Thursday, July 15, 2010

To All The Books I've Read Before...

Before I begin tackling 100+ books, I think it would be good to see where I've been. Isn't that the saying, "unless you know where you've been, you don't know where you're going?"

As I've stated before, of the 100 Greatest Novels of the 20th Century, I've read only 11. They are:

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird
  2. The Lord of The Flies
  3. Charlotte's Web
  4. Brave New World
  5. Animal Farm
  6. Gone With The Wind
  7. The Call of the Wild
  8. The Lord of the Rings
  9. The Jungle
  10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  11. A Separate Peace
As I look at the list of those which were targeted, I can actually see why they are still scandalous. You have Number 11: Lolita, which has become shorthand for "underage girl having sex with older man". Number 2: Catcher in the Rye, I know it strictly by reputation. Number 36: Go Tell It on The Mountain. Anything by James Baldwin HAS to be evil, right? Number 55: The Satanic Verses. Enough said.

Still, one wants to be more educated, and I might tackle these stories again. Oddly enough, I enjoyed every one of them (only Charlotte's Web, The Lord of the Rings, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz were not targeted, although The Lord of The Rings was found guilty of introducing Satanism). I even enjoyed The Jungle--I ate steak while reading it. The only thing I didn't like were the last two chapters, when it turned into a Socialist term paper.

Well, I look forward to this little experiment. To The Library for To The Lighthouse (Number 34). It's time for my own Awakening (Number 50, and I think I read it but can't remember). I do want to finish the biography of Truman Capote (whose In Cold Blood, Number 53 is also among the challenged/banned books). Curiously, GORE VIDAL didn't make the list. Curious, that...

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