Friday, April 17, 2009

Growing up books

On Monday a friend posted a list of 20 of her favorite books she'd read. It was one of those crazy tag things that are going around. I don't usually do taggers, but this one spoke to me where I live, and so I thought I'd give it my own special twist--as I am prone to do. Anyone else feel like doing it? Have at it! But no tags from me. 

Here's my list of 20 books that profoundly influenced me in my growing up years. These are all books that I read before I was 20 and haven't been able to get out of my head. So it's my 20 below 20. They are not in any particular order. (FYI:  I've excluded any religious book, because this is not a religious blog.)

1. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
3. Exodus by Leon Uris
4. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
5. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese
6. The Shy Ones by Lynn Hall
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
10. Emma by Jane Austen
11. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
12. Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene
13. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
14. Bulfinch's Mythology
15. Othello by Shakespeare
16. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
17. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
18. Animal Farm by George Orwell
19. 1984 by George Orwell
20. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I'm sure this list dates me somewhat. There are so many more that for whatever reason didn't come to mind on the first run-through. It's funny I don't remember a lot of the books I read as a small kid. We had a whole set of about 15 volumes of children's stories and I loved to read those, but no particular titles stick out to me except for the Five Chinese Brothers which was my favorite. I can't tell you how many times I read that one. I bet the volume with it falls open to those pages. My sister got the set so I can't go back and flip through, so... oh well. This list is mostly what I read in middle school and high school.


PJ Hoover said...

Wow! Only 2 from your list would have made mine. Nancy Drew and Brave New World. Isn't that bizarre!

Windsong said...

Good books are better than food!

lotusgirl said...

PJ, That is funny. I'd love to see your list.

Windsong, Well... I'm a big fan of food too.

Natalie said...

Yeah, I haven't read many of those, but a lot of them are on my to-be-read list...which is always too long.

Justus M. Bowman said...

OMFlip! Is the The Five Chinese Brothers the story about the stupid boy and the failed executions? I loved that story. Ha ha.

lotusgirl said...

Natalie, They are all good ones.

Justus, That's the story! I STILL love that story.

Litgirl01 said...

We share a lot of the same. I have a hard time list just twenty. Cool you like Orwell and Huxley...dysopian lit rocks. Fun to read Plato's Republic along with Huxley! ;-)

lotusgirl said...

It was hard to pick just twenty. I think a lot of my sensibilities were formed in those years. I was very into dystopian/utopian thought. (Still am sometimes)

T. Anne said...

I like your list. esp. how you managed to squeeze in the entire Nancy Drew series. I loved those and the Hardy boys too!

lotusgirl said...

T.Anne, Well, it was kind of all like one very long story of Nancy's life. Heehee!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I LOVED Bullfinch's Mythology. I even asked for a beautifully illustrated version for my birthday as a teen and my parents thought it was the weirdest thing. They wouldn't get it for me. You know, I should go buy that for myself now!

lotusgirl said...

I'm a huge fan of mythology. I have read tons of different versions of the different stories. Bulfinch's was just the first and tip of the iceberg for me. You should totally go get it for yourself.

Lady Glamis said...

Great list! I've read a bunch of those. Sound and the Fury, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, P&P, Emma, Nancy Drew, Othello, Great Gatsby, Animal Farm, 1984, and a Brave New World.

I need to read those others for sure! Middle and high school? Sound and the Fury? Wow, I'm impressed. I read that in college and still struggled through a bit of it!

I LOVE the Nancy Drew series. I need to get my hands on those...

lotusgirl said...

Yeah, I did Sound and Fury in 10th grade. I remember being blown away by the different styles of writing in it. The different narrators. The sheer complexity of it. I know tons of it went over my head at the time. I've reread it a couple times as an adult, so I have a much better handle on some of the subtleties.

Crimogenic said...

The Great Gatsby is on my favorite list too.

I've heard several people say that Slaughterhouse-five was amazing.

lotusgirl said...

Crimey, It's very compelling. It was another one of those revelation kind of books to me. I should probably read it again to remember all the details.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Great list! I've read a lot on there but a few I don't recognize, like The Five Chinese Brothers. I'll have to check that one out.

lotusgirl said...

The 5 Chinese Brothers was my favorite story when I was a kid. You definitely have to read it.

Tess said...

Hello! Great list - some of my favorites as well.

Thanks for your comment and offer on my blog. I really do need a critical eye review of my ms - mostly for plot and characterization issues. It is not long - only 43,000 words (about 170 pages). Your name/photo seems familiar to me...were you part of MSFV secret agent contests at all?

please e mail me and I can give you a few more details and see if you are still interested. It is uber-super-hyper nice of you to offer this and I would be ever grateful.

I'm at

thanks again :)

lotusgirl said...

I've never been in the msfv contest, but I have commented. I am often commenting on Glam's website. Whenever she mentions Lois. She's talking about me.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Hey, we have some similar tastes! You have a lot of heavy ones on there, though. I always liked to read light stuff sometimes, too, just to relax and be entertained.

lotusgirl said...

Caryn, I love to do that now, but this was mostly from when I was in high school and I really didn't read much for fun then. Hardly anything light. I thought what I read was fun. (Well a lot of it anyway. I did not think Lord Jim was fun or Moby Dick and quite a few others.) Exodus was so fun for me. These were the ones I felt impacted me a lot.

scott g.f. bailey said...

It's so heartening to hear someone declare that literary fiction is fun. You've no idea. Well, likely you do.

I didn't read any Austen or Bronte until the last few years; I had no idea what I was missing. Faulkner is an old favorite, and of course Shakespeare. Orwell and Huxley may have created a generation of suspicious minds, which might not be a bad thing. Bullfinch is teh roxor! All Quiet on the Western Front was popular in my house, as were any number of anti-war books. I read War and Peace when I was 15 or so. I remember being annoyed that some of the dialog was in French.

lotusgirl said...

Scott, I LOVE literary fiction. It is always nice to hear of a fellow literary lover. I love all kinds of fiction really. This week I may do a list of the next 20 years. I don't write literary. Mine's more of a commercial YA writing with literary elements.