Friday, June 19, 2009

15 Books in 15 Minutes

Found this over at Anxious Moments: list 15 books off the top of your head that have stuck with you. Don't put to much thought into, try to complete it in 15 minutes. I just read Wenderina's post so I'm attempting my own list (albeit without enough coffee):

Gone With the Wind (Margaret Mitchell): I love the movie and read the book in high school and always marvel at the transition from page to film. I also love that first image in the book of Scarlett not being the prettiest girl in the county.

Candide (Volataire): And not because I just did the musical but because as a French major I must have read that book 5 or 6 times. Every time I go to the garden I think of that last line: Il faut cultiver notre jardin.

Rene (Chateaubriand): Again, another book from French history that I had to read quite a lot. It's a short book that ushered in the Romantic age of French literature. I never liked the story but it did introduce me to the idea of "paysage d'ame" or the description of the landscape is really a description of the character's soul.

Little Women (Alcott): "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents!" Enough said.

Little House on the Prairie series (Wilder): Loved the books, loved the series, wanted to be Laura Ingalls in the worst way. I just can't believe my daughter doesn't care for these books!

Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery): Just like the Little House books, I read and re-read them and read them again.

The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster): One of my all-time favorites and this one I am happy to report is one my daughter loves. I can't wait to introduce it to my son.

The Red and the Black (Stendhal): Yet another French classic. I'm not sure if the book stays with me because of the story or because when we read it in high school my teacher liked to make sure we understood everything, and I do mean everything that was going on.

A Woman Broken (Beauvoir): I love Simone de Beauvoir and this story about an older woman whose husband is having an affair is so raw and powerful. I've often thought it would make a great short play.

The Watchmen (Moore): I read this graphic novel at my husband's insistence and I'm glad I did. But now, when I watch comic book hero movies, I judge them against the book. I'm not sure if that's bad or good but the novel certainly left an impression.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (Fraiser): I love every biography that Lady Fraiser writes (the widow of Harold Pinter by the way). This was the first and from it I learned the saying: Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

My Life in France (Child): Who doesn't love Julia Child? But this book really taught me that you are never too old to find and follow a passion (Ms. Child was 37 when she took her first cooking class). Also, her way of dealing with life, throwing herself into it and never apologizing: wow, more powerful than any self-help book. Or at least in my opinion.

Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak): Because Max looked at his monsters in the eye and tamed them; talk about your self-help books.

Huis Clos (Sartre): Do plays count? I have to add in No Exit by Sartre because I really got into his claustrophobic description of hell as others. Also, it's probably the only piece of his writing that I actually understood.

Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy (Sedaris): For me, this has to be his funniest book ever and yet you can recognize yourself or some family members in the stories.

Whew! That was more difficult that I had imagine. But now, I'm curious about other lists. So what have you read that has stuck with you?


  1. wow. i am in the dark on a few, read a few. will have to check a few out. have not seen the Watchmen movie, really don't want to be disappointed. No Exit, glad it got a mention. great work. have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks for playing. Your list is quite impressive - lots of French writing - something I've never sought out, but sounds very interesting. My high school french won't allow a reading in the native tongue so I'll have to seek the translations.

  3. Hi Kate Im Late! (i,m a Poet aleady!!!!) Thanks for visiting 'Thursday.I Love The Look of your Blog.I shall Return! (ive put a link to you on mine)
    Have A Fine Weekend.

  4. To Kill A Mockingbird
    Anne of Green Gables
    The Bobbsey Twins
    The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn
    The Scarlatti Inheritance
    The Great Gatsby
    The Wind in the Willows
    Alice in Wonderland
    Main Street
    Vanity Fair
    Sister Carrie
    Dombey & Son
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles
    Adam Bede
    Silas Marner
    Grapes of Wrath
    Travels with Charley

    I could go on and on...