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Friday, June 5, 2009

15 books

My friend who didn't know what a meme is but who always taunts me with her superior knowledge of all things interwebby and computery sent me a meme without knowing it was a meme.

(I think I shall have to come up with a better pseudonym for her or I shall grow fatigued typing all that out again)

List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you -- list the first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes. Don't take too long to think about it.

Here is my list:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Diary of Anne Frank
Ulysses by James Joyce
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
(but then you knew that if you read my quote thingy above)
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming
(or perhaps the whole Bond ouevre)
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
(close seconds The Chrysalids by Wyndham and Alas Babylon by Pat Frank)
The Sotweed Factor by John Barth
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I would note that The Day of the Triffids is probably my favourite what if the world ended and there weren't so many annoying people about book. I replaced my original choice of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke with Triffids because it seemed to me that my teenaged obsession with apocalyptic fiction outranked my delight in reading entertaining footnotes.

Live and Let Die was the first book I read with Sex in it. Even though I was still in the 6th grade and unclear about what 007 did with the girls once he got them into bed. I read it hidden inside another book so my mother wouldn't know I was reading a book with Sex in it. The whole series was an epiphany for me, aside from the Sex bits, clueing me in that the world was a little more dark and complicated than my previous reading had led me to believe.

I came up with The Lord of the Rings last and while that technically means I have 17 books on my list, my friend who didn't know what a meme is but... (see above) allowed it under the a-trilogy-counts-as-one-when-you-remember-it right-at-the-end exception to the rule.

I am also tempted to add To Kill a Mockingbird because I love it so.

So what's on your list?


  1. I'm impressed that you made it through both Ulysses AND Clarissa!

  2. I didn't read all of Clarissa, I just absolutely despised Clarissa as the wimpiest, most annoying female ever held up as a shining example for my edification. She spent the whole book (or at least the first half of it :-) letting people push her around all the while thinking they'd be sorry when she was dead. And then she was and they were. Richardson thought she was all that and I just wanted to smack her and tell her to grow a backbone.

  3. Great list, very impressive!

    Here is mine. You can see I'm not big on the classics, :) and not all of those listed are favorites. A couple are books that stick with you no matter how hard you try to forget you ever read them.

    1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    2. The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
    3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
    4. Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There - Lewis Carroll
    5. This Perfect Day - Ira Levin
    6. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
    7. The Chrysalids - John Wyndham
    8. Last Exit to Brooklyn - Hubert Selby, Jr.
    9. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
    10. The Exorcist - William Blatty
    11. The Story of the Eye - Georges Bataille
    12. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
    13. The Borrowers - Mary Norton
    14. Spend it Foolishly - Mary Gallagher
    15. Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis

    Yep, straight from kiddy books to porn, that's me.

    Your friend who didn't know what a meme is but who always taunts you with her superior knowledge of all things interwebby and computery who sent you a meme without knowing it was a meme, AND who learned today that the word "meme" was first introduced by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.
    Yeah, you really gotta work on my pseudonym.

  4. After reading your list, I wonder do we really have anything in common? How the hell did we become friends?

  5. NancyB, maybe if we listed 15 movies that stick with us we'd see the answer. Or maybe 15 Broadway musicals. Wait until you see mr. no plot's list (if he ever posts anything) and you'll marvel at why I ever married him. I think maybe the fact that we all like books carries a lot of weight. Subject irrelevant. Readers unite!