For my Eye Candy entry, click here.
For my 100 Words entry, click here.
For my Show Me Yours entry click here.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, as always hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, involves books I resolve to read in 2011. Most of these are books I’ve owned for years and have sat ignored while other things came up. Even without a reading list, 2011 eleven promises to be the busiest year of my life. But I’m one of those weird people who actually seems to get more accomplished when he’s too busy to breathe then when he has loads of downtime. So who knows?
These aren’t in any particular order, although I’m most eager for number ten, and I’m currently working on number four.
1. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally – Yes, I know it was originally titled Schindler’s Ark, but this is the title of my copy. I was assigned this book in a college history class two years before the movie came out but never touched it. If the adage of the book being better than the movie holds true, I could be in trouble; that movie stayed with me a long, long time. Just typing this, I can hear Itzhak Pearlman’s haunting violin in the background.
2. Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Not much to say about this one. Arguably the greatest American novel ever written, this massive guide to deep-sea fishing has managed, like the titular mammal, to evade my grasp for decades. Unlike Captain Ahab, though, I haven’t obsessed about it (yet). I just hope I can read about Starbuck without getting distracted by images of Katie Sackoff in a tank top.*
3. The Motions of the Heavenly Bodies by Nicolai Copernicus/Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei/Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton/Relativity by Albert Einstein – These are also collected in a Stephen Hawking-edited compendium entitled On the Shoulders of Giants, but since I already have all but one of them, I’ve listed them individually. I chose these not as a science nerd, but as a history nerd. These four books, particularly Copernicus and Galileo, changed the world with their observations.
4. All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein – I was fascinated by the Watergate Scandal when I was a kid and wanted to learn as much as possible about it. Somehow I managed to not only not read this book, but I’ve also never seen the movie. I want to rectify that on both counts, especially now that I’m dabbling in journalism myself.
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nobakov – I know very little about this book except that Lolita’s a young girl and Humbert Humbert’s the creep obsessed with her. Thinking about this book is like thinking about the mysterious room at the end of the upstairs hall at Grandma’s house that you’re not supposed to go into: you don’t know if you’ll frightened by what’s inside, but you know you have to look.
7. Memoirs of the Second World War by Winston Churchill – Churchill is probably one of the most underrated authors in history, simply because his political overshadows his writing career. I read his four volume History of the English Speaking Peoples, and it was one best history books I’ve ever read. He could have eschewed politics for the pen, and still he would have been a household name.
8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling – being a Science Fiction and Fantasy writer with a bent toward YA and never having read any of the Harry Potter series is kind of like being a filmmaker who’s never seen the Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca.
9. The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen – I read a review of this book recently that essentially described it as 600 pages of people thinking about things (my words, not his), but he meant that in a good way: a thoughtful, thought-provoking piece about what happens when life doesn’t work out how you wanted. Also, there’s something about this book that’s been pulling me towards it since I discovered it. It could be an enjoyable read (and judging by the first few pages, I believe it will be), it could be an “important” work of literature and the latest Great American Novel. Or it could be something I put on top of my lizard’s cage to keep the cat from jumping on it. Hopefully, this is the year I find out.
10. The Histories by Herodotus – You know that kid Justin Bieber, or whatever his name is? You know how some teenage girls just freak out at the mere sight of him? Yeah, that’s kind of how I feel about this book, which is why I’m waiting until my next stay-at-home vacation to read it, so I can give it the undivided attention it deserves. And so no one can hear me scream. Don’t judge me.
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- John Adams by David McCullough
- Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
*Or better yet: Katie Sackoff in a tank top holding a venti mochaccino.