The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

Tag: lists (page 1 of 2)

11 Frightfully good books

happy_halloween

Orson Welles said it best before the radio play, “The Hitchhiker”: “We of Mercury reckon that a story doesn’t have to appeal to the heart, it can also appeal to the spine. Sometimes, you want your heart to be warm; sometimes you want your spine to tingle.”

I like a good spine tingler.

To that end, I have a list for you, dear readers, of some of my favourite stories for this time of year. The numbers do not indicate what I think is number 1, or reading order. They just happened to be arranged as such. So, here we go:

1) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
2) Selected Stories of Guy de Maupassant
3) Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James
4) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, BUT you should find the ones with artwork by Stephen Gammell. The newer artist is good, but you won’t get the full effect!
5) The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
6) Anything by Poe (I just couldn’t narrow it down!)

Now, these stories above are fairly tame. This next section is only for those not faint of heart. If you read them and have to sleep with the light on, you have only yourselves to blame.

1) Volumes 1-3 of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood
2) The Bridge by John Skipp and Craig Spector
3) House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
4) The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker (This is the novella the film Hellraiser sprang from, which is a very good film I highly recommend.)
5) Anything by H. P. Lovecraft (See number #6, in the list above!)

Happy reading, and Happy Halloween!

Summer reading list

One week from today and summer officially begins. With that in mind, I decided it was high-time I put together my summer reading list. Here’s what I have, so far …

  1. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
  3. Shadow & Claw, Gene Wolfe
  4. Sword & Citadel, Gene Wolfe
  5. The Prince and other writings, Niccolò Machiavelli
  6. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
  7. Aunts Aren’t Gentleman, P.G. Wodehouse
  8. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
  9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  10. When you are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris

It is quite measily, I’ll admit–all the more so considering that since the moment I started compiling the list and posted here, I’ve already read Shadow & Claw and I’ve nearly finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Oh well, all the more time to read things that may have absolutely no redeeming value whatsoever … like The Tenth Gift I picked up for $5.00 at Walgreens … or, great summer foo-foo reads, such as Janet Evanovich’s Sizzling Sixteen.

Of course, I’m more than happy to pick up a book or two that others have suggested … hint, hint

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Sticking to a reading list

I’m not a planned reading person. I tend to pick up books as I go–as the mood strikes. But last Fall, I had a plan, and by george I was going to stick to it!

New books I plan to take in (buy, beg, or borrow)…

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style=”text-decoration: line-through;”>Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

  • Perelandra/That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Family Roundabout by Richmal Crompton
  • The Woman Warrior/China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  • And books currently upon my shelf …

    1. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
    2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    3. Surly Tim and other stories by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    4. Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace
    5. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
    6. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

    As you can see from the strike throughs I didn’t do so very, very good. Oh sure, I read that many books–and more! I just didn’t read the books on my list. As a matter of fact, I purchased Persuasion. It’s sitting on my nightstand–as it has for the past couple months–waiting to be read “next.” Unfortunately, other books have been placed–and read–on top.

    So, what did I learn from this little experiment {besides the fact that I’m woefully pitiful}? Well, for starters I loved the feeling of accomplishment, as I marked books off the list. I liked the fact that I read books I may have otherwise ignored.

    I also learned that I need to be a bit more thoughtful in my selection. I had a whole lot of depression going on in them there stories. The fact that I had sadness in my own life, did not make for an overly enjoyable reading experience.

    Will I do it again? Why yes, yes I will. As a matter of fact, I’ve begun mulling my summer reading list. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

    Books on being stranded

    Stranded due to havoc caused by volcanic ash? Well, according to some of the great stories of literature, that’s nothing!

    William Skidelsky has composed a list of “The 10 best books about being marooned in literature.” *for some reason being marooned in literature doesn’t sound all that bad … but I digress…* Check out the article here.

    Any additions? Right off the top of my head I’d have to add Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere – the story of a young man whose simple act of kindness strands him in another world, where he must learn to survive as one who has fallen “through the cracks…”

    Great books of love

    Aaaah, February – the month of love. Chances are good you’re seeing red by now. Between National Heart month (US) and Valentine’s Day, you’d be hard pressed to get around it. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This list should get you started; I tried to find a little something for everyone – poems, letters, real-life romance, novels, comedy, and tragedy. They’re all here:

    The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, translation by Betty Radice

    Real-life love story between a 12th-century French philosopher and his gifted pupil, these letters prove a passion strong enough to withstand centuries.

    The Sonnets: Poems of Love, by William Shakespeare

    Shakespeare’s 14-line poems are considered by many to be the greatest love poetry ever penned.

    Persuasion, by Jane Austen

    Anne Elliot was happily engaged to Officer Frederick Wentworth … until her friend persuaded her of his unworthiness. The book chronicles his return, eight years later. Aaah, the persuasions of love…

    The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton

    A story of duty and passion, desire and betrayal, set in the Golden Age of Old New York.

    The Love Poems of Lord Byron: A Romantic’s Passion, by George Gordon Byron (that’s Lord Byron to you)

    What list would be complete without the man whose name is synonymous with romance? Exactly.

    98 Love Letters that Will Bring You to Your Knees, edited by John Bradshaw

    A collection of love letters penned over a period of five centuries – with a passion that remains alive today.

    Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë

    The ever popular gothic romance about a poor, plain-looking girl named Jane, and her fierce spirit that conquers all.

    Wuthering Heights, EmilyBrontë

    Yet another popular gothic romance from Charlotte’s sister Emily, it is the tale of Cathy Earnshaw and her soul mate Heathcliff.

    Love Among the Chickens, by P.G. Wodehouse

    This early Wodehouse (you’ll want his revised copy) is all about the love. And chickens.

    The Princess of Cleves, by Madame de Lafayette

    A story of 17th century French courtly love – where “love was always allied to politics and politics to love… “

    The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene

    A novel set in London at the end of WWII, it is the story of a rising author, Maurice Bendrix and his love affair with Sarah Miles, the wife of an important civil servant.

    A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

    It is the tragic romance between an American soldier Frederic Henry and his British nurse Catherine Barkley – the story of personal tragedy within collective tragedy.

    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Anita Loos

    Set in 1925, this novel tells the story of Lorelei Lee – a gold digger with heart of gold.

    The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford

    The pursuit of love never did run smooth … or so it was for a girl named Linda.

    I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith

    This novel is narrated by seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain who wants nothing more than to be a writer. While her sister Roses longs for romance, Cassandra scorns it: I know all about the facts of life. And I don’t think much of them.” Oh how things can change…

    Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way … so begins the tragic tale of Anna Karenina, a willful woman who follows her heart and transgresses the confines of society.

    Song of Songs (Solomon), The Bible

    An allegory of God and the church, this poem weaves the story of a man and his beloved, from courtship to consummation.

    Now, what did I miss?

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