Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books I've Never Read

My second foray into The Broke and the Bookish's popular link-up series!


This week it's supposed to be top ten hyped books I haven't read yet, and so I'm listing here the top ten books I feel like I ought to have read by now, but haven't.  Yet!  I've ordered them by how eager I am to read them, or how strongly I feel like I should have by now, most to least.

1.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
2.  Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
3.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville
4.  The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
5.  The Once and Future King by T. H.  White
6.  Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather
7.  The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
8.  The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
9.  The Odyssey by Homer
10.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Have you read any of these?  Are they as important as I think they are?

38 comments:

  1. I've read the Odyssey several times, in various versions, but none of the others, unless an abridged version of Moby Dick counts.

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    1. Yes, I HAVE to read "The Odyssey." Moral Imperative.

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  2. Where do I start with the Screwtape Letters?! :) :) That one is worth all the hype!! :)

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    1. I believe it, Jamie! I'll get there.

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  3. The Screwtape Letters is first class.

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    1. Charity, it's one I hope to read before the end of the year :-)

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  4. I have no current desire (ha) to read any of the books you listed except for The Screwtape Letters-and I'm reading that right now! :)
    Hope you enjoy reading the books on your list once you get them!

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    1. Natalie -- cool! I'm hoping to read TSL before the end of the year :-)

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  5. War and Peace is the only one off this list I've read, and it's really good! I did start with Anna Karenina, though, which might be a bit less intimidating if you've never read Tolstoy.

    I started and failed to finish both Don Quixote and Moby Dick. It was a while ago, so I don't know whether I was too young to appreciate them, or whether they really were that daunting. My mother started The Grapes of Wrath once, but abandoned it after a very short time because of the language. And ages and ages ago we used to have a copy of the Illiad and Odyssey and I read some of them, but I have no recollection of them whatsoever!

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    1. Elisabeth, I want to read Anna Karenina too, but it's not as high on my list as W&P.

      I tried Moby Dick back during college and put it down because I didn't have time for it. Just need to pick it up again! I'm betting the movie In the Heart of the Sea that comes out this winter will give me a nudge toward reading it.

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  6. Haha, I've never read any of these either. I don't care about any if them, except for The Grapes of Wrath, and that's only because I'm a Steinbeck fan. Though I'm not sure how much more human misery I can take from that fellow -- I LOVED East of Eden, but Of Mice and Men hit me hard. ( I say I'm a fan of John Steinbeck, but really what I am is kind of intimidated. And in awe.) ;-P

    ~Emma

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    1. I've only read 2 Steinbeck books, Of Mice and Men and Tortilla Flat. I did not love either of them, alas. But he definitely can write!!

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  7. How have you not read The Screwtape letters? You definitely should! They're fascinating and scary at the same time.

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    1. Lois, I know. I know. ::Hangs head:: I really want to, I just... have to find the opportune moment.

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  8. I had to read "Moby Dick" back in school and I really didn't like it but some people, as I've noticed can't get enough of it.

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    1. Sibella, I feel that way about The Scarlet Letter and Wuthering Heights, which lots of people do like.

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    2. Ugh, I'm with you on The Scarlet Letter and Wuthering Heights. Why all the misery? Still haven't read Moby Dick.

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  9. The Screwtape Letters and War & Peace are fantastic. I'm sure you'll enjoy both of them!

    Also, have you watched The Grapes of Wrath? And, if you have, do you not like Henry Fonda because or despite of it? (Curiosity. Plus, I'm a huge Fonda fan, so I'm trying to understand why anyone wouldn't care for him as an actor. :))

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    1. Eva! You have read War and Peace? My hat is off to you.

      Full Confession Time: I watched The Grapes of Wrath as a child, maybe ten years old, and I hated it. I thought it was extreeeeeeeemely boring. I honestly don't remember it much at all except that it was dull, dull, dull, dull, dull.

      So that has no bearing on the fact that I'm not a huge Henry Fonda fan. The first thing I remember seeing him in was How the West Was Won, which I saw the first time when I was 12, and which my brother and I adored and watched over and over.

      My dad does not like Henry Fonda, though, so we didn't watch many of his movies when I was a kid. Probably just Fort Apache, which I like okay, but in which he's totally antagonistic toward my beloved John Wayne, which probably has more to do with my not liking him than anything other than The Ox-Bow Incident.

      As an adult, I've seen him in a handful of things. I do actually love him in Mr. Roberts. I like him a lot in 12 Angry Men and The Tin Star. I'm very angry with him in The Ox-Bow Incident. I liked him okay in My Darling Clementine and The Wrong Man and The Longest Day and Spencer's Mountain. Oh, and In Harm's Way.

      And now you know all the Henry Fonda movies I've seen, lol!

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    2. Took me several months, which was unusual (I usually polish off any given book in under a week), but totally worth it. Now I want to watch the film adaption with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda (even if he does play my least favorite character).

      I'm pretty sure I'd have been hopelessly bored if I'd watched TGOW at ten, but luckily I watched it just a few months ago. :) Most of the things you've seen him in, I haven't (I reeeeally want to watch Mr. Roberts and The Tin Star). I *have* seen Daisy Kenyon though, which I would heartily un-recommend for any Dana fans. He plays a rather awful character. (Almost like a male version of Marie in The Best Years Of Our Lives.)

      Anyway. I'm mad at nearly everyone except Martin and the two other guys in TO-BI, truth be told. I'm pretty sure you once said that you've seen Battle of the Bulge, so that's another Fonda film you've seen. :)

      Well, I really, REALLY don't like Lee Majors as an actor, and from something you said in one of your posts, I believe you do, so we're even. ;)

      ~Eva

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    3. Cowboy read W&P in college for fun, and it took him months too, but he was also taking 18+ credits. I've heard really good things about the Audrey Hepburn adaptation!

      Next time I send you a box, I'm so sending you Mr. Roberts. Just saw it at Walmart super cheap. It is WONDERFUL! The Tin Star is nice too, but not wonderful ;-) I still haven't seen Daisy Kenyon, even though I have a copy. One of these days, when I need Nasty Dana for a story or something.

      I have seen both The Battle of the Bulge and Midway, but so long ago that I really remember nothing about them (Ty Hardin was a bad guy in TBOTB and that made me mad -- that's all I remember), so I didn't count them.

      What have you seen Lee Majors in that you disliked so very much? I adore his character on The Big Valley, but I've been less than wowed by his acting in other things (a couple eps of Six Million Dollar Man and a sequel to "High Noon" that lacked overall). Have you watched The Big Valley at all? It's one of my happy places :-)

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    4. I'm trying to pull together a box for you, actually, and if it wasn't so complicated to order DVDs from Amazon (or if DVD stores actually carried the ones I want to send you!), it would already have been sent. :P Anyway...

      Didn't Thompson Girl cast Dana as a jerk in "The Reckoning"? Or maybe I'm thinking of something else...it's been a while since I've read that one. Question: were there any particular Dana films you drew from when you wrote your "Three By Moonlight" trilogy?

      The only thing I've seen Lee Majors in is several episodes of Six Million Dollar Man, and I was so not impressed. There's just something about him that kind of gets on my nerves, BUT I'm more than willing to give liking him another try, so if I get a chance to watch some of The Big Valley, I will. :)

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    5. Dana's the good guy in "The Reckoning" -- Ashton. The jerk is Hansen, played by William Holden. (When in doubt, find the hidden Guest Stars page. Any story we've specifically cast someone in is listed there, with a page for each showing who we've cast -- each story with a special guest star links to its own Guest Stars page from the bottom stripe of fruit salad at the very end of the story. Cuz we're silly.)

      Hmm. Specific Dana stuff I watched/thought of for the d'Yae stories. "The Best Years of Our Lives" for sure, and "Laura." Basically anything Dana from the '40s. I don't actually remember what made me give him his little mustache -- possibly DKoren just sent me a photo or screencap of him with a cute little pencil mustache and I went, yes! That's the look I want!

      I do remember exactly when I cast him in "Hide and Seek," though. I was working 3rd shift at Walmart back then, and we got this big "cube" display of Rogers & Hammerstein musicals, with Dana from State Fair as one of the featured pictures on the cube displays. H&S was still simmering, and I was planning to have this really old dude as the Resistance agent, like with white hair. I saw Dana, and DKoren and I referred to him mostly as DA back then (cuz we tend to refer to actors by their initials a lot), and I thought, "Hey! What if I put a really old DA in as the resistance guy who only gets one scene, but I name him something that sounds like DA as a little inside joke reference for DKoren?" (I do inside jokes a LOT in my stories, especially fanfic. I'm a dork.) So I came up with the name d'Yae, and he was supposed to be like almost 80 and kind of decrepit.

      And then I started throwing around first names. Of course, Mark MacPherson is my dearest Dana character, so why not the French version of Mark, Marc?

      And when I stuck the two together, Marc d'Yae, out stepped young Dana from the shadows under those trees in the fateful forest in my head, and I knew he wasn't gonna be no one-scene walk-on role no more.

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    6. Reading behind-the-scenes stories of novels and movies and such has always been a favorite pastime, so I enjoyed reading this one. :) I tend to slip inside jokes into my writing as well! (Most of which, only I understand. :P)

      I need to print your trilogy out so Elisabeth can read it.

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    7. It was Berlin Correspondent! I remember now -- that's where I got his mustache from. This moment in particular. But he looked super-cute with a little mustache -- like here and here.

      I actually expected him and Hanley to get along super well. And then as soon as he arrived on the scene in the story, Hanley's hackles rose and he refused to play nice. Which worked well for upping the conflict, so I didn't fuss.

      Let me know if Elisabeth likes it!

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    8. Ah. Aw...he's adorable! Would you recommend BC? (Always on the lookout for new Dana films to watch. :)) I would've thought he and Hanley would get along too, now that you mention it; isn't is frustrating/awesome when characters take on a life of their own?

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    9. And I'll let you know!

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    10. Berlin Correspondent was a decent watch. I've only seen it once, so clearly not my fave Dana film, lol. I barely remember the plot anymore, but Dana got menaced a lot, there was lots of spying intrigue I think?

      Hanley and Marc are too much alike to get along well, I think. Both rich, both used to giving orders, both suspicious and cautious. And at the same time, too different to see things similarly -- Marc's much more emotionally involved with what's going on, whereas Hanley generally sees the big picture and is willing to make sacrifices for the greater good.

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  10. I won't lecture you on how you should've read The Screwtape Letters years ago. Although you totally should have. :)

    I've only read three. War & Peace, The Screwtape Letters, and The Odyssey (but that was in an abridged version).

    Out of all of them, The Screwtape Letters is definitely the one to read. Of the others, War & Peace is good to have under your belt. The Odyssey is good to have, but probably more important is The Iliad.

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    1. I know, I know, George. I've been getting that lecture from all sides! I WILL read The Screwtape Letters. I will. Just not this very minute -- I'm in the middle of "The Silmarillion" and just started Howard Pyle's "Robin Hood," and I have a book from the library awaiting my attention too.

      I've read the Iliad I was really glad to have seen Troy so I could put faces to names in my head -- that helped me keep characters straight.

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  11. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP!!!!!!!!

    YAAAAYYYYYY!!!!

    Sorry about that, but this book is AWESOME. I would seriously consider it Willa Cather's best ever--much better than either O Pioneers or My Antonia. The writing is just gorgeous, and she draws the characters of the Archbishop and his friends so very, very well. I especially adore all her beautiful descriptions of the Southwestern scenery. Literally mouth-watering.

    So yes, it's totally worth reading.

    My only real objection to this book is that she makes some big mistakes in portraying Catholic devotion to the Virgin Mary . . . she makes it sound like Catholics view Mary as a goddess, and we DO NOT. Seriously. Trust me. We don't. :-)

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    1. Jessica, I'm excited to hear you liked it better than MA and OP because I was only semi-fond of those.

      Was Willa Cather Catholic? I find people trying to portray a religion that is not their own often fumble.

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    2. Yeah, I tried reading MA and OP and I was like, what's the big deal here? Because they really aren't that stellar . . . at least to me . . . But Death Comes for the Archbishop is something special. Shadows On the Rock is the same way--if you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it.

      No, she was not, and I think that's why she made that mistake. From her writing, I get the idea that she was very interested in Catholicism and tried hard to portray it respectfully--which, of course, I appreciate very much. But, naturally, not being Catholic herself, there were some things she just didn't get right.

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    3. I haven't heard much at all about Shadows on the Rock -- maybe I'll try it too someday.

      I remember watching the movie Raising Helen long ago, in which John Corbett plays a Lutheran minister, and being amazed that they got most stuff pretty right! Doesn't happen often.

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  12. I think Moby-Dick is an important novel. I read War and Peace just to say I read it. I'm sure Ayn Rand is worth reading for informational purposes, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to tackle her works, yet. I loved Death Comes to the Archbishop but it's been 15 years since I read it. I've read here and there that Cather was a "lapsed Protestant". Not sure whether this means she was Catholic or not.

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    1. I've read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and I looooooooooooooved it, but I read it when I was 22 and right out of college. I've heard somewhere that if you don't read her books before you're 30, you're not gonna like them, and I'm 35 now, so a little worried I might fall victim to that. We'll see!

      I think "lapsed Protestant" means more that you were once a Protestant, but now you don't go to church anymore or have an active faith.

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  13. Excellent list. A lot of these I need to read as well and shamefully kick the dirt at my feet with my head bowed when someone brings it up. I have read The Screwtape Letters, however, and it's fantastic. You read my review, so I won't say any more here. :)

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    1. Hee. Yeah, I tend to reply something like, "No, not YET" when certain books come up.

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What do you think?

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)