Thursday, December 21, 2006

Classics Reading Challenge

To help you out, I supply this list of short classics:
Kafka, Franz (60 pages) The Metamorphosis
Tolstoy, Leo (60 pages) The Death of Ivan Ilych
Mann, Thomas (71 pages) Death in Venice
James, Henry (83 pages) Daisy Miller
de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine (83 pages) The Little Prince
Hemingway, Ernest (93 pages) The Old Man and the Sea
Melville, Herman (98 pages) Billy Budd
Weisel, Elie (109 pages) Night
Conrad, Joseph (110 pages) Heart of Darkness
Orwell, George (113 pages) Animal Farm
Wells, H.G. (115 pages) The Time Machine
Hesse, Herman (119 pages) Siddhartha
Stevenson, Robert Louis (119 pages) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Rand, Ayn (123 pages) Anthem
Camus, Albert (123 pages) The Stranger
Steinbeck, John (124 pages) Of Mice and Men
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor (136 pages) Notes from the Underground
Twain, Mark (143 pages) Pudd'nhead Wilson
Wharton, Edith (144 pages) Ethan Frome
-- Try also Wharton's Summer (200 pages)
Voltaire (144 pages), Candide, or Optimism
Wilder, Thornton (148 pages) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Pynchon, Thomas (152 pages) The Crying of Lot 49
McCullers, Carson (153 pages) The Member of the Wedding
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander (158 pages) One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Goethe, Johan Wolfgang von (167 pages) The Sorrows of Young Werther
Bradbury, Ray (179 pages) Fahrenheit 451
Achebe, Chinua (181 pages) Things Fall Apart
Chopin, Kate (192 pages) The Awakening
Burgess, Anthony (192 pages) A Clockwork Orange
Baldwin, James (197 pages) If Beale Street Could Talk

(page numbers given are approximations and will vary with edition)

I apologize, I can't remember where I got this list, but I thank the anonymous compilers!

Another Reading Challenge: the Chunkster Challenge

Read a big fat book (over 400 pages) -- or several, you decide -- between January 1 and June 30, 2007. Here are the Bookfool's guidelines.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Underrated Writers 2006

The folks at the blog 'Syntax of Things' polled some of their favorite readers, those, in their words, who fill their time by hanging out in the "dustier corners of literature." They asked those readers to name writers they feel aren't getting the attention they deserve, those writers they feel are "underrated"—however they choose to define it.

The result? A delightful list of "writers from almost every continent, poets from the past, essayists who are concerned for the future, and novelists desperate to understand the now."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kate Fleming/Anna Fields, Audio Star, Dead in Seattle Storm

The actor Kate Fleming, who also recorded as Anna Fields, was a wonderful recorded-book voice artist. She died in Seattle this week, drowned when a storm sent floodwaters into the basement of her home and recording studio.

I particularly enjoyed her recordings of books by Lydia Adamson and Donna Leon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


The blog Renee's Book of the Day has introduced me to Bookmooch. Maybe a librarian isn't supposed to think this is a good idea, but I do.

(the image is from the cover of one of my favorite books, SZOPKI KRAKOWSKIE [Cracovian Christmas Cribs]. The chances I'll offer it up on Bookmooch are nil, but if you want to buy it, Polonia Bookstore in Chicago is the place)

Friday, December 08, 2006

2007 TBR Challenge

To join the list of TBR Challenge participants, go to Miz B's blog, Literary Cache.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I am reading a book so good that I have to tell you about it. It's Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Warning: it's most definitely not a warm and fuzzy kind of book. Don't read it unless you have a strong tolerance for learning more about very damaged people and the sometimes horrific damage they in turn inflict on others. Scary but very, very well done.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fiction Allsorts Goes Weekly

Stop the presses. We are now doing the adult storytime (aka the Fiction Allsorts storytime for knitters) every Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Best Books of 2006?

(photo credit to ISphoto)