Top 40, Part 2

So, I'm back with part two of the top forty books I'm picking for my hypothetical collection. If you missed the back story, take a look at part one. Please enjoy my night-vision picture, I'm pretty psyched I finally had a reason (?) to use that effect. Yay.

Remember, these are in no particular order. Forward march:

Top 40, Part II

11. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: As an elementary teacher I had heard great things about this 540 page book, which is heavy on the illustrations. I used my class' Scholastic Points (insert evil laugh) to buy the book for myself and was instantly hooked. The story is about an orphaned kid, Hugo, who is living in a Parisian rail station trying to build a robot based on his father's notes. Great story, awesome illustrations. I'm interested to see what Martin Scorsese does with the movie.

12. Underworld by Don DeLillo: This book is a beast and, technically, I've been reading it for like five years (finishing it is one of my New Year's Resolutions). I've always seemed to start reading this book during the worst times (breaking up with a guy, during finals, starting a job)- it's a dense 800+ page book that's not an easy read and doesn't forgive hiatuses. It's hard to describe, but, basically, from what I gather thus far, it's a connection of lives and stories that will probably all connect at the end. Or something like that. I'm finishing it this year, dammit.

13. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides: I love this book and obsessively check to see when Eugenides is set to release a new novel to follow up this 2007 book (so far, nothing up). Eugenides nails the story and the prose, something so many authors fall short of. The story focuses on a "girl" and her discovery of the fact that she is a hermaphrodite, as well as her ancestor's past, which may have lead to this condition. I'm trying to ignore the fact that the She-Devil recommended it to her minions.

14. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner: Okay, hermaphrodites to kittens. I love reading aloud to kids and would read this story to my elementary students a few times a year. It's funny, it's cute, and it celebrates imagination without being corny. I guess there are other Skippyjon books, but I've never read them. I seriously have the urge to read this to my yearbook class because they are driving me up the wall right now. At least then they could productively tease me with the remaining time left in the period, instead of sitting around talking about who did what after prom. Uhh, I mean they're doing really productive, yearbook standard based activities.

15. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Whenever I have to choose a favorite book, this is it. I've read it twice, once in high school (anyone who went to high school with me would remember the infamous "interactive notebooks" we had to do, in which the teacher wrote on mine, "this is either a labor of love or a love of labor"), and once in college. I have a great appreciation for Russian literature in general, but this story about how Raskolnikov if forced to deal with his conscious after killing and robbing an old lady tops my charts.

16. 180 Degrees South by Chris Malloy, Yvone Chouinard, and Jeff Johnson: I've reviewed this book in the past, and between it and the movie I want to go to Patagonia (I even found a resort). I love the adventurous, ecologically-based, spirits these men have and am so, so envious of their ability to leave their lives and explore. The book's photos and essays are captivating, but more than anything the text just reminds me to not be complacent.

17. Emma by Jane Austen: I bought this book when I was in eighth grade for absolutely no reason except that I knew it was a movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow. While I'm not a huge fan of these types of books now, I see this as the beginning of a time where I really started (accidentally) reading quality, literary books (Austen leads to the Brontes, the Brontes lead to Dickens, etc...)

18. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: An easy transition, I suppose. I have read Jane Eyre countless times for various classes and have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it./her My first reading was the summer between eighth and ninth grade (welcome to IB, kids!), as well as the corresponding one hundred study guide questions. I had to read it twice in college as well, which was when I started growing fond of Jane (those that love this book should read White Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, in which she tackles the Rochester/Bertha origins). I also have an illustrated Gothic version, which is pretty interesting.

19. Campbell Biology by assorted smarties: I won't bore you with the details, but I read all 1400 pages while studying for my biology credential. I'm thankful that it helped me secure my job, but also love it for all the interesting chapters on mitosis, meiosis, body systems, the brain, the environment, and population ecology. I'm being serious (it can keep cellular respiration and o-chem, though).

20. How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely: This is definitely not an expertly written novel, but it is a humorous take on the publishing world. Someday, somehow, I'm going to publish a novel and this book will remind me what not to do and how to manage the inevitable frustration and rejection.

PS- This is my 100th post! I deserve a really cool prize to commemorate the occasion.

1 comment:

  1. i love this list!! i have some recommendations for you too (that are not vampire or werewolf related) :D