67 responses

  1. Marko — Calm Growth
    October 19, 2010

    Great and detailed list Preeti!

    I have not read all the books from the list, but I will give feedback to the couple who at some point influenced me.

    1. Crime and Punishment – This is one of the greatest masterpieces ever! I have never met such a clear explanation of man as in that book, I think that no one will never be repeated what Dostoevsky have done… Dostoevsky show the Russia of that time, but he’s also show a timeless analysis of the human mind, greed, conscience and life. I read that book twice. :)
    I think that Tolstoy once said something like this: “the goal of artist is not to resolve a problem, but to force us to love life in its countless and infinite manifestations.” — Dostoevsky showed that (at least to me) with Crime and Punishment…

    2. Anna Karenina — I got the best grade in the class in high school for the analysis of this book… In Anna Karenina we go deeply into the psychology of people…
    I like the writing style and structure, and artistic value is undoubtedly high. The fate of people in Tolstoy’s works has always been interesting and the imbalance is always present. I have never understood love as shown in this book, but it’s my personal set of beliefs… ;)

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Marko,

      I agree with you on both of these novels, I think Russian Authors of that time were amazing as they wrote complex human characters with so many emotions that you can feel it through the words.

      Both of these book are not light read and you have to read it with 100% plus focus on it, I did not appreciated earlier but now I understand and appreciate the master pieces they really are. Thanks for sharing as I know you love reading too.

  2. TheSimplePoppy
    October 19, 2010

    What!? Zengirl, you have to put some George Eliot on that list! I loved Middlemarch, and I also see it as exemplifying what is happening in the simple/minimalist movement. A town called Middlemarch, where everyone takes the path of least resistance, the middle path. And then you have some characters who by the end have wildly veered off the middle path to live their own kind of successful, simpler life.

    It took me 3 times to start and read Anna Karenina. I didn’t care much for Anna, but I found Levin’s realizations at the end pretty moving.

    I’ve read a lot of these years ago, but only a few stick out to me still. Narnia – love. You know how I feel about Persuasion. I keep meaning to read The Namesake. I’m going to have to check out the ones I haven’t read!

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      SimplePoppy,

      You are so right, I forgot. I should add George Elliot, as I have read a few of her books and love her and I mentioned her in my coming out shadow post too, as she too write under pen name like me :-)

      I loved Middlemarch book. I did not know there is a town called middlemarch too, I have to check it out, thanks for letting me know.

      Anna Karenina is complex book to get in to for many people. Narnia is great, and you are the only other person whom I know who loves Captain Wentworth like I do. :-) Let me know how you like Namesake once you read it.

  3. Gip @ So Much More
    October 19, 2010

    What a list! I have to admit, though, that I haven’t read most of them.

    I’m more of a writer than a reader, I suppose. Since I work with books and write, people think I read a lot, but I really don’t.

    Gip

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Gip,

      Welcome! I also thought as you were in book selling, you must read a lot. Being a writer is great also.

      What type of books do you usually read then?

  4. Angela Artemis
    October 19, 2010

    Hi Preeti,
    I love your list. I’ve read about 3/4 of the books myself. I yearn for the days when I had nothing to do but read!

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Angela,

      Tell me about not finding to time read as I like right now as I miss reading now a days too, but I read every chance I get with 2 kids, even if it is 5-10 minutes and I am quite fast reader too. Maybe that is why I need to read some books twice or more! :-)

      Take time for things you enjoy, even if it does not feel productive, it will re-charge you!

  5. Evan
    October 19, 2010

    I love the Jeeves and Bertie novels too. Wodehouse’s short story Goodbye to All Cats is just about perfect I think.

    I also love Simenon’s Maigret novels. All quite short (novellas really) but managing to create a whole world – and so simply written.

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Evan,

      Welcome, I think Jeeves is one of best character etched out by Wodehouse. I have not read “Goodbye to All Cats and Maigret novels yet. I should put them in my to-read list! Thanks for sharing your picks.

  6. The Vizier
    October 19, 2010

    Hi Zengirl,

    That is quite an impressive list you have there. Like you I love to read also. Everywhere I go, I always have a book on hand to read just in case I get bored or have nothing to do.

    I am a big fan of the Arabian Nights. I love the middle east and Scheherazade is such a captivating storyteller!

    I also enjoy the works of Alexandre Dumas. I think his Three Musketeers is very well done.

    My favourite classics are Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I have reread this book many times and have come to love the hundreds of characters inside. I also love Taiko which is somewhat like Three Kingdoms, only it is set in Japan instead of China.

    I also enjoy Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Chodelos de Laclos and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’m a big fan of epistolary novels probably because of the sense of intimacy that it conveys.

    Then there is Count Belisarius by Robert Graves. I love the Byzantine Empire, so I am familiar with the characters and the era it is set in.

    The classic I’m reading now is Dune by Frank Herbert. I love science fiction and I have always wanted to read this science fiction masterpiece and truly it does not disappoint.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome list!

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Hi Vizier,

      I have read all Arabian nights stories when I was a child and I still find them fascinating.

      I have read Dangerous Liaisons but I have not read Three Kindom, Count Belisarius, Taiko yet. You will love Frank Herbert’s Dune, I believe there is also movie too.

      Thank you for leaving detailed thoughts on books. Seem like you love to read too!

  7. Clearly Composed
    October 19, 2010

    Lots of good ones on this list! I am so intrigued by the idea of reading Mr. Darcy’s diary. As for reading Shakespeare, I think it is helpful to see a few of his plays first. It makes reading them easier when you understand the flow and rhythm of his work, at least for many people I know. :)

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Emma,

      You will love Mr. Darcy’s Diary as P&P is written from only Elizabeth’s perspective and we do not know what Mr. Darcy feels until the end. This novel by Amanda Grange is faithful to book but we know from his point of view, to see why he feels the way he does and his internal thoughts throughout the story.

      Yes I agree, Shakespeare is much easier to understand through movie or play.

  8. Andrea DeBell – britetalk
    October 19, 2010

    Hi Preeti! This is a pretty good list. I’m impressed to see that most of these books were made into movies. I’ve read some of these books but not all them but I’ve watched all the movies they’ve made from these books. Does it count? :) I know the movies don’t compare to the books but I thought I’d give it a try.

    Thanks for inspiring us. Loving blessings!

    • Evan
      October 19, 2010

      The Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie video/DVD’s of the Jeeves and Bertie stories are absolutely superb.

      • ZenGirl
        October 20, 2010

        Evan,

        I agree, Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie are great in that TV series! Hugh Laurie has become huge with House now, but I think he was great since those days!

      • Evan
        October 20, 2010

        I think he was heaps better in the Jeeves and Wooster. I don’t think any acting much is required of him in House.

      • ZenGirl
        October 20, 2010

        Evan,

        :-), I have not seen House (just heard about it) so I will take your words for it!

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Andrea,

      Yes, some of these books are made in movies! Yes, watching movie is also great way to see director’s point of view for the book. Sometimes books are better but other times movies helps us visualize the written words into reality. I love both books and movies, so sure it counts!

  9. rob white
    October 20, 2010

    Fantastic list, Preeti. I love reading and re-reading Shakespeare. His writing poses so many timeless lessons about the nature of being human that I continually find myself digging deeper and deeper into his work. Thanks for sharing some new reads for me to consider too…

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Rob,

      Thanks for chiming in. Shakespeare is complex, versatile, and often time misunderstood but like Emma says, watching play helps understanding his writing much better.

      If you read any of these books, let me know how you liked it. How is your webinar going?

  10. taurian
    October 20, 2010

    Hi Preeti,

    I am not a book freak.

    Good list of books, this time its not for me but definitely for my sis.

    Its not that I dont like , but I dnt have patience to read.

    My sis read novels and stories a lot. she requires 2 books at least in a quarter.

    when ever she tells me this book is awesome, I tried my best in reading but i was successive, ended reading till 10th or 20th page max. I will just go through synopsis of the book and will conclude my observations.

    I will definitely forward this list to her and will post her views here.

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Taurian,

      You have other wide interests as you shared in last post comments, that is impressive. I always liked book reading so much that sometimes I prefer reading over other things, which I do not recommend.

      Thank you for sharing this list with your sister. I hope she finds some good books in this list. I will look forward to hearing her views.

      • taurian
        October 21, 2010

        Yeah Preeti,

        I have already spoke to my sis yesterday night.

        Here are the books which she has already covered among yr above list.

        . Harry Potter Books 1-7
        . The Da Vinci Code
        . The Chronicles of Narnia

        Now she asked me to get her The Time Machine and the planet of apes.

        she really like the above list and ideally wanted to be one among the visitor list of Happy heart and mind.

        Thank you so much for your valuable suggestions !

      • ZenGirl
        October 21, 2010

        Taurian,

        Looks like your sister has some good collection read already! I think she will love Time Machine and Planet of Apes, how old is she?

        Some of the books are made in to movies, you can watch that if you are not in to reading. Just remember that movies may stretch a story a bit or lot. Have fun.

      • taurian
        October 25, 2010

        Thank you preethi ,

        thats a good option ! I can watch these movies.

        I have already downloaded Time machine , however I did not find to watch it.

        I have to close to 700 GB worth movies in my in ma laptop, expendable memory slots.

        I download and watch movies a lot !!!

        yes , My sis has her own library which is filled with a lot books and she is 24.
        Planet of apes I guess , I have already watched it… lemme refresh my collection again.

        if you get a chance, watch this movie “The Illusionist” its a novel turned up in to movie. It is a combination of A supernatural mystery that combines romance, politics and magic….. worth watching it…

      • ZenGirl
        October 25, 2010

        Taurian,

        I love watching movies too. Sounds like you have lot of movies ready to be watched. I have heard of Illusionist, I will sure to watch it when I get a chance.

        I hope you sister and you can catch some movies from books together and enjoy.

  11. ayo
    October 20, 2010

    hello preeti
    how are you?
    first of all you’ve put so much work into this list.
    more power to you wow!!!
    it’s official you are bookworm lol!! i havent read half of the books you’ve listed but the few i have read were good reads.
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day

    • ZenGirl
      October 20, 2010

      Ayo,

      I am fine, how are you doing?

      Wow, I am official bookworm! That is best thing I have heard today, as I take this as a compliment (I think you meant it that way right?, wait. do not tell me otherwise :-))

      I may have to do other list, as simplepoppy mentioned I forgot George Elliot, and few others. :-)

  12. Nacho Jordi
    October 20, 2010

    Hi, ZenGirl, cannot resist to speak when books are discussed :D
    I have read 17 books from your list. I loved Shakespeare, I admired and got thrilled by the Anna Karenina story (and the very clever structure), I stayed up a whole night with the Hobbit (but I did not have the courage to read the whole Lord of the Rings saga), and the adventures of Winston in 1984 travel forever with me in my heart.
    I’d also add a freak recommendation, “Point/Counterpoint” by Aldous Huxley. He is an irregular author, and not all of his books are great, but this novel, although it discusses some philosophical questions, has also some moments of intense tenderness and beauty.
    Thank you for your post and for your list.

    • ZenGirl
      October 21, 2010

      Nacho Jordi.

      I love the way you described your reading, I can feel your passion for books you read.

      I have to take up your recommendation on “Point/Counterpoint” as I have not heard or read it. You should try to read Lord of the Ring saga, bit darker then Hobbit but fun read nevertheless. Like your blog too.

  13. Farnoosh
    October 21, 2010

    I had to comment here, Preeti – from one book worm to another – from one classics lover to another: I have read numbers 1, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 19, 22, 34, 40. I just finished Crime & Punishment and I think we differ on that one – I can’t wait to express my extreme frustration and displeasure with that book on the next book review! Please be sure to come and help me see the light…. :) And you forgot Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged – or maybe you didn’t but I think they should be on the list ::)!
    What are you reading now?
    Great list…..

    • ZenGirl
      October 21, 2010

      Farnoosh,

      I knew you would like this post as you love reading classics too. Thank you for reminding me about Les Miserables, I should have included that masterpiece in this. Atlas Shrugged is good but felt it is bit overrated.

      Crime and Punishment is hard book to read so I can imagine your frustration with it. I still find it intriguing story of a man who is tormented with his emotion and crime he has committed. I hear, I have had share of my books that I did not care for it.

      Right now, I have started “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert O’Brian, it is light and easy read but lately not getting a chance to read much. How about you?

      • Farnoosh
        October 22, 2010

        Hi Preeti, I am all for learning and reading but Fyodor Dostoevsky is off my list for good…. :)!
        I am reading NOTHING now except a million blogs and trying to catch up with being gone for such a long time. I really want to read War & Peace in the winter, Les Miserables again and go through the top 100 Novels, another Jane Austen (Emma or Persuasion) won’t be so bad either :)!

      • ZenGirl
        October 24, 2010

        Farnoosh,

        War and Peace is great but another complex novel, I am sure you will like it. You should try Emma and Persuasion as you like Austen already, Emma is more witty, Persuasion is more subtle and subdued but I feel one of the best mature love story! I am biased toward Austen a bit. Looking forward to more classic book story from you as you write wonderfully about each.

  14. Armen Shirvanian
    October 21, 2010

    Hi Preeti.

    I have passed these books so many times in bookstores and libraries, but I have not read most of them. Sometimes I get the desire to read one or another to have an understanding of something so many have read(from the heavy reading population), but then go back to reading a non-fiction book of some sort. The fact that you have read all these says quite a bit.

    I think a smart person does read most of these, because once you have read a classic, you understand a certain framework that many others know of, or a certain historical time, or so on. It is good to know what others know of.

    • ZenGirl
      October 21, 2010

      Armen,

      I am one of these people who loves fiction, non fiction on any subject as long as writer and subject is intriguing. If you read any of these book, let me know how you liked it.

      I like many personal development, auto biography and historical event in non-fiction. In fiction side, I love mystery, science, romance, drama. I am not sure if that makes me smart at all, but learning and reading is something I love.

      I am going to read your favorite book 48 laws of power next time I get a chance. I have to either get it from library or amazon.

  15. Steven
    October 21, 2010

    Preeti, it looks like I have a lot to catch up on. I have to admit I am more of a non-fiction kind of guy. I’ve only read the Shakespeare ones. It seems like you read a lot – how many books would you say you read a year?

    • ZenGirl
      October 21, 2010

      Steven,

      You do not have to catch up, I am sure there are books you may have read that I have yet to read too. I do like to read and I am fast reader, I read about 2-4 books in a month, depending on how much time I have and how large books are.

      How about you? What are your favorites?

  16. Mary R
    October 21, 2010

    Preeti,
    I love your list! I’m an avid reader, so I have experienced many of these. But there are a few new ones for me.

    I especially love your selections by Jhumpa Lahiri, and find something new in them every time I pick them up.

    Another book I’d add to the list is “Of Human Bondage” by Somerset W. Maugham.

    • ZenGirl
      October 21, 2010

      Mary,

      I think somehow I knew you to be avid reader too. ;-) Jhumpa has written many books but I have read only 2 of her books so far, Interpreter of Maladies and Namesake. I loved her in Interpreter of Maladies bit more. Namesake is special, as it introduced me to Nicolai Gogol and his novels. I loved overcoat but dead soul was intriguing but complex read.

      I have heard of it but yet not read “Of Human Bondage”, Thanks, I will put that in my to-read list. I have a quite a few in list now :-) Thank you for the suggestion.

  17. Vaishali
    October 22, 2010

    That’s a wonderful list, Preeti, and a good many of those, including those by Jane Austen, PG Wodehouse and Agatha Christie are among my favorites too. Here are a couple others I love– Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things (I love her non-fiction too), and Annie Proulx’s Shipping News.

    • ZenGirl
      October 24, 2010

      Vaishali,

      Somehow I had a feeling you love reading too. I did not know Arundhati Roy wrote fiction too, I have to check it out. I have read her non-fiction before. I have to read Annie’s Shipping new as I have yet to read it. My, there are some good suggestions on my to-read list. Thank you.

  18. Fran Aslam
    October 22, 2010

    Hi Preeti:

    How are you? Did not see you for a while.
    What a huge blog post you have. You are sounding like a true scholar
    wonderful. So many books I have read and known from college time, and now I can not imagine reading books like those.

    But I admire you that you have not lost your touch.

    Have a fun week end

    • ZenGirl
      October 24, 2010

      Fran,

      I am really in to slow blogging and slow commenting lately as due to school, 2 little ones and life keeps me occupied bit more. I have always loved reading, although I do not find as much time now to read, I try! What are your favorite books?

  19. Steve
    October 23, 2010

    Preeti,

    Great list of Books. I am 22/50 for them, so not too bad I guess. I found I have read all the Sci-fi/fanstasy on the list….though I do not particularly consider myself to be a sci-fi guy…the choices you had are really classics. (I do like my fantasy though)

    Dumas and Cooper are definitely my favorite “classics” I find them to be simply chocked full of adventure, excitement and fun. I would go as far as to say, “Count of Monte Cristo” is in my all time favorite 10 books. As is “The Princess Bride”

    Narnia is one of the first whole series I remember reading as a kid, great stuff.

    The only thing I tried and couldn’t get into are -gulp- Austen and Bronte. I guess I am too much like of a ‘caveman’ to appreciate it.

    Admittedly since I do like ‘zombies’ I have been thinking of trying, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

    Not exactly high literature: From what I understand the text is an exact duplicate to pride and predjudice, they just added a lot of text to change the stories to include zombies. Sounds like a fun idea, anyhow.

    anyhow, thanks for a great list of really good books

    • ZenGirl
      October 24, 2010

      Steve,

      22 out of 50 is very impressive indeed. I like sci-fi books as I am a geek at heart and always have been. I am glad you like princess bride and count of Mote Cristo, I love these too. I have heard of P&P and Zombies and I am not sure what to tell you about that is proper so I will not.

      Many guys think Austen and Bronte are chick-lit, and up to a point that is right but I hope someday you read them and like them.

  20. jonathan figaro
    October 24, 2010

    You forgot George Orwell’s 1984, Animal farm, Of mice and men, One flew over the cuckoo nest etc( Smiles) great post. Your really a book worm. Keep going.

    • ZenGirl
      October 24, 2010

      Jonathan,

      I have 1984 already in the list, if you read it carefully. I agree I have read these other books and they are sure good read. :-) Thanks.

  21. Sibyl – alternaview
    October 24, 2010

    Preeti: I always love these posts. Some of these books take me down memory lane and I am reminded of how great they were. I also realize that I need to read more as well because it sounds as if I am missing out on some really great titles. Thanks for the inspiration to read, read, read.

    • ZenGirl
      October 24, 2010

      Sibyl,

      Reading also takes me down memory lane and make me want to re-read some of the books again and read new ones. Do you have your favorites to add here?

  22. Tess The Bold Life
    October 25, 2010

    Hi Preeti,
    Oh my I’ve read very few. On the farm reading was considered a waste of time we had work to do. I read a few of these in high school, that’s it. In my early twenties I got into spirituality and self help and withing 10 years became a psychologist. Never looked back. I’m not sure what I’ll read but you and Farnoosh have made many look appealing.

    • ZenGirl
      October 25, 2010

      Tess,

      I am amazed at what you achieved despite being married, having kids early and growing up in farm. I am quite impressed. I hope you get a chance and time to read when you are ready. I and Farnoosh sure love classical fiction. :-)

      I love also non-fiction, self help book, movies and all, jack of all trade as usual.

  23. Marion Anderson
    October 25, 2010

    Hi Preeti

    What an excellent post. I am a great reader but I have not always been so I have missed out on many of the classics. I like the sound of Possession by A.S. Byatt. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. At the moment I am reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. So far it is working out to be a great read

    • ZenGirl
      October 25, 2010

      Marion,

      It is good to see you here after long time. How you been? Yes, Possession is good one. I have read To kill a mocking bird and it is very human story with lot of real emotions. I have not read Midnight in the Garden of good and evil yet. I will put that my to-read list.

  24. Betsy Bargain
    October 25, 2010

    Great list, Preeti! I have already read many of these, but I see many more to add to my list. Wuthering Heights is one of my all-time favorites!

    • ZenGirl
      October 26, 2010

      Betsy,

      Yes, there are so many great writers and book, sometimes it is hard to find time for it all. I am glad you like Wuthering Heights, it is a great classic. I loved your last post, got to learn so much about you from it.

  25. Lizzie Manuel
    November 10, 2010

    hi, Preeti.

    thanks for this post, I just realized i have been missing a lot. I used to read fiction or romantic novels but never classics. When I got older, I started reading Oscar Wilde’s and I just thought what I have been reading all my life. But i guess it’s never too late to start right? Anyway, this post has encouraged me to read more… thanks!

    • ZenGirl
      November 11, 2010

      Lizzie,

      There are so many great classic romance stories you will love. I admit, I love good romance stories too. Yes, it is never too late to start. If you read any of these novel, let me know how you liked it.

  26. ZenGirl
    October 20, 2010

    Emma, Ayo, Thank you!

  27. Gayathri
    November 21, 2010

    Hi Preeti,

    I loved your book list a lot! Please keep them coming..
    I enjoy the genre of books you’ve listed – it would be awesome if you can also find a way to come up with a list of contemporary works particularly ones based on modern politics..

    May be one of your co-bloggers can take that up :)

    Cheers!
    Gayathri.

  28. ZenGirl
    November 21, 2010

    Hi Gayitri,

    Thanks for liking the list, I may share book and movies list again in smaller chunk. I know little about politics so share my views but will see if any books will intrigue me I will sure to share it here.

    I do not have a co-bloggers, I am only writer here so far.

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