The Modern Library 100 Best Novels Challenge discussion

Member Progress > Erin's Attempt - ML List

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message 1: by Erin (new)

Erin Books I've read from the board's list:

The Great Gatsby
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Brave New World
The Sound and the Fury
The Grapes of Wrath
Invisible Man
Native Son
Animal Farm
As I Lay Dying
All the King's Men
Lord of the Flies
The Sun Also Rises
The Catcher in the Rye
Heart of Darkness
Sophie's Choice

17/100 - not all that impressive

message 2: by Erin (new)

Erin Books I've read from the readers' list:

The Lord of the Flies
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Great Gatsby
Brave New World
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Grapes of Wrath
Lord of the Flies
The Sound and the Fury
Wise Blood
Heart of Darkness
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Sun Also Rises
As I Lay Dying
Invisible Man
Watership Down
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

20/100 - a fifth of the list!

message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin I finished The Bridge of San Luis Rey awhile ago, before school got rather intense, and just haven't had a chance to post. I liked how the different stories connected to each other, and it was a nice quick read. Still trying to work my way through Dune...

message 4: by Erin (new)

Erin Being the cool kid that I am, I forced myself to finish Dune. I always feel like I have to finish books, and it was hard with Dune being long and at parts, rather slow.

I didn't think it was a bad book, it was more of a book that I wouldn't pick by myself. The vocabulary/glossary part got annoying, and I was also frustrated when Herbert flash-forwarded in time but didn't really alert the reader that he was doing so (or if he did, I fell asleep during that part...). I also didn't like the way the book ended, leaving so much up in the air. I know that it's turned into a series, but I don't care enough to read any further.

Looking forward to catching up with the rest of you! My goal is to finish Shane and Winesburg, Ohio by the end of the week so I can at least start the spooky themed books before Halloween!

message 5: by Erin (last edited Oct 20, 2009 07:43PM) (new)

Erin Playing catch-up... just finished Shane. It was better than I expected. The book started slow, and I got a little tired of all the mystery surrounding Shane and not much else because I had a feeling we'd never really find out what happened in his past. I have a really bad habit of looking at the end of the book to see how it turns out, and I found myself doing that with this book. I skimmed and assumed Shane died - oops! I'm glad he didn't, though - it contributes to the mystery surrounding his character and his legendary status.

On to Winesburg, Ohio. Hoping to finish it this weekend, but we'll see - I've got lots of grading to do and I have to write some of my grad school ginormous paper.

message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin So I'm officially a month behind... kind of feel that way with everything, though! Oh well. Winesburg, Ohio was okay. So far, I feel a little disappointed with the list - granted, I still have lots more reading to do, but I have yet to find something that sucks me in the way some other books on this list have.

I wish I had more time to mull the book over because I think there's a bunch of cool stuff Anderson did in the book that I must have missed the first time. As a history person by training (through education), I'm not used to critically analyzing a work of fiction the way my teachers in high school did. I thought it was cool, but I never really picked up on how to do it. Maybe I need to read How to Read Literature like a Professor or something to increase my appreciation for works like these.

message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie What book interests you for next month? I am open to ideas! :)

message 8: by Erin (new)

Erin Stephanie wrote: "What book interests you for next month? I am open to ideas! :)"

I'm enjoying The Haunting of Hill House and the books for November have been on a list of things I want to read for years, so I'm expecting the slump to turn around!

A Prayer for Owen Meany has been on my bookshelf since college - I bought it based on a recommendation from a friend who loves to read, too. That'd be something of interest to me next month (and with winter break, there'll actually be time to read it!!!) :)

message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Alright! I will see how that fits in for next month - shouldn't be a problem! I think we will maybe do that, and start one of the trilogies from the list. I still have to decide.

message 10: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ A Prayer for Owen Meany is EXCELLENT! I second this recommendation.

message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin Having an overactive imagination plus living alone made me kinda worried to read The Haunting of Hill House - I get scared pretty easily, more by psychological situations than blood and gore (which I think is just yucky). People's earlier posts said it didn't start scary, so I took that to heart and read the scarier portions while I was at my parents' house last weekend (or during the day). I enjoyed Jackson's writing style and her descriptions of the house itself - at times I reread parts because I felt myself getting lost, but then I realized it's supposed to make me feel that way. Overall, it was a great book (though sad at the end) and I enjoyed reading it!

message 12: by Erin (last edited Nov 22, 2009 07:38AM) (new)

Erin Something Wicked This Way Comes was pretty good. I liked the afterword where Bradbury explains the inspiration for the book, and how Mr. Electrico was actually a good guy in real life! Carnivals are fun, but note to self: be skeptical of free stuff. Real life carnivals want your money, not your soul/try to make you into a "freak."

I've actually sort of caught up - there's still 8 days of November left, and with Thanksgiving so close, I will actually get an entire November book done - in November! (gasp!)

message 13: by toria (vikz writes) (last edited Nov 22, 2009 08:42AM) (new)

toria (vikz writes) (victoriavikzwrites) Erin wrote: "Something Wicked This Way Comes was pretty good. I liked the afterword where Bradbury explains the inspiration for the book, and how Mr. Electrico was actually a good guy in real life! Carnivals ar..."

Good going. Don't think I'll manage but I'll try.

message 14: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished Fahrenheit 451 - what an awesome book! People who read it in high school seemed to hate it, but I thought it was great! I couldn't imagine a world without books - they've been such a big part of my life since I was a little kid. I coach high school speech/forensics, and I have a student who's giving a speech about the decline of reading recently. I already loved the topic she chose, but reading this book made me really think more about her topic and if it's ever really possible. How sad that would be. :(

message 15: by Erin (new)

Erin Grad school is over, my students are taking finals next week, and winter break's a week away. All of these things mean I have more time to read for pleasure! :)

I just finished The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood did a great job explaining the feelings of Offred being part of a transitional generation into a dystopia.

The end showed what a great character and world Atwood created - I really wanted to know what happened to Offred and Nick. The historical notes at the end were good, but I was still left wanting more!

message 16: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished Ender's Game and really enjoyed it. I really felt for Ender throughout the whole book because he seemed like such a genuine, nice person who just kept trying to beat the world of manipulation he lived in. It makes me want to read the rest of the series!

Waiting for A Prayer for Owen Meany to be delivered... I ordered it offline a week ago and it still isn't here! I'm thinking that's a result of the holidays - slow mail!

message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished A Prayer for Owen Meany. I now know why so many people recommended this book! Owen is captivating, and John Irving creates such a thick storyline that I hated having to put the book down to go to sleep. It was awesome how everything tied together at the end. This was the first book I read by Irving, and I really enjoyed both the story and his writing style. I will be reading more books by him!

message 18: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ Erin, I'm glad to see that you liked Owen Mean. John Irving is one of my favorite authors; I've loved every one of his books that I've read. They're all very detailed in setting up the character's background, and they all tend "to come full circle" by the end of the book. I highly recommend The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules (possibly my favorite), The Hotel New Hampshire, Until I Find You, and Last Night in Twisted River.

message 19: by Erin (new)

Erin Awesome, thanks Garlan!

message 20: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird. I remembered it from high school, but it's one of those books that I really enjoyed and wanted my "adult" perspective on. I was surprised at how open-ended Harper Lee concludes the book - not in a bad way, I just didn't remember how it ended. One of the English teachers at my school dressed up as Scout for Halloween (with the ham costume!), adding to the fun of re-reading the book.

message 21: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished rereading Watership Down... I feel like I've been reading it forever! I guess a month is a long time for me... as things start winding down with work and grad school, I should be able to make a more valiant attempt.

Some parts of the book dragged for me, and I was worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations. I loved this book growing up and often claimed it as one of my favorites. With that in mind, I did enjoy it again, but it wasn't quite how I remembered. Or maybe I'm disenchanted because I've been reading about rabbits for over a month. :)

Slaughterhouse Five, here I come!

message 22: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished Slaughterhouse Five, and I'm pretty sure I read this before. Probably in Contemporary American Text in high school. Or I just experienced some really weird deja vu.

Anyway, the anti-war message wasn't really something I picked up the first time around. I only remember the alien plot line, so it might have been excerpts that I read, but it still seems weird that I missed out on a fairly obvious message. I enjoyed reading the book, but I still think I like Catch-22 better.

message 23: by Erin (new)

Erin Ugh. To the Lighthouse was painful. Stream of consciousness writing kills me every time! Between super long sentences and lots of pronouns, I was often confused on who was talking when, and what they were talking about. I spent lots of time at Spark Notes trying to figure out what was going on, especially in the middle section of the book.

My favorite part of the book was the dinner party at the end of "The Window," probably because I felt good about myself for being able to follow the conversation and know who was speaking when and what they were talking about without much help!

message 24: by Erin (new)

Erin House of Mirth was sad. It was a much easier read than To the Lighthouse, although I missed what was so scandalous about Lily working for Mrs. Hatch. (Again, Spark Notes saved the day!)

Still working on catching up... but it's my last week of school, so I'll have more time!

message 25: by Erin (new)

Erin So March was a month for sad books - On the Beach was sad, too! I found this book interesting, though. I'm a high school history teacher and am earning a master's degree in American history, and the class I just finished actually delved into the culture of the Cold War. I liked it because it gave a great perspective of individuals living at the time and their perception of what nuclear war would be like and how it would end. The undertones of anti-war were there, and I felt myself hoping along with the characters that they would beat radiation poisoning.

message 26: by Erin (new)

Erin Ragtime was pretty good. Being a history nerd (or a history teacher - but I'm pretty sure the two are synonymous), I liked how the inclusion of historical figures tied into the story line. Kind of a tragic story, but it was interesting.

message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (judyz6666) >>Ragtime was pretty good. Being a history nerd (or a history teacher - but I'm pretty sure the two are synonymous), I liked how the inclusion of historical figures tied into the story line. Kind of a tragic story, but it was interesting. <<

I am having trouble getting into/through Ragtime--mostly because instead of reading it, I spent a large quantity of time looking the historical characters up on the Internet. :)

message 28: by Erin (new)

Erin I had a hard time getting into A Passage to India. About 150 pages into it, I finally got into the plot, but the last 20 pages or so were harder to get through. The "scandal" really picked up the pace of the book in "Caves," but the first part of the book ("Mosque") was difficult to get through.

message 29: by Judy (new)

Judy (judyz6666) I need to read it again. Maybe I will this week. I read it in grad school, and had to do an oral presentation on it, but that was about 15 years ago now. Plus, it was the first presentation of the semester (I drew the short straw ) so I had to rush through it. I did enjoy it, but the time limit I was under took away any personal remembrance of parts that were hard to get through--I had to finish or else. :)

message 30: by Erin (new)

Erin haha, nice, Judy!

Just finished The Wapshot Chronicle. I really liked this book - I think family history/legacy stuff is interesting, and I really liked the way Cheever incorporated not only the sons' establishing themselves outside of the family, but also how it fell into the family tradition through telling the father's story (although I wasn't a huge fan of the short, choppy sentences of some of Leander's chapters).

message 31: by Erin (new)

Erin Deliverance was okay. It didn't really pick up for me until about 100 pages in, and even then, I wasn't sucked into the story. I liked the moral dilemma part of the book, but the author was more descriptive about shooting arrows and describing the scenery. While it painted a beautiful picture, there were parts that I just couldn't connect with.

message 32: by Erin (new)

Erin Finished Gone with the Wind. I've been reading it at the pool where I work, and the lifeguards were impressed/thought I was crazy for attempting to get through such a long book! It was worth it, though. After looking up how long the book is, I went out and bought it, thinking it would take me too long to get through. Contrary to my initial beliefs, it was a pretty quick read (considering its size!) and I really got into it. The ending really made me think about my own situations/relationships... can you sieze the day too late?!

message 33: by Erin (new)

Erin Whoever said Humphrey Bogart kept popping into their minds while reading The Malese Falcon is absolutely right! I haven't seen the movie, but I'm familiar with him as Marlowe (I watched a film for a grad school class, can't remember what it is off the top of my head). Anyway, the book was well-written and enjoyable even though the ending was kinda predictable. I got through it pretty quickly!

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