later, gentle reader, I'll let you know what I actually thought of these books. But not now.

No, I'll save those ruminations for those long, cold winter evenings by the fire. Because nothing beats the warm glow you get as book after book is being lobbed onto the flames by a former beauty queen from Alaska.



  1. Sarah Palin does have a bachelor's degree in Journalism-Communications from the University of Idaho.

  2. I don't want someone just like me to be Vice President or President. I want someone way more knowledgeable and statespersonlike than I am to have that job. That's why I said no when the McCain campaign approached me.

    Besides, how would I keep up with the blogging? The demands of the campaign trail are onerous.

    And, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn should have been somewhere on that list.

  3. She has a degree in journalism? Shit, that means she's just like ME.

    And Poppy, if you highlight the text in your compose window and then click on the eraser in the toolbar, it removes all the formatting. You don't know HOW MUCH html I painstakingly removed by hand from all those copied and pasted memes before I figured that out.

  4. heather: I knew that. But somehow I'm not all that impressed with a journalism degree as the educational background for someone who could end up President. (Especially when you spend a lot of time making cracks about the media.) I mean, ideally you're someone who understands law or maybe finance (although I don't think Bush's MBA has done us any favors.)

    SuburbanC: The list was about the progress of the novel, and apparently, I think the novel was pretty much perfected by 1985, and that's why I haven't read Memoirs of a Geisha.

    badger: A journalism degree and glasses is as far as I'm willing to go. I really don't see you with a Holy Roller headbump. Now about the eraser, I did know about that, but when I used it, it erased the fancy running numbering system I inherited from Jasmine, and I kind of liked it.

  5. Jeez, ya know, I dint think ya were that much like her. I mean, yer all CLASSY and stuff like that. (Insert HARD emphasis on the short "a" sound.)

    This post begs the question, what were you reading in the last 2 decades?

  6. GGinW: Oh, that's easy. Blogs, and before that, the internet in general, and Usenet, specifically alt.fashion, and Vogue magazine, cookbooks, etiquette books, other non-fiction, um ... Stephanie Plum books, Harry Potter, and everything Patrick O'Brian ever wrote, ditto Jen Lancaster, a couple of bushels of P. G. Wodehouse ... and a whole shitload of crap for graduate school.

  7. Frankly, I prefer my presidential and vice presidential candidates to be at least as smart as me, if not smarter. And I also like it if they went to GOOD schools and majored in DIFFICULT subjects.

    BTW, have you seen the video of Palin during the Miss Alaska swimsuit competition?

  8. From an outsider's point of view, and with respect, it is completelely gobsmacking that SP could get anywhere near the White House. I was hoping it was just media exaggeration...but no, she really does go moose shooting?


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.