Wish I was still reading Among Others

I finished reading Jo Walton’s much prize-winning book, Among Others yesterday. Throughout, I found myself sort of drifting, liking the book, but not feeling terribly compelled. Now that it is done, however, I find that I am missing it. Not necessarily in that way that you wish you knew what happened to Harry after Voldemort, but rather… well, I just miss it. The characters, the world, the is-it-or-isn’t-it magic, the feel of it.

I’m picking something else to read now, but I sort of just feel like sitting and daydreaming about Among Others a little while longer.

Quite a book. Not for everyone. ymmv.

Can’t do that with a Kindle

So, I was sitting in the dim light of our family room, reading something on our iPad, and I realized. All this talk about how you can’t use the iPad in sunlight never points out that you can’t use the Kindle in the dark. Sure, using the iPad in the dark is a little like staring at a flashlight, but you’d think it would be worth noting.

Am I influencing my boys? Cool.

In writing about how I sing to my baby, something occurred to me. I told stories to the first one, and he is now an avid reader/listener of stories. I sing to my second boy, and he is already much more interested in music than the first one ever was. Coincidence? Nature? Nurture? I’ll probably never know. But that’s how we make it as parents, right? Taking credit for what we can, to offset the blame we’ll surely earn later.

The Banned Books

Okay, I’m game. But true to my penchant, I’ve re-ordered things a bit. Not sure what the original sort was (most banned, maybe) but I think this order is useful, too.

I’ve read these and remember them well (8 out of 110):

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Animal Farm by George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Lord of the Flies by William Golding Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder Almost all of these are books I read in High School, the exception being the Little House books, which we owned, and I read when I was a pre-teen. Oh, and Catch-22, which I read on my own, but when I was a teenager.

I’ve read these, but so long ago I only remember them vaguely (16 of 110):

The Bible Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain Arabian Nights Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain Origin of Species by Charles Darwin Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer In Olde English Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Ulysses by James Joyce Brave New World by Aldous Huxley A Separate Peace by John Knowles James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes These are also mostly books I read because I was told to do so, usually by a teacher. A Separate Peace I remember as being one of my favorite books ever, and we had great fun with Canterbury Tales. The Bible, well, the Old Testament, we read in my senior AP English class (the year’s theme was “Hell”). Stranger in a Strange Land I read on my own, and the Origin of Species I did not read until college, as you would expect.

I would like to read these, someday (12 of 110):

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut This is an interesting bunch of books. Don Quixote, Oliver Twist, Sherlock Holmes, Western Front, Dr. Zhivago, and Cuckoo’s Nest are all works I know in another format (usually film). I am curious about the source material. Benjamin Franklin, Plath, Nabokov, and Vonnegut are authors I am interested in being exposed to. I know I like D.H. Lawrence, and I have a thing for Russian literature, apparently.

I’ve never heard of these, maybe I’d like them?

Essays by Michel de Montaigne Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio Red and the Black by Stendhal Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser Jungle by Upton Sinclair Diary by Samuel Pepys Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser Red Pony by John Steinbeck Popol Vuh Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith Black Boy by Richard Wright Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse Power and the Glory by Graham Greene Sanctuary by William Faulkner As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines Chocolate War by Robert Cormier Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

I’m not so much interested in these, alas. I am surely the poorer for it:

The Koran The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Les Miserables by Victor Hugo Dracula by Bram Stoker Tom Jones by Henry Fielding Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Candide by Voltaire Analects by Confucius Dubliners by James Joyce Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Das Capital by Karl Marx Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X Color Purple by Alice Walker Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe East of Eden by John Steinbeck Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes The Talmud Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler Satyricon by Petronius Metaphysics by Aristotle General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau Nana by Emile Zola Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark Lots of “things one should read” in this list, which raises my hackles even if it should not. I guess I just don’t have the time to struggle to form an opinion in the face of massive worldwide already formed opinions on these works. And some of them are dated, and some of them are just manifestos that probably don’t make good reading. Ah well.