100 Books - Part 4
57. The Turn of the Screw (and other stories) – Henry James – this author is a sinister MF!
58. Hot Blood – I’ve read every bit of this series that I could get my greedy little hands on. These short stories combine sex and horror. Some are disgusting, some gruesome, some really scary, some funny, all good!
59. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman – This is a short story sold as a book, so maybe this one doesn't actually count as a whole book. But the story was so intense, it's stuck with me all these years. This woman at the turn of the century (1800 to 1900) is told she is “hysterical”. Basically, everyone keeps telling her she’s insane and eventually it drives her… insane. It’s a disturbing look at how women were discounted and ignored.
60. Different Seasons – Stephen King – I know, I know, “Again with the Stephen King!” This was, as far as I know, his first foray into something not scary. It’s 4 novellas and three of them were eventually made into movies – Shawshank Redemption (awesome!), Stand By Me (fantastic! Different title from the story in the book) and Apt Pupil (story was creepy and perfect, movie sucked)
61. Dark Visions – a collection of spooky stories from some pretty big name writers
62. Under the Fang – This collection has a really great concept. The editor asked a bunch of different authors to write stories based on this premise: What if vampires ruled the world? The different points of views are very interesting. Great stories!
63. Phantom – Susan Kay – Top 5 All-Time Favorites. I actually am lucky enough to have a friend who saw a first edition of this and snagged it for me because he knew how much I liked it. It changes point of view throughout the book from character to character. And such depth of character is hard to find.
64. The Ha-Ha – Dave King – this is one of my most recent reads. I read on a blog-friend’s site about it. She couldn’t describe the plot (neither can I) only how much the book moved her. It’s the first book I’ve ever read that I knew nothing about beforehand. Get it. Today.
65. Poison – Kathryn Harrison – another hard one to describe, plot-wise. A woman is in the dungeon in Spain, through a series of events brought around by the Spanish Inquisition. Another woman is the new and very young, queen of Spain. I kept waiting for their lives to intersect but they never did. I guess the main point was that through no fault of their own, they were prisoners. It was good enough that I went and bought all Kathryn Harrison’s books!
66. The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan – love Ms. Tan. She nails the dynamic between mother and daughter, past and present like no one else.
67. The Kitchen God’s Wife – Amy Tan – see #66. I think I like this one best out of all I’ve read of Amy Tan.
68. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold – goddamn this was hard to read. This girl gets killed (I’m not spoiling anything here, it happens pretty early) and tells the story from heaven as she watches how her family deals with her death. By page 70, I’d already cried 4 times. This is not one to read too soon after having a baby, just sayin’. But I adore the author’s version of heaven.
69. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden – This book is so beautifully written. It was so real, it read like non-fiction. I couldn’t believe this was written by a man (no offense). Stunning.
70. The Red Tent – Anita Diamant – Also beautifully written. With the first paragraph, you just sigh and give in and are happy to be there. It’s funny and painful and enormously moving.
71. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood – A touching, lovely, light read.
72. A Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – Some scary shit. Another one where you can see how easily this fictitious world could become real. And how unfortunate that it DID become real (read #86 after you read this one)
73. Wicked – Gregory MacGuire – I bought this book because I thought it was going to be a parody of sorts. The cover mentioned something about it being The Wizard of Oz from the witch’s point of view. Not parody. At. All. It’s a whole socio-political landscape of Oz. And yes, primarily from the Witch’s point of view. So. Good!
74. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell – I pulled this one off the shelf so many times, looked at how thick it was… and put it back. When I finally started reading it, by page 36 I was completely hooked. What a fantastic read. Don’t bother with the “sequel”, Scarlett. It was written by someone else using Margaret Mitchell’s notes. It sucked ASS! And the ending – WTF?? It seemed like the author’s deadline sneaked up on her because she finally has all these really great plot-lines going and she just kills everyone off and then Scarlett and Rhett ride off into the sunset. I know that’s a spoiler but, trust me, I’m doing you a favor.
75. Fried Green Tomatoes – One of the few books I read after I saw the movie. Fantastic!
76. Black and Blue – Anna Quindlen – Great story of strength and survival.
The last of these tomorrow, Ruth!