Sunday, March 23, 2014

Repost: Tazi's Corner: Issue #6: Thoughts On Reading (Part II)

Hello, readers, and welcome to another edition of

Tazi's Corner
Life As Your Pet Sees It!

This week I present Part II of my thoughts on reading! Why the split piece? Because I know that attention spans can be short and when blogs are too long people lose interest - so I decided to take my cue from Quentin Tarantino a la Kill Bill and cut the blog into two parts!

In my meanderings for Part I of this topic (found in last week’s Tazi's Corner column), I found the Random House Publishers Collection of Must Read Books, which I also found to be rather pretentious. I am not saying the books on it were not excellent choices; but it was rather predictable with choices like Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five (#18) and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (#64). Maybe I am biased...I used to know a pretentious blowhard who said those were his favorite books; but the fact remains that these books are what are referred to a “serious books”, as if a Writer (with a capital W) is only a writer (with a lower-case w) until he or she has published one, and until then they will only be a producer of pulp – interesting but unmemorable. I find this thought unacceptable! Jaws is not what I would call a “serious” book but it is definitely worth reading (just not on the beach) and is most certainly memorable. In fact, it makes my personal list of classic books, along with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (yes, it was a book before it was a movie).

I have decided to add my paw-print to the numerous online lists of literary classics by adding my own right here. In no particular order after the number one spot, I present

Tazi’s List of 39 Must Read Modern 
(and Not So Modern) Classics! 

Please feel free to add suggestions of your own to bring the list to a less random number:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

2. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
3. Brothers and Sisters, by Bebe Moore Campbell
4. Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, by Bebe Moore Campbell
5. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
6. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
7. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
8. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
9. The Lord of the Rings (complete trilogy), J.R.R. Tolkien

10. It, by Stephen King
11. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare*, by William Shakespeare**
12. The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, by E.A. Poe
13. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
14. Treasure Island, by Robert Lewis Stevenson
15. A Christmas Carol (annotated edition), by Charles Dickens
16. Le Comte De Monte Cristo/The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas 
(English translation or original French)
17. Le Fantôme de L’Opéra/The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux 
(English translation or original French)
18. Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery 
(English translation or original French)
19. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (aka Philosopher’s Stone, U.K. version), by J.K. Rowling
20. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
21. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
22. Sula, by Toni Morrison
24. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
25. The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett
26. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
27. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg
28. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
29. Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
30. All the President’s Men, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (non-fiction)
31. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (non-fiction)
32. Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
33. Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White (read it aloud to a child!)

If Wishbone can pull off this gig, so can we!

34. The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
35. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (It was a book first? INCONCEIVABLE!)
36. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
37. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
38. The DaVinci Code (fully illustrated version), by Dan Brown
39. And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians, U.K. version), by Agatha Christie

Apologies to Derek P. of South Carolina for leaving Hollywood Wives, by Jackie Collins, off of this list.


*Contrary to the title, it is not all of the works of William Shakespeare
**Some contend that Sir Francis Bacon deserves author credit for this selection

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.