Friday, December 19, 2008

75 books every woman should read

Here's Jezebel's list. I've read 25. Oops.

The article was in response to Esquire's list for men. I've read 16 of those.

33 comments:

Being Beth said...

Those are good reading lists. I've read seventeen on the women's list and twelve on the men's list. I've got some reading to do! Thanks !

Amanda said...

Interesting. I've read sixteen on the women's list and eight on the men's, though two from each list are on my TBR list for 2009.

Lisa said...

I've read 16 and 16 (?), but I do have another dozen of these titles here. I just haven't read them yet. Hmm. I was a little surprised to see "Valley of the Dolls". What's that all about?

AC said...

Thanks for this! I'm going to make an effort to put more of a dent in this list during 2009--I've only read 16. So glad to see I Capture the Castle and And Then There Were None on the list.

Ann Victor said...

Question: Why is Moonrat's blog dangerous to read?

Answer: My pile of TBR novels just gets higher & higher.

:):)

Froog said...

Curiously enough, I find the 'Man's List' a little more obscure. I have heard of just about all of the 'Woman's List', and seen the movies of many of them that I haven't yet read. And I think I came out 21-18 overall. In touch with my feminine side, I guess.

Froog said...

By the way - PROD - you haven't responded yet to my (pathetic, demanding, unreasonably imposing) request to recommend your favourite post of the year from my blog.

I know you're busy, but you could just say one of the llamas....

Charles Gramlich said...

I've only read two of the women's books. Maybe that's why I don't understand women very well.

As for the mens' list, I will say this, anyone who would put a Raymond Carver book as number 1 on a list that men should read knows nothing about men at all.

Aerin said...

C.G. - so good to have you say that. I thought it was an obscure list, too, but only slightly more so than the women's list.

I know that my man's list would not be complete without Calving & Hobbes and something by John Bly.

My numbers are uber-low: 9 on the women's list, 2 on the men's. (Blogged it here: http://www.insearchofgiants.com/2008/12/reading-for-genders.html)

Brian Keaney said...

The Esquire list is for macho men with literary aspirations or literary men with macho aspirations. To me it's about as appealing as a towel-slapping contest in the showers after sports.

Mary said...

Wow, Charles. I can't imagine knowing a man who doesn't relate to Carver :)

35/32 read

A P Mullaly said...

Of course I immediately looked to see what I had read and I had 11 from the mens and 10 from the womens (But the women's I had all read are the uncontested classics: Jane Eyre, etc.)

The problem with lists is that everybody's definition of who belongs is always going to differ. I guess thats what makes the world an interesting place.

angelle said...

15 for the women list. oops.

7 for the men list.

i never claimed to be well-read.

JES said...

Men: 30-something
Women: 19ish (depends on whether I can count Possession, which I've started and stopped so many times that the net is PROBABLY zero, but I gave myself the benefit of the doubt)

Wow. I've never before felt I had so much in common with Esquire's editors. Suppose this means I'll have to start dressing better, too.

(Oh, and Brian Keaney: the word "macho" is nowhere on my resume, even my imaginary one. Ditto "towel-snapping"!)

Kate Lord Brown said...

33/17 read. So yes, girlie girl. Curious choices. Where's 'By Grand Central Station ...' on the women's list? Why not 'Maltese Falcon' as the Dashiell H choice on the guys (I gave my son Dashiell as a middle name so ... you know ...) Why Dharma Bums instead of On the Road?

Megan said...

22 on the women's. Have to go check the other one.

I wish The Women of Brewster Place was on there though.

Cakespy said...

24 for me--looks like I have work to do!

Natalie said...

I've read three from each list. (Can I say four from the women's? I have read The Lottery, but not the entire anthology that was mentioned...)

Guess I should pick up something that isn't spec fic once in a while.

alexandralittle said...

12 on the women's, 7 on the men's. 8 of the 13 read were assigned in school; all of the books for men I read in school.

Janet said...

17 and 7. ! And there was some overlap.

I like my own lists better... ;o)

sandralambert said...

I've read 46 on the "women's list and 16 on the "men's." Should I feel affirmed in my womanhood?

Jo said...

Great list. I've read 35 of them. I'm quite surprised at myself.

Rachel said...

12 and 3. I'd feel stupid, but it looks like I'm in good company.

Word verification: typno.

ChristaCarol said...

Good, thanks for this, I needed a reading list :)

Merry Monteleone said...

I have to say, those lists were a little weird... they missed a hell of a lot and included some things I wouldn't have thought of. If I had the time and inclination, I'd put together my own list... maybe in the new year.

Anyway... 17 on the women's 12 on the men's...

Is it just me or was there no John Irving in there? But then, there were soooo many I would have included.

Madame Lefty said...

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm--read 28 of the women's, 22 of the men's. What does this say about me? On the other hand, few of them were unheard of. Or at least I knew the names and could probably talk about most of them as if I had read them! Proof of a misspent college education and reading a LOT of reviews and essays on literature.

Jane Yolen

moonrat said...

You know, Jane, some people would make the argument that you were smarter and more efficient about it.

I have to be honest--it's extremely unlikely I'll ever read WAR & PEACE or MOBY DICK (both on the men's list). I'm a really slow reader, and to get through mammoths like that, I'd need to be convinced that a) I would enjoy them and feel like a better person after I read them, and b) they would make more of a collective difference in my life than the (many) shorter books I could have read in the same time.

So, you know. I'm not judging!!

Froog said...

Moonie, give those a try!

You, Ms Three-Books-A-Week, Look-What-I-Just-Finished are a slow reader?? Oh, please!

Long books do often repay the greater efforts they demand of you. And you may need to practise stretching your attention span a little.

Moby Dick I'm not sure about. I read it when I was very young; was annoyed by the obscurity and archaism of much of the language, and happily ignored much of the symbolism, but was just swept away by it as an adventure of the sea (we've always had a bit of a thing going on, the sea and me). If you're not going to get enraptured by descriptions of the nuts-and-bolts of whaling, perhaps it's not for you. I suspect it's a "great moments and awful quarter hours" kind of book.

Tolstoy, however, is always worth reading. If you don't believe me, try some of the short stories or the religious-philosophical essays. Just the best writer ever - better than Dickens, better than Austen, better than Flaubert. Read him.

(Admittedly War & Peace probably isn't an ideal place to start. It could keep you tied down for half a year. Anna Karenina is the more accessible masterpiece, if you haven't read it.)

Julie Weathers said...

*heavy sigh*

I've read far more of the men's books than women's.

Not sure what that says about me and I don't even want to speculate. Most of the books on the women's list don't interest me at all so I can't even pretend I'm more feminine.

Linda said...

Hmmm, good lists. I'm pretty well read - 28 on the girl's list and 24 on the guys (more if you count the flicks!). Some interesting choices for the women - first time I've seen VALLEY OF THE DOLLS on ANY list, but that was actually a fabulous novel speaking to a fraught time for women in our society. As a scholar of prescription drug abuse, this book speaks of the period that was the catalyst for our uber-casual use of addictive and mood-altering medications now. Thanks for posting... Peace, Linda

Rosemary said...

Okay, reading these lists side by side was a lot like looking at my husband's side of the bookshelf next to my own. I've covered 25 on the men's list--many at his recommendation--and 37 on the women's.

(Full disclosure: I'm an English teacher, and have taught lots of them. An unfair advantage, I know!)

writtenwyrdd said...

On the women's list, I've read five-- three when forced by college or high school English courses.

Of the men's list, I've read nine--only three forced by coursework.

Hmmm.