Thursday, January 7, 2010

Laura Elliott's List

When I grew up, I thought my dad was James Bond. He worked as a hydroelectric engineer in far away places with strange names. Places most people wouldn't travel, like jungles with headhunters. Which explains my fascination with travel and storytelling. However, for reasons much too long to go into here [speed reading classes, math and science ruling my high school life, etc] I didn't read as a child. I only discovered reading, especially reading aloud, when I had my own children. [Do check out The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease from your local library, changed my life once upon a time...] Long story short, I have many gaps to fill! In compiling my list, three things were very important too me. Although I wanted to focus on "the classics," as I have much catching up to do in my reading, it was also important to me to read from different time periods hoping to include current titles in the YA genre, the type of stories I write. I also wanted to balance my list in terms of male and female authors. This was hard to do. There are so many more male authors. My list includes 40 female and 60 male authors. And lastly, I wanted to read as much magical realism as I could because I found out this year that I write these types of stories and hadn't "realized" this before. So, here's my list. I'm so excited. It took me so long to compile my list that I actually finished a book, The Ghost Sea, while writing it!

Adams, Douglas, A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy [1979]
Alcott, Louisa May, Little Women, [1868]
Allende, Isabelle, The House Of The Spirits [1982]
Angel Asturias, Miguel, El Señor Presidente [1946]

Baum, L. Frank, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz [1900]
Barrie, J. M., Peter Pan [1904]
Bloom, Judy, Then Again Maybe I Won’t [1971]
Bradley, Marion Zimmer, The Mists of Avalon [1982]
Brontë, Charlotte, Jane Eyre [1847]
Burgess, Anthony, A Clockwork Orange [1956]
Burnett, Frances Hodgson, The Secret Garden [1911]

Camus, Albert, The Stranger [1942]
Campbell, Joseph, The Hero With A Thousand Faces [1949]
Carpentier, Alejo, The Kingdom of the World [1949]
Carver, Raymond, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? [1976]
Cather, Willa Sibert, My Anotonia [1918]
Checkov, Anton, Collected Stories [1882-1904]
Chandler, Raymond, The Big Sleep [1939]
Clifford, Mary Louis and Clifford, J. Candace, Women Who Kept The Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers [1993]
Coelho, Paulo, The Alchemist, [1988]
Collins, Suzanne, The Hunger Games [2008]

Dahl, Roald, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory [1964]
Dana, Richard Henry Jr., Two Years Before The Mast [1840]
Dicamillo, Kate, The Tale of Despereaux [2004]
De Cervantes, Miguel, Don Quixote [1605]
de Andrade, Mário, Macunaíma [1928]
Dickens, Charles, A Christmas Carol [1843]
Dickens, Charles, David Copperfield [1850]
Dumas, Alexandre, The Three Musketeers [1844]
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, The Brothers Karamazov [1880]
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes [1892]

Eliot, George, Middlemarch [1972]

Faulkner, William, As I Lay Dying [1930]
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby [1925]
Foster Wallace, David Infinite Jest [1996]
Frank, Anne, The Diary of Anne Frank [1947]
Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins, A Humble Romance and Other Stories [1887]

García Márquez, Gabriel, One Hundred Years Of Solitude [1967]

Haddawy, Husain [translator]; Mahdi Muhsin [editor], The Arabian Nights [9th Century]
Heller, Joseph, Catch-22 [1961]
Hemingway, Ernest, For Whom The Bell Tolls [1940]
Hinton, S.E. , The Outsiders [1977]
Huxley, Aldus, Brave New World [1932]

Irving, Washington, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories [1917]

Jackson, Shirley, The Haunting of Hill House [1959]

Kafka, Franz, The Metamorphosis [1915]
Kerouac, Jack, On The Road [1957]
Kipling, Rudyard, Just So Stories [1902]
Kingsolver, Barbara, Animal Dreams [1991]
Kostova, Elizabeth, The Historian [2005]
Kundera, Milan, The Unbearable Lightness of Being [1984]

Lawrence, D.H. , Lady Chatterley's Lover [1928]
Lee, Harper, To Kill A Mockingbird [1960]
Lessing, Doris, The Golden Notebook [1962]
Lia Block, Francesca, Weetzie Bat [2004]
Lisle, Janet Taylor, Afternoon of the Elves [1991]
Loos, Anita, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes [1925]

Máté, Ferenc, Ghost Sea [2006]
McCullers, Carson, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter [1940]
Meyer, Stephanie, Eclipse [2007]
Meyer, Stephanie, Breaking Dawn [2008]
Miller, Henry, Tropic of Cancer [1934]
Milton, John, Paradise Lost [1667]
Morrison, Toni, Beloved [1987]
Muir, John, Meditations of John Muir [1900]
Munro, Alice, Friend of My Youth [1990]

Nabokov, Vladimir, Lolita [1955]
Niffenegger, Audrey, The Time Traveler’s Wife [2003]

O’Conner, Flannery, A Good Man is Hard to Find [1955]

Paterson, Katherine, Bridge to Terabithia [2005]
Patchett, Ann, Bel Canto [2001]
Picoult, Jodi, Keeping Faith [1999]
Plath, Sylvia [Victoria Lucas], The Bell Jar [1963]
Poe, Edgar Allen, The Cask of Amontillado [1846]
Prose, Francine, Reading Like A Writer [2006]
Proulx, Annie E., The Shipping News [1993]

Quinlin, Michael P. [Editor], Classic Irish Stories [2005]

Rulfo, Juan, Pedro Paramo [1955]

Sagan, Francoise, A Certain Smile [1956]
Stalcup, Ann, On The Homefront: Growing Up in Wartime England [1998]
Shakespeare, William [retold by Bruce Coville] Hamlet [1600]
Silko, Leslie Marmon, The Almanac of the Dead [1992]
Sparks, Nicholas, The Last Song [2009]
Stein, Gertrude, Three Lives [1909]
Steinbeck, John, Grapes of Wrath [1939]
Steinbeck, John, Of Mice and Men [1937]
Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island [1883]
Stevenson, Robert Louis, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1886]
Stoker, Bram, Dracula [1897]

Tan, Amy, The Joy Luck Club [1989]
Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace [1869]
Twain, Mark, Tom Sawyer [1876]
Twain, Mark, The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County [1867]

Updike, John, Rabbit, Run [1960]
Urquhart, Jane, Away [1993]
Uslar-Pietri, Arturo, Las Lanzas Coloradas [1931]

Wells, H.G., The War of the Worlds [1898]
Wilde, Oscar, The Importance of Being Earnest [1895]
Wroblewski, David, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle [2008]

Young, William Paul, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity [2007]

I just can't wait to read these books. It's so exciting to have a plan to finally read the books I've always wanted to read. I've been enjoying the reviews here and look forward to reading your thoughts on the books on your lists. Well, time to go put a pot of water on and get to it...


Anonymous said...

Having a plan makes all the difference. :)



moonrat said...

plans are, indeed, great. glad to "meet" you, and great list!

Emily Cross said...

Welcome Laura, excellent list. actually lots of crossover with my own.

To Kill a mockingbird is absolutely excellent but for a quick/exciting read - the hunger games is really good!

Shellie (Layers of Thought) said...

You have some overlaps with my list as well and several books on your list which are my favorites.

I do love magical realism so I will look forward to your reviews.

Goedi said...

nice list. makes me want to reread some and join you on others while you're on them (or right after).
why are some of your entries in purple?

Linda said...

Great list! Some overlap with mine, not too much. Look forward to hearing your progress!

Briony said...

I also love magical realism, but I love Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy more :) Can't wait to read your reviews!

hifidel said...

That's going to be a fun list. There are a few overlaps with mine, but not a lot.

Glad you are joining us!

Tanguera said...

Smart idea putting your list in alphabetical order like that. I'm going to re-order mine on my blog just so I can find what I've read.

Nice list. Some excellent (and very enjoyable) reads on there.

Laura Elliott said...


You are so right. Having a plan is everything. And, I'm not a big planner. Never have been. It's a long, long story why. And I'm sure it will end up in a novel, as one of my character's tragic, very tragic flaw one day:)


Thanks a lot! Glad to "meet" you too. Can't wait to read your posts and blog.


Thanks so much. *checks you list out now* You know, I've tried to read To Kill A Mockingbird three times and never got into it? My bad. This time I'm GONNA DO IT! And can't wait for Hunger Games:)

Laura Elliott said...


Nice to meet a fellow magical realism fan:) I'll have to check your list out too. I love the questions I had to ask myself as I compiled this list. Learned a lot about what's important to me!


Cool. That's awesome. The one's in purple are the titles written by the female author's on my list. Gals I hunted for and really wanted to include as I was finding so many more titles authored by men than women. The women were too busy taking care of everyone else to write, most literally fell asleep at the page, I'm sure.


Looking forward to posting and munching away at these books. I've got two going at the same time right now:) Looking forward to reading your posts.

Laura Elliott said...


hee-heee...FINALLY, I'll be in the literary circle of people who've read HGTTG. Can't wait! Huzzah to another magical realism fan:) Can't wait to read your posts.

hifidel [Shelly],

Excellente. Thanks for the props. Looking forward to your take on your books and getting a few books under my belt. The list is one thing. READING is quite another. And, I'm such a freakin' hamster...I can't barely sit in one place for very long some days:)


Hey, thanks. I'm SO not organized, so your kind words have made my year:) [ok, there's only been 9 days, but still] Can't wait to read your posts.