Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: I Can’t Promise to Try, but I’ll Try to Try

For my Eye Candy entry, click here.

For my 100 Words entry, click here.

For my Show Me Yours entry click here.

tttThis 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.


SCHINDLERS_LIST1.  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. 


images (1)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.*


shouldersgi3.  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. 

All the President's Mne4.  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.



lolita.large5.  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.



51pP0WQMAIL6. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu – This intriguing work of prose fiction – hence, a novel - was written in Japan in the eleventh century, beating Don Quixote by 600 years. 






000c1d44_medium7.  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.



05903534038. 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.




corrections9.  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.


herodotus (1)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.


Honorable Mention:

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
  • Beowulf
  • 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.


  1. This is a great list! I'm looking to get a hold of Moby Dick for a group read later this year. There are two or three others I hope to read some time, but won't likely be read this year.

    Good luck with sticking to your resolve!:)


  2. For the last few weeks, I've been under the impression that it's the same top 10 over and over again. It's an interesting one you've got though. Glad you liked my review of The Corrections.

    Also, I watched the Sorcerer's Stone movie last week, was surprised. It's good. The reputation is overdone still, but it's not bad at all.

  3. You have to try. I will be looking out for your thoughts on the histories. Best of luck.

  4. first off, Harry Potter is awesome and fun. AND you can read it in a day if you have the time. They're easy to fly through.
    Lolita is also on my list. But Moby Dick, no thanks. I had to read that for my degree and it was not fun past the first couple hundred pages
    Good luck!

  5. Add anything by Sharon Kay Penman, plus Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End."

  6. here's mine http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/01/top-ten-tuesday-top-10-books-i-resolve.html

  7. I read Lolita last year and it really is that terrible seedy read that you know is wonderfully written but the words are just so creepy that it's hard to read! I liked it, but I also didn't, if that makes sense. It's understated in a way but you get the idea all too clearly.

  8. Wow, this is a great list. I have The Corrections on my list. I also want to read Schindler's List as well. I'm a new follower. My list is here if you're interested:

  9. you can do it. Moby Dick will only hurt a little. LOL.

    seriously tho, if you finish it fell proud of yourself. I am a readaholic and couldn't MAKE myself read that book--not even for the midterm that was only on THAT book.

    Still got an A, but damn I really didn't like that book. I think Melvile was paid by the word rather than for the whole book.

    Good luck.


  10. So many people think Moby Dick is dull and boring, possibly because they expect it to be a thriller. I didn't come to it with any such expectations and enjoyed it tremendously. Reading it slowly is they key.

    I nearly put Lolita on my list - it's one of a handful of books I really think I should have read by now.

  11. Yah, not reading Harry Potter really is exactly like not watching Casablanca and Gone With The Wind for a film maker. You best get on that.

    Lots of great books on your list that I am DYING to read.