Daily GUIDE-ance:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Did anyone else see this "20 books that changed America?"


I guess its a pretty old story now, (like I care) but in 2004 or 2003 someone important made a list of them. I noticed it because The Book of Mormon was one of them. I then browsed the list out of curiosity. I've read three of them it turns out, including the BOM.

The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas was one of them, which is possibly the best thing I have ever read. The other one was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which I read along time ago because Rush's 2112 album has a dedication to her. I dunno what was so awesome about it. It was ok I guess. The thing I remeber most about it was that the main character (a chic) slept with literally Every Single (and married) Male character of any significance in the book. And at the end, when she picks one of them for keeps, and the whole cast settles down to build Utopia together, all these guys never ever experience a twinge of jealousy toward each other, which is beyond silly, obviously.

The Bible was not on the list and neither was Darwin's Origin of Species. So I guess you have to take the whole thing with a grain of NaCl.


Brad Carter said...

Probably cause the Bible is a tad older than America. I haven't read any of the books on that list. I did just finish up Roger Zelazny's book that you recommended last year though, which I enjoyed! Now I need to get my kids to read it so I get my $20 worth out of it. Can't believe how hard that book was to find.

Renae said...

Well I won't bother with the book about the whore. I did like the Fredrick Douglas book that you recommended. Anything else that you think will be up my alley? I've never tried your beloved Saberhagen. I really don't think that they are my type of thing, but having not read them, I can't say for sure. Same goes for Bruce's beloved Louis Lamour books, not really my thing (I don't think). So is this Dresden guy somebody I'd like?

lizS said...

I was wondering about the list. It might be that they were only using books that were published in America, which would also explain (i think) Darwin not being in it. But they had Karl Marx's book... was he American? I have no clue.

Hmmm. Im not sure Harry Dresedn is your thing Renae, although you could try him. And I don't know if you could find him on audio, and if you did its not super kid friendly. There's an audio book series aimed at 13 year old kids called the Ranger's Apprentice that I have been liking lately. Its not like its a classic in the making or anything, but it passes the time.

Hey glad you found that Zelazney book Brad!!! bwahahahaha!

timpani76 said...

Ditto the Dresden Files not being kid friendly, or Renae friendly. I found 1 or 2 of them too racy for me. I could help Renae pick out the ones to just skip if she wants to read the series and avoid too much ickiness?

Ok, some errors on that list:
A Vindication of the Rights of Women Mary Wollstonecraft 1792- not a book so much as an essay (which I read)

Common Sense Thomas Paine- I'm pretty sure this was a pamphlet, not a book (sigh, will double check that though). Read that too.

I've read the Communist Manifesto- not as radical as you think. Pretty boring since it was written by a philosopher. They all seem to stink at writing anything that would actually draw in the casual reader.

I've read- Invisible Man Ralph Ellison. Pretty boring in some parts because he's using literary symbolism to make his points about racism in Harlem and New York. The boring parts also last about 100 pages longer than they should.

Howl Allen Ginsberg- Read some of these poems. John- this is poetry you might actually like. It's like he writes poetry more for guys.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley- Holy crap! I read this too! Pretty good, helped me understand American Islam lots better.

I can't believe they put the Feminine Mystique on there! There are at least a half dozen books that talk about women's rights, that were influential, and not written by man hating nazi-uber-feminists. Hmmm, maybe harsh, but I'll seriously give a list to anyone who wants to read something better on this subject.