Monday, February 20, 2006

A Quest

Lately I've been noticing that I watch way too much tv. Granted, I knit while I watch tv, but I'm still watching way too much. Really, do I need to be watching MASH every day? Every episode of Inked and Miami Ink, even on re-run? Every new Iron Chef America (Especially since I found out that they are given a list of 4 ingredients that could be the secret one. Like I ever believed they could whip up 5 dishes off the tops of their heads and they are all good.)? Ok, I do have to watch every new episode of Lost and Survivor. Heh.

But really. I watch too much tv. I love to read and listen to books on audio. However, I'm constantly complaining that I don't have time to read. Gee, maybe if I missed an episode or 10 of some stupid show I could actually get a few chapters read.

My mother-in-law (and my father-in-law) are both voracious readers. Long ago, Arlene was a librarian. And her house is now a little library. I'm amazed at what that woman has read. Over the summer she showed me a journal she has kept. Many years ago, she found a list of the 100 books everyone should read in their lifetime. And set herself a goal to read them all. She outlined what she would read every year. And she has stuck with it, which amazes me to no end. Some she has liked, some not so much. Even when she didn't like a book, she finished it (unlike me who will just bail on a book).

So, armed with my desire to turn off the boob-tube, I looked for a similar list. I found the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels. When the Modern Library created this list they invited readers to cast their votes in a poll for the Reader's Top 100 list. They also invited the Radcliffe Publishing Course to respond with a rival list. I took all 3 of the lists, put them in a database to weed out the duplicates, thereby coming up with a list of 208 books. I'm rather ashamed to notice that I've only read 7 of them. I am, however, already reading a book on the list - A Prayer for Owen Meany. So many people have named this their favorite book that I wanted to try it again (I tried to read it several years ago and didn't like it.). I really hope it gets better after the second chapter.

Obviously, work is slow today. I'd post the list, but I think it would take up the entire blog page. Email me if you would like it.

Posted by Heather at 12:30 PM


  1. Anonymous eva posted at 3:20 PM  
    There are so many "Classic" books that I haven't read... Everyone always says that a person should read classic books. But you know, a lot of "classic" books are really badly written.

    That said, I'd love to see your list when you have a chance. :)
  2. Blogger Jennifer posted at 4:56 PM  
    What a great thought! It's one of the reasons I joined the Knit the Classics group. Having said that, I can't do a Prayer for Owen Meany. I just can't get into it.
  3. Blogger Tempe Yarn and Fiber posted at 10:26 PM  
    Oh, reading... I remember that.... Owen Meany is one of my favorites, I've read it a couple times. But I do have to say that some of John Irving's other books read faster than Owen, while still having the same great characters and description.
    Actually, what has helped me a lot with the TV thing is TiVo. I got one just over a year ago and it has let me go out with friends, go to bed early, read a book, talk on the phone while I know my favorite shows are recorded! Now I store up my shows from the week and have a TV night. It's great for cozy knitting time!
  4. Anonymous Annie posted at 4:43 AM  
    I'd love a copy of that list. The only problem with reading is that it cuts into knitting time! At least you can knit while you watch tv.
  5. Blogger Mac posted at 9:02 AM  
    I'm telling you, A Prayer for Owen Meany is my all time favorite book. All time! I reread it at least twice every year. It's just that good.

    I am now off to see how many books I've read on the Best of list.

    I have a few books to recommend for your list, though, if you're up for it. Nothing like adding to your list of 200+ books! *grin*
  6. Blogger Mac posted at 9:06 AM  
    That number, btw, is 18 books no the board list and 36 on the readers list. I feel fairly pathetic about that.
  7. Anonymous Ashley posted at 8:43 PM  
    I'm all about reading...well, I was until I started knitting. I'm with Eva on the classics, some are great, some just flat out suck. I think reading for reading's sake is silly, read what you love.

    BTW, I personally think we'd all be better off if we watched an episode of MASH a day. BIG FAN. Who knew Alan Alda was so geek-chic-sexy back in the day?
  8. Anonymous Becky posted at 10:51 AM  
    A few of my faves are on that list. I HIGHLY recommend Of Human Bondage. I've read it three times and never tire of it.

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