Thursday, January 3, 2008

Complete and Unabridged

I drove out to knit night tonight, only to find that the yarn shop was closed for inventory, which of course makes sense considering that last Saturday was the pre-inventory sale. D'oh! Ooohh... and I don't think I've posted my goodies yet - another post.

But since I was out & about anyway I decided to go to another favorite shop in southeast - Powells on Hawthorne! I've just finished up reading Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth and Stephanie Pearl McPhee Casts Off by the beloved Yarn Harlot and was feeling a bit bereft of reading material. I found myself picking up a number of books from the sale table... see if you can spot a trend:

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Uncle Tom's Cabin

I'm calling it the "Books I didn't read or didn't appreciate back in high school... but am willing to give another shot" reading list (and yes M5K - I'm stealing your idea ;) -what book are you reading anyway?). Actually, the only ones I haven't already read are Sense & Sensibility (although I watch the DVD with Emma Thompson regularly), and Uncle Tom's Cabin (which I know only from the interpretive dance scene in The King & I). The others I read and have vague memories of not hating back in high school... but that's about all I remember. Any other suggestions of books I should read or reread now that I'm... mature*... enough to understand them?

Actually, I am currently reading Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This is my second time trying to get through it, she's a bit more poetic than I generally like. But I admire her a great deal as a person, so I feel like I should actually read her work. Anyway - that's the first book on my list. But after that I'll start in on the "Books I didn't read or didn't appreciate back in high school." reading list. Care to join me?

*old & boring


Michael5000 said...

The Brothers Karamazov. I'm making good headway these days, too.

Magatha said...

Make sure you read Austin's Persuasion. Skip Withering Heights. (misspelling intended)
Skip all Hawthorne. Read Anna Karenina if you haven't yet.

Hey not everyone 'beloves' Harlot. I know, hard to imagine, but true none the less.

Rebel said...

Persuasion... has Emma Thompson done a movie of that one yet? =P I'll add it to the list. I would like to reread The Scarlet Letter though, I do remember understanding it and getting into the story at least somewhat... and I'm interested to see how I react to it now. When I first read it I was young & innocent (& judgemental in the extreme) and rather thought the idea of setting adulterers out for public scorn was a good idea.

Oh, and I know the Harlot has her detractors, but on the whole I "belove" her.

Phineas said...

While Gatsby is a classic for a reason, both The Beautiful and Damned and Tender is the Night are worth adding to your list. I enjoyed them more than Gatsby. But it's been so long since I read them, that I can't remember why.

Also, I just read that a movie version of The Beautiful and Damned is due out this year.

Batty said...

I know what you mean about appreciating books much, much later. I remember not appreciating some in high school, then thinking they were great when I had the opportunity to re-read them.

And then there's the issue of plays. I used to think Death of a Salesman was the shallowest piece of dialog ever written, populated with some of the most two-dimensional characters ever created. Then I saw it on stage, performed by good actors, and had to completely revise my opinion. Plays are meant to be watched, not to be read. So now, I don't form an opinion until I've seen something performed well.

Rebel said...

Batty I completely agree. Fortunately my Jr. year English teacher was also the Drama teacher, so he understood this. He read "MacBeth" to the class & did all the voices. I was able to understand it much better than when I tried to read it.

Phineas - I've never heard of either of those books... I'll have to check them out!

Bezzie said...

I read To Kill A Mockingbird in a similar HS vein. I lied to skip sophmore English and go straight to Senior english. MacBeth vs. Dante's Inferno? Can you blame me?

IamSusie said...

I like to go for classics too. I read Sense and Sensibility recently and thought it was good, but a lot of "to do" about getting married. Pride and Prejudice (which I read immediately after putting down the first book) is much better, with a more interesting plot.

This year I read Dante, but got sick of it when he finally got through Purgatory and into Paradise.

The Good Earth and A Tale Of Two Cities have been on my side table for a loooong time waiting to be read.

atet said...

Wuthering Heights if you really want to do the high school books I could have paid attention to. Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marques if you want somethign that will knock your socks off.