June 21, 2010

Modern Library's 100 Best Novels

Back in 1998, Modern Library compiled a list of 100 titles they considered to be the best books of the 20th century. Sadly, The Catcher in the Rye is the only title on the list that I've actually read—and that was back in 1996 when I was a not-so-snot-nosed youth who found it utterly boring. I'd like to think of myself as an intelligent adult (though I'm sure many of you can contest otherwise). That's why I've decided to read each and every one of the books on the following list. I can't say exactly how long it will take me as not every book is currently available to me, but I'm going to try.

Perhaps I will use this as an opportunity to evaluate my local and state libraries. These titles are relatively old and well known; there is no reason they should not be readily available though the library. If a title is not available? Perhaps I'll see about getting it donated. The Modern Library has an book-request email available on their sites for books "you'd like to see us add[ed] to our library" so it's worth a try.
  1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
  8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
  9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
  10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
  11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
  12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
  13. 1984 by George Orwell
  14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
  15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
  16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
  17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
  18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
  19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
  20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
  21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
  23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
  24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
  25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
  26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
  27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
  28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
  30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
  31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
  33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
  34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
  35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
  36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
  37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
  38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
  39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
  40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
  41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
  42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
  43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
  44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
  45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
  46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
  47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
  48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
  49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
  50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
  51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
  52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
  53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
  54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
  55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
  56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
  57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
  58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
  59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
  60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
  62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
  63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
  64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
  65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
  66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
  67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
  68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
  69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
  70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
  71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
  72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
  73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
  74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
  75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
  77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
  78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
  79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
  80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
  82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
  83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
  84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
  85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
  86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
  87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
  88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
  89. LOVING by Henry Green
  90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
  91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
  92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
  93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
  94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
  95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
  96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
  97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
  99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
  100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

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June 20, 2010

Manga from Suvudu

There's something about getting a package in the mail that just makes me feel ... giddy. Books, movies, music, catalogs, doesn't matter. If it's for me, if it's even remotely associated with happiness or Pezz, I love it (bills excluded of course). So imagine my surprise when the mailman tromps across my lawn to deposit a fairly large package in my tiny mail box. I admit, first it was annoyance, then it was anger, but ultimately it was a feeling of ecstatic giddiness. Why? Manga! Turns out I was one of the winners of Jason Thompson's 365 DAYS OF MANGA contest being held over at Suvudu.com.

One of the stipulations? A picture of the winner holding their manga.

Now before you make any cracks about my picture: yes, that's really me. Yes, I am quite aware that the manga in my hands, the birdie bedsheets, and the stack of crap everywhere makes me seem like a teenager. Yes, I know I'm almost 30. And yes, I'm quite aware that this is a very unflattering photo of myself. Deal with it. I tried several times to take a decent picture; each time was as equally unflattering as this one. I am not a photogenic person. Never have been, never will be. My "Blossom reject" picture from junior high can attest to that (and before you ask, no, you can not see it). Don't believe me? Behold, other "candidates" for this post:

Horrid. Just horrid. Look, I'm not evening smiling in that last one! *sigh* In my [pathetic] defense: taking pictures with out the use of a tripod and single-handedly isn't that easy.

In case you're wondering I'm holding volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4, of E'S by Satol Yuiga. I love the art style. It's dramatic, crisp, and reminds me of the work of Yuu Watase. The books themselves are massive in weight! and heavy to hold. That was always something I loved about Broccoli Books USA; they produced substantial manga with crisp, bright-white pages that packed a punch! I still hold the tiniest bit of hope that once the industry stabilizes they'll return. The Broccoli Books USA website is still registered until 2014, after all.

The fifth book is No Need for Tenchi! Tenchi in Love vol 7 by Hitoshi Okuda. This one's a shounen from VIZ that I hadn't heard of before. It also sports bright-white pages and has a more substantial feel than standard manga. The art is cute if more "classic" in style and more simplistic and easy to follow. Sadly, it's printed in the US format which, for those of you who don't know, results in the reader starting at the end of the story and not the beginning if they are used to reading in the Japanese style. If you are new to manga, I think this series would be a good introduction. It's also safe enough to pass down to your younger brothers or sons if it's not to your taste.

I'd like to give an extra "thank you" to Jason Thompson over at Suvudu.com for hosting this contest. If you're interested, there is still time for you to enter. Also, go check out his newest work KING OF RPG'S or just go buy a copy.

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June 17, 2010

Smurfs in 3D

I've been neglecting my blog reading again. I can't really say it's because I'm gussy or because I'm lazy, though. I finished school with a very unsatisfying report and have since started the summer session--oh, how I miss my 1 week summer vacation! Anyways, I moseyed over to Suvudu to read through their posts and came across this one and, ultimately, this trailer.

Smurfs. Little blue creatures that started life as a Belgian comic by the cartoonist Peyo and quickly grew to be the childhood TV series that most of us--who grew up in the 1980's--remember and love to this day. And now, you guessed it, a live-action meats 3D movie. If you've seen the Garfield movie, you're probably having heart palpitations now. I would, too, if I weren't secretly awed the the possibility of Smurfs in the real world. Yes, I'm scared that my childhood memories will be ripped from my memories with tarnished fingers--Garfield was utterly traumatizing, especially since it refuses to die down--to be laid to waste on my TV screen. But you know? I'm still kinda excited.

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June 3, 2010

Win "Green" at Thrifty Jenny's

So, you all might know that I'm a "green" person. No, not my skin--it's white. Too white, if I do say so myself but I can't tan so I have to deal--but my life style. I compost (for the most part) have two recycle bins and an itty-bitty garbage can, walk, what have you--but I don't have that goat yet to mow my lawn... I'm still looking for one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg that I can rescue.

Ok, let me get to the point. Thrifty Jenny at, well, ThriftyJennyblogspot.com, is holding a contest to win a whole slue of "green" cleaning supplies from Second Generation. I know you clean (hopefully 0_o) so why not enter? This stuff is great! I've tried several different types of "green" dish soap and they have to be the best, hands down! So go, run, enter!

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May 30, 2010

And now begins summer break.

School has finally ended. It was a though couple of months; 5 classes is a bit hard to do when they're all on line. Trust me, it is NOT easier than going to an actual class. It's much, much harder! I think I did good in most of my classes so I'm hopping my GPA will jump up enough for me to stay in school (no, I still haven't dealt with those 4 F's. Yes, if they where gone I'd be perfectly fine.) I don't really feel as if I learned anything so I'm keeping my books for a while to go over a bit if time permits over the summer.

But with that, school is out! Time for summer "vacation" and summer reading. I've been neglecting my reading for so long it's going to be a hard getting back into the swing of things. I'd like to knock out 2 or 3 books a week (on top of the 6 mangas/week I want to do, too). Sounds impossible and I really doubt I'll manage, but it's good to have a goal!

VoilĂ , my reading/reviewing que for the week.

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