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.