mjj (flemmings) wrote,

As a dog to its vomit, so doth the sheep return to any damned book meme wandering about

Cult books. As worldserpent says, it's "superior to the usual list because it is not composed mainly of books that you read at school, and because the people choosing it insult half of the books on the list."

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
--this was when I realized once and for all that I was a) not a geek, though it wasn't geeks per se who read it in my day, and b) not a guy
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (1957-60)
--actually I think this *was* for school, or side reading in some classics course or something
A Rebours by JK Huysmans (1884)
--of course he pulled all those names from the encyclopedia.
Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946)
--no I haven't. Really. Not even for work.
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (1991)
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)
--I was told, head in the oven reading cough-cough, so I didn't
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
--nope, not a guy, not even an adolescent guy
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (1993)
The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (1971)
Chariots of the Gods: Was God An Astronaut? by Erich Von Däniken (1968)
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (1824)
--what comes of hanging around English majors. All that sticks in my head is that Hogg had a fetish for having his characters tied up with women's garters.
Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health by L Ron Hubbard (1950)
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley (1954)
--ohh come on, you buncha old hippies. 'In between there are only doors.'
Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)
--It may be my claim to fame that I've read no Douglas Adams at all.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (1973)
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)
--more fun than Millett. Which isn't saying much.
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943)
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter (1979)
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)
--what comes of hanging around English majors and exiling yourself to small towns in France with them
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln (1982)
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948)
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino (1979)
--all Calvino is the same Calvino, by me
Iron John: a Book About Men by Robert Bly (1990)
--still not king male
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russell Munson (1970)
--what do you take me for?
The Magus by John Fowles (1966)
--damned poseur
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)
--finally, something that's actually as good as it's supposed to be. Or actually good, given the dreck on this list.
The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1958)
---what comes of hanging about--- oh never mind.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)
No Logo by Naomi Klein (2000)
On The Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson (1971)
The Outsider by Colin Wilson (1956)
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (1923)
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (1914)
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám tr by Edward FitzGerald (1859)
--I sympathize with the scholars who insist that FitzGerald got it all wrong and *really* the poem's better and more profound than you'd believe from his version. I'm sure it is. Makes no difference: FitzGerald is what I read.
The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937)
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922)
--days of '72. You're making me all nostalgic here. Also incredulous: you mean we actually admired all this vapid stuff?
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1774)
Story of O by Pauline Réage (1954)
--did I read it? or did I just see the movie? No, I read it. (Well, *and* saw the movie.) It has that line about being naked under one's clothes.
The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)
--give this a half. Tried to read it when I was 16. Bad bad move.
The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968)
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1883-85)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
--why is this book on all the lists? It made me oogey even when I was thirteen and knew nothing about racial relationships in the US
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsig (1974)
--my life would have been so much different if I'd hung around classicists instead. After all, that's sort of what I was supposed to be. Or medievalists, the other thing I was supposed to be. But noooo....

17 out of 50. I'd be ashamed of that figure except I'd be more ashamed of anything higher. Dianetics? The Fountainhead? The Prophet? Hunter S. Thompson? No-I-don't-think-so.
Tags: reading

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