Annual “Best of” Lists for 2014

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A small selection of “best of” lists from 2014.

The Man Booker Prize – 2014 Finalists
— awarded to The Narrow Road to the Deep North: A novel by Richard Flanagan

Pulitzer Prize – The 2014 Winners Fiction Finalists
— Awarded to The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt

Newberry Medal Award 2014 Finalists
— Awarded to Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

PEN – Literary Awards Winners 2014

New York Times – 100 Notable Books of 2014

New York Times – The 10 Best Books of 2014

The Washington Post – The ten best books of 2014

Publisher’s Weekly – The Best Books of 2014

Amazon – The Best Books of 2014

Good Reads – Best Books of 2014

Autostraddle – Top 10 Queer and Feminist Books of 2014

Mother Jones – The 19 Best Photobooks of 2014

New York Times Sunday Book Review – The Best Book Covers of 2014

Buzzfeed – 24 Movies You Probably Missed This Year, But Should Totally See

Buzzfeed – The 39 Most WTF Moments Of 2014

Reuters – Best photos of the year 2014

Wall Street Journal – Year in Photos 2014

Nasa on Instagram

IO9 – The Most Amazing Science Images Of 2014

Mubi: Best Movie Posters of 2014

Rolling Stone – Rob Sheffield’s Top 25 Songs of 2014

Continue ReadingAnnual “Best of” Lists for 2014

100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Another “books you should read” list, this time from the telegraph. The one’s I’ve read are crossed off. This is actually a pretty good list – mostly classics, and not a single Ayn Rand title on it.

Source: Telegraph “100 novels everyone should read
The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch

100 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a “masterpiece”.

99 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A child’s-eye view of racial prejudice and freaky neighbours in Thirties Alabama.

98 The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears.

97 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Don’t panic.

96 One Thousand and One Nights Anon
A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.

95 The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Werther loves Charlotte, but she’s already engaged. Woe is he!

94 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth.

93 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason.

92 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. “Something nasty” has been observed in the woodshed.

91 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
The life and loves of an emperor’s son. And the world’s first novel?

90 Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined.

89 The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Lessing considers communism and women’s liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls “inner space fiction”.

88 Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love.

87 On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Beat generation boys aim to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles”.

86 Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The anti-hero “Rastingnac” became a byword for ruthless social climbing.

85 The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his “force d’ame”.

84 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
“One for all and all for one”: the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady.

83 Germinal by Emile Zola
Written to “germinate” social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners.

82 The Stranger by Albert Camus
Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts “the gentle indifference of the world”.

81The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry.

80 Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he can’t move a glass church 400km.

79 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic.

78 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Carroll’s ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

77 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers. Isn’t that crazy?

76 The Trial by Franz Kafka
K proclaims he’s innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But “innocent of what”?

75 Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Protagonist’s “first long secret drink of golden fire” is under a hay wagon.

74 Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan
Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist.

73 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier.

72 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Three siblings are differently affected by their parents’ unexplained separation.

71 The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
Profound and panoramic insight into 18th-century Chinese society.

70 The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Garibaldi’s Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the “jackals” ousting the nobility, or “leopards”.

69 If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle.

68 Crash by JG Ballard
Former TV scientist preaches “a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology”.

67 A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds “The world is what it is.”

66 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.

65 Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Romantic young doctor’s idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution.

64 The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952.

63 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson’s “bogey tale” came to him in a dream.

62 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Swift’s scribulous satire on travellers’ tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George I’s).

61 My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse.

60 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga.

59 London Fields by Martin Amis
A failed novelist steals a woman’s trashed diaries which reveal she’s plotting her own murder.

58 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels.

57 The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules.

56 The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism.

55 Austerlitz by WG Sebald
Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust.

54 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Scholar’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent “nymphet” is complicated by her mother’s passion for him.

53 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding.

52 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Expelled from a “phony” prep school, adolescent anti-hero goes through a difficult phase.

51 Underworld by Don DeLillo
From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here.
READ: The best books of 2014

class=”checked”50 Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery.

49 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
“Okies” set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity.

48 Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlem’s African-American community.

47The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
A doctor’s infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it can’t matter.

46 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun.

45 The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach. If so, who heard?

44 Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on.

43 The Rabbit books by John Updike
A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs.

42 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum “sivilisation”.

41 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.

40 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue.

39 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A Nigerian yam farmer’s local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionary’s arrival.

38The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
A mysterious millionaire’s love for a woman with “a voice full of money” gets him in trouble.

37 The Warden by Anthony Trollope
“Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money,” said W.H. Auden.

36 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly.

35 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl.

34 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“Dead men are heavier than broken hearts” in this hardboiled crime noir.

33 Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Epistolary adventure whose heroine’s bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace.

32 A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears “the wrong kind of overcoat”.

31 Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France.

30 Atonement by Ian McEwan
Puts the “c” word in the classic English country house novel.

29 Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec
The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms.

28 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door.

27 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Human endeavours “to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world” have tragic consequences.

26 Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.

25 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Hailed by TS Eliot as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels”.

24 Ulysses by James Joyce
Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest “sentences” in English literature: 4,391 words.

23 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctor’s wife to an agonising end. For other Romantic books suggestions, you may click the link to see more.

22 A Passage to India by EM Forster
A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India.

21 1984 by George Orwell
In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired.

20 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
Samuel Johnson thought Sterne’s bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah!

class=”checked”19 The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles.

18 Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes.

17 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy.

16 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greene’s literary Punch and Judy show.

15 The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentleman’s personal gentleman.

14 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each other’s “souls”. Then he storms off.

13 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Debt and deception in Dickens’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows.

12 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island.

11 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Every proud posh boy deserves a prejudiced girl. And a stately pile.

10 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills.

9 Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Septimus’s suicide doesn’t spoil our heroine’s stream-of-consciousness party.

8 Disgrace by JM Coetzee
An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student.

7 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally.

6 In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literature’s most celebrated lemony cake.

5 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
“The conquest of the earth,” said Conrad, “is not a pretty thing.”

4 The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
An American heiress in Europe “affronts her destiny” by marrying an adulterous egoist.

3 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of “a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow”.

2 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale which ate his leg.

1 Middlemarch by George Eliot
“One of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” said Virginia Woolf.

Continue Reading100 novels everyone should read – Telegraph

Annual “Best of” Lists for 2013

I’ve put together much more comprehensive lists like this in the past, but time and priorities have interfered this year. Here are the end-of-year retrospectives that I was able to review and enjoy this December.

100 Notable Books of 2013 – New York Times

50 Book Covers for 2013 – The Casual Optimist

The Best Book Covers of 2013 – New York Times

Notable Children’s Books of 2013 – New York Times

Most Talked About in 2013 – Facebook Stories

Best photos of the year 2013 from Reuters.

The Top 10 Photos of 2013 from Time.

The 45 Most Powerful Photos Of 2013 from BuzzFeed.

Continue ReadingAnnual “Best of” Lists for 2013

Character lists in famous novels

Covers of Famous Novels

The characters in these lists are main characters and key secondary characters in these stories. In some cases there are additional secondary and minor characters not listed here. This list may be updated periodically with additional famous novels and their character lists.

The Great Gatsby Characters: 10
Nick Carraway
Jay Gatsby
Daisy Buchanan
Tom Buchanan
Jordan Baker
Myrtle Wilson
George Wilson
Owl Eyes
Meyer Wolfsheim

Treasure Island Characters: 11
Jim Hawkins
Billy Bones
Black Dog
Squire Trelawney
Dr. Livesey
Captain Smollett
Long John Silver
Ben Gunn
Israel Hands
Tom Redruth

The Sun Also Rises Characters: 12
Jake Barnes
Lady Brett Ashley
Robert Cohn
Bill Gorton
Mike Campbell
Pedro Romero
Frances Clyne
Count Mippipopolous
Harvey Stone

Moby-Dick: or, The Whale Characters: 16
Moby Dick
Father Mapple
Captain Boomer

As I Lay Dying Characters: 16
Addie Bundren
Anse Bundren
Cash Bundren
Darl Bundren
Jewel Bundren
Dewey Dell Bundren
Vardaman Bundren
Vernon Tull
Cora Tull

To Kill a Mockingbird Characters: 18
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch
Atticus Finch
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch
Arthur “Boo” Radley
Bob Ewell
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris
Miss Maudie Atkinson
Aunt Alexandra
Mayella Ewell
Tom Robinson
Link Deas
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
Nathan Radley
Heck Tate
Mr. Dolphus Raymond
Mr. Walter Cunningham
Walter Cunningham

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Characters: 25
Huckleberry Finn
Tom Sawyer
Widow Douglas and Miss Watson
Pap (Huck’s Father)
The Duke and the King
Judge Thatcher
The Grangerford family – Bob, Buck, Charlotte, Col., Emmeline, Sophia, Tom
The Wilks family – Harvey, Joanna, Mary Jane, Peter, Susan, William
Silas and Sally Phelps
Aunt Polly

Anna Karenina Characters: 26
Anna Arkadyevna Karenina
Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin
Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky
Konstantin Dmitrich Levin
Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya (Kitty)
Stepan Arkadyich Oblonsky (Stiva)
Darya Alexandrovna Oblonskaya (Dolly)
Sergei Alexeich Karenin (Seryozha)
Nikolai Dmitrich Levin
Sergei Ivanovich Koznyshev
Agafya Mikhailovna
Countess Vronsky
Alexander Kirillovich Vronsky
Varvara Vronsky
Prince Alexander Dmitrievich Shcherbatsky
Princess Shcherbatskaya
Countess Lydia Ivanovna
Elizaveta Fyodorovna Tverskaya (Betsy)
Marya Nikolaevna
Madame Stahl
Varvara Andreevna (Varenka)
Nikolai Ivanovich Sviyazhsky
Fyodor Vassilyevich Katavasov

War and Peace Characters: nearly 600 characters

Related Reading:
Book Magazine’s The 100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900
Book Magazine, now defunct, compiled a panel of 55 authors, literary agents, editors, and actors in 2002 to “rank the top one hundred characters in literature since 1900.”

Continue ReadingCharacter lists in famous novels

links for 2008-01-25

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-01-25

What I Read in 2007 (38 Titles)

Definitely not a banner year for reading for me. I’m hoping with my New Year’s Resolution to concentrate more on my own library, that I’ll get through a few more books next year. This is the 11th year I’ve recorded everything I’ve read; I began in 1997, a year in which I read 92 books. Of course then I didn’t own a house or have a girlfriend, dog or DVR, and I read a lot of crap. But I did read A LOT of crap.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

The Big Over Easy: A Nursery Crime by Jasper Fforde

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Sword of the Guardian: A Legend of Ithyria (Legends of Ithyria) by Merry Shannon

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

Route 66 Adventure Handbook: Updated and Expanded Third Edition by Drew Knowles

YOU: The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet Oz

On Beauty Zadie Smith

EZ66 Guide for Travelers Jerry McClanahan

Hogs on 66 : best feed and hangouts for road trips on Route 66 by Wallis, Michael.

Route 66 lost & found : ruins and relics revisited and

Route 66 lost & found : ruins and relics revisited, volume 2 by Olsen, Russell A.

Route 66: Images of America’s Main Street William Kaszynski

Route 66 Remembered by Michael Karl Witzel

Roadside Giants Brian and Sarah Butko

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Thomas M. Myers, Michael P. Ghiglieri

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder David Weinberger

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Chicago from the Air by Marcella Colombo, Gianfranco Peroncini

Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft by Simon Houpt and Julian Radcliffe

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder–How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Purchase and Watch Your Every Move by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre

Collage Discovery Workshop: Make Your Own Collage Creations Using Vintage Photos, Found Objects and Ephemera by Claudine Hellmuth

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: A Novel by Michael Chabon

Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary by Monica Nolan

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

Continue ReadingWhat I Read in 2007 (38 Titles)

Weekend Update 2007-02-26

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here. I went to water aerobics with my new suit, which is awesome. Stephanie went skating. Her dad decided against coming down to visit because Valpo got hit with a storm, which knocked out the power for Stephanie’s mom. We went over to my old house to check on the water removal from the basement and empty the dehumidifier bucket. The heat’s on there, and things are drying out fine. The plumber will come today, so I’ll be dropping by to check on things again.

We made lasagna for dinner last night, and fell asleep early and missed most of the Oscars, which is fine, since we saw barely any of the movies, and they’re all in our Netflix queue anyway. We have 470 movies in our queue. We’re very ambitious.

This is partially because for Valentine’s Day, I gave Stephanie a copy of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and she went through and cataloged what she’s read. We found lists of all the titles from the book on the internets, and put them in google spreadsheets so we could track what we’ve read. Then we did the same with 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. And then we started adding movies to Netflix, and now our Queue ensures that we will never die, ever.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning up data; going over my lists of books I’ve read, checking that the links are valid and that all the links go to current, in print editions of books on I also played around with getting all the lists into an Amazon Store for my site. I’m trying to figure out if I want to spend the time customizing the hell out of it, and integrating it into my site seamlessly. I’m not satisfied with it; I’m thinking I need to work with Amazon web services and just build my own version of a store on my site, with my own database. But maybe that’s more work than it’s worth, considering.

I am happy that I have pretty up-to-date lists, though; now I need to plug those book titles into my book cataloging software to make some progress on my library database, which we need to have for inventory/insurance purposes.

I have made some great strides getting old site pages organized after the move. The major outstanding piece is getting my old photo pages updated. Most of the photos aren’t in place on this host because I ran into some annoying customer service issues with them that it’s not worth going into. I’m thinking I just need to bite the bullet and post most of them on flickr.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update 2007-02-26

A year of reading Proust

Next year, I’m going to read Proust. I’m going to tackle In Search of Lost Time (AKA Remembrance of Things Past, or more precisely “À la recherche du temps perdu”), from beginning to end.

I say next year because I’m still working my way though this year’s reading plans. I’m made some progress, especially when I was stressed out, since I tend to read more as a coping mechanism.

I have strayed pretty far and wide from the list though. Although I planned not to buy any books, I have picked up a few things here and there. And I just put a bunch of books on hold at the library. And then there’s Stephanie’s library, currently being unpacked and placed on shelves in our new home, which opens a whole new world of reading options for me.

But I really want to read Proust. I’ve read a few reviews from people who’ve tackled the seven-volume set, and they are glowing — according to some people, Proust Can Change Your Life. Even if you don’t buy that, some people maintain that Proust’s book changed Paris. Dan Ford, one of many prolific Amazon reviewers, has an entire site about his project of Reading Proust including recommendations of the best translations to get – he recommends the more recent Penguin translations, published in the U.S. by Viking.

Either way, it sounds like a challenge I’d like to tackle.

Right after I finish this other challenge that I’m not even halfway through.

Continue ReadingA year of reading Proust

Books I plan to read in 2006

Thirty-eight books that I already own and need to read. I’m setting these aside to pick up and read in 2006. I hope I’ll get through more than just these, but this would make a big dent in my “to read” stacks.

FEB 13, 2006 UPDATE:
I ended up breaking my new years resolution and buying a few books, which I’m now adding to the list, so I don’t keep up an endless spiral of stacks of books I don’t get to.

Absolute Watchmen – Alan Moore
I bought this after reading an Entertainment Weekly review that quoted some of my favorite writers and television producers as saying it was an enormous influence on them.

A Feast for Crows – George R. R. Martin
Read My Review

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her – Melanie Rehak

Harvard’s Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals – William Wright

YOU: The Owner’s Manual : An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger – Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet Oz


Ahab’s Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer: A Novel – by Sena Jeter Naslund

Al Capone Does My Shirts – by Gennifer Choldenko

Baudolino – Umberto Eco

Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (Best Lesbian Erotica) – by Tristan Taormino, Eileen Myles
Read My Review

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book 2) – Stephen King

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3) – Stephen King

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, Book 4) – Stephen King

Deception Point – Dan Brown

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

House of Leaves – by Mark Z. Danielewski

The House on the Point: A Tribute to Franklin W. Dixon and The Hardy Boys – by Benjamin Hoff

I, Robot – by Isaac Asimov

The Island of the Skull (King Kong) – by Matthew Costello

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – by Susanna Clarke

Life Mask – by Emma Donoghue

Memoirs of a Geisha – by Arthur Golden

Mr. Timothy – by Louis Bayard

The Nanny Diaries – by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

Other Side of Desire – by Paula Christian

The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga – by Edward Rutherfurd

Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1) – by Neal Stephenson

Stranger In a Strange Land – by Robert Heinlein
Read My Review

Slammerkin – by Emma Donoghue

The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game – by Patricia Highsmith

The Time Traveler’s Wife – by Audrey Niffenegger

Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties – by Felicia Luna Lemus


The Classic Hundred Poems – by William Harmon

The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do – by Samantha Ettus

The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty – by Kitty Kelley

Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme – by Chris Roberts
Read My Review

The Hero with a Thousand Faces – by Joseph Campbell

How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization : The Time and Heroic Story of How Gay Men Shaped the Modern World – by Cathy Crimmins
I ended up not finishing this book because it wasn’t a serious history book. It was a tongue-in-cheek satire of other books on subculture groups that have an impact on mainstream culture. Funny, but not what I was interested in reading.

Jesus Is Not a Republican: The Religious Right’s War on America – by Clint Willis

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else – by David Cay Johnston

The Right Decision Every Time : How to Reach Perfect Clarity on Tough Decisions – by Luda Kopeikin

Scaling Down – by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker
Read My Review

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry – by Bryan Sykes

A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson

Unwritten Laws: The Unofficial Rules of Life As Handed Down by Murphy and Other Sages – by Hugh Rawson

You Already Know What to Do: Ten Invitations to the Intuitive Life – by Sharon Franquemont

Continue ReadingBooks I plan to read in 2006

Annual “Best of” Lists for 2004’s Best Links of 2004

Roger Ebert’s Best Films of 2004

MSNBC’s Year in Pictures 2004

The Washington Post’s best photos of 2004

The NY Times Year in Pictures 2004

Discover chooses the top 100 stories in science for 2004

Amazon’s Best Books of 2004

Amazon’s Best DVDs of 2004

Salon Magazine’s The top 10 books of the year

Salon Magazine’s Top 10 movies of the year

NPPA’s Best of Still Photojournalism 2004

American Library Association’s 2004 Best Books for Young Adults

Popular Science’s Best of What’s New 2004

Merriam-Webster’s 2004 Top Ten Favorite Words

Inc. Magazine’s 2004’s Top 25 Companies

The Economist’s list of the best books of 2004

New York Times Book Review’s list of the 100 notable books of 2004

National Board of Review’s Films Awards for 2004

Continue ReadingAnnual “Best of” Lists for 2004