Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Book Challenge II

A year ago I challenged my few and far between readers to read some classics. I picked a list of 101 books and I haven't gotten very far. I've only read four more on the list, bringing my total up to 16/101. Pathetic as it may be, it's a start.

Literacy is so important, especially for kids and a lot of Canadians, approximately 22% have trouble reading even basic printed material. Also, Canadians with the lowest literay skills are more likely to have a lower income and higher rates of unemployment. I pulled these facts off of the ABC Canada website.

Doesn't that say something? Doesn't that say that literacy is important? Now, World Literacy Day was on January 8 and International Literacy Day is on September 8 so I'm a bit late on both accounts. To me, they sound like the same thing, thought up by different organizations but two literacy days are better than one.

Besides, the skill isn't just for everyday use and when you're paying bills or filing taxes or writing a will. Reading can be a pleasurable activity because you get to leave the world behind. You can go to other cities, other worlds, other times and everything else around you just seems to slow down.

So, just like last year, I'm going to challenge you dear reader, to post this list on your on blog, tack it to your wall, carry it in your wallet. Or make up your own list and link to it in a comment. And if you're not a "book person" then please trust me when I say that there is at least one book out there for every person, even someone who would rather bury a book in the backyard than read it (yes I mean you Fido and there are books for dogs if you can believe it).

Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice*
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily - Wuthering Heights*
Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales*
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness *
Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans*
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage*
Dante - Inferno
Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote*
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe*
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities*
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment*
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers*
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss*
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays*
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones*
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby*
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d'Urbervilles*
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter*
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Homer - The Iliad*
Homer - The Odyssey*
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame*
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll's House
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphoses
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude*
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick*
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
O'Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
O'Neill, Eugene - Long Day's Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago*
Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales*
Proust, Marcel - Swann's Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard - Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath*
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom's Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels
Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair*
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn*
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray*
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse*
Wright, Richard - Native Son


Masnick96 said...

It has been tacked to said wall :-)

The duck thief said...

Sounds like a plan. Welcome to my blog by the way.

teflonjedi said...

Out of curiosity, what's the significance of the starred entries?

The duck thief said...

Oh sorry, I should have posted that. It just means that I own those books.

doug said...

seven years ago I saw the top 100 books list published in the Globe and Mail,by the Literary Guild. I decided then and there to start tackling it, since that time I have read 52 of those books and it is the best trip I've been on, books like Alexandre Dumas and the Three Musketeers was a truly surprising read, I can see why they were given the status they were, now you've given me incentive to carry on...only 48 to go...

doug said...

I'm surprised you don't have Ulysses by James Joyce on that list it is the so-called Citizen Kane of the litereary world....consistently number one...

doug said...

sorry were talking about literacy and I accidentally misspelled "literary", not good...bad key stroking...

The duck thief said...

Well doug it's nice to hear I've given you incentive. You've certainly read a lot more than me. I've been struggling through Lorna Doone for the past three months. I'm going to make myself finish it but I don't recommend it to anyone.

The list I have up here was actually pulled off a website. My "Ultimate Book List to Read Before I Die" does have Ulysses on it so I will eventually get to it.

teflonjedi said...

Just did a head count...looks like I've read 25 of these! I'm glad I had so much free time when I was growing up! I'm taclking Crime and Punishment sometime this year...

The duck thief said...

Sounds good. I read a couple over the summer including Don Quixote, which I was really worried about. It seemed so long and I was worried I would be bored out of my skull. But Don Quixote and Sancho are pretty funny guys.

Deepak Yadav said...

After reading your blog post I just stuck on Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. My first novel I had read when I was just starting reading as my new passion. This novel really change my mind. Now I love to read novels.