Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Turning Two Hundred

This is my 200th post and I decided it should be about something I love. You ought to know by now that I love children and flowers and running. When I have a form that asks the question What is your hobby? I usually write gardening and reading, yet I haven't posted a whole lot about books. I keep thinking that I will start writing reviews of recent reads on this here blog, but then, after I write the review, I think, There is no way my critique can stand next to the writings Ms. Austen or Mr. Dickens. What am I thinking, reviewing them?!!

So I haven't posted those reviews.

Hello. My name is Emily Sanders and I am afraid of being publicly critical of someone who sold thousands of books even after they were dead.

Today, however, I thought I would do a simple list. My book club has been meeting for nearly three years. We have tried to keep it to classics only (a category, by the way, that has very gray borders) for several reasons. Now, looking at the list, we realize that we have read some fabulous works. Reading them reveals meanings of phrases we have used, references we have made and circumstances we have referenced, all without knowing the origin of said items. I feel fuller, bigger, more substantial because the genius of these classics authors. I feel like I am in on the inside joke.

If you are needing a good read, one that will fill you up and make you more, here is our list (and a few remarks I couldn't help making):

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen **Can you get a more delicious story?**

  2. Little Britches: father and I were Ranchers by Ralph Moody **One of my top five books, ever**

  3. Agony and the Ecstasy: a novel of Michelangelo by Irving Stone **Note to self: Visit Italy someday**

  4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

  5. Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow by Opal Whitely **Weird**

  6. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald **Century old book that could have been written last year**

  9. Silas Marner by George Eliot **George Eliot is a chick**

  10. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

  11. The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas pere

  12. Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy **I'd never thrown a book at the wall until I read this--made me mad enough to change the world**

  13. The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck **Must read, must discuss**

  14. Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter

  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte **I mean, Jane Eyre. . . does it need commentary? Okay, one note. Every girl should be required to read this before she starts dating. The illustrations of different interpretations of love will protect many a girl from a sad heart.**

  16. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

  17. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

  18. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

  19. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy Emmuska **Completely fun**

  20. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

  21. Heidi by Johanna Spyri ** I want to heal the world**

  22. My Antonia by Willa Cather

  23. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

  24. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

  25. The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour **Loved the example of life-long learning. Textbook definition of a Man Book**

  26. The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens **Ohhhhh, the golden thread, the power of one woman for good or ill**

  27. My Name is Asher Lev by Chiam Potok

  28. Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey **Could I have done that in a more efficient way?**

  29. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ** Raw, gruesome, should be read by every member of government responsible for deciding where our troops will go**

  30. To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck

  31. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

  32. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

  33. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  34. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

  35. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


  1. I just read Pride and Prejudice for the first time last month. Oh, my goodness, I was hooked! Loved it! After I read the book I watched the PBS series and it was wonderful also.

  2. Wow! Amazing list here - and I have only read one of them (The Good Earth). I was supposed to read Pride & Prejudice in college and HATED it. The Cliff Notes helped me through class & I never finished. I tried again with our book group & just couldn't fall in love with it.

    I would add Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (the version with Liam Neeson on the cover artwork is a nice translation & not too long).

    If I remember correctly, you posted about not having a college degree. I think you have earned an honorary English degree by making it through this list. These are all heavy duty reads!

  3. Jenna~I'm sad that you didn't love P&P, but I've heard that could happen. (:

    Also, YES to Les Mis! This is not a comprehensive list of all great works, but just what our book club has read. We all have children and other books we would like to read, so we made a 500 word page limit after a while.

    So many books, so little time. And I guess I am still supposed to read Twilight. (: