spock: logic is sexy

The Book Meme

Stolen from kellychambliss

Take 10 minutes to make a list of books that have been important to you at some time in your life. Don't stop to think, justify, add authors, or make notes. When 10 minutes are up, you can reorder the list and add additional information. Readers can ask questions about the books on the list.

Travel Literature
1. Give Me the World by Leila Hadley
2. The Ends of the Earth by Robert D. Kaplan

Non-literary Non-fiction
1. Orientalism by Edward Said
2. The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
3. Second Treatise of Government by John Locke
4. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Literary Non-fiction
1. On Writing by Stephen King
2. Wild Swans by June Chang
3. Red Azalea by Anchee Min
4. The Autobiogprahy of Malcolm X
5. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Literary Fiction
1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
4. The Secret Garden by Francis Burnett
5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
6. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
7. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
8. A Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by ...to lazy to look it up
9. The Translator by Leila Aboulela
10. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
11. The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson
12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
13. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
14. The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
15. 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
16. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
17. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
18. The Baby Sitter's Club by Ann M. Martin
I loved "The Secret Garden" as a kid -- I remember reading oh-so-slowly to make it last.

I'd like to hear about #17.
Me three! I must have read that book about 30 times growing up. I will admit to trying to affect the broad Yorkshire accent.
The Secret Garden is one of the books my mother read out loud to me as a girl. It's such a lovely memory.
the Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is an African writer whose goal is to overcome the "single story" that many Americans have about Africa -- the idea that it is a wholly impoverished, war-torn, and miserable place. To that end, she writes a lot of stories about ordinary people from her country whose lives are a mix of good and bad, and whose concerns relate quite clearly to ours, even if they are shaped by a different culture and surroundings. Stylistically, I really like how she writes stories that leave some of the ending up to your imagination.
I adore Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas but I haven't read The Rum Diary yet. How does Perks the book compare to Perks the movie?

I'd like to hear about The Ends of the Earth and the Balzac one, #7.
I am too much of a purist to see the Perks movie, I'm afraid. I can't handle anything that would possibly spoil the book.

The Ends of the Earth is really neat -- about 50% journalism and 50% travel diary. The author argues that a lot of obscure places in the world, like Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, are going to become significant strategic players in the coming decades. He writes about these places in such splendid detail. I credit the book with making me want to travel to random places that other people wouldn't think to go. I doubt I would have ever ventured to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan without him.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is one of my favorite novels. Set during China's Cultural Revolution, it tells the story of two teenage "intellectuals" exiled to the mountains to learn hard labor and working class values from local peasants. Ironically, they find a book of forbidden Western literature as well as a really cute young girl (the little seamstress in the title). To say more would spoil the plot, but I love the irony and the question of whether people can be forced to learn against their will.
I adored Little Women as a kid, and to a slightly lesser degree The Secret Garden.

Makes me smile to see The Baby Sitters' Club under the heading of literary fiction, haha -- I loved those books too. Kristy was my favorite.
Heh, yeah. It looked kind of weird there, but I was too lazy to make another category just for it...

Mary Anne was always my favorite; she was quiet like me, but somehow she got a cute boyfriend anyway. I think the power of those books was that most girls could find themselves represented somewhere.