Sunday, March 29, 2009


Mr. Bleak Mouse has tagged me with a 15 book meme. Here's his list and rules of the game:

This should be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag as many people as you like, including the person who tagged you.

1. The Man Who Was Thursday, G. K. Chesterton
2. Zuleika Dobson, by Max Beerbohm
3. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
4. Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
5. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
6. Art and Illusion, E.H. Gombrich
7. Beware of Pity, Stefan Zweig
8. Essays, George Orwell
9. The Thousand Nights and One Night, trans. Mardrus and Mathers
10. Under Western Eyes, Joseph Conrad
11. The Abyss, Marguerite Yourcenar
12. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
13. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
14. The Great Terror, Robert Conquest
15. Tom Jones, Henry Fielding

And I'm haunted by the terrible feeling that somehow, somewhere, I've left a few hundred out. Fortunately, my memory is thin nowadays.

Okay, here are my choices in no particular order ( and I couldn't do this quickly without some thought, so maybe I messed up the premise):

1. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Because it was the first book that made me really cry, real sobs. It shocked me that a book could do that.

2. Mistress of Mellyn, Victoria Holt
The first book that gave me romance - I think I was around 12 years old. Nancy Drew was toast.

3. Helter Skelter, Vincent Bugliosi
I was pregnant with my first baby and this book scared the crap out of me. Spent a year reading true crime stuff. You finally just can't read another one at some point. Too depraved; humans can be just that and more.

4. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
First inkling that a book was far better than anything Hollywood could dream up. Taught me more about the Civil War than any ol' stale bad-breathed history teacher. I remain in love to this day with Rhett Butler.

5. Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth
My first really twisted sexually explicit book; opened wide avenues of imagination and no small amount of revulsion.

6. Mary, Queen of Scots, Antonia Fraser
Began my monarchy fascination phase: Mary, Elizabeth, Marie A, Nicholas and Alexandria, Henry VIII, Elinor of Aquitane, and so on

7. Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
Which led me to read Pasternak's poetry, of course.

8. Lord of the Rings, Triology, J.R. Tolkein
Oh my, what a discovery! A whole new world to explore! Grown-up fantasy, what a premise! (Though I was 17 before this discovery.)

9. Centennial, James A. Michener
My first awakening to my love of the American West. What an adventure!

10. The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
This is not a book, of course, but it opened my eyes to the power and punch a well-written short story can deliver.

11. Chariots of the Gods, Erich von Daniken
Though now I laugh at the naivite of von Daniken, at the age of 14, it was quite the proverbial mind-blower. But talk about a curiosity creator.

12. Animal Farm, George Orwell
Wow, some adults can think outside of the box! Cool! Went onto read "Watership Down" by Richard Adams as a follow on.

13. The Color of Turquoise, Ellen Meloy
Who knew nature writers could possess such soul? Yes, I had read Thoreau's "On Walden's Pond" - which was akin to eating Communion wafers as a dessert. Tasteless and dry in my estimation, and it would be decades before I ventured to try another nature writer. Thank goodness I did. Meloy's writings are deep, but oh so much fun to read.

14. Ten Little Indians, Agatha Christie
Ah, the English crime novel! Delicious. Led to the wonderful writings of Arthur Conan Doyle.

15. The Bible, mortals
Self-explanatory, but maybe not for the reason you might suppose.

Like Bleak Mouse, now that I am thinking along these lines, I know when my head hits the pillow in a few minutes, I will have a moment of regret that I didn't list this book or the other.

Tag to any one who wants to play!


Kay Dennison said...

I'll play on Tuesday! Thanks!!!!!

You and I have a lot of reading material in common!

Kay Dennison said...

My list is posted

Whisky Prajer said...

D'oooooooh - kay!

DarkoV said...

Let me join the Club of Fifteen, if you don't mind.
Q: The Bible "not for the reason you might suppose."

Care to elaborate?!!??

K. said...

Patty, that's a good list. I read Ten Little Indians over and over when I was in junior high and high school. It didn't matter that I knew the ending.

Kay, Hawii is definitely good Michener. Texas, not so good. Have you read Chesapeake?