Sunday, May 22, 2005

Books I left Behind

Well, I've been tagged in a gratuitously favoritist manner by Ezra (thanks!) to list books I never read but feel like I should, or books I started but never finished. This is my very first meme-type thing, and I have a feeling I won't be so excited about it from now on. So while I'm still giddy, here it goes:

1. The Feminist Canon.

I am an ardent feminist, but I have serious issues when it comes to the literary grounding of my views. I own but have not read The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex. And all the other feminist canon stuff. I'm terrible about that.

2. I did not finish One Hundred Years of Solitude. The book started out wonderfully; the world was so unique, the events so magical, and I was completely enthralled for 150 pages. Then I got really confused about the names and family relations, but perservered to about 250 pages. Finally I decided this book wasn't as great as everyone else thought it was, and I put it down and read American Dreams by Jason Deparle (it was time for a non-fiction).

3. I'm especially embarrassed about this one, and I'm unsure I should even mention it. I, Kate, started but could not get into ... Catch 22. There. I said it. I don't know why, but this book had no appeal to me. I read a good 60 pages and never felt a spark of inspiration, and generally disliked it.

4. I've never read Lolita and always felt I should. Like Ezra, I'm totally ignorant of classics, never read Faulkner, Joyce, etc. I'd also like to pick up something by Virginia Woolf.

5. Unlike Ezra, I was raised protestant and have read numerous sections of the bible (see post below). I have no desire to read the book in its entirety, because I fear my head will explode. I would, however, really like to read something by the Dalai Llama. I'm so struck by the beautiful tenents of Buddhism, and would like to explore the spiritual practices further.

Alright, done! That said, I am embarking, starting June 20, on an ambitious summer reading list. I suppose I must add some of the former to it. Any suggestions for my multi-disciplinary reading list are greatly appreciated.

I'm passing the torch to:

Sue, of Sue and not U because she is unbelievably hilarious and interesting, and I have to know what she reads.

And my friends Hannah and Callie

14 Comments:

At 5/22/2005 8:10 PM, Blogger theorajones said...

Eh, about Lolita--loved, loved, LOVED the first paragraph.

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta."

Rest of it? Sucked.

Save yourself the trouble of reading it, and instead just wail to yourself a thousand repetitions of "my sin, my soul..."

 
At 5/22/2005 8:21 PM, Blogger Kate said...

That is beautiful. I wonder how Ezra would take to me calling him "my sin, my soul" from now on....

 
At 5/22/2005 8:33 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

Eh, about the Dalai Lama -- I agree about the beauty of Buhdism but the Dalai Lama isn't the best writter on the subject. I read The Art of Happiness, not very profound, just stuff about kindness and compassion. I'd skip it, there are better budhist writings.

 
At 5/22/2005 8:47 PM, Blogger Ezra said...

Problem is, if Sue answers, you're only going to find out what she doesn't read (or can't finish), not what she reads...

And I still can't believe Catch-22 doesn't grab you. Sigh.

 
At 5/22/2005 8:53 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Damn! A hole in my plan! But, I can still get a sense of what she reads by what she wants to read, right?

Miguel -- any suggestions?

 
At 5/22/2005 10:43 PM, Blogger Matt said...

For Buddhist writings, I'd recommend the Tao Te Ching and the collected writings of Chuang Tzu. They're mostly a bunch of seemingly paradoxical parables, which is pretty much par for the course in Buddhism- "The man with the most morals is not the most moral man", and all. They provide a nice intro to the subject.

 
At 5/22/2005 10:50 PM, Blogger Ezra said...

Uh Matt? The Tao is Taoist, not Buddhist. For Buddhism, I'd go with Thich Nhat Hahn (my personal favorite), D.T Suzuki, Robert Thurman, or Thich Nhat Hahn again. Also interesting is Tibetan Buddhism, which is a bit of a different, more god-filled thing. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is best on that subject. In any case, Taoism, while very interesting, isn't Buddhism.

 
At 5/22/2005 11:08 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Ah yes. Forgive my bad habit of lumping together and mixing up a lot of the eastern religions. Damn eurocentrism. Nontheless, I found the Tao to be quite interesting. But Ezra would be the authority in this area, I defer to his particular wisdom.

 
At 5/22/2005 11:31 PM, Blogger Kate said...

I've actually read the Tao, and found it simply fascinating. It was refreshing, back when I was an uncultured naive freshman, to read something so completely different than anything I've ever read.

As to Ezra's particular authority, he loves Buddhism (and I've bought him many books on it) so I feel okay deferring to him in this area.

 
At 5/22/2005 11:45 PM, Blogger Matt said...

That it is so different from the usual things I read is why I liked the Tao so much. It required a whole new way of thinking, and I was initially thrown by the value system it represents, one that is quite different from the standard western one. I enjoyed the different perspective.

 
At 5/23/2005 12:03 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Absolutely. I would say it stood out the most in the canon of "non-western" religious texts the most -- at least as compared to Baghavad Gita, Koran, Gilgamesh, etc.

I'm getting sentimental^7 talking about freshman core now! Must...stop...reliving whole time in Santa Cruz...argh graduation...making me nostalgic about things I hated...

 
At 5/23/2005 7:59 AM, Blogger PMM said...

Kate, you need to get the Everymans' Library edition of 100 Years of Solitude that comes with a family tree in the foreleaf. Much like Crime and Punishment, the names are so confusing that they can ruin a good book, but with a handy reference there's no excuse!

 
At 5/23/2005 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tenets of Buddhism! Though if they have tenants I'll keep that in mind next time i need a new apartment. Sorry, I'm being an asshole. Don't let that prevent you from heeding my advice to read Lolita. It is beautifully written, a fascinating reflection on American culture that actually helps you understand some of what's going on today in terms of the politics of sex a lot better, and an amazing exploration of what love means that asks how much passion is worth.

 
At 5/23/2005 4:07 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Yeah, yeah. I actually did have tenents, and when I ran the post through blogger spell check, it didn't recognize it! So I figured something was wrong and went against my better judgement and changed it to tenants. Last time I use that blogger spell check...

 

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