Thursday, August 05, 2004

Random-o Post

I don't feel up to real writing today, but I will get to the Roman Holiday/Christmas Vacation analyses I promised, sometime. I've actually been a lot busier since I started this blog than I thought I would be, but I post when I can/have the energy.
So instead of real writing, I will present two lists again, just like last real update, one without comment, one with comment. Listing is nerdy, but fun.

WEBSITES WHICH I VISIT EVERY DAY (or at every update):
Other: (every Tuesday) (every Friday)

There are others, but those are 10 random ones.

Top 10 favorite books of all time, arranged by category:

Southern Women's Literature:
The Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor by Flannery O'Connor
This one is kind of cheating, since it's actually just a collection of all of her short stories, but I love it too much not to include it. Flannery is a great short fiction writer, and I love "A Good Man Is Hard to Find".
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers is probably my favorite author of all time. I debated whether to include Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The Member of the Wedding, or The Heart on this list. I love all three works very much, but this one has the most memorable characters, to me (especially John Singer), and that's why I included it. Honestly, there's not much separating the three quality-wise in my head...if I didn't limit myself to one book per author, all three might have made the list.

It's interesting that Carson and Flannery are basically contemporary Southern writers, but to me they are very different, with Flannery more embracing of the south. Carson McCullers despised the South of her time, by the way.

Russian Literature:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Often acclaimed as the best novel of all time, and I don't know what else I can say about it, except that I agree, it is possibly the best novel of all time, with a great plot and great characters. They say Tolstoy was a master of language; obviously, since I read a translation, I can't comment on that, but the translation I read was excellent. By the way, I loved both this book and the Carson book before they were picked for Oprah's book club, I swear
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
I had to read this for college, and it's a great book. The retelling of the Jesus/Pilate story is weird but interesting. Actually, that describes most of the book pretty well...weird but interesting.
Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
This book was controversial in it's time, beneath the tale of men in a cancer ward is a scathing indictment of the Soviet government and culture of the time. What a great book, with very memorable characters, and a good ultimate message of hope.

Ball Four by James Bouton
Funny book. Not so much about baseball as it is about the culture of the 1960's.
The Politics of Glory by Bill James
This one is just a straight up baseball book; James vilifies the Hall of Fame as an inadequate institution. I like Bill James, and this book shows why: well-written, insightful on baseball, not afraid to rock the vote, etc.

The Watchmen by Alan Moore
A superhero graphic novel (aka comic book), I told myself I wouldn't include any, but damnit I did anyways. This one has a good brisk plot, well-drawn, and has interesting things to say about human nature.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
A funny take on the apocalypse, often compared to the Hitchhiker Trilogy. In my opinion, this book is better than the Hitchhiker ones. Funny book.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Fictional account of a true story. Hey, this book also has interesting things to say about human nature.

The longer I wrote, the less and less I felt like writing the descriptions, that's why the last ones are so rushed.
My favorite of all of these would have to be either The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Anna Karenina, or Cancer Ward. If I absolutely had to pick right now, I would probably say The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.


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