When I looked up the definition of “well-read”, Google gave me this:
(of a person) knowledgeable and informed as a result of extensive reading.
“Ada was well read in French and German literature”
knowledgeable, well informed, well versed, erudite, scholarly, literate, educated, cultured, bookish, studious; dated lettered
That describes most of us, right?
But then through my search I found a website: a list challenge that asks you how many books have you read, from a list of 143. I checked off 54 books so I received a score of 38%. So according to this list I am not considered to be “well-read”.
I know this was a list made up by someone and I shouldn’t really take it seriously This list is seriously flawed and I am not saying this because I got a low score. First, it capped what I consider a low amount of books. Second, whoever compiled this list only chose the popular classics, for example only putting Pride and Prejudice and not Austen’s other works or only putting three of Shakespeare’s plays when he wrote so much more than that. Third, the person who compiled didn’t look it over correctly because they would have noticed that they put The Secret Garden twice on the list and Inferno by Dante is part of The Divine Comedy so both shouldn’t be on the list as separate works. That affects the margin of your score.
But what I really want to discuss today is the impression that I received from the title of the list:
Books to Read to Be Considered Well Read
Contemporary or classic novels, plays, poem and short story anthologies, that any serious reader should read at least ones in his or her life.”
So, only reading the classics makes a person a serious reader? Isn’t a serious reader who, and I can’t think of a better way of saying this, “seriously” reads? And that is what this week’s discussion: what makes a person “well-read”?
The Princess Diaries Series /The Mediator Series / Avalon High /Boy Series/ Heather Wells Series / Queen of Babble Series / Romance Novels (published under the name Patricia Cabot) / She Went All The Way (published under the name Meggin Cabot)
2. Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice / Sense and Sensibility / Emma / Mansfield Park / Northanger Abbey / Persuasion / Sanditon (Uncompleted Novel) / Lady Susan / All her Juvenilia
3. Karen White
The Sound of Glass / The Color of Light / Learning to Breathe / After the Rain / Pieces of the Heart / Falling Home
4. Emily Giffin
Something Borrowed / Something Blue / Baby Proof / Love The One You’re With / Heart of the Matter / Where We Belong / The One & Only
5. J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter Series
6. Ann M. Martin
The Babysitter Club Series / Babysitter Little Sister Series
7. Caroline B. Cooney
Janie Johnson Series / Losing Christina Series / Time Travelers Quartet Series / Wanted!
8. Franscine Pascal
Sweet Valley High Series / Sweet Valley University Series
9. Mildred Write Benson and other ghostwriters a.k.a Carolyn Keene
Nancy Drew Series / Nancy Drew Notebooks Series
10. William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet / Macbeth / Othello / Twelfth Night / Hamlet / A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Henry IV Part 1 / The Sonnets / The Tempest
Do our lists match up? What authors have you read the most books from?
Unfortunately, I didn’t read as many books I would have like to, due to trying to prepare for my vacation but I like to think I made pretty good progress for the year. Since I’ve read so many books so far for this year, I changed my reading goal from 30 to 35! I think I’m going to bypass 35 but I want to change bit by bit. Out of the bunch that I read, only one really wowed me:
I came across this interesting Guardian article where a teen blogger for the site, Hawwa, explained that her interest in YA Books was starting to diminish due to the type of content that was being published out there. And, in my opinion, she made some good points. Here is some portions from the article:
My ultimate opinion is that all this comes down to the fact that these novels often do not explore ideas, but rather that far, far too much of the time there is a romance driving the plot instead. In An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, for example: Who were the Augurs? How could they do what they do? Where did the jinn actually come from? It felt like the author dropped in a few intriguing and exotic words, described a few trials and then let the rest of the plot form around lust/rape, murder threats, torture and confusing mystical beings… or real beings that actually belong in the world created? I still don’t know. Or Divergent by Veronica Roth: so popular, but in my personal opinion, so overhyped.
That word there – hype – is the problem; it is why I’m having such issues with novels, and it’s inevitable: the rise of fandom, the extreme hype, all that is perfectly acceptable – people are allowed to share their love for whatever book they choose, after all. However, what is also inevitable is the slow indoctrination of that hype into those who have never read the book: if it reaches or exceeds expectations, that can aid a reader’s opinion of a book. When it doesn’t, however, that reader feels as if they have just plummeted off a cliff and into a sea of ripped and shredded hopes – as dramatic as that sounds.
I crave books that nestle words into sentences that I do not understand. I want to go and find my dictionary every now and then: I want to be educated while I read. I want to be so immersed in a storyline that the world around me disappears and morphs into the one I am being woven into. I want to be inspired by a lace of rich and detailed imagination that I have never stumbled into before. I want more books with Jandy Nelson’s beautiful and compex sentences in I’ll Give You The Sun; and more books like – bear with me here – The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.”
Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters (example: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC, neurotypical character, LGBTQ etc etc.)”
I am ashamed to say that this took a lot of thinking. I love reading diverse books and for me to take so long to compile a list of only ten shows that we need more of them. But I managed to come up with these top ten (links go to Goodreads):
Because while they are so important, characters can also affect how you feel about the book in its entirety. If you are overcome by the negative characteristics, you might forget about everything else that’s good about the novel and just focusing on the bad. So that is why this week, I will be talking about likeability of characters.
As book lovers, we are bound to have a personal connection with the characters, which of course is natural. When we read, we’re entering into another world, trying to get a sense of our surroundings, develop a deep connection. So in order for us to like this new world, we have to like the people who are in it, i.e. the characters. It’s only expected. But is having that deep connection with the book characters hindering our own experience with this new world? Are we allowing characters’ particular personalities judge a book unfairly?
The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – Finished this about a week ago. If you would like to read my review of it, you can find it here.
The Poldark Saga Series by Winston Graham – i don’t have this in my possession yet. I just bought them at BookDepository.com so I should be getting them soon. I’ve been enjoying the series that’s been airing on Masterpiece on PBS, so I thought I give the books a chance.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay – 50 cents at a library sale :).
Goodreads conducted a survey asking its members their summer reading habits. With over 95,000 respondents, only a measly 6% stated that they do their summer reading at the beach (which is understandable…who wants to spend time both reading and trying to keep the sand and water away from your book)! Check out the rest of the results below:
For me, I think the amount of books I bring on a vacation depends on where I’m going. If it’s a family vacation and I won’t be doing that much, I’ll bring like about 10 books. If it’s a place I never been to before, I’ll just bring one or two long books.