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Topic: Modern Fiction Favorites. How Many of These Have You Read?

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Subject: Modern Fiction Favorites. How Many of These Have You Read?
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I found this list inside The Complete Idiot's Guide to Critical Reading and I thought I'd share it here. Feel free to cheer or jeer the selections. Hey, I didn't pick 'em out:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Daughter of Fortune

Cat's Eye; Alias Grace

The Da Vinci Code

Generation X

Middlesex; The Virgin Suicides

Bridget Jone's Diary: A Novel

White Oleander

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Corrections

A Lesson Before Dying

Memoirs of a Geisha

Snow Falling on Cedars

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Book of Ruth

Stones from the River; Visions of Emma blau; Floating in My Mother's Palm

The Fourth Hand

Girl, Interrupted

The Secret Life of Bees

The Poisonwood Bible

She's Come Undone; I Know This Much is True

Life of Pi

Sula; Paradise; The bluest Eye; Song of Solomon (what? no Beloved?)

Fall on Your Knees

Runaway

The Falls; We Were the Mulvaneys

Cry, the Beloved Country

The Shipping News

The Plot Against America

The Harry Potter series

The Reader

The Lovely Bones

The Stone Diaries

The Pilot's Wife

I Am Charlotte Simmons

Some of these selections surprise me. Bridget Jones Diary? Really? The authors claim that "these books will likely remain imprinted on the minds of readers for years to come" (284).

How many have you read?

 

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2009
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I've read twelve, and own five others (which means I plan to read them). All of those I've read were great books, but it's quite a variety of genres and I'm not sure I would equate them all as critical reads.
Subject: I've Read..
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I've Read 17 if you count the Harry Potter series as seven books. I have 5 TBRs.

Subject: "contemporary fiction"
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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"These books will remain imprinted on the minds of readers for years to come."  Surely they jest, unless "years" can be two. Most of the stuff I saw above can't hope to pass for much more than pulp fiction. (I have read about ten of them. The second book by Lamb was so terrible I tossed it out after about 20 pages. If you want to read about hopelessly dysfunctional people, T.C. Boyle does it better today, and Christina Stead had no peers.

I can't think of but two newer writers of whom it can be said they have talent and potential. Zadie Smith tops the list; and if he isn't a one-trick pony, the young man who wrote The Kite Runner has speed to burn

Dr. John T. West, III

Subject: What Exactly is Pulp Fiction?
Date Posted: 4/26/2009 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I agree, good Doctor, they must jest. I am not a fan of chick-lit, and Bridget Jones is the quintessential chicky drivel.  I too raised my eyebrows at 80% of the selections.

The Da Vinci Code? Puh-leaze!

This list was compiled in 2005 so The Kite Runner was either not yet published or was not well known yet. I agree, it's well written and should to replace Dan Brown's pap.

If they have Barbara Kingsolver's work listed, then surely T.C. Boyle's should be as well. They're about the same caliber in my humble opinion.

I am not familiar with Smith and Stead. Hmm, some authors worth investigating?

Date Posted: 4/27/2009 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
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I've read 5, 2 I couldn't get through and 4 are my TBR. " these books will likely remain imprinted on the minds of readers for years to come"  I highly doubt this, most of these are not great literature.  I wonder what the author of the article must be thinking of our intelligence if he/she thinks that chick lit will imprint our minds for years to come.

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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I read 13 of them, counting Harry Potter series as one.  But honestly, none of these was my favorite book of the year of anything.  (Well, I did love Harry Potter but I read them aloud to my children, so the experience was just as much fun as the books.)

I'd have added The Time Traveler's Wife to the list of modern fiction, and all of Alice Hoffman's early books.

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I've read 23 including the 7 HP books. Regarding the author's claim "these books will likely remain imprinted on the minds of readers for years to come" , obviously the HP books have achieved a level of fame that will stand the test of time. The books that won awards like The Shipping News (Pulitzer & National Book) and Middlesex (Pulitzer) will also be widely read for years to come.

I concur with those of you who questions some of the chick lit type books. Bridget Jones Diary was an okay read but nothing substantial and totally forgettable. I liked Life of Pi, Lovely Bones and Curious Incident - all were unique in their own way but I question their likeliness to remain imprinted on the minds of readers for years. The Secret Life of Bees seems to have some endearing qualities that make it more memorable than many on the list.

I never did make it through The Poisonwood Bible - tried twice. And, I'm not a fan of Margaret Atwood or Anita Shreve - just not my cup of tea.

I agree Donna, most of these are not great literature.

That is really an odd list. I would love to know the criteria they used for their selections. Randomly chosen from a list of the past 10 years (from the date the list was chosen) best selling fiction??

Anyone know how may listed were Oprah selections? I see at least three but I'm not a fan of her selections so there may be many more.

Date Posted: 4/28/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2009
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If you count the Harry Potter series as one, I've read 13.   I was very pleasantly surprised to see Alias Grace and I am Charlotte Simmons on the list - both terrific books (very sharp and, in the case of Charlotte Simmons, satirical portraits of society), but I always thought they were somewhat obscure. 

Date Posted: 4/30/2009 5:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
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Critical reading? Geez, I've read one, Da Vinci Code, but who hasn't? ;-)  I have a lot of the others on my TBR stack, but don't plan to read them any time soon.

The book I just read and loved is The Monsters of Templeton. All the various versions/bindings are WL'd but if you find a copy, grab it.  

Date Posted: 5/1/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2009
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generation x i loved in high school, although all the rest i've read of coupland wasn't interesting- however that one book is up there with pynchon's V. as my favorite american book of the last 40 years

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2009
Posts: 250
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I have read the bolded ones:

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Daughter of Fortune

Cat's Eye; Alias Grace

The Da Vinci Code

Generation X

Middlesex; The Virgin Suicides

Bridget Jone's Diary: A Novel

White Oleander

The Jane Austen Book Club

The Corrections

A Lesson Before Dying

Memoirs of a Geisha

Snow Falling on Cedars

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Book of Ruth

Stones from the River; Visions of Emma blau; Floating in My Mother's Palm

The Fourth Hand

Girl, Interrupted

The Secret Life of Bees

The Poisonwood Bible

She's Come Undone; I Know This Much is True

Life of Pi

Sula; Paradise; The bluest Eye; Song of Solomon (what? no Beloved?)

Fall on Your Knees

Runaway

The Falls; We Were the Mulvaneys

Cry, the Beloved Country

The Shipping News

The Plot Against America

The Harry Potter series

The Reader

The Lovely Bones

The Stone Diaries

The Pilot's Wife

I Am Charlotte Simmons

I might have to consider looking up the other ones now, most of what was on there I thought was pretty good!

Date Posted: 5/11/2009 6:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
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I have read 25 of the listed books.  I really don't think of some of the books listed as great contemporary literature, but I guess if you have to pick 30 or 40 books written in the past 30 years this list is as good a start as any.

(no Harry Potter books, at all.)



Last Edited on: 11/2/10 6:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/11/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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I've read 10.  My daughter has read 16.  My husband 2.

It's an interesting and varied list, I printed it out and posted it at work..... it's generated tremendous discussion!

Trish

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 7:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 20,655
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I have read 8 of them but I seriously doubt that most of them will be remembered for all time.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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Counting each Harry Potter book individually, I have read 18 of these and have 3 sitting on my TBR waiting to be read.

Date Posted: 5/12/2009 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2008
Posts: 10
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I've read 11

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"It's an interesting and varied list, I printed it out and posted it at work..... it's generated tremendous discussion"

It did? What did people say?

 

Date Posted: 5/13/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 181
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Most of the books were discussed at different times by different people throughout the week, about 14 people total.    Amazing how some said they never read on a 'disturbing" subject.(as in The Lovely bones),,,,,..if we all felt that way someone like Jody Picoult would never sell a book .   A few titles got us talking on different religious ideologies.  Conversation drifted to the ones made into movies and how people felt about how they were portrayed on the big screen.  No one else had read The Curious Incident of the Dog,,,, but once I told them about it they all wanted to.  There were many only females had read but none that only the males had read.   Most of us had not read even 1 of the Harry Potter series, but practically all of our kids did!  It just went on and on....What the list actually represented about the individual wasn't really an issue with most (how do we interpret Critical Reading?)   I guess  we're somewhat influenced by the media and "best seller" lists, but we usually read what we like.... and life's too short to read poorly written books (and that is very subjective!)

 

Date Posted: 5/17/2009 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Wow, Lucky. Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Date Posted: 5/18/2009 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2005
Posts: 1,413
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I have read:

The Da Vinci Code

The Secret Life of Bees

White Oleander

Date Posted: 5/20/2009 2:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 29
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It's a good list.

If anyone has not read the books below, hopefully this tiny review will pique your interest. I only kept in what I've read or am reading.

Generation X - defined the idea of generational influences in a completely new way. groundbreaking. brilliant and personally helpful for me. 10/10

Middlesex - reading now will update

Bridget Jone's Diary: A Novel - defined a new genre, the best of which many folks are not familiar ie Cecelia Ahearn. you may not have found it important, but no one has forgotten it. 8/10.  try No Place like here and If you could see me now by cecelia (not PS I love you)-for the genre they are 10/10 modern fariy tale imaginative, slightly serious and chick lit. Getting OVer It by Anna Maxted also good. The best chick lit deals with a serious subject (death of a parent, sexual assault, anorexia, work/children) in adition to coming of age relationshippy stuff. most of it's british which is why a lot of people aren't familiar with it here.

The Jane Austen Book Club-disappointment. 5/10 the movie was marginally better.

Memoirs of a Geisha-groundbreaking, moving, heartbreaking. 10/10

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time-excellent positive portrayal of an Aspie kid, changed people's thinking,funny, poignant, wonderful book. 9/10

Girl, Interrupted-portrayal of "female" psychiatric conditions and the way society has sometimes harmed us with these diagnoses. fascinating 10/10

The Secret Life of Bees-currently reading

She's Come Undone; I Know This Much is True-to be read

Life of Pi-fairy tale/parable, there are almost no words for this book. just read it. 10/10

The Shipping News-good read, not groundbreaking, but well-written  8/10

The Harry Potter series-it's harry potter. adults: read it. you won't get it until you do, but you will love it. got parents and children/teens sharing books. what could be better? later books are quite deep enough for adults. archetypal characters (biblical/jungian) 11/10  :-)

The Reader- my impression is the film will do a good job, but not having read it, what do i know?

The Lovely Bones - my second favorite book. read along with her true story Lucky. Not only is the story interesting, but the writing is superb. 10/10

The Pilot's Wife- my first anita shreve. good book, bad film. 7/10. I preferred Fortune's Rocks, a lesser known one. 9/10

The Time Traveller's Wife - agreed, the is a must. my favorite book of all time. i  just reread it. the story is amazing and the writing is likely unique in literature. 10/10

Great thread!

Date Posted: 5/20/2009 2:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
Posts: 29
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Oh yeah

The Da Vinci Code

Really?

ok, 8/10 for the genre, but not out of this list (compared to the others on this list 6/10). i am guessing it's the religious issue that caused it to make the list. or the fact that it sold soooo many copies. having been to some of the sites in the book in london and edinburgh, the history is pretty cool too.

Date Posted: 5/20/2009 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
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Oh dear, I've read 23 of them.  I read any and everything I can get my hands on.  Several of them were book club books that we have read over the past several years.  I agree that some of them are definitely not great literature, but we had good discussions about many of them. The 23 I have read do not include any Harry Potter.  I have read parts of the first Harry Potter & seen the movies, but they're just not my cup of tea. I guess it would be interesting to see the criteria used to make up this list.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
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I've read 17 of them, I own but have not read an additional four and a few of them you couldn't pay me to read! LOL!

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