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Random Thoughts From The First 45 Books

As I approach the two-year anniversary of this blog, I’ve slowly built up a smorgasbord of marginally useful information in my head about all of the books I’ve read so far–and just the experience in general. Yes, a smorgasbord.

These thoughts aren’t really worthy enough of an entire post—or, maybe they are and I just don’t realize it yet. Or maybe I’ve already posted about them and just want to say it again. Who knows.

The point is that today’s post is a brain dump. It’s all the random stuff I have floating around in brain about my experience reading the books and writing this blog over the last two years.

Let the brain dump begin:

  • Reading at a Chick-Fil-A at lunch is practically impossible unless you can easily block out the piercing cries and squeals of 48 free-roaming kids.
  • I have no idea why Harper Lee never wrote another book.
  • My guess is that two-thirds of the readers of this blog are female.
  • Time Magazine loves depressing, dark novels.
  • Related, will I need therapy after I read all these books?
  • How do you determine if a novel is “age appropriate” for your children?
  • 95% of people who say they’ve read Ulysses haven’t read Ulysses.
  • Why hasn’t a Blood Meridian movie been made yet?
  • It makes me very sad to think about the way in which David Foster Wallace’s life ended.
  • Why won’t Huffington Post return my emails? Why???????
  • George Orwell had a horrible mustache.
  • I know many disagree, but I think Stanley Kubrick basically crapped on Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. Oh, and Anthony Burgess agrees.
  • If you think fiction is a waste of time, you really need to take a breath and get a life.
  • The setting of A Dance To The Music Of Time is very similar to the setting in Downton Abbey.
  • The dystopian future in Never Let Me Go probably creeps me out even more than the dystopian future in 1984.
  • Theodore Dreiser is not a good writer, but he’s a great storyteller.
  • Speaking of Dreiser, An American Tragedy probably has more exclamation points than all 100 novels on this list combined.
  • Holden Caulifield would’ve loved Nirvana.
  • Who reads more: Obama or Romney?
  • We need more good novels about sports.
  • I’m not a fan of William Golding’s writing style, but I might have ranked Lord of the Flies too low in my meaningless rankings.
  • Catch 22 might be the funniest novel…ever.
  • Few things make me want to quit reading like a preachy novel.
  • If Mrs. Dalloway was the only novel left on earth, I’d choose illiteracy.

What’s the point of this post? I have no idea.

But maybe it will spark discussion or something. I’m sure I’ll try this again when I need another brain dump.

Any random thoughts about my random thoughts?

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28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Teresa #

    There’s material for tons of great posts in your list.
    I’d love a good analysis of why all the dark, depressing books on the Time 100 list The world is a better, brighter place than that.

    WRT David Foster Wallace– I get choked up anytime I think about him strugigling with depression. What a loss.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • I’m with you. But is the list just representative of literature as a whole? Negative sells more than positive.

      Like

      July 18, 2012
  2. I couldn’t agree more about your comment on Never Let Me Go.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
  3. Never Let Me Go scared me far more than 1984 ever did. Yes, Orwell’s mustache scares me, too.

    I am male, and a follower of this blog.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • Thank you sir. Good to know this is a blog that appeals to both genders!

      Like

      July 18, 2012
  4. bba #

    I’d agree that Kubrick dumped on ACO, but he was interested in making a great movie, not being true to the book. He used a template of the story to say something he wanted to say, not what Burgess had already said. He did the same thing with The Shining, to great benefit. And I’ve always found it interesting that the book has more of the “Hollywood” ending.

    Just thinking about DFW in general makes me very sad.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • But he basically followed the book’s story EXCEPT for the last chapter, which he didn’t even know existed until after he had started on the movie. People change screenplays all the time, no problem there, but Kubrick’s ending is like telling the story of Shawshank Redemption with Andy getting shot in the creek outside the prison.

      Like

      July 18, 2012
  5. I’d be interested in your thoughts on A Single Man. I viewed it as the gay man’s version of Mrs Dalloway. They were eerily similar yet distinctly different.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
  6. Catch-22 is hilarious, but I always walk away from it feeling depressed–which is a good thing. If comedy is supposed to reveal uncomfortable truths, then Catch-22 puts the absurdity of war on full display.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
  7. Catch-22 was a great novel. But my vote for the funniest goes to A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
  8. Love the way you think 😉 Very funny!

    Like

    July 18, 2012
  9. Love this post! I have only recently got into reading fiction, in the past year or so, (boy, I was missing out!) and have decided to read ‘the classics’ though haven’t confined myself to a particular list, which is a bit silly of me. I tried to read Ulysses but my literary brain has not matured enough for that yet, so will wait till I’ve expanded my knowledge before diving back in

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • Don’t worry about confining yourself to a list. I’m a little bit silly for doing that actually. Keep at it, though. You really can learn a lot from fiction.

      Like

      July 18, 2012
      • And equally important: you can have fun doing it.

        Like

        July 18, 2012
      • Oh believe me I will! It’s become a major part of my life now and as Ryan has pointed out I can (and am) having fun doing it.

        Like

        July 19, 2012
  10. I don’t see why you think Blood Meridian should be a movie. It has the loosest of plots, and lacks the feel of a driving narrative that best translate to film . Plus, the extreme violence lends itself more to the imaginative factor of reading, as opposed to having a movie supply the image. It seems it’d be very, very hard to capture adequately in film.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • Quite possible. I think the narrative is strong enough to warrant a movie. And you any screenwriter (see my comments about Kubrick) is going to change up the story anyway. I think it would be worthy of a film attempt. So many of McCarthy’s novels have got that treatment, I’m sure someone will take a go at it.

      Like

      July 18, 2012
      • I’ll be the first in line for the midnight showing…might even buy the popcorn for the entire place.

        Like

        July 19, 2012
      • true – i think with the added touch of a clever screenwriter it could be an work of art in itself (the film, as opposed to just a copy of the book). big risk though. i’d hate to see one of my favorite books presented to the larger moviegoing masses by a subpar script

        Like

        July 19, 2012
  11. Random comments:

    I have no idea why Harper Lee never wrote another book. – I read somewhere that she was spoiled by Hollywood with the success of both the book and film, and realized that she didn’t like it.

    My guess is that two-thirds of the readers of this blog are female. – I’m not. But I’m gay.

    Time Magazine loves depressing, dark novels. – I think so, too. And I love them!

    95% of people who say they’ve read Ulysses haven’t read Ulysses. – I think it’s even pretentious to rate this book with 4-5 stars. It’s not a book meant to entertain. It’s a book written by Joyce so that bored professors will have something to argue. My 2 cents on it.

    Why hasn’t a Blood Meridian movie been made yet? – I prefer that it should never have a movie.

    The dystopian future in Never Let Me Go probably creeps me out even more than the dystopian future in 1984. – Ironically, Ishiguro mentioned that NLMG is his happiest novel.

    I’m not a fan of William Golding’s writing style, but I might have ranked Lord of the Flies too low in my meaningless rankings. – This book is a hit-or-miss. It baffles me. It’s a book that my friend and I always fight about (with me on the book’s side).

    If Mrs. Dalloway was the only novel left on earth, I’d choose illiteracy. – I haven’t read this yet, but isn’t that very harsh? Hahaha! But I did like To the Lighthouse.

    Like

    July 18, 2012
    • Great thoughts. I’ve heard To The Lighthouse is much better…I’ll find out when I read it as part of this list.

      Why would you prefer Blood Meridian not be turned into a movie?

      Like

      July 19, 2012
      • I usually end up being disappointed with adaptations of McCarthy’s novels. Not that it affects my liking for the books, but I’d rather have my own images inside my head (And this is an impossible task if you’ve seen a film adaptation. Case in point: The Remains of the Day and Anthony Hopkins).

        Like

        July 19, 2012
  12. I’m only here to pick up chicks….except for that wife, 3 kids and that happily married thing.

    Like

    July 19, 2012
  13. Melissa @ Swamp of Boredom #

    A few years ago, I tried to watch all of the movies that EW said I should before the Oscars. This was the year of Syriana. I cannot remember all of the movies on the list but after watching quite a few, I was so depressed I had to stop. I wonder what is it about dark, depressing novels/television/movies that critics love so? I have no doubt there are plenty of high quality lighthearted novels that could have been included on this list but were not, nor are they considered “classics” because they do not posses the gravity requisite for inclusion.

    Like

    July 19, 2012
  14. sitanaik #

    I really agree about Ulysses – in his ays they were not bothered about sales.

    Like

    July 19, 2012
  15. Agree with Never Let Me Go being creepier than 1984 BUT it was less depressing in a way.
    I think I’d change it to 2/3 of your COMMENTERS are women. Which makes sense with the whole communication stuffs.

    Like

    July 23, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, July 18, 2012 « cochisewriters
  2. 20 questions: Volume 1 | 101 Books

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