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[personal profile] frogworth
Courtesy [ profile] ninebelow, this is apparently the Museum, Libraries and Arts Councils of UK's idea of 30 books you just gotta read, man!
As always, bold = read it, italics = own it and/or want to read it.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible (well, not the whole thing! Haha. And I don't own one. And are you talking about the Christian bible, or the Torah, or...?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (I detested it.)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham (but too long ago to remember much)
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (don't own, would like to read)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (as above)
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (bugger that)
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

Not bad on my part for a list of mostly non-genre classics. As you can see, I've read all the sf/fantasy ones. Blame many of the others on reasonably good schooling, I guess! Although I read the Sozenhitsyn at some family friends' one bored night - it was rather good!

Date: 2006-03-09 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hey dude,
hope things are well.
i'm in the gong now - been living it up a bit too :P
the solzenhitsyn is good - gulag life at it's that for a course on lenin and socialism.quite fun that too :)
i noticed fourplay was playing in kiama this weekend - turns out i'm going back to canberra for the weekend otherwise i would have dropped down and tried to have found during the course of the weekend.
we'll catch up for a jam-a-roo sometime soon yeah ?
peace out,

Date: 2006-03-09 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bummer that you're away just this weekend!
Oh well, yeah let's definitely catch up soon - would be great! If you're up for coming up to Sydney sometime, let me know. Otherwise there'll be times when Ange & I want to go down to visit her parents in Mt Warrigal/Shellharbour, south of da Gong, so yeah we'll get together for sure...

Date: 2006-04-04 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey gorgeous - long time no see. But since you've actually posted on something I can comment on...

I've got to say that Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Life of Pi were both surprisingly good reads. I read a pre-published version of Life of Pi, so hopefully all of the typos in the version I read were wiped out before the final version, but I still really enjoyed it. It was sort of whimsical.

And The Grapes of Wrath was way better than Of Mice and Men - we were forced to read the later for school, and I'm buggered if I can work out why they picked it and not The Grapes of Wrath.

Now I've got Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush going round and round my head on loop - just the "it's me it's Cathy I've come home I'm so cold let me in at your window" part. But I agree with your opinion on the book - it was just so hard to read the parts written in dialect and I actually found it pretty boring as well.

I'm not sure if you'll like The Lovely Bones - I loved it, but I tend to think that it's a chick book. I found it fascinating because of the psychology involved and I know others who loved it because of the spirituality, but the story centres so much on the female characters that, to be honest, I'm not sure whether you'd enjoy it. Anyway, will be interested to hear what you think once you've read it.


Date: 2006-04-04 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hurro - jeepers, it has been a long time since I wrote that post! And since we last spoke as well...

I was recently told by as sceptical a friend as I am myself that they quite enjoyed The Life of Pi, although the last 20 pages or so got a bit much for them. This is what I expect myself; some friends have started a book club here in Sydney, and I missed the first one, but #2 is going to be this book, so I'm contemplating giving it a quick read and turning up. We'll see!

I think, while I would accept that The Grapes of Wrath is superior, it's still not the kind of book I'm into.

And yes, I too have that Kate Bush song going round my head whenever I'm reminded of the novel - eek! It's not even my fave Kate song by far *heh*

And The Lovely Bones is one of those things which I'm interested in but will probably take me forever to actually get to reading. I have a stack of books in my room requiring reading, plus a shelfful downstairs, and keep on buying more. *sigh*

No doubt see you soonish - we're releasing things in the next couple of months, and we're definitely playing Brisvegas near the end of July (is on the website). Bonzer!

Date: 2006-04-05 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I'm a self-confessed book slut - I'll read pretty much anything as long as it doesn't completely bore me. I've only ever started 2 books that I didn't finish, so I'm not exactly the best person for recommendation, despite my prolific book-reading habits.

I'm currently reading a music law book, and I'm you'd suspect what a page turner that would be! ;o)

Excellent - Spiegeltent in July! Looking forward to it (even though it's MONTHS away) already. And am positively fidgety in anticipation of the new CD...


Date: 2006-04-25 08:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I read Life of Pi for my book club ([ profile] clubbook). The consensus among everyone who participated in that discussion (about a dozen people) was that we hated it.

Date: 2006-04-25 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*tee hee* I imagine I would too - any book that is promoted as "this book will make you believe in God" or whatever is likely to bring the hate, but a friend of mine who is as atheistic as me, for similarly considered reasons, said he quite enjoyed it, up until the last 30 pages or something ;)

Date: 2006-04-25 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not the God bit, it's the tedium of it. I know several people who enjoyed the discussions of Pi's religious quest more than the rest of the book.

Pi is sort of like three books. The first part, which is the most religious, actually has some interesting stuff. The middle part, which is most of the book, I found boring. My friend [ profile] joyce summarized it well as, "I ate some fish. I ate some more fish. I conquered the tiger, go me. Oooh, more fish." The third part, which is what everyone seems to love about it, includes the last 20 or 30 pages that your friend had issues with, I had issues with, everyone I've talked to had issues with. I think know what the author was trying to do, and I think he failed.

It's interesting to read out of curiosity for why it's so popular, but there are so many wonderful books out there, and a shortage of time in which to read them...

Here are a few titles that topped my list last year for fiction ( & non-fiction (

Date: 2006-04-25 09:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Certainly the "curiosity for why it's so popular" thing is why I would read it, if I would read it. One day I will be trapped in a ski lodge for a week with only the very large pile of books I brought with me to read (plus all the music I no doubt also brought with me), and I will give it a very swift read-through (as I did with the entertaining abomination known as The Da Vinci Code once upon a time)...

I am remarkably unfamiliar with most of the books you list for last year, so I shall keep them in mind :)

Date: 2006-04-25 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How is it Dickens rates three entries? I suppose I really should get around to reading him one of these days, as he's always very high on these lists, but when I've started his books, I've never been sucked in.

The Time Traveler's Wife is a lovely book. I'm pretty certain I cried in places while reading it, and know other people who reacted the same (though that may be a girl-thing, I dunno). Pride & Prejudice is fun. I didn't read it for years because I assumed it was some stuffy piece of literature, but it's a romance/comedy of manners.

Kingsolver writes some great books. I haven't read The Poisonwood Bible yet, but it's on my list.

Date: 2006-04-25 08:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hello there! We have [ profile] jaylake in common, yay :)
And you have some good stuff in your interests that I should snarf, whether it's e. e. cummings, used bookstores, or alternative energy etc.

Yeah, Dickens Schmickens, but as you can see I've actually read two of 'em! And I've read Oliver Twist too. Ages ago mind you.
I would love to read The Time Traveler's Wife sometime, and certainly will get on to Ms Austen one of these days... Cool.

Date: 2006-04-25 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I found you through Mr. Lake, a most entertaining fellow.

My apologies, by the way, for my opinionated late-night rantings about books. I don't usually inflict them on innocent strangers.

Then again, it's possibly a perfectly normal time of day for you, and not two in the morning. I have some friends in Wellington, NZ, and at one point could track where they were in time relative to me, but then daylight savings time went into effect here and I haven't re-programmed my brain.

::bothers to google it::

Ah, yes, it's currently evening there. So, how will my day go?


Date: 2006-04-25 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it will be reasonably sunny for much of the day, but then the rain will come and it will get quite a lot colder. You will have not been at work because it's ANZAC Day (Australia & New Zealand Army Corps, that is, commemoration of our army's routing in various military battles haha)...
It will occur to you at some time during the day that this is very strange for downtown San Francisco. You will ponder whether you are in fact living in a Philip K Dick novel.

I believe you mean, by the way, that daylight savings time went went out of effect (he says in a spectacularly unidiomatic use of English) in NZ, unless they have a somewhat different Southern Hemisphere across the Tasman...

Date: 2006-04-25 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, yes, I had that as part of the sentence and then cut it. Into effect here, out of effect there, so instead of a 20 hour difference between myself & Wellington, there's now 22 hours. (Assuming I have enough of a brain at 2:00 am to be doing this sort of math, something which is highly questionable). So you're in Sydney, and ... 17 hours ahead of me? (I'm actually in Concord (, by the way, a boring city East of Berkeley). 17 hours is one of those chunks of time that makes interacting difficult. I have friends in Chang Mai (Thailand), which is 14 hours different, and if we want to talk on the phone someone either has to stay up late or get up early. Frustrating.

Speaking of the future, I actually have to get up in the morning, and am heading off to bed now.

But 'twas nice to 'meet' you. :)

Date: 2006-04-25 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, 17 hours is waaay silly, and makes for genuine jetlag as well.
Hello Concord! *waves*

Nice to meet you too. Sleep well. Dinner time for us now!

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