Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cult Classics: 14 out of 50

The list is from here, via. Books I've read in bold. Books I started or want to read in italics. Books I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole in strikeout.

1. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
2. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (1957-60)
3. A Rebours by JK Huysmans (1884)
4. Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946)
5. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (1991)
6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)
7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
8. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
9. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (1993)
10. The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (1971)
11. Chariots of the Gods: Was God An Astronaut? by Erich Von Däniken (1968)
12. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)
13. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
14. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (1824)
15. Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health by L Ron Hubbard (1950)
16. The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley (1954)
17. Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)
18. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)
19. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)
20. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (1973)
21. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)
22. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943)
23. Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter (1979)
24. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)
35. The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln (1982)
26. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948)
27. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino (1979)
28. Iron John: a Book About Men by Robert Bly (1990)
29. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russell Munson (1970)
30. The Magus by John Fowles (1966)
31. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)
32. The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1958)
33. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)
34. No Logo by Naomi Klein (2000)
35. On The Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
36. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson (1971)
37. The Outsider by Colin Wilson (1956)
38. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (1923)
39. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (1914)
40. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám tr by Edward FitzGerald (1859)
41. The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937)
42. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922)
43. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1774)
44. Story of O by Pauline Réage (1954)
45. The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)
46. The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968)
47. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933)
48. Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1883-85)
49. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
50. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsig (1974)


SteveA said...

I have never understood why "Catcher in the Rye" receives such attention. "The Magus" was forgettable except for the interesting trip the protagonist took to the U. S. at the end. Am surprised it makes the list. The first of the Alexandrian Quartet, "Justine" was above me. I know that I was missing something, maybe with a little more experience and study, I'll be ready for the others in that series. "The Fountainhead" was depressing, contrived and weird. With respect to "Holy Blood, Holy Grail", did the authors really believe what they wrote? So many logical and historical gaps. "Slaughterhouse Five" was deserving. "Dune" was great science fiction. "Gravity's Rainbow" was marvelous. Probably should read again as its been 30 years. "Siddhartha" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" are timeless. "Zen" I read when young, it seemed profound but was beyond me at the time, and maybe still.

Unknown said...

Sadly, I've only read three books on this list: Rousseau's Confessions, Brittain, and Harper Lee.

Ahistoricality said...

I'd highly recommend Catch-22. It's hilarious and disturbing, in a way many have attempted but very, very few succeed.

Dune, aside from being a great yarn and neat writing, involves some immensely timely issues of resource and religion, violence in politics, etc. If you're in the mood for some SF, you might really like it.

Anonymous said...

(Sorry I haven't been here in a while..)
I was assigned the Castaneda book for a Philosophy class at RPI! It wasn't anything to be scared of--no proselytizing.
And you really do have to finish the Calvino--c'mon, not getting through a story about unfinished books? :-)

Anonymous said...

What an eccentric list. Does anyone consider The Bell Jar more that a minor book in the development of a poet?

I Capture the Castle is a lovely read & fascinating in how the quality of the writing goes up and down. But what is the cult? Fans of 21 Dalmations?

But I'm extatic that The Ragged Trousered Philanthropistsmade the list. I'm part of a cult!
Read it when you have time to commit to the first 80 pages, then you will be hooked.