Friday, December 19, 2008

must read?

I agree everybody should read. Reading is good. But lists of stuff everybody simply must read kind of leave me cold, though the lists I just encountered kind of ticked me off. Esquire magazine has a list of the 75 books every woman must read and the 75 books every man must read. I don't know why we need different lists, if we needs lists at all. Here's what I've read from each list.

Women
  • The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson
  • Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
  • The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  • Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt
Men
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  • Dubliners, by James Joyce
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
  • Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller.
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  • Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, by George Saunders
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  • Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie
  • Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright
  • The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
  • Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
What's insulting about these is not how predictable they are, but how evidently men need to read books by men only, and women need to read books by women or books by men about messed-up women. Also? I like the dudes list better. Hmph!

1 comment:

Jess said...

Those lists just make me feel bad about myself because I haven't ready any of the books on the female list. But I have read about 5 of the books on the male list. That probably means absolutely nothing though.