The List

So, this list has been floating around for a while, so I've decided it's my turn to show my literary ignorance. I have bolded the ones which I have read -- considered italicising the ones I tried really, really hard to read but simply can't (life is too short to read books you're not enjoying and/or learning something from). Ones which I have read and/or re-read as an adult are underlined.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell

  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

  3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

  9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

  10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

  11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  13. Ulysses by James Joyce

  14. Animal Farm by George Orwell

  15. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

  16. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  17. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  18. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

  19. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

  20. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

  21. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

  22. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

  23. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

  24. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

  25. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

  26. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  27. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

  28. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

  29. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

  30. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  31. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  33. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  34. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

  35. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

  36. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

  37. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

  38. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  39. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

  40. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  41. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

  42. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

  43. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

  44. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

  45. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

  46. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

  47. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  48. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  49. The Stand by Stephen King

  50. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

  51. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

  52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

  53. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

  54. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

  55. Watership Down by Richard Adams

  56. Dracula by Bram Stoker

  57. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

  58. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

  60. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

  61. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

  62. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

  63. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

  64. Dune by Frank Herbert

  65. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

  66. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

  67. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

  68. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

  69. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

  70. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

  71. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

  72. The Trial by Franz Kafka

  73. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

  74. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

  75. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

  76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

  77. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

  78. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  79. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

  80. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

  81. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  82. The Stranger by Albert Camus (in both English and French)

  83. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

  84. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

  85. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux

  86. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

  87. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

  88. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

  89. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  90. Persuasion by Jane Austen

  91. Light in August by William Faulkner

  92. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

  93. Call of the Wild by Jack London

  94. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

  95. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

  96. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

  97. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

  98. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

  99. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

  100. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Hmmm, 55 -- more than half the list isn't half bad, right? Guess that makes it only 45% bad.

How did Faulkner rate 3 places on the list?! I can tell you that I will probably never read the two Faulkners that I haven't yet. And there are a couple of other titles here I've tried and simply can't (Lolita, A Confederacy of Dunces and Life of Pi). But do I get extra credit for the one that I read in both French and English?

My takeaway is that I need to read more Russian and American classics (big surprise there -- I was, after all an English major in the purest sense of the word).

So, because Sandy misses being in school so much (though M and I have embarked on the four-year odyssey known as Education for Ministry), she's vowing here, publicly, to be better. Starting with the books on this list which I haven't read or haven't read since high school, then moving on to the books on this list which I haven't read yet. [Just because I was on the committee which put together the list doesn't mean I've read them all.]

So far, I've re-read Brave New World and wondered the whole time: 1) how you can teach/explain a lot of that book to adolescents (I have few memories of the book from my high school days, and here publicly admit I probably never even finished it); and 2) why it's considered such a classic. I mean, the story is an interesting look at an attempt at utopian society and an intriguing morality play, but the language is rather pedestrian, and it really seems to lack any structure or true arc of narrative. Maybe it's just me.

Of course, the next book I picked up to re-read was 1984. The only thing I remember vividly about this book from high school is the rats. Now that I have finished it, I can say that the rats weren't nearly as vivid this time around. No, what's really vivid for me this time around is the fear. I don't want my blog to become a political one (one of the reasons I have not written lately is that all I can think of to write about is politics -- knitting is slow right now, and work is absorbing me), so that's it.

Next, something that doesn't touch that nerve (I've had enough of totalitarianism for now between BNW, 1984 and the Olympics). Don't know what's next -- well, except that I've got to read the creation stories from Genesis for our next EfM class Monday night.

And just cause, y'know, it ain't fair to have all those words without some pictures:
I wish I could be so relaxed.

Really, I'm Not Dead Yet

Oh, so much I wanted to write and show and say, but the time, she just slipped by. At least I HAVE been knitting, and can even show some of it off.

Diamond Lace Anklets

Pattern: Diamond Lace Anklets from Kollage Yarns. Pattern is not available yet as this was a sample knit which turned into a complete re-working of the pattern. Poor Anastasia did NOT think it would be so involved when she sent it.
Yarn: Kollage Yarns Luscious in Magenta, 2 skeins
Mods: Parts of the pattern had to be completely re-written to make the sock come out correctly. Don't know if this was a writing issue or an editing/copying issue. Anyhoo, it seems to work now.

Anastasia originally sent this one to me as a re-knit of the sample to correct some issues with the original. What she didn't know is that somewhere, either in the writing of the pattern or the creation of the commercial version of the pattern, things got a little confused. This might explain the issues with the original sample. Anyway, I found and fixed the errors, and now the pattern should be workable.

And this, folks, is why you test knit patterns.

My Waving Sock

The first of my interpretation of Waving Lace socks is done. You may recall (I know, it's been a while) that I am basically using the lace pattern from the Waving Lace Socks from Favorite Socks, but I'm making it toe-up with a gusset heel, and I'm leaving off the lace pattern at the cuff. I just finished it with a 6x2 rib (following the K/P pattern of the lace), then one row of K1P1 and a sewn bind off (nice and stretchy). Second sock has about half a foot.

The largest knitting project is one I can't share, sorry. I can tell you, however, that it's something I thought I would NEVER knit: a pair of pants. No, not (anyone who knows me would laugh) for me. It's a test/sample knit for another designer. Lots and lots of stockinette in the round with an occassional increase or decrease has made for very good Olympic and politics (one of my favorite spectator sports) knitting. But those are done now (just the elastic to sew into the waistband), and that leaves me with no knitting to do for anyone else.

Can you say, it's time to think about Christmas? There are a couple of things I want to knit/finish for myself. I've pulled the Lace Scarf out of hibernation for when I need a break from all that stockinette on big needles; and I will shortly pull the Kimono Jacket out of hibernation to finish for winter wear.

Then there's the little bag. I have been nearly obsessed with making the largest size of Three for the Road since I got my hands on the book to make my Entrelac Bag for the TdF KAL. This one shouldn't take too long (and I'll get to practice sewing a zipper by hand).

Then, really, I need to think about Christmas. Actually, some of that has already been done (and not blogged, since my family are the most ardent readers of my blog), but there's always more.