Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Athena's List

This was difficult to say the least. These are books that I've read, but I wish I had more choices that were more overt about who I am. I just want to read more after making this list. I also avoided repeats from other lists. I do hope this list intrigues somebody.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie - I loved this book as a child. I obviously wanted to be Wendy. I think this book, the imagination, and the characters were all a reflection of myself as a child. My love for children's books and fantasy novels (Narnia, His Dark Materials, Harry Potter) continues to this day so PP was just one of the first. It was this or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as I wanted to be both Wendy and Lucy when I was younger.

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham - I read this last summer. It was not easy, spirit lifting or the funnest read in the world at times, but I think a lot of the issues raised by the author and the protagonist are ones I am relating to now. I think that a lot of people at some point in their life may relate to the conflict Maugham presents here.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I read this when I was 13, and while I loved books before, I often think this marked the true beginning of my "adult" reading obsession. I read W&P last year which I also loved, but there is such tragedy, beauty and mirth in AK. I haven't reread it since, and I didn't relate to the characters so much at time, but I found them interesting, sympathetic, well written and just very human. Tolstoy has always written life in a way that I can perceive as well.

A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain - A nonfiction travel memoirs. Simply because this is funny and brings my love of food and travel together.

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby - I recently finished the second of Hornby's collection of criticisms from "The Believer" magazine called Housekeeper vs. the Dirt which followed up TPS. If you read TPS, then I highly recommend its follow up. He's different than your average critic. I find his conversational style very personable, relateable, funny and poignant. As a book (movies, music, etc) lover, I can relate to a lot of what he writes in these essays, and I don't even read or like book reviews. These aren't your average reviews, but more general mediations about the books he reads and the ones we choose for ourselves.

7 comments:

kookiejar said...

Love Bourdain. So funny and snarky. I read 'Anna Karenina' a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Question: Is Athena your real name or your screenname? I only ask because I went to school with two girls whose names were Venus and Athena.

Athena said...

It's a screen name, but I do know of people who do have them as real names. I adopted it years ago, and it's just stuck. Thanks for the comment. I love Bourdain too.

Megan said...

This amazing this happened. I was looking on my bookshelf today and I saw Of Human Bondage and I was thinking, I wish someone would pick that for the something about me challenge so that I have an excuse to read it. And low and behold... So thank you very much.
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Maryanne Moll said...

You read Anna Karenina when you were 13? Whoa! I, on the other hand, have been dying to read it. I've seen snippets of the movie, but of course I didn't watch it, preferring the book instead, :)

Athena said...

In retrospect, I think I was 14 going on 15. Hee. But it did have an impact, and one of the reasons I actually wanted to see it because I saw snippets of the new movie which was out around that time I think. I hope you do read it at some point.
Meghan - Of Human Bondage is good and interesting albeit a bit sad at points. Hope you enjoy it.

tinylittlelibrarian said...

I love Peter Pan, too!

Dewey said...

I've read the Tolstoy and the Maugham, but I might want to reread them. I've been interested in re-reading Peter Pan since I saw Finding Neverland. And the Hornby is already on my wishlist, so I'll probably end up picking that.