Monday, November 24, 2008

Stolen Link for "New Classics"


Just dropped by Abunchofwords and found this link. Being the bookworm I am (see below) I stole the link: EW 1000: Books The New Classics: Books

A quick review reassures me there is some common ground here, but not necessarily in the same order:


The Road
Beloved
Mystic River
Cold Mountain
A Handmaiden's Tale (I'd add Cat's Eye)
On Writing
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
White Teeth instead of On Beauty
Lonesome Dove
Angela's Ashes (I'd add The Woman Who Walked into Doors too)
Birds of America
I'd pick Tortilla Curtain rather than Drop City
Nickeled and Dimed (this is obviously not a fiction list)
Holes
Atonement
The Giver
Cathedral (do they mean this specific story or the collection? My copy of Cathedral is in a different book)
Kavalier and Clay (but only because there are 100 on the list. This would be in the 90s??? #99? Actually, maybe I like The Yiddish Policeman's Union better. Either way Chabon should on the list. I have to think about this.)
Kite Runner (this should #100)
A Prayer for Owen Meaney and I'd add Cider House Rules
Remains of the Day
The Tipping Point (& Blink)
The Stone Diaries (This belongs way, way up on this list. Not here!!!)
High Fidelity
Close Range



Here's what I'd add. This is just off the top of my head.

The Stand (how can you list The Road and not have The Stand on there somewhere? Or maybe since Cathedral is listed, what about The Shawshank Redemption?)
Middlesex
She's Come Undone
We Were the Mulvaney's
House of Sand and Fog (blew me away)
The Hours
I Know why the Caged Bird Sings
In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead (James Lee Burke)
McCullough's Masters of Rome series

Pillars of the Earth (but not the other one)
Something by Michael Connelly but I have to think about it.


I've read all the above and would put them on my list. Now here's what I'd take off the list:

The Corrections (yuck, puke! Sorry but I actually did throw this book across the room!)
The Da Vinci Code????? Are you kidding me? It ain't Treasure Island.
Eat, Pray, Love. I liked this book, but a modern classic? NO.

And of course, there's many on that list I haven't read....

10 comments:

K.C. Ball said...

I am not impressed by their list.

I have read twenty-five of their one hundred and have heard good things about many of the others, but like you I am hard-pressed to understand some of their selections.

Da Vinci Code and the Harry Potter book, for example. Classics? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Aww, you chose the cover of the printing of The Stand where Stephen King attempts to rewrite history by moving all the dates up ten years, thereby insinuating that the recession of the 70's was actually in the 80's and instead of being caused by Ford and Jimmy Carter its caused by Reagan. Nothing like moving an energy crisis to a time period where there was none. I mean, this is one of my top ten favorite books, but I don't like it being twisted for purely political purposes.

Gay Degani said...

Well, dang. I have to say that I read (listened to) The Stand and loved it and didn't think about any of what you're talking about. The cover was the one available at Amazon. So you're saying SK wrote it twice and changed the timeline????

Anonymous said...

SK wrote it once, then reissued it in the '90's and added content (like a meeting between one of the characters and Jim Morrison) and changed all the dates. Most of the content change was inserting edited content - unnecessary to the story for the most part, but harmless. Kind of like extended versions of movies on DVD's. BUT the dates were a conscious choice because there are a few references to events in the '90's thrown in for good measure. Most people don't notice dates and that is the danger. Because readers, old and new, who read this version come to believe that what they read is true. SK is has an extraordinarily bias against the Right and so IMHO he knowingly changed these dates to bolster a false view of a Republican regime and downplay the recession of the '70s. That's fine, it's his right. BUT ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE DONE IT. It's insideous and partisan and if no one read this book it would make no difference/ Since the book was written to depict a specific era in U.S. history it is deceitful. You probably wouldn't hear the dates listening to the book. And again most people don't consiously pay attention to details like the date. But you still absorb it at an unconscious level and it becomes FACT in the mind. That's all my point is about.

Gay Degani said...

There's an essay here, but you already told me that. I say, go for it. It's timely and provocative.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, Gay. You can still my links anytime. :)

Edie
A Bunch Of Wordz

sylvia said...

My son gave me the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I'm reading it right now! And the book I just finished was the Yiddish Policeman's Union - the first thing I've read by Chabon. I guess I've gone very literary recently.

I personally preferred A Thousand Splendid Suns to the Kite Runner and The World According to Garp over Owen Meaney.

I couldn't stand either the Da Vinci Code (logic errors piled on top of cultural mistakes) nor Eat, Pray, Love (I guess I'm in a bad position to complain about other people whining at the moment though, hey?) so I won't bother with The Corrections.

I loved the Thorn Birds so I'll pick up the Master's of Rome series, it sounds intriguing.

Thanks for the well-deserved smacking, I'm back on an even keel again. :)

Robert said...

My Connelly pick for "classic" would be THE POET. One because it's one of his rare stand-alones, and two because it rocks.

Gay Degani said...

"The Poet" seems to be the favorite among most Connelly fans so you are in good company. I'm a Bosch fan and loved "Black Ice" and "Black Echo" and "A Darkness More than Light." Some of these in the series are literary in the way Lehane is literary which I admire and enjoy reading. Connelly has been so productive over the years it's hard for me to remember what my favorites were. I do however remember one I didn't care for, "The Lincoln Lawyer."

Jóhann said...

I almost feel insulted when I see that The Da vinci Code is included and not Ondaatje's The English Patient.