Friday, March 24, 2006

"Words only hurt if you read them. Don't play their game."

I skipped a night of food, music, and general debauchery at a Russian restaurant way south in Brooklyn to read for one of my freelance assignments. I've somehow positioned myself as literary expert in certain genres through what I can only determine is the grace of God, who must have heard my prayer about not wanting to appear entirely vapid to my work colleagues when they ask what I do in my spare time.

That said, I got to thinking about required reading: The books I read for school, the ones I didn't, and all the nights of homework I skipped in favor of watching "Beverly Hills, 90210" and writing in my diary. And that made me want to cry, as I'm convinced I could have been an astrophysicist/political correspondent/hedge-fund manager if I'd only done my &*#! homework like the rest of the smart girls...who ended up married with two kids in the Midwest at age 25. Wait a minute....

In that spirit, let's make some abbreviated lists (Um, I've read more books than these, just so you know.):

Required-reading books I read the first four chapters of but managed to make sense of the themes therein during class discussions:
- Lord of the Flies
- Faust
- Flowers for Algernon
- The Scarlet Letter
- The Metamorphosis
- Paradise Lost

Required-reading books I read and loved:
- Emma
- The Stranger
- Candide
- The assigned parts of Welcome to the Monkey House
- 1984
- The Chosen
- Animal Farm

Required-reading books I read and hated with a fiery, fiery passion:
- My Antonia

Regular books I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read:
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
- The DaVinci Code
- The Tipping Point
- Great Expectations
- Any Ernest Hemingway
- Any Tom Wolfe
- Any John Grisham
- Any Stephen King

Regular books I'm embarrassed to admit I have read:
- Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining by Judge Judy
- Stop the Insanity! by Susan Powter
- The Anderson Files: The Unauthorized Biography of Gillian Anderson
- Star by Danielle Steel
- He's Just Not That Into You
- A Week in the Zone

Regular books that are sitting in my room that I totally plan to read:
- Fast Food Nation
- Fear of Flying
- Eats, Shoots and Leaves
- A Million Little Pieces
...well, on second thought...
- Henry and June
- Freakonomics

Books I've been halfway through for three years:
- Down and Out in Paris and London

And last but not least...

My favorite books, no matter what anyone says (there are more of these I'm forgetting, I know):
- The Frog King
- Possessing the Secret of Joy
- The Best of Everything
- Dry
- Me Talk Pretty One Day
- The Beauty Myth


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