Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fall Term Booklist

GREETINGS! This fall, as an English lit major, I'm taking an American novel course (that covers 20th and 21st c, I think) and an English novel course (that covers 19th c, I think). So, being a nerd, I'm going to share the titles and first sentences of all the books I'm going to be reading over the term.

American Novel:
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin: "I stand at the window of this great house in the south of France as night falls, the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life."

Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao: "The smell of blood, warm and wet, rose from the floor and settled into the solemn stillness of the hospital air."

The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich: "In the year 1896, my great-uncle, one of the first Catholic priests of aboriginal blood, put the call out to his parishioners that they should gather at Saint Joseph's wearing scapulars and holding missals."

The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner: "Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting."

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson: "Why is the measure of love loss?"

Yonnondio: From the Thirties by Tillie Olsen: "The whistles always woke Mazie."

English Novel:
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: "In the first part of Robinson Crusoe, at page one hundred and twenty-nine, you will find it thus written: Now I saw, though too late, the Folly of beginning a Work before we count the Cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it.""

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light , it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way-in short, the period was do far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

She by H. Rider Haggard: "There are some events of which each circumstance and surrounding detail seems to be graven on the memory in such a fashion that we cannot forget it, and so it is with the scene that I am about to describe."

Dracula by Bram Stoker: "Left Munich at 8.55 p.m. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46, but train was an hour late."

What's your favorite of these first sentences? Which one would you possibly read for fun?


Kemendraugh said...

Oh wow. What a stellar idea. Just when I think I've stolen EVERY idea you could POSSIBLY have, you have another BRILLIANT one! *shakes head in amazement*

And those are such good sentences :D Hm. I think my favourites are...Tale of two cities, She, and Monkey Bridge. Tale of two cities is sort of snuggly in my memories, She sounds like it's describing a thought I had, but could never put into words, and Monkey bridge is just plain MORBID. What's not to love?
And which one would I read for fun? Dracula ^_^ I love Dracula.

Bahnree said...

Just when I think you've used up all your Stephanie laughs for the week, you make me laugh AGAIN! XDDDDD
hehe I agree, Monkey Bridge is super morbid! I'm excited. But based on just the first sentences, which one would you read?

Kemendraugh said...

Sigh. Fine. BE specific. Probably either She, or Giovanni's room. Just because my curiosity would get the better of me. "DUDE, what can't you forget? Why was it the most terrible morning of your life? TELL ME!"

Bahnree said...


I agree, all things equal I would re-read Dracula. I'm SUPER excited about studying it in a class.

Snazel said...

Oh man. I don't think you're reading any comedies. ANOTHER REASON NOT TO GO TO SCHOOL.

And I still love Tale of Two Cities. I love the language. :D I know it's cliche, but HEY, W/E. Which is to say that's my fave first line, and I might try to read Written on the Body for fun. Emphasis on "try."

Bahnree said...

No comedies for us! :(

Because A Tale of Two Cities is AWESOME, that's why. And yeah that's my fave first line too. ^_^

Diana said...

19th Century British lit is my favorite!

Well, one of my favorites.

And I love The Moonstone. Great, funny detective story.

I DON'T like A Tale of Two Cities, but I do love other Dickens tomes. And Dracula is just plain fun. Especially to read out loud! :B

Bahnree said...

I will probably specialize in 19th c. lit, so yeah I kinda love it too. :D Let's be friends. ;)