Monday, November 08, 2010

50 Books Everyone Should Read

Side Note: Congratulations to Marian Pearson Stevens who entered my Facebook contest and won the last ARC of The Boyfriend of the Month Club. And a big thanks to everyone who entered and left a comment!

So, I opened my email and got this link to a blog called Associates Degree dot com (I think it's sponsored by different colleges) saying how much they liked my blog, etc (I'm sure it was a form letter, but hey, I was flattered, non-the-less!) asking me to share this post titled 50 Books Every Young Woman Should Read. And since some of my favorite books of all time are on the list, I will happily share it with you (with my own commentary, of course.)

The list is divided into 7 categories.

The Classics:
I've read 4 of the 10 selected classics (5 if you count watching the movie- that would be The Handmaid's Tale) and I know the movie version usually always sucks compared to the book, but watching Robert Duvall try to impregnate poor Natasha Richardson while Faye Dunaway is holding her down is just plain off putting. Although the yummy Aidan Quinn is also in the movie and every scene with him in it almost makes up for the creepiness of Robert and Faye.

The Classics winner for me is, of course, hands down Pride and Prejudice.

Fantasy and Sci Fi:
I'm ashamed to say I have read NONE of the books on this list. Shame on me. Although I did see the movie trailer for Tuck Everlasting. Not sure if that counts or not.

Coming of Age:
This one is hard, because I've read most of the books on this list and have loved them all. Growing up, I'd have said my favorite was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Great book plus Great movie!) but since then, I've read The Secret Life of Bees (have not seen the movie, though) and since it's so fresh in my mind, I'll go with the Bees.

Young Adult and Children's Lit:
Okay, this was a no-brainer for me. Little House in the Big Woods. Sniff, sniff, tear, tear...

Female Relationships:
In contrast to Sci-Fi, I've read EVERY book on this list. Wasn't crazy about The Memory Keeper's Daughter. LOVED Like Water for Chocolate (and hate how the plot has been ripped off so much in so many inferior novels). But I have to go with Little Women as the hands down winner.

Non Fiction:
Haven't read a lot of these, but The Diary of a Young Girl (by Anne Frank) made a Huge impression on me in grade school. I still can't believe how many times it got rejected in publishing circles:

In the summer of 1950, Alfred A. Knopf Inc. turned down the English-language rights to a Dutch manuscript after receiving a particularly harsh reader’s report. The work was “very dull,” the reader insisted, “a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions.” Sales would be small because the main characters were neither familiar to Americans nor especially appealing. “Even if the work had come to light five years ago, when the subject was timely,” the reader wrote, “I don’t see that there would have been a chance for it.”

Knopf wasn’t alone. “The Diary of a Young Girl,” by Anne Frank, would be rejected by 15 others before Doubleday published it in 1952. More than 30 million copies are currently in print, making it one of the best-selling books in history.
copied from The Sunday Book Review, The New York Times

Just goes to show that publishers can be big idiots.

And finally, Stories, Poetry and Plays:
Again, I've read none of the listed, although Olive Kitteridge has been on my TBR pile for a year now. Maybe I'll move it up the stack.


Kwana said...

Oh I've got so much reading to do. These lists always make me feel inferior. Sad writer I am.

Maria Geraci said...

Oh, Kwana, it's funny how some categories I'd read the whole list, and others, nothing! A few summers ago, I forced myself to reread The Great Gatsby again to see if time had improved it for me. The answer? nope.


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