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Return to Me

Remember a few weeks ago, when I was telling you about my life-long love of reading? About how it was, for me, cheap therapy? Can you understand, then, how irritating it has been over the past couple of weeks not to be able to read? I mean really read. My addled, distracted brain cannot seem to handle too many words at once. I’ve been trying, without success, to get into Amy Tan’s latest novel and cannot get past the first few chapters. Thinking it may just be time to move on to another book, although Ms. Tan has never let me down before, I decided to peruse the other excellent selections on the shelf. Nope. Couldn’t even make a decision; nothing was grabbing me. When I couldn’t get through the few paragraphs in the church bulletin this morning, I had to concede that I was the one with the problem. Books, it’s not you – it’s me.

When I came across this meme on Knitting Caboodle, I made a mental note to come back to it. Really, I was just excited to see a list of books with titles that I’d actually read. So now, while I look forward to a day in the (hopefully) near-future when I’m able to give books the attention they so richly deserve, let’s take a look back on the times we’ve shared in the past:

[I don’t remember where I picked up this particular coding key, but it was in a similar meme.]

* Bold the ones you’ve read,
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in (or, for me, need to research).

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)

6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings:
Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
[I really need to read this series again.]
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) [Beautifully written, but so very sad.]
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) [The first assigned reading that I really enjoyed.]

23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27.Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible [Working on it….]
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) [Oh yes, a gift to myself — at 34]
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) [How I love this book, not to mention the artwork!!]
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)

72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)

73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The
Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) [Still getting over having to read this one.]
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

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10 responses »

  1. you don’t have any desire to read Charlotte’s Web or Secret Garden?…..what’s wrong with you

    Reply
  2. Isn’t it amazing how many books in common we can all have? We either had teachers with similar agendas or we have similar tastes… hmmm, I wonder which it is. I loved doing this list, I’m happy to see the books you have read too. As far as not being able to read, I have periods like that too… right now, in fact. I have 3 books on the queue and they are usually all easy reads for me but I can’t seem to get back to them. Maybe sometime this summer will be right.

    Reply
  3. I highly recommend A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

    Reply
  4. Sorry, I too have no desire to read The Secret Garden, but am also shocked that you never read Charlotte’s Web…however, I am probably the only girl that read it and didn’t care for it. Once I discovered that Fern wouldn’t be able to bottle feed Wilber forever I was no longer really into it…

    Now I am shocked – no mention of The Little House series? I pull them out and read them when things are bothering me and they always bring peace. And WHY can’t I get anyone to read I Know This Much is True? It’s the best book ever. Wait till you’re in a better place to start it, but at least give it a chance, won’t you?

    Wow, my longest comment ever…

    Reply
  5. I’m with you, Meg, on Anne of Green Gables. I loved those books (and the mini-series, possibly even more) and need to revisit them. Because of them I’ve always harbored a desire to visit Prince Edward’s Island, but haven’t made it yet.

    I used to do most of my reading on the subway and could easily get through a book or two a week. But I substituted podcasts for books on my commute (and now I work from home and don’t commute) and now only read before bed – which usually means 5 pages before I fall asleep. I really miss reading, too, so this may serve as a good jump start. Thanks!

    I’ll try this meme out on my blog today. Fun!

    Reply
  6. I can totally relate to the reading funk. I love to read. Yet lately, I can’t make it through a book. I think the only books I’ve completed this year are some of the Lemony Snicket books. That doesn’t say a lot for myself. I think I’m going to post the same meme to my blog. Thanks for idea. Maybe it will push me along.

    Reply
  7. What a great topic. I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now and I guess today is the day to de-lurk.

    I hate that disatisfied feeling I have in my stomach when I am looking for the right book to read but can’t seem to find it. I am a huge reader but not just anything will do. That doesn’t mean I don’t read my share of pulp – it just has to be the pulp that calls to me. In fact, when I can’t settle down to a book I think I ought to read, sometime a bit of fluff is exactly what is called for.

    Anyway – to make my first comment way to long – I too reccommed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It was the first book my mother asked me to read that I adored. No matter how old I get, when I open A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I am 10 years old again reading a book my mother loved when she was a girl and understanding her better for it.

    Reply
  8. I am glad that it’s not just me. I couldn’t get past a few chapters of Amy Tan’s new novel, too. I bought a autographed copy of the book when she was speaking at the B & N in NYC last year. I have always enjoyed her books, but I can’t get into this one. I will try again sometime in the future.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Creative Quilt Girl » Blog Archive » Books to read

  10. I’m assuming you’re referring to Amy Tan’s Saving Fish From Drowning – don’t worry, I have devoured her other books but that one I forced a few chapters down but couldn’t get any further with it! Very strange.

    Reply

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