Masterpiece
*****
Excellent
**** 1/2
Very good
****
Good
**** 1/2
Just okay
***
Not for me
**
Definitely not for me
*

Reading Across Borders Challenge

Reading Across Borders Challenge
10 books published in 10 different original languages as well as others published in English with a foreign setting and author.

10 Different Original Languages:

The Birds by Arisophanes (Greek) FINISHED
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (German) FINISHED
The Little Prince by Exupery (French) FINISHED
Mad Shadows by Marie-Claire Blais (French; Canadian setting) FINISHED
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (French) FINISHED
Veronika Decides to Die by Paolo Coelho (Portuguese; setting in Slovenia) FINISHED
The Wreath by Ingrid Undset (Norwegian) FINISHED
The Bookseller of Kabul by Seierstad (Norwegian; setting in Afghanistan) FINISHED
The Last Evenings on Earth by Roberto Bolano (Spanish) FINISHED
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Russian) FINISHED
Complete Tales of Nikolai Gogol, Vol. 1 (Russian) FINISHED
Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather by Gao Xingjian (Chinese) FINISHED
Travels of Marco Polo (Old French/Italian debate) FINISHED
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (Swedish) FINISHED

Published in English by non-American authors:

Atonement Ian McEwan (UK) FINISHED
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana) FINISHED
Silas Marner by George Eliot FINISHED (British author)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Congo) FINISHED
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson FINISHED (Scottish author)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins FINISHED (British author)
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (Scottish author) FINISHED
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (India) FINISHED
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Germany; Australian author) FINISHED
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Canada/USA) FINISHED
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Canadian author) FINISHED
The Translator by Leila Aboulela (Sudan/Scotland) FINISHED
The Bone People by Keri Hulme (New Zealand) FINISHED
Wild Swans by Jung Chang (China) FINISHED
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (England) FINISHED
Phantastes by George MacDonald (Scottish author) FINISHED
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (British author) FINISHED
The Sea by John Banville (Ireland) FINISHED
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (Canada) FINISHED
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India) FINISHED
Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie (Nigeria) FINISHED
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana) FINISHED
Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro (British author) FINISHED
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (England) FINISHED
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (British author) FINISHED
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (British author) FINISHED
This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy (Irish author) FINISHED
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Afghanistan) FINISHED
The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens (British author) FINISHED
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (British location/Australian author) FINISHED
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (British author) FINISHED
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (British author) FINISHED

Published in English with foreign settings by American authors:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (China) FINISHED
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Italy, Indonesia, India) FINISHED
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Denmark) FINISHED
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica) FINISHED
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Britain) FINISHED
The White Stag by Kate Seredy (Hungary) FINISHED
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (Peru) FINISHED
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (Canada) FINISHED

12 Pulitzers in 2007

The Bridge of San Luis Rey ****1/2 – Wilder (1928) FINISHED
A Death in the Family ****1/2 – Agee (1958) FINISHED
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ***** (1961) FINISHED
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner **** (1972) FINISHED
The Color Purple – Alice Walker **** (1983) FINISHED
The Shipping News – Proulx (1994) FINISHED
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields ****1/2 (1995) FINISHED
The Hours ***1/2 Cunningham (1999) FINISHED
Middlesex ***1/2 Eugenides (2003) FINISHED
The Known World – Jones **** (2004) FINISHED
March by Geraldine Brooks ***1/2 (2006) FINISHED
The Road by Cormac McCarthy ****1/2 (2007) FINISHED

Note: If you like to read award/prize-winning books too, join my Yahoo book group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bookawards/

By the Decade Reading Challenge

Runs from January 1 through December 31, 2007.

If you would like to join this challenge, go here.

2000′s – Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See FINISHED
1990′s – The Giver by Lois Lowry FINISHED
1980′s – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood FINISHED
1970′s – Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner FINISHED
1960′s – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee FINISHED
1950′s – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury FINISHED
1940′s – The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli FINISHED
1930′s – The White Stag by Kate Seredy FINISHED
1920′s – We by Yevgeny Zamyatin FINISHED
1910′s – O Pioneers! by Willa Cather FINISHED
1900′s – Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad FINISHED
1890′s – The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells FINISHED
1880′s – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert L. Stevenson FINISHED
1870′s – The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald FINISHED
1860′s – Silas Marner by George Eliot FINISHED
1850′s – Phantastes by George MacDonald FINISHED
1840′s – Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens FINISHED
1830′s – The Complete Stories of Nikolai Gogol Vol. 1 – Nikolai Gogol FINISHED

A-Z Title & Author Challenge

Inspired by “Thoughts of Joy”. No book overlaps both lists below.

My title A-Z List:
A. Angle of Repose - Stegner – Rating: 4
B. The Birds - Aristophanes Rating: 2.5
C. Coraline by Neil Gaiman Rating: 4.5
D. The Door in the Wall – de Angeli Rating: 4
E. The Echo Maker – Powers Rating: 4
F. Fahrenheit 451 - Bradbury Rating: 4.5
G. Gathering Blue - Lowry Rating: 4.5
H. The Handmaid’s Tale – Atwood Rating: 4.5
I. The Inheritance of Loss – Desai Rating: 3.5
J. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Clarke Rating: 4.5
K. The Kite Runner – Hosseini Rating: 4
L. The Little Prince - Saint-Exupery Rating: 4.5
M. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Edwards Rating: 4.5
N. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Smith – Rating: 4.5
O. O Pioneers! – Willa Cather Rating: 4
P. The Princess and the Goblin – MacDonald Rating: 4.5
Q. Queen of the Tambourine – Jane Gardam Rating: 3.5
R. The Road- McCarthy Rating: 4.5
S. Silas Marner – EliotRating: 4.5
T. To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee – Rating: 5
U. The Uncommon Reader – Bennett Rating: 4
V. Veronika Decides to Die – Coelho Rating: 4.5
W. The Woman in White - Collins Rating: 4.5
X. The Xanadu Adventure – Alexander Rating: 3.5
Y. Year of Wonders – Brooks Rating: 4
Z. Zia – O’Dell Rating: 4

And my author A-Z List:
A. The Translator by Leila Aboulela Rating: 4
B. March by Geraldine Brooks Rating: 3.5
C. Heart of Darkness – Conrad Rating: 5
D. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo – Rating: 4.5
E. Peace Like a River – Enger – Rating: 4.5
F. Inkheart - Funke Rating: 4
G. Grendel – Gardner Rating: 2
H. The Bone People – Hulme Rating: 4
I. Never Let Me Go - Ishiguro Rating: 3
J. The Known World – Jones Rating: 4
K. Broken for You – Kallos Rating: 4
L. The Giver – Lowry Rating: 4.5
M. Atonement – McEwan – Rating: 3.5
N. Suite Francaise – Nemirovsky
O. The Black Pearl - O’Dell Rating: 4.5
P. My Sister’s Keeper – Picoult Rating: 4
Q. Ishmael - Quinn Rating: 3.5
R. Everyman - Roth Rating: 1
S. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – See – Rating: 5
T. The Amateur Marriage by Ann Tyler Rating: 4
U. The Wreath – Undset Rating: 4.5
V. A Severe Mercy- Vanauken Rating: 4
W. The Color Purple - Walker Rating: 4
X. Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather – Xingjian Rating: 4
Y. Amos Fortune, Free Man – Yates Rating: 4
Z. The Book Thief – Zusak Rating: 5

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

It is said that Robert Louis Stevenson revised A Child’s Garden of Verses and wrote Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a time span of under two yearsif only all of us could be so productive! This is a very short book and can easily be read in a few hours, so I encourage you to read it if you have not. I was very surprised I waited this long myself.

It tells the story of how Dr. Jekyll conducted an experiment to separate the evil and the good in his personality. Mr. Hyde was the result of his evil side coming out. Dr. Jekyll’s appearance was so altered that he was unrecognizable–both in appearance and actions. What was very interesting to me was that the experiment was done not just for “scientific research”, but because Dr. Jekyll admitted to actually enjoying his more sinful side. He wanted to separate the two personalities, in other words, so he could participate in the evil activities while still considering his “real self” to be essentially good. Of course he eventually loses control of the experiment with disastrous results. This simple tale teaches us the true nature of good and evil and our propensity to desire sin. It should be read by all!

Favorite passages:

First, because I have been made to learn that the doom and burthen of our life is bound for ever on man’s shoulders; and when the attempt is made to cast it off, it but returns upon us with more unfamiliar and more awful pressure.

I could have screamed aloud; I sought with tears and prayers to smother down the crowd of hideous images and sounds with which my memory swarmed against me; and still, between the petitions, the ugly face of my iniquity stared into my soul.

I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience; and it was as an ordinary secret sinner, that I at last fell before the assaults of temptation. There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure is filled at last; and this brief condescension to evil finally destroyed the balance of my soul.

I became, in my own person, a creature eaten up and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and mind, and solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self.

1886, 54 pp.

Rating: 5/5

Authors’ Top Ten

Authors’ Top 10 Greatest Books of All Time

I have read the titles in green.

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
9. Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
10. Middlemarch by George Eliot

50%–is that bad or good? I have War and Peace and Middlemarch slated for 2008. Not sure when I’ll get to the other three. My favorite book of all time: The Bible!!

Comment brought over from other blog:

1 comments:
Nyssaneala said…
50% is better than moi. I only read four: Anna Karenina, Lolita, Huck Finn, and Hamlet.I wonder how they decided on that list.
February 13, 2007 1:42 PM