Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Er...about Ulysses...(and actual achievements)

I bought it.

I read about three pages.

Then I made this sort of squeaky yelp and hid it under my bed. MASSIVE support group is required before I attack that one!

I have crossed two others off my list though. I enjoyed Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, although for some reason at the end I was reminded of my only cinema studies subject in my undergrad when the lecturer talked about homo-eroticism and Top Gun and then we watched it and my poor 19 year old mind was blown. The ending of the book was incredible (no spoilers)

Catcher in the Rye was incredible. Now all I need to do is build a time machine, travel back to the year 2000 and let my seventeen year old self read it. Just an amazing book.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BookCat's 100

A while back I set a goal to read all of the Pulitzer-winning works, so those make up most of my list. The rest are books I've had on my shelf and haven't gotten around to reading... or books that I read years ago and need to read again

1. The Able McLaughlins -- Margaret Wilson
2. Advise and Consent -- Allen Drury
3. The Age of Innocence -- Edith Wharton
4. Alice Adams -- Booth Tarkington
5. All th King's Men -- Robert Penn Warren
6. American Pastoral -- Philip Roth
7. Amsterdam -- Ian McEwan
8. Andersonville -- MacKinlay Kantor
9. Angle of Repose -- Wallace Stegner
10. Arrowsith -- Sinclair Lewis
11. A Bell for Adano -- John Hersey
12. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
13. Billy Bathgate -- E.L. Doctorow
14. Breathing Lessons -- Anne Tyler
15. The Book Thief -- Markus Zusak
16. The Bridge of San Luis Rey -- Thornton Wilder
17. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao -- Junot Diaz
18. The Caine Mutiny -- Herman Wouk
19. The Children's Book -- A.S. Byatt
20. The Color Purple -- Alice Walker
21. A Confederacy of Dunces -- John Kennedy Toole
22. The Confessions of Nat Turner -- William Styron
23. A Death in the Family -- James Agee
24. Disgrace -- J.M. Coetzee
25. Dragon's Teeth -- Upton Sinclair
26. Early Autumn -- Louis Bromfield
27. The Edge of Sadness -- Edwin O'Connor
28. Elbow Room -- James Alan McPherson
29. Empire Falls -- Richard Russo
30. The English Patient -- Michael Ondaatje
31. The Executioner's Song -- Norman Mailer
32. A Fable -- Willia Faulkner
33. Fahrenheit 451 -- Ray Bradbury
34. The Fixer -- Bernard Malamud
35. Foreign Affairs -- Alison Lurie
36. The Gathering -- Anne Enright
37. Gilead -- Marilynne Robinson
38. Gone With the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
39. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain -- Robert Olen Butler
40. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
41. Guard of Honor -- James Gould Cozzens
42. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
43. His Family -- Ernest Poole
44. Home -- Marilynne Robinson
45. Honey in the Horn -- H.L. Davis
46. House Made of Dawn -- N. Scott Momaday
47. Humboldt's Gift -- Saul Bellow
48. In This Our Life -- Ellen Glasgow
49. Independence Day -- Richard Ford
50. The Inheritance of Loss -- Kiran Desai
51. Interpreter of Maladies -- Jhupa Lahiri
52. Ironweed -- William Kennedy
53. Journey in the Dark -- Martin Flavin
54. The Keepers of the House -- Shirley Ann Grau
55. The Killer Angels -- Michael Shaara
56. The Known World -- Edward P. Jones
57. Lamb in His Bosom -- Caroline Miller
58. The Late George Apley -- John P. Marquand
59. Laughing Boy -- Oliver LaFarge
60. The Lazarus Project -- Aleksandar Hemon
61. Life of Pi -- Yann Martel
62. The Line of Beauty -- Alan Hollinghurst
63. Lonesome Dove -- Larry McMurtry
64. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love -- Oscar Hijuelos
65. March -- Geraldine Brooks
66. The March -- E.L. Doctorow
67. Martin DRessler: The Tale of an American Dreamer -- Steven Millhauser
68. Midnight's Children -- Salman Rushdie
69. Now in November -- Josephine Winslow Johnson
70. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
71. Olive Kitteridge -- Elizabeth Strout
72. One of Ours -- Willa Cather
73. The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty
74. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
75. Rabbit at Rest -- John Updike
76. Rabbit is Rich -- John Updike
77. The Reivers -- Willia Faulkner
78. The Remains of the Day -- Kazuo Ishiguro
79. Sacred Games -- Vikram Chandra
80. Scarlet Sister Mary -- Julia Peterkin
81. Sea Of Poppies -- Amitav Ghosh
82. The Sea -- John Banville
83. The Shipping News -- Annie Proulx
84. So Big -- Edna Ferber
85. The Stone Diaries -- Carol Shields
86. The Store -- T.S. Stribling
87. A Summons to Memphis -- Peter Taylor
88. Tales of the South Pacific -- James A. Michener
89. Tinkers -- Paul Harding
90. The Town -- Conrad Richter
91. The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters -- Robert Lewis Taylor
92. Tree of Smoke -- Denis Johnson
93. The True History of the Kelly Gang -- Peter Carey
94. Vernon God Little -- D.B.C. Pierre
95. Waiting -- Ha Jin
96. The Way West -- A.B. Guthrie, Jr
97. The White Tiger -- Aravind Adiga
98. Wolf Hall -- Hilary Mantel
99. The Yearling -- Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
100. Years of Grace -- Margaret Ayer Barnes
....This is going to be fun!
--Sara (aka BookCat)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Melissa A's List

Hi everyone! I'm kinda late to the party, but when I heard about this challenge, I couldn't resist joining!

My list is made up of a variety of titles I’ve been meaning to read for years: books I’m ashamed I’ve never read even though I was an English major, women’s studies classics, animal rights classics, the Russians, books that have been sitting on my shelves forever. Several of the books coincide with my 1001 Books and Pulitzer projects. And, of course, what kind of feminist would I be if I didn’t strive for some gender equity? About half of the books on this list were written by women, and a number of them are written by people of color.

  1. Adams, Carol J. – The Pornography of Meat
  2. Adams, Douglas – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  3. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi – Half of a Yellow Sun
  4. Adiga, Aravind – The White Tiger
  5. Alcott, Louisa May – Little Women
  6. Alexie, Sherman – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
  7. Allende, Isabel – The House of the Spirits
  8. Alvarez, Julia – How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
  9. Alvarez, Julia – In the Time of the Butterflies
  10. Angelou, Maya – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  11. Asimov, Isaac – I, Robot
  12. Atwood, Margaret – The Blind Assassin
  13. Atwood, Margaret – The Handmaid’s Tale
  14. Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
  15. Bradbury, Ray – Fahrenheit 451
  16. Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights
  17. Buck, Pearl S. – The Good Earth
  18. Camus, Albert – The Stranger
  19. Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood
  20. Cervantes – Don Quixote
  21. Chabon, Michael – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  22. Chbosky, Stephen – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  23. Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
  24. Cunningham, Michael – The Hours
  25. Danticat, Edwidge – Brother, I’m Dying
  26. de Beauvior, Simone – The Second Sex
  27. DeLillo, Don – Underworld
  28. Diamant, Anita – The Red Tent
  29. Diaz, Junot – Drown
  30. Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities
  31. Dostoevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment
  32. Dostoevsky, Fyodor – The Brothers Karamazov
  33. Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man
  34. Esquivel, Laura – Like Water for Chocolate
  35. Eugenides, Jeffrey – The Virgin Suicides
  36. Faludi, Susan – Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women
  37. Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby
  38. Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
  39. Forster, E.M. – Maurice
  40. Frazier, Charles – Cold Mountain
  41. Friedan, Betty – The Feminine Mystique
  42. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins – Herland
  43. Gogol, Nikolai – Dead Souls
  44. Greer, Germaine – The Female Eunuch
  45. Heller, Joseph – Catch-22
  46. Hemingway, Ernest – For Whom the Bell Tolls
  47. Hesse, Herman – Siddhartha
  48. Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  49. Hugo, Victor – Les Miserables
  50. Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
  51. Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
  52. Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House
  53. Jelinek, Elfriede – The Piano Teacher
  54. Kincaid, Jamaica – My Brother
  55. Kundera, Milan – The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  56. L’Engle, Madeleine – A Wrinkle in Time
  57. Larsen, Nella – Passing
  58. Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird
  59. Lewycka, Marina – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
  60. MacDonald, Anne-Marie – The Way the Crow Flies
  61. Martell, Yann – Life of Pi
  62. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – Love in the Time of Cholera
  63. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – One Hundred Years of Solitude
  64. Mistry, Rohinton – A Fine Balance
  65. Morrison, Toni – Beloved
  66. Morrison, Toni – Song of Solomon
  67. Murdoch, Iris – The Sea, The Sea
  68. Nabokov, Vladimir – Lolita
  69. Nemirovsky, Irene – Suite Francaise
  70. Oates, Joyce Carol – Blonde
  71. Ovid – Metamorphoses
  72. Pamuk, Orhan – Snow
  73. Paz, Octavio – The Labyrinth of Solitude
  74. Roth, Philip – American Pastoral
  75. Rushdie, Salman – The Satanic Verses
  76. Salinger, J.D. – Catcher in the Rye
  77. Saramago, Jose – Blindness
  78. Schlosser, Eric – Reefer Madness
  79. Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
  80. Sinclair, Upton – The Jungle
  81. Singer, Peter – Animal Liberation
  82. Smith, Zadie – On Beauty
  83. Smith, Zadie – White Teeth
  84. Steinbeck, John – East of Eden
  85. Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath
  86. Steinbeck, John – Of Mice and Men
  87. Stoker, Bram – Dracula
  88. Tan, Amy – The Joy Luck Club
  89. Tolkien, J.R.R. – The Lord of the Rings
  90. Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina
  91. Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
  92. Toole, John Kennedy – Confederacy of Dunces
  93. Urrea, Luis Alberto – The Devil’s Highway
  94. Vonnegut Jr., Kurt – Slaughterhouse Five
  95. Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray
  96. Wolf, Naomi – The Beauty Myth
  97. Wollstonecraft, Mary – A Vindication on the Rights of Women
  98. Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse
  99. Wright, Richard – Native Son
  100. Zusak, Mark – The Book Thief

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This book has been on my TBR list for the longest time. It was well worth waiting for. I love the main character, Christopher. He's very funny at times. some of the math stuff I didn't get, but it was amazing all the same. When Christopher is trying to get to London and his mother, I got so frustrated with the people. I wanted to shout at them to leave him alone. It's frustrating enough for a "normal" person to travel but to be Autistic and trying to travel on your own would be an awful experience. The worst part is the LIE his father tells him. What LIE is that? You'll have to read the book to find out. It's a really awesome book!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Review-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I recently met a YA librarian who recommended The Book Thief. It was already on my Fill In The Gaps list since it won awards and other people had mentioned they enjoyed it. Like 80% of the other books I read I didn't really know what The Book Thief was about. It's about a young girl growing up in Germany at the start of WWII. Yeah you knew that eh?
The book is narrated by Death. At first I wasn't sure that was going to work for me, but quickly got used to Death narrating. Death narrated in both a impersonal (this is how it happened) way and a deeply personal way. Death had a great way of going back and forth on his narration.
The main character, Liesel, lived in this deeply depressing town with little happiness. As she learns to read she finds other ways to escape from the dreary existence of her life and makes true friends along the way. But rather than losing herself in a good book, those books create bridges to other people. I think my favorite part is when she reads to everyone in the basement during the raids. As she reads people become focused on her words and the story and forget the bombs outside.
The writing is so beautiful. Despite that the setting of a war torn country, Zusak makes the landscape come to life. The town was definitely another character, the buildings and the streets became real in my mind. I enjoyed the little asides that were strewn through the book. It made the book less depressing. Honestly, I did enjoy it especially the last 200 pages or so. Before that eh. I liked the writing but I wasn't feeling it as much. I think I was afraid to care about the characters too much because you know something bad is going to happen to them. But the characters beat me down in the end and I was drawn into their lives. Overall I enjoyed it but still kind of pissed that I only got one page of what happens to Max and that did not answer my questions.