Sunday, September 30, 2007

25 of 125

Lisa posted that the St. Paul library staff, to honor its 125th anniversary, put together a list of the 125 books published in the past 125 years that have changed their lives in some way. The list can be found here (pdf). Often when I see a list like this I like to find the books I've read and see if I agree with their placement or if I feel like something is missing. I've read a whopping 25 of the 125 books on the list. I agree with many of the selections but I still feel that we were correct when, at a camp I worked at, we nicknames The Giving Tree as The Co-Dependency Tree and that while I enjoyed The Age of Innocence, I'm not certain I can view it as life-changing unless you were previously stuck in a very odd, antiquated mindset. I was also kind of surprised to find that Catch-22 was not included.

The one book I'd like to highlight on the list is The Catcher in the Rye. When I first read it, I liked it because I felt, as a moody, obnoxious teenager, that I identified with Holden Caulfield. I still consider it to be my favorite book, not because I identify with Holden but because I really don't. I feel like it's a huge identifier of how far I've come as a person, that I don't feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

I actually have more to say about this list than I originally thought I did. I know there is the controversy about whether or not Laura Ingalls Wilder actually wrote The Little House series but I do consider it to be life changing for me, especially as a reader, and am surprised to not see it on a list put together by a library in the Midwest. I still totally want to make candy with snow and maple syrup, OK? Oh, and no recently deceased Madeline L'Engle, either. I know there were only 125 slots and that my paltry 25 books indicates that I'm not so up on the past 125 years of literature, but I still feel that there are a few missing. Perhaps I should have made my own list like Lisa did.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

The Call of the Wild - Jack London

The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

Charlotte's Web - E. B. White

The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss

Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling

His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman

James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl

A Light in the Attic - Shel Silverstein

The Lorax - Dr. Seuss

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

The Red Tent - Anita Diamant

Sarah, Plain and Tall - Patricia MacLachlan

A Time to Kill - John Grisham

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams

1 comment:

Miss Eliza said...

I'm with you - I've read 26 of those and have some questions on others... like Chicken Soup for the Soul?? I think I may follow your suit and make my own list.