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Added by the giraffe

on 27 Jun 2011 11:08

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30 days of books

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People who added this item 137  Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
1. House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
Day 01 - The best book you've read during the last year

House of Leaves completely blew me away with its originality. It's one of the most creative books I've ever read, an experimental novel that succeeds triumphantly, and one I couldn't stop thinking about long after I finished reading it. Amazing.

Also: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno, and Angel Dust Apocalypse by Jeremy Robert Johnson
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 82  Average listal rating (40 ratings) 8.6  IMDB Rating
2. Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings - Shel Silverstein
Day 02 - Favorite poem or collection of poetry

All Shel Silverstein's poetry is brilliant, and I've loved it since I was a child.

Also: anything written by Saul Williams
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 323  Average listal rating (142 ratings) 8.7  IMDB Rating
3. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson
Day 03 - A book that makes you really happy

Calvin and Hobbes has always made me happy, and anyone who has read it should know why without my having to explain. For those who haven't read it (shame!) it's hilarious, thoughtful, genuinely human, and has brilliant artwork throughout.

Despite my not having a copy of this set, I do own every book in the series.

Alternative choice: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, which is my favorite book to read during summer.

People who added this item 308  Average listal rating (147 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Day 04 - A book that makes you sad

And I love it for doing so.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 15  Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
5. Still Life with Woodpecker - Tom Robbins
Day 05 - Favorite love story in a book

From the book's jacket:
"Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads."
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 59  Average listal rating (28 ratings) 8.8  IMDB Rating
6. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Comple... - Douglas Adams
Day 06 - Favorite book series

Sorry Harry Potter, you know I love your books too. But this was the first series I ever loved every book in (unlike Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles or R.A. Salvatore's Drow books, which I loved some but not all of), and Douglas Adams deserves all the love he can get. Excellent stories full of gut-busting wit, the Hitchhiker's Guide series is some of my favorite science fiction.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 163  Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
7. Lullaby: A Novel - Chuck Palahniuk
Day 07 - The most surprising plot twist or ending

You'll get no spoiler out of me, but the ending truly did surprise me. Had I read Fight Club before seeing the film I might have put it here instead, but I didn't so I'll go with Palahniuk's second most surprising ending instead.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 47  Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating
8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Board Book] - Eric Carle_II
Day 08 - A book that you’ve read countless times

I read to my daughter on a regular basis, and as of the last week of June 2011 she's found her appreciation for it. I've gone from reading her one book at a time to a few in a row each time, which is awesome. Hopefully her love for reading will continue to grow.

Anyway, this one is the book I've read to her the most so far and there's no way I could possibly count how many times I've read it now.

Runners-up: Pat the Bunny, On the Night You Were Born, Meg & Mog, (all of which I've also read numerous times to her) and the Dr. Seuss books I read myself when I was growing up but haven't started reading to her yet.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 3  Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating
9. Adolf in Wonderland - Carlton Mellick III
Day 09 - Favorite mythical place in a book

Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Carlton Mellick casts an SS man into a similarly chaotic world with often hilarious results. I wasn't crazy about Mellick's writing style, but his idea is worth the time to read this book.

And so I chose this book to represent BOTH "Wonderlands".

Alternative choices: Menzoberranzan from The Dark Elf Trilogy, London Below from Neverwhere, and outer space as depicted in the Hitchhiker's Guide series
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 220  Average listal rating (119 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating
10. The Odyssey - Homer
Day 10 - Favorite classic book

I've always loved Greek mythology, and you don't get much more classic than that.

Others I might have chosen: The Iliad, The Republic, 1984, Atlas Shrugged, The Stranger, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch 22, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Cyrano de Bergerac, As I Lay Dying, The Things They Carried, The Catcher in the Rye, The Old Man and the Sea, and several of Mark Twain's books.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 90  Average listal rating (42 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating
11. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-A... - Eric Schlosser
Day 11 - A book that changed your opinion about something

No more fast food for me thanks. Also I'll be checking the labels to see what's in my food and where it's coming from.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 14  Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating
12. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
Day 12 - A book that you hate

As much as I loved As I Lay Dying, I completely failed to find my way into this book. I tried and tried, but the way it's written annoyed me so much I eventually threw it violently across my bedroom one day and sold it the next. Fuck this book.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 122  Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating
13. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Day 13 - A book that you liked, except the ending

Compared to the rest of the book the ending seemed really flat and dull to me, not to mention somewhat expected. Of all the Hemingway I've read this is my least favorite.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 20  Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating
14. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Mes... - Richard Bach
Day 14 - A book that no one would expect you to love

Not sure if it really fits this category, but I couldn't make a book list without including it. A friend of mine recommended Illusions to me, and I loved it so much I encourage others to read it too.

Other possible choices: Guignol's Band by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Nightwood by Djuna Barnes, and everything ever written by Flann O'Brien (because the only way you'd know that I like them would be if you knew I read them all in my European Lit class in college and that that class was my favorite).
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 2  Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10  IMDB Rating
15. Tender as Hellfire: A Novel - Joe Meno
Day 15 - A character who you can relate to the most

Dough Lunt
Dough is an 11-year-old boy who has been moved from his former hometown (which he loved) to a trailer park surrounded by rednecks. When I was 12, my parents moved us from Springfield, IL, (which I loved) back to Dallas, TX, where I was surrounded by suburbanite kids and some rednecks too. Our similarities run even deeper than that, but to go into them would require wandering into spoiler territory. Go read this book, then come back and ask me for more details. ;)
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 46  Average listal rating (21 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
16. The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
Day 16 - A book that you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

I'm not crazy about anything related to war, so I was skeptical when my cousin gave me a copy of The Things They Carried and insisted I had to read it. The writing was so outstanding it could've been about fashion or football (both of which I hate) and I still would have loved it.

I really need to read more Tim O'Brien.

See also: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 112  Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating
17. Diary: A Novel - Chuck Palahniuk
Day 17 - A book that disappointed you the most

I first got into Palahniuk by reading Fight Club after seeing the film adaptation in theatres. By the end of it I decided to read all of his books (of which he had 3 more out at the time). I kept picking up each new book as it was released, and was loving everything he was writing. Then THIS came along. I had to force myself to keep reading it in hopes I'd find something to appreciate or that the ending would make my time worthwhile, and it never did.

I could also have put his novel Snuff on here, as it was the next one to greatly disappoint me. But at least I enjoyed reading parts of Snuff.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 36  Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating
18. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the ... - Sam Harris (author)
Day 18 - A book that you wish more people would read

Because organized religion isn't good for the world on so many levels. I'd say more, but I don't want to piss anyone off haha.

See also: Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris, anything by Flann O'Brien or Tom Robbins or any other lesser-read authors on this list.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 64  Average listal rating (22 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
19. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movi... - Bruce Campbell
Day 19 - A great book written by a celeb

An excellent look at the life of a B-movie actor. Bruce Campbell proves to be insightful, funny, and a great writer all in one. Or maybe I just loved getting a firsthand telling of his work on the Evil Dead trilogy.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 14  Average listal rating (6 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating
20. Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates - Tom Robbins
Day 20 - Favorite male character in a book

Switters
"...rather than eschewing his contradictory nature, as is typical Western practice, Switters embraces it. He's a CIA agent who hates the government. He's a pacifist who carries a gun. He's as much in love with his seventeen-year-old stepsister as he is with a forty-six-year-old nun. Switters feels that the core of the universe, the heart of existence, is light and dark existing together. One is not separate from the other, they just exist.

Switters abhors the more tedious routines of modern life, which he calls, collectively, "maintenance" - showering, shaving, primping of any kind, and, though he has quite an appetite, especially for red-eye gravy, he can't abide to think of the process of excretion. He does not visualize his internal organs, nor their processes. Instead he envisions his viscera as more of a white ball of healing light. While this may smack of New-Age mysticism, Switters himself is aware of his own self-deception while at the same time reveling in it.

As presumably any other member of a national intelligence office, Switters has a few secrets. His most private is his love of show tunes. In the crocodile-skin valise in which he keeps his laptop and his gun, he also has, in a secret compartment, a CD of Broadway tunes, which he listens to in both his darkest and most joyous moments. He is heard - or overheard - singing lines from of one of Stephen Sondheim's most famous songs - "Send in the Clowns".

His primary character trait is his obsession with innocence. He is willing to accept anything that anyone does, so long as it is pure - that it comes from that person's own experience and beliefs, as opposed to simply following orders, instructions, or creed. He cares little for the practice of religion, perceiving it as corrupt, but has studied the Bible, Qur'an, and various mythologies. The exception to this is Zen, which he practices vaguely for the most part, though he does practice zazen (seated meditation)."
--from wikipedia, with the clarification on "zazen" added by me
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 7  Average listal rating (5 ratings) 8.8  IMDB Rating
21. Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson - Jann S. Wenner,Corey Seymour
Day 21 - Favorite book about a real person

Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favorite writers, so to hear his life story told by his friends (some former) and family throughout his life is a great thing. HST became known for inserting himself into his articles and stories, so an oral history is the perfect way to let those who knew him tell stories about him through their own eyes and voices.

I could therefore also have put any of several of his own books in this place (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Better Than Sex, Kingdom of Fear, etc.), or Ralph Steadman's The Joke's Over about his adventures with HST (also written after his death, and Steadman appears in Gonzo as well).

Runner-up: No One Here Gets Out Alive by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman (a biography of Jim Morrison)
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 8  Average listal rating (2 ratings) 9.5  IMDB Rating
22. Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Mem... - Mara Leveritt
Day 22 - Favorite non-fiction book

The most infuriating book I've ever read, about the trio of young men falsely accused of killing 3 boys and sent to jail to rot for it. I can't tell you how many times I was shaking my head in anger and disbelief.

See also: any non-fiction listed above, The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, or Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 97  Average listal rating (57 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
23. The Complete MAUS - Art Spiegelman
Day 23 - Favorite comic book

No other comic book I've read has compared to MAUS, a tale of survival during World War II (as you can probably tell from the cover). It's the only comic book to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, and rightly so. MAUS is brilliant on so many levels I couldn't possibly cover them. So instead I'll just encourage you to pick this up and give it a read.

Runner-up: Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 1081  Average listal rating (594 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
24. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Day 24 - Favorite female character in a book

Scout
Perhaps an obvious choice, but I have another reason besides all the ones you've probably thought of. Like Scout, reading and learning came very easily to me and I was ahead of my peers (which resulted in my skipping Kindergarten). Thus I spent much time in my early school years bored, trying to figure out why I had to sit and listen to teachers drone on about things I already grasped. Of course there were other areas where I didn't know as much (science and history especially), so I wasn't bored all of the time, and eventually my other teachers started to teach me new things. So I connected with Scout's school experiences, minus the fighting (I didn't have but one fight, and that was in junior high...though I was picked on mercilessly throughout school).
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 358  Average listal rating (172 ratings) 8.4  IMDB Rating
25. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman,Terry Pratchett
Day 25 - The most hilarious book you’ve ever read

Good Omens tells what might happen if the apocalypse arrived and things didn't quite go according to plan. If Monty Python had made an apocalypse film, this would be the book version.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 38  Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating
26. The Satanic Bible - Anton Szandor Lavey
Day 26 - A book that you love (like) but everyone else hates

Love is far too strong a word for how I feel about this book. But I thought I'd throw it on here just because it's the one book I've read and liked that many people (Christians mostly) hate without ever having read a word of it. For the record, it has nothing to do with worshiping the devil and everything to do with worshiping oneself/being your own "god". Satan is just a symbol.

I enjoyed reading it, as it relies on various sensible philosophies for its ideas and is written with a sense of humor (or maybe the humor was unintentional). On the other hand all the bits about magic are too laughable to accept (definitely unintentional humor there), and I couldn't bring myself to read the "spells" section at the end.

A worthwhile read if you've got an open mind. And for the record, I'm religiously unaffiliated.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 14  Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9.3  IMDB Rating
27. Said the Shotgun to the Head - Saul Williams
Day 27 - A book you couldn't put down

Not only could I not put this down, but I've had to replace every copy I've owned because I keep giving them away to friends I know would appreciate it. Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends is my favorite collection of poetry, but this book is my favorite poem.

Alternative entry: Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, which when I read it as a teenager I refused to leave the living room chair that I read it in (besides for food and such) until I'd finished it.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 32  Average listal rating (14 ratings) 8.9  IMDB Rating
28. Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins
Day 28 - Favorite book from your favorite author

Jitterbug Perfume is Tom Robbins' epic, taking place over multiple centuries among 4 separate storylines. The central(ish) character, King Alobar, gets confronted with death and rejects the idea, preferring instead to dedicate his time to learning how to cheat death until he's properly ready to face it. Brilliance follows.

(Technically, if I had to pick just one, this would be my all-time favorite book. Fortunately I don't have to, so I've placed it here since Tom Robbins is by far my favorite author.)
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 3  Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10  IMDB Rating
29. Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) - Dorothy Kunhardt
Day 29 - A book from your childhood

An essential book for childhood, especially once you reach the stage where you're interested in the way things feel. My daughter can't get enough of this book, and many years ago neither could I.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 213  Average listal rating (128 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
30. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe
Day 30 - Your favorite book of all time

Actually most of my favorite books of all-time (how can you pick just one?) are already on here in other places or at least credited. And so I've decided to give this spot to the eternally wonderful, brilliant, and entertaining Mr. Poe, without whom most of my favorite books (and some films and perhaps music too) wouldn't exist. Considering this book contains all his stories and poems, I think it's definitely worthy of high praise.
the giraffe's rating:


Bonus Round - Day 31

The Bonus Round sections will require updates as the following books are read. The rest of this list will remain the same.
What book are you reading right now?
People who added this item 36  Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating
31. Dandelion Wine (Grand Master Editions) - Ray Bradbury
No summer is complete unless I've read this book during it.
the giraffe's rating:


Bonus Round - Day 32

Any five books from your "to be read" stack
People who added this item 7  Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
32. Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degr... - Hunter S. Thompson

People who added this item 28  Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.8  IMDB Rating
33. Slapstick or Lonesome No More!: A Novel - Kurt Vonnegut
My woman says this is the next Vonnegut book I should read. As mentioned elsewhere I've only read some of his short stories and Slaughterhouse-Five.

People who added this item 80  Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating
34. The Fountainhead (60th Anniversary Edition) - Ayn Rand

People who added this item 5  Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0  IMDB Rating
35. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
I've never read any Dostoevsky, so I'm starting with this one because I already have a copy sitting on my shelf (unless someone wants to direct me to a better starting place?).

People who added this item 88  Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
36. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury


 

Day 01 - The best book you've read during the last year
Day 02 - Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 03 - A book that makes you really happy
Day 04 - A book that makes you sad
Day 05 - Favorite love story in a book
Day 06 - Favorite book series
Day 07 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 08 - A book that you’ve read countless times
Day 09 - Favorite mythical place in a book
Day 10 - Favorite classic book
Day 11 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 12 - A book that you hate
Day 13 - A book that you liked, except the ending
Day 14 - A book that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 - A character who you can relate to the most
Day 16 - A book that you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 17 - A book that disappointed you the most
Day 18 - A book that you wish more people would read
Day 19 - A great book written by a celeb
Day 20 - Favorite male character in a book
Day 21 - Favorite book about a real person
Day 22 - Favorite non-fiction book
Day 23 - Favorite comic book
Day 24 - Favorite female character in a book
Day 25 - The most hilarious book you’ve ever read
Day 26 - A book that you love but everyone else hates
Day 27 - A book you couldn't put down
Day 28 - Favorite book from your favorite author
Day 29 - A book from your childhood
Day 30 - Your favorite book of all time
Bonus Round
Day 31 - What book are you reading right now?
Day 32 - Any five books from your "to be read" stack
--Most of the above taken from The_Dash08's 30 Days of Books list. The rest came from Kami-chan's Book Meme list.
For links to my other 30 days lists, please visit the following:
the giraffe's 30 Days lists

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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 2 5:43
This should be fun.
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 2 8:09
awesome!
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 3 0:01
I'll be back to spend more time with this list, but for now you get my vote, and YES, you should read more Tim O'Brien! I've read everything he's published so far... they're not all great, but a number of them are as phenomenal or nearly so as "The Things They Carried". But more on that later...
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 3 21:49
Reading! God I love readers. I'm afraid to do my own because it would show how incrediby unliterary I am. You get the vote for being so though!
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 4 6:05
You make me feel so bad... I'm maybe a movie expert but I'm pretty bad with books, I feel ashamed!
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Jul 7 4:55
Really great list, and awesome, sometimes delightfully personal, commentary all the way through. I now have lots of new stuff I'd like to check out, and regret how little I've read in the last 3 years or so.

You're comments about Calvin and Hobbes are spot-on. Thanks for including it! "Lullaby" would probably be a front-runner for one of the more disappointing books I've read, and it hasn't stuck with me at all. I vaguely remember there being a huge twist, but I think I must have been kind of put-off by it. Meanwhile, your selection for most disappointing is one of my favorite all-time novels. I appreciate what you say about the more or less foreseeing the ending, but The Sun Also Rises is one that has spoken to me all 3 times I've read it, and I'll likely always cherish.

Ha, like you you I loved As I Lay Dying, but never stuck with The Sound and the Fury. Guess I don't feel too bad about it anymore after reading your comments! Cool that you included Scout here... it's the nickname I suggested for my sister and she took when she needed a nickname on the back of a softball jersey way back when. Nice to see Good Omens here, some Forgotten Realms appreciation, and plenty of other great picks!

I'll be interested to hear how Karamozov goes... I've been meaning to give that one a legitimate shot forever now. LOVED LOVED LOVED Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground. And my brother seems to think Karamozov is his best.

Obviously I need to read Robbins... shame on me. And I'd VERY strongly recommend "In the Lake of the Woods" as your next Tim O'brien book, though "Going After Cacciato", "Tomcat in Love", and "Northern Lights" are all great too!

Okay, well I'll leave it alone for now... sorry to go on, but just too much here that excites me!
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Jul 24 22:45
I'll have to keep this list in mind when I start my book log - I feel kind of guilty about going to the library and just taking out DVDs all the time, I should mix in a book once in a while and maybe keeping a log would motivate me to do so - I would like to start with the Poe collection or To Kill a Mockingbird as well as the Stephen King books I didn't get to or don't remember - maybe I will read The Shining to see why King didn't like the movie adaption - I loved Calvin and Hobbs by the way and agree with every word you said about it :)
Posted: 11 months, 2 weeks ago at Sep 13 3:26
Instead of The Brothers Karamazov you should read Crime and Punishment. Much better.

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