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Thirty favorite books

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lookit There Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 8:29am
Originally posted by justmel justmel wrote:

                        

2.       Harriet the Spy/The Long Secret                Louise Fitzhugh


Hooray for Harriet the Spy! This made my list, too. It's my favorite children's book, one I read so often when I was young (and have read a few times as an adult, too). Great characters, psychological insight, and just plain fun.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Holdo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 8:48am
Roughed out a list and quickly realised a few things:
1) It's nigh on impossible. The very idea of wanting fewer books in your life and/or home is colossally wrongheaded, especially if you are a writer.
2) Marie Kondo is a fraud and a philistine.
3) I need to read more women. The quick and dirty list has a male:female ratio of like 15:1, and includes several known or suspected misogynists.
4) I am a bad person.

Here it is anyway, for what it's worth.

  • The Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy
  • Suttree, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Orchard Keeper, Cormac McCarthy
  • Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
  • No Country for Old Men, McCarthy
  • Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
  • Jesus' Son, Denis Johnson
  • Angels, Denis Johnson
  • Plainsong, Kent Haruf
  • Eventide, Kent Haruf
  • Money, Martin Amis
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S.T.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin
  • The Outline trilogy, Rachel Cusk
  • As I Lay Dying, Faulkner
  • White Noise, Delillo
  • Disgrace, Coetzee
  • Waiting for the Barbarians, Coetzee
  • A Portrait of the Artist..., Joyce
  • Infinite Jest, DFW
  • The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway
  • Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor
  • Thomas McGuane's short stories
  • The entire Zuckerberg sequence
    The entire Patrick Melrose sequence
But then what about Carver, Salinger, Salter, Proulx? Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Vonnegut, Achebe? Flann O'Brien, Edna O'Brien, Tim O'Brien?? The O'Briens alone! WTF, Kondo?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Angara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 9:08am
Originally posted by Holdo Holdo wrote:

  • Disgrace, Coetzee
  • Waiting for the Barbarians, Coetzee

I have such a love/hate relationship with Coetzee's works but I had to put Disgrace on my list at the very least. And even then I was going back and forth on it...but I'm glad to see it on someone else's list. For me, it's a difficult, devastating read. Definitely affecting. That's why it's on mine. 

I managed to clear out my bookshelves down to about several dozen last summer. I can deal with Marie Kondo's 30-book philosophy....so long as the rest can go in my e-reader LOL



Edited by Angara - 09 Apr 2019 at 9:10am
R1 H60 / The Oracle Impulse / Sci-Fi
R2 H1 / Minotaur / Suspense
R3 / A Story for Persephone / Fairy Tale


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alpaca_shearer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 9:53am
Originally posted by Holdo Holdo wrote:


1) It's nigh on impossible. The very idea of wanting fewer books in your life and/or home is colossally wrongheaded, especially if you are a writer.

3) I need to read more women. The quick and dirty list has a male:female ratio of like 15:1, and includes several known or suspected misogynists.


Glad to see someone else on the Cormac McCarthy love train! Something about all the pretty horses just speaks to me on a personal level. As a young man, the MC was the bad-ass steely eyed cowboy I wished I was. And the Road + no country for old men are just so incredibly well written... 

1.) I think the point is to rid yourself of books that you no longer have any need or desire for. I purged my book collection of random crap I had acquired or been gifted that I didn't enjoy or no longer wanted, and it feels good to look at my book shelves now and all I see are books I love! 

3.) I felt the EXACT same way. I looked at my pretty much all white male canon and thought to myself "Jesus, I need to read more inspiring female authors". Atwood was on my list, as was Hilary Mantel (historical fiction writer), but they just didn't quite make the cut for thirty. Either way i've been combing through the lists of others that appear to have similar tastes as mine (such as your list) to find some female authors to read. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alpaca_shearer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 10:01am
Originally posted by RichmondRoad RichmondRoad wrote:


There certainly is an impressive mixture here - and it goes to show the diversity, not only of the authors, but also of the audience. 
I’m always surprised when, in these sort of polls amongst a predominantly American group, Henry Miller fares so badly when he is, in many circles, regarded as one of the cornerstones of American literature. Kurt Vonnegut hasn’t fared as well so far amongst his country folk either.


I was also surprised by how little certain authors have cropped up. Vonnegut being one of them (although not a personal favorite of mine he certainly is for many people) and also Thomas Hardy. Henry Miller I'm not surprised at. I agree with your sentiments but he doesn't get nearly the same amount of oxygen as some others (Twain, London, Steinbeck, Hemingway all get way more press than Miller IMO).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nemmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 10:29am
I'm very much cheating here by counting series as one entry on my list. 

1. The Stand - Stephen King 
2. The Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling 
3. The Adrian Mole series - Sue Townsend 
4. The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber 
5. The Protector of the Small series - Tamora Pierce
6. IT - Stephen King 
7. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters 
8. Life Mask - Emma Donoghue 
9. Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters 
10. Slammerkin - Emma Donoghue 
11. The Queen and I - Sue Townsend 
12. Atonement - Ian McEwan 
13. Notes on a Scandal - Zoe Heller 
14. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 
15. The Seventh Gate - Richard Zimler
16. The Deaths - Mark Lawson 
17. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier 
18. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch 
19. Emma - Jane Austen 
20. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon 
21. The Diary of a Provincial Lady - E.M. Delafield 
22. Company of Liars - Karen Maitland 
23. Dissolution - C.J. Sansom 
24. Regeneration - Pat Barker 
25. The Versions of Us - Laura Barnett 
26. The Power - Naomi Alderman 
27. The Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Catherine Webb 
28. The Fifth Child - Doris Lessing
29. The Secret History - Donna Tartt 
30. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote GallifreyGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 10:37am
I feel like a lot of you are cheating by putting whole series down as a single entry. SOME OF US STRUGGLED AND WEPT AND THEN ONLY PICKED ONE. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 10:42am
I couldn't reduce my collection of COOKBOOKS to thirty. Or just art books. Forget all books. In my house I've probably got around 500 (I've never counted.) My mother DOES count and I'm pretty sure her catalog numbers are in the high 9000s and I'm not sure if the children's books are in the same database. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote GallifreyGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 11:07am
Originally posted by Holdo Holdo wrote:

3) I need to read more women. The quick and dirty list has a male:female ratio of like 15:1, and includes several known or suspected misogynists.

This is not a letting-you-off-the-hook post. This is a men-need-to-do-better-but-here's-some-things-you-need-to-know-to-help-combat-your-subconscious-biases post.

There have been multiple studies that show that both men and women have trouble accepting women's voices and women's input in a conversation. I can't remember the exact statistics off the top of my head, but the studies yielded results something like this: when women contribute 15-20% of the time, participants view this as equal contribution between men and women. When women contribute 40-50% of the time, men and women both perceive this as overwhelmingly women-centered. And men especially start to get un-f**king-comfortable with the level of women's participation.

So basically: if you're uncomfortable with the number of women's voices included, you've probably hit the minimum number for getting started.

(I don't mean this to be harsh. As a woman in academia, I've had to present this information to my male department chair and male colleagues, and even some of my women colleagues, on multiple occasions, when defending my choices of texts to teach. Last semester I even had to explain my choices to a white male student who was uncomfortable that, out of the 40 or 50 shorts & poems we read in my Intro to CW class, only 2 were by white men [I did not, as I so desperately wanted to, play him the world's tiniest violin]. I teach in a PWI, in a PW state, so I feel it is EXTRA necessary to expose my students to writers outside the white cishet canon).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 2019 at 11:12am
Originally posted by GallifreyGirl GallifreyGirl wrote:

I teach in a PWI, in a PW state, so I feel it is EXTRA necessary to expose my students to writers outside the white cishet canon).

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