Tuesday, September 23, 2008

75 Books Every Woman Should Read

Kerri tweeted this list of books and I thought I'd go thru it and see how woefully underread I am. I hate these lists - they make me feel like a moron. Since I'm feeling like a little self-flagellation, I thought I'd share my lack of akchual literachure reading with all of you.

  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson- read the short story but nothing else.
  • To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf- nope, but I loved A Room Of One's Own. A lot.
  • The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton- nope, but I have read The Buccanneers and Age Of Innocence, which I loved.
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith- nope
  • The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende - nope
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion - nope
  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym - nope
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath - nope
  • Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys - nope
  • The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri - nope
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison - nope
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert- yes. Loved it.
  • Like Life, Lorrie Moore - nope
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen- of course. Defining moment of my childhood, reading that book.
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë - Excellent. The pinnacle of gothic novels.
  • The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin - nope
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley - nope
  • A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor - nope
  • The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx - nope, but I tried. I didn't like it.
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker - nope, but I read The Color Purple.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston - nope
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee- Yes. Awesome book.
  • Fear of Flying, Erica Jong - Yes, althought I didn't get it.
  • Earthly Paradise, Colette - nope, but I've read several of the Claudine books.
  • Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt- yes, and it was really fucking depressing.
  • Property, Valerie Martin - nope
  • Middlemarch, George Eliot - nope, but I own it.
  • Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid - nope
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir - nope
  • Runaway, Alice Munro - nope
  • The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers - nope
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston - nope
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë - Yes, although I didn't like it much.
  • You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates - nope, but I've read other books by her and I haven't liked them all that much.
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott- I LOVE this book. It's one of my all-time favorites.
  • Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill - nope (never heard of it)
  • The Liars' Club, Mary Karr - nope
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou- Yes. Excellent book.
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith - nope, but someone in book group wants to read it - I'm hoping it gets picked.
  • And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie - Yes. I love Agatha Christie. Love. Her.
  • Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison - nope
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt- Not yet, but it's on my list.
  • The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley - nope
  • The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker - nope
  • The Group, Mary McCarthy - nope
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi - nope
  • The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing - nope
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank- hasn't everyone read this?
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley- yes. It made me sad.
  • Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag - nope
  • In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez - nope
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck - nope
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel - nope
  • Three Junes, Julia Glass - nope
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft - nope
  • Sophie's Choice, William Styron - nope, but I tried. I knew the story and couldn't bear to read it.
  • Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann- yes. Meh.
  • Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford - nope
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell- Uh, yeah. About 847 times.
  • The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin - nope, but I have read at least one of the Earthsea books.
  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamant- great book, but the ending felt rushed.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera - nope, but it's on my list.
  • The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn - nope
  • My Antonia, Willa Cather - nope
  • Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez - nope, but I tried.
  • The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West - nope
  • Spending, Mary Gordon - nope
  • The Lover, Marguerite Duras - nope
  • The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy- yes. It weighed about 85 lbs, but I did read it.
  • Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen - nope
  • Nightwood, Djuna Barnes - nope
  • Three Lives, Gertrude Stein - nope
  • Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons - nope
  • I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith - nope
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt- nope

So yeah. Apparently I am not very well read. *sigh* Great. Something else to feel bad about. Because I don't have enough issues....


Heidi said...

Take heart. I saw your entry and thought, "Ooh! A meme!" Then I made my own list and am too ashamed to put it on my blog. lol I can only say I've "read" 7, and that's with a Bill Clintonesque definition of the word "read." If we're strict, I've really only read 3...

Zazzy said...

Were you being sarcastic when you said you guessed you weren't well read? I hate to take you seriously if you were joking. Especially since I know that you're very well read.

I've read some of the books on the list - about the same percentage as you. Some of the books on the list I detested, some that I think should be there aren't. I always wonder who gets to decide on a list like this and why anyone takes it seriously.

Of course, you were probably joking.

Major Bedhead said...

Zaz - I read a lot. What I haven't read is a lot of what people consider to be literature. Most of it doesn't speak to me and a lot of it I find boring. So I don't know. Am I well-read because I read a lot, even if some of what I read isn't highbrow?

Heidi - you should post it!

Anonymous said...

I've read about a third of these. Currently printing your list for my book file! (to be read)

Unknown said...

5...hanging head in shame

Stomper Girl said...

I've read (and not read) almost the same ones as you, including GWTW about 87 times. I read Erica Jong as an adolescent and really that was about sex for me, I doubt i'd enjoy it now that I *know* about sex.

But I loved loved loved Love in a Cold Climate, it made me squawk with laughter so I think you should try it.

MsPicketToYou said...

i've only read nine. But I read Like Life about 15 times. It's one of my all time favorites (add "Cowboys are My Weakness" and that's pretty much my reading list in college; oh, and "Boys of My Youth."

I think I am the only person never to have read the Red Tent.

Minnesota Nice said...

OMG, Angela's Ashes - I read it when I was laid up with my broken ankle. I'd be in my nice cozy bed, with a can of fat-free Pringles, a rice krispie treat, and big diet pepsi and read about the little boys who had nothing to eat and how the mom had to beg for a pig's head from the St Vincent DePaul Society. Also, they had to ccover up at night with their ratty coats as they had no blankets.
Then I found out that it was a true story and got even more depressed............
However, McCourt's two books that followed, "Tis and Teacher Man are a lot funnier.