Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spike Lee

Another interesting article in The New Yorker struck me. It's on Spike Lee by John Colapinto and it's called "Outside Man: Spike Lee's Unending Struggle." I enjoyed it because it gave me some inside information about such a talented writer and director.

I consider myself a Spike Lee fan. He hooked me with his incredible take on the life of Malcolm X. The way he creates scenes and develops characters hooks you. He has a talent to deliver a strong message in just one film--every film is a chance for him to voice a strong opinion or injustice (and sometimes he even struggles to try to solve that, even if the situation is entirely impossible).

The article surfaced because Spike Lee has a new movie coming about about a division of African American soldiers in WWII called Miracle at St. Anna. An interesting piece of info they slid in there was a fight between Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood, who directed two takes on WWII, Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of my Fathers. Lee accused Eastwood of leaving out African Americans in his films, while Eastwood fired back that they had not raised the flag, so they had no place in the film. The fights escalated, of course, with Lee calling him "an angry old man." Wow.

Even though he had that quarrel, apparently things were resolved, even though the media had a slight field day with it.

But, I was impressed to hear about Spike Lee's start as a filmmaker. He was accepted at NYU film school, one of the six African Americans in the entire school. So it was a pretty big deal for him to be there. After that point, he started to write and direct some powerful, controversial films. Now he is the artistic director of NYU's graduate program (the same he graduated from) where he teaches a master class in directing. Imagine having this guy as your professor. You sure would learn a lot. But how does he have time for all of this?

Spike Lee always tags his movies as "A Spike Lee Joint," which I like because it is quite unique. He commented in the article that he did this to put his name out there, almost like advertising. I think it's very clever and creative. You don't really see a lot of filmmakers do that really.

He even acts in the first few films he created, not because he wanted to, but because he couldn't afford to hire anyone else. Now he has big name stars like Denzel Washington starring in his feature films.

Anyway, there were other great parts in the article, especially about Lee's thoughts on Barack Obama and the owner of BET, which I found quite humorous.

Here are some excellent films and works by Spike Lee:

Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
M.O.N.Y. (2008) (TV)
Lovers & Haters (2007)
"When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" (2006) TV mini-series
Inside Man (2006)
All the Invisible Children (2005)
Jesus Children of America (2005)
Sucker Free City (2004) (TV)
She Hate Me (2004)
25th Hour (2002)
Jim Brown: All American (2002) (TV)
Come Rain or Come Shine (2001)
A Huey P. Newton Story (2001) (TV)
Bamboozled (2000)
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Summer of Sam (1999)
Pavarotti & Friends 99 for Guatemala and Kosovo (1999) (TV)
Pavarotti & Friends for the Children of Liberia (1998) (TV)
Freak (1998) (TV)
He Got Game (1998)
4 Little Girls (1997)
Get on the Bus (1996)
Girl 6 (1996)
Clockers (1995)
Crooklyn (1994)
Malcolm X (1992)
Jungle Fever (1991)
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
School Daze (1988)
She's Gotta Have It (1986)
Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983)
Sarah (1981)
The Answer (1980)
Last Hustle in Brooklyn (1977)

Do you like Spike Lee? What movies do you like/dislike?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin Spoofed again on SNL

This seems to be a recurring theme now to start off SNL. They love to parody recent politics, and they're doing a great job of it.

Two weeks ago, they put out that hilarious joint address of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. The week before that, they had a funny bit on McCain creating these insane political advertisements against Obama. This week, they started off with a mock interview between Katie Couric and Sarah Palin, playing off of a previous interview between the two of them.

The SNL bit was hilarious; Tina Fey impersonates Palin to a T. Watch the clip here (only 49 seconds) or search for a more full version elsewhere. Or, go to this link and watch the full version while it lasts on NBC's website.

SNL is playing off of this interview with Couric. Watch Palin herself talk about why the close proximity of Alaska and Russia makes her actually experienced in foreign policy. She trips over her words a lot, and it seems a bit absurd. Watch it here.

I can't believe she's really going along with that. I thought it was a joke to begin with, and now she's really trying to defend it. I think the way that SNL replays it is hilarious. It shows her unqualified state and is entertaining in the meantime.

Here is the dialogue below:

POEHLER AS COURIC: "Did you enjoy your week in New York City?"

FEY AS PALIN: "You know I did, Katie, and I wasn't sure I would at first. New York is, of course, home to the Liberal Media Elite. But Todd and the kids had a great time goin' to the Central Park, F.A.O. Schwarz and that goofy evolution museum."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "So, sounds like the trip was a success?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Well, there were some funny moments. For instance, I had fifteen to twenty false alarms when I thought I saw Osama Bin Laden driving a taxi. I was embarrassed to be wrong but mostly disappointed I wasn't right! Also, in an effort to bone up on foreign policy I went to the Times Square area to see a film called, 'The Bush Doctrine.' It was not about politics."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "You went to the UN for the first time. How was that experience?"

FEY AS PALIN: "You know, it was just amazing. So many interesting people. Though I have to say, I was disheartened by how many of them were foreigners. I promise that when Senator McCain and I are elected, we're gonna get those jobs back in American hands."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "How did the world leaders you met with, react to you?"

FEY AS PALIN: "They embraced me, Katie. Both figuratively and, a couple of them Pakistani guys, literally. But they were all so welcoming. Be it from Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. Jalal Talabani, the President of Iraq. Or Bono, the King of Ireland."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "On foreign policy, I want to give you one more chance to explain your claim that you have foreign policy experience based on Alaska's proximity to Russia. What did you mean by that?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Well, Alaska and Russia are only separated by a narrow maritime border. (using her hands to illustrate) You got Alaska here, this right here is water, and this is Russia. So, we keep an eye on them."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "And how do you do that exactly?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Every morning, when Alaskans wake up, one of the first things they do, is look outside to see if there are any Russians hanging around. And if there are, you gotta go up to them and ask, 'What are you doing here?' and if they can't give you a good reason, it's our responsibility to say, you know, 'Shoo! Get back over there!'

POEHLER AS COURIC: "Senator McCain attempted to shut down his political campaign this week in order to deal with the economic crisis. What's your opinion of this potential 700 billion dollar bailout?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this. We're saying, 'Hey, why bail out Fanny and Freddie and not me?' But ultimately what the bailout does is, help those that are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy to help...uh...it's gotta be all about job creation, too. Also, too, shoring up our economy and putting Fannie and Freddy back on the right track and so healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reigning in spending...'cause Barack Obama, y'know...has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans, also, having a dollar value meal at restaurants. That's gonna help. But one in five jobs being created today under the umbrella of job creation. That, you know...Also..."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "What lessons have you learned from Iraq and how specifically, would you spread democracy abroad?"

FEY AS PALIN: "Specifically, we would make every effort possible to spread democracy abroad to those who want it."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "Yes, but specifically what would you do?"

FEY AS PALIN: "We're gonna promote freedom. Usher in democratic values and ideals. And fight terror-loving terrorists."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "But again, and not to belabor the point. One specific thing."

(several seconds of FEY and POEHLER staring at each other)

FEY AS PALIN: "Katie, I'd like to use one of my lifelines."


FEY AS PALIN: "I want to phone a friend."

POEHLER AS COURIC: "You don't have any lifelines."

FEY AS PALIN: "Well in that case I'm gonna just have to get back to you!"

POEHLER AS COURIC: "Forgive me, Mrs. Palin, but is seems to me that when cornered, you become increasingly adorable. Is that fair to say?"

FEY AS PALIN: "I don't know, is it?" (She gestures 'cutely')

POEHLER AS COURIC: "Governor Palin, is there anything else you'd like to say other than 'Live from New York, it's Saturday Night?'"

Yes, Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!!!

So what did you think of the mock interview?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Last week, The New Yorker ran a very interesting article on Babar, the children's book series. I remember reading Babar and watching some episodes on television once it started airing, but I never knew any of the background story to its creation, its overall premise, and the underlying meanings.

During the 1930s, Jean de Brunhoff published 6+ Babar stories for his son, Laurent de Brunhoff. Unfortunately, Jean died prematurely, when Laurent was very young. Once Laurent grew up, he continued to write the Babar stories, almost reliving his childhood and paying homage to his deceased father.

What is shocking to me is how morbid the initial story of Babar is. I always find it strange how dark and dreary children's stories can be. In recent times, we've been watering down these children's stories, making them all happy and cheery, completely different from the more depressing tales. Such stories that I think of that are dark, dreary, and morbid are some of the following: Bambi, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, Madeline, , etc.

Babar's initial story is that Babar's mother is killed right in front of him, abandoning him and leaving him alone in the country. Babar then migrates to the city, Paris, to live amongst the people. He befriends an old lady and soon rises to power to become king of the elephants.

What is interesting about the Babar books is that they capture the essence of the city of Paris, the country of France. The article, entitled "Freeing the Elephants" by Adam Gopnik, also notes other children's books that paint "a certain idea" of a country. Babar is one book that exposes French culture as well as Madeline and Where the Wild Things Are. London and England are captured in children's books such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, The Wind and the Willows, and The Hobbit. New York and the US are captured in Stuart Little, The Pushcart War, Harriet the Spy, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The House on 88th Street.

I think it's very interesting to see how places are developed and represented in children's stories, especially since many of these stories are introductions of life to children and become deeply embedded in their early learning process and memories.

Going a bit deeper, this article talks about the deeper, underlying meanings of Babar, which made it be a bit of a taboo. It is noted as an allegory of colonialism, a "fable of the difficulties of a borgeoius life." Babar is even quoted saying, "Truly it is not easy to bring up a family." Different animals wander in and out of the city, some of the elephants can be turned into slaves at whim, they fight with the rhinocerases (making war seem silly because who really is superior, and does it even matter?).

Gopnik writes that "death is only a rifle shot (Babar's mother's death) and a poisoned mushroom away (the king's death) [...] The only security lies in our commitment to those graceful winged elephants that chase away misfortune. Love and Happiness, who are at the heart of the American vision, are, mere tiny camp followers. The larger winged elephants are at the forefront of this French vision of civilized life, are instead Intelligence, Patience, Learning, and Courage."

"'Let's work hard and cheerfully and we'll continue to be happy,' the Old Lady tells the elephants, and, though we know that the hunter is still in the woods, it is hard to know what more is to add."

Further, the allegory of French colonialization can be seen by the complacent colonizers: "Good elephants" are represented by African natives who are brought to the imperial capital in order to become acculturated, and then they are sent back to their homelands. The fact that animals are naked and on all fours in the jungle shows the horrid treatment and belittling of these people. To become an imitation human (dressed elephants standing on two legs) gives them power. "To be French is to be made human and to be made superior."

Hm. Quite an interesting way to interpret children's books. I'm sure that if you indulged in the children's books and the television series that more could be drawn out of the text.

So, what do you think of Babar or how children's stories say something deeper about a time or a place?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love in the Time of Cholera

Yesterday, I watched the movie Love in the Time of Cholera, a film adaptation from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's best-selling novel. So many people had recommended me to read it, and, being that it just became a movie, I put it on the top of my summer reading list. Even though it took much time and focus, it really was a good read.

I am so impressed with the extraordinary detail that Marquez includes in his writing. It is inspiring almost, to think that someone can actually convey that much emotion and description through writing. His use of sensory details was so intense that I felt sick when he described bad breath during a sex scene or I felt depressed when our poor soul Florentino was wallowing in his own despair.

Marquez has talent, and he may be one of the best writers alive today.

Notes on the movie: I understand that if every single detail were to be included in the movie, it would have extended to about five hours, a bit short of its two hours and twenty minutes. A lot more of his writing could have been voiced over, and more of the dialogue could have been explained or elaborated on, because a lot of the missing details helped more of the plot and the characters make sense.

At first, when I had read the book, I pictured Florentino to be more attractive than he was. That strangely attractive recluse that didn't make much money. I didn't think that Javier was the best choice at first. I also didn't envision Dr. Juvenal Urbino to be so attractive. Benjamin Bratt was dashing, and he wasn't so much older than Fermina Daza. I expected them to be much different in age which would have made them looked more mismatched (what I got out of it). Fermina's actress was a good choice. She had these mesmerizing eyes that hooked you.

But, when I started watching the movie, maybe Florentino was supposed to be less attractive. It would make more sense when Fermina rejects him in the market place after not seeing each other after so long. Benjamin Bratt might have been a better choice (he was great in the part), but they should have made him look much older.

John Leguizamo was incredible too, as Fermina's father. I expected her father to be older and larger, a bit chubbier, but Leguizamo is an excellent villain and character to hate.

The movie seemed to be a fast-forwarded version of the movie. I felt like everything was sped up, and details were missing. I felt compelled to insert in the missing details or explanations when the movie left them out. My friend was not the happiest with me when I kept blabbing all the details. (I couldn't help it!)

On the book: It was much better to read it first and then watch the movie. The movie made so much more sense after reading all of the missing details. All of Florentino's mistresses made more sense (more details of who they were), but maybe all of the details weren't all that necessary. Often, I had trouble understanding what was important because so much was included in the littlest parts. He would go on and on about some small tangent and then it would mesh into a new scene. The long chapters also made it more difficult to comprehend and focus, but it helped to sit down for a long period of time and read. Otherwise, if you read it quickly in spurts, nothing would ever make any sense.

But, now onto the plot: I really loved that he compares love to cholera. That is brilliant. The symptoms of love are the same as those of love, and lost love. And, it also implies that one can die of love or for love--love and death go hand in hand. That shows an intelligent man, an intelligent writer.

I loved Marquez's portraits of women through the many female characters. He has very interesting takes on women's psyches and even on sex. A lot of the women are understood and commented on through their sexual patterns and behaviors. Very cool to look into.

What I had trouble with was our man Florentino. At times, I just wanted him to give up on Fermina. Love someone else! Get on with your life! Come on man! Get over it. Find another woman. It was ridiculous that he wouldn't let her go for so long--oh wait--never! He never got over her! Not even when he was an old man!

Now, listen. Can you really love someone like that for so long, even though they dislike you and hate you so much and have moved on and made a family with another man? How can you overcome that jealousy? How can you let yourself live in that misery, waiting for tomorrow that didn't come until he was in his eighties? I just think it sounds too depressing, too unrealistic to ever be true. Do you think it's too far-fetched?

I think it's that idea of the heroic male in love that he's trying to get across. I guess it could happen, but often, it got a bit annoying and repetitive. I wanted to yell at him through the pages. Often I rolled my eyes at him. Come on old man, suck it up and move on. At least he got a bunch of mistresses along the way.

And with Fermina: I couldn't really ever understand her feelings about the men. Who did she really love all along? It seems she didn't really love Dr. Urbino but she grew to love him, but not in a passionate, sexual way. More of a loving partner, companionship kind of way. I didn't understand why she rejected Florentino in the streets--because of his looks? I just never got her situation. What was going on with her inside? Or is that the point; women never know or it is hard to make sense of how a woman feels with love.

I don't really know. They all are speculations and interpretations. I guess I'm just looking for some answers.

And, I thought the ending could have been a bit better. Something stronger. I don't know what, but I was looking for something more powerful or closing.

Anyway, what did you think of the movie? What did you think of the book? Are either worth getting into?

Friday, September 26, 2008


Another great poem crossed my path in The New Yorker. I'm still getting through it, for total comprehension (if that's at all possible), but I wanted to share it to see if anyone else read it (or will today) and thinks anything of it.

It's called "Names" by Marilyn Hacker.

Be mindful of names. They'll etch themselves
like daily specials on the window glass
in a delible medium. They'll pass
transformed, erased, a cloud the wind dissolves
above the ruckus of the under-twelves
on the slide, the toddlers on the grass,
the ragged skinny guy taking a piss
on a bench, skirt tucked around her knees.
A sparrow lands in the japonica;
as if it were a signal, all at once
massed pigeons rush up from adjacent trees,
wingbeats intrusive and symphonic--a
near-total silence is their clear response.

So what do you think of the poem?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Triumph Insults Star Wars

I have never understood Star Wars or the conventions and die-hard fans. The series never interested me, perhaps because sci-fi is really not that appealing. Everything seems so foreign and strange, so not real, that I repel the series. Yuck. Seems like a waste of time.

Another who agrees with me is Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. A couple years ago, he came out with this hilarious bit where he goes to a Star Wars convention and completely insults everyone there for being a Star Wars loser. His jokes are pretty funny.

What I wonder is, how many people out there really hate Triumph and its creator/speaker Rob Smeigel? He is very up front and blunt about very personal subjects for people. There must be people out there who were very offended and angry about their encounter with him.

I also can't imagine how Smeigel does it. How does he say such crude and horrible things right to people's faces? I understand that he's being the dog, but the dog is only so small. He obviously thinks it if he's saying it. The dog is only so small, and he truly laughs after many of his jokes. I just know that I couldn't be that candid. I would hate to hurt so many people's feelings.

So, check out the Star Wars clip here.

What do you think of it? What do you think of Triumph?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1001 Books You Must Read before You Die

A few years ago, I got this amazing book, 1001 Books You Must Read before You Die. I find it really interesting to go through the book every once in a while to look at what the book has to say about a specific book. I also like to go through it to see which ones I've read, or which ones I should read.

I would love to compile a list like this. Again, this is another cool job that I would never imagine existed.

For you avid readers, I'm sure you've read a lot on this list, but if you want some ideas of what to read, check out the list below.

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die:


Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Saturday – Ian McEwan
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
Slow Man – J.M. Coetzee
Adjunct: An Undigest – Peter Manson
The Sea – John Banville
The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
The Master – Colm Tóibín
Vanishing Point – David Markson
The Lambs of London – Peter Ackroyd
Dining on Stones – Iain Sinclair
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
Drop City – T. Coraghessan Boyle
The Colour – Rose Tremain
Thursbitch – Alan Garner
The Light of Day – Graham Swift
What I Loved – Siri Hustvedt
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Islands – Dan Sleigh
Elizabeth Costello – J.M. Coetzee
London Orbital – Iain Sinclair
Family Matters – Rohinton Mistry
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
The Double – José Saramago
Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Unless – Carol Shields
Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
The Story of Lucy Gault – William Trevor
That They May Face the Rising Sun – John McGahern
In the Forest – Edna O’Brien
Shroud – John Banville
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Youth – J.M. Coetzee
Dead Air – Iain Banks
Nowhere Man – Aleksandar Hemon
The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster
Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi
Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald
Platform – Michael Houellebecq
Schooling – Heather McGowan
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
Don’t Move – Margaret Mazzantini
The Body Artist – Don DeLillo
Fury – Salman Rushdie
At Swim, Two Boys – Jamie O’Neill
Choke – Chuck Palahniuk
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
The Feast of the Goat – Mario Vargos Llosa
An Obedient Father – Akhil Sharma
The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho
Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
The Heart of Redness – Zakes Mda
Under the Skin – Michel Faber
Ignorance – Milan Kundera
Nineteen Seventy Seven – David Peace
Celestial Harmonies – Péter Esterházy
City of God – E.L. Doctorow
How the Dead Live – Will Self
The Human Stain – Philip Roth
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami
Small Remedies – Shashi Deshpande
Super-Cannes – J.G. Ballard
House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
Blonde – Joyce Carol Oates
Pastoralia – George Saunders

Timbuktu – Paul Auster
The Romantics – Pankaj Mishra
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
As If I Am Not There – Slavenka Drakuli?
Everything You Need – A.L. Kennedy
Fear and Trembling – Amélie Nothomb
The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie
Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
Elementary Particles – Michel Houellebecq
Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi
Amsterdam – Ian McEwan
Cloudsplitter – Russell Banks
All Souls Day – Cees Nooteboom
The Talk of the Town – Ardal O’Hanlon
Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
Another World – Pat Barker
The Hours – Michael Cunningham
Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho
Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Great Apes – Will Self
Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
Underworld – Don DeLillo
Jack Maggs – Peter Carey
The Life of Insects – Victor Pelevin
American Pastoral – Philip Roth
The Untouchable – John Banville
Silk – Alessandro Baricco
Cocaine Nights – J.G. Ballard
Hallucinating Foucault – Patricia Duncker
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
The Ghost Road – Pat Barker
Forever a Stranger – Hella Haasse
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
The Clay Machine-Gun – Victor Pelevin
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro
Morvern Callar – Alan Warner
The Information – Martin Amis
The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie
Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth
The Rings of Saturn – W.G. Sebald
The Reader – Bernhard Schlink
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Love’s Work – Gillian Rose
The End of the Story – Lydia Davis
Mr. Vertigo – Paul Auster
The Folding Star – Alan Hollinghurst
Whatever – Michel Houellebecq
Land – Park Kyong-ni
The Master of Petersburg – J.M. Coetzee
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Pereira Declares: A Testimony – Antonio Tabucchi
City Sister Silver – Jàchym Topol
How Late It Was, How Late – James Kelman
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
Felicia’s Journey – William Trevor
Disappearance – David Dabydeen
The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
Looking for the Possible Dance – A.L. Kennedy
Operation Shylock – Philip Roth
Complicity – Iain Banks
On Love – Alain de Botton
What a Carve Up! – Jonathan Coe
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
The House of Doctor Dee – Peter Ackroyd
The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
The Emigrants – W.G. Sebald
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Life is a Caravanserai – Emine Özdamar
The Discovery of Heaven – Harry Mulisch
A Heart So White – Javier Marias
Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker
Indigo – Marina Warner
The Crow Road – Iain Banks
Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
Jazz – Toni Morrison
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
The Butcher Boy – Patrick McCabe
Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates
The Heather Blazing – Colm Tóibín
Asphodel – H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
Black Dogs – Ian McEwan
Hideous Kinky – Esther Freud
Arcadia – Jim Crace
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
Time’s Arrow – Martin Amis
Mao II – Don DeLillo
Typical – Padgett Powell
Regeneration – Pat Barker
Downriver – Iain Sinclair
Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord – Louis de Bernieres
Wise Children – Angela Carter
Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard
Amongst Women – John McGahern
Vineland – Thomas Pynchon
Vertigo – W.G. Sebald
Stone Junction – Jim Dodge
The Music of Chance – Paul Auster
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
A Home at the End of the World – Michael Cunningham
Like Life – Lorrie Moore
Possession – A.S. Byatt
The Buddha of Suburbia – Hanif Kureishi
The Midnight Examiner – William Kotzwinkle
A Disaffection – James Kelman
Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson
Moon Palace – Paul Auster
Billy Bathgate – E.L. Doctorow
Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai
The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
The Trick is to Keep Breathing – Janice Galloway
The History of the Siege of Lisbon – José Saramago
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
London Fields – Martin Amis
The Book of Evidence – John Banville
Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
The Beautiful Room is Empty – Edmund White
Wittgenstein’s Mistress – David Markson
The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
The Swimming-Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst
Oscar and Lucinda – Peter Carey
Libra – Don DeLillo
The Player of Games – Iain M. Banks
Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
The Radiant Way – Margaret Drabble
The Afternoon of a Writer – Peter Handke
The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
The Pigeon – Patrick Süskind
The Child in Time – Ian McEwan
Cigarettes – Harry Mathews
The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
The New York Trilogy – Paul Auster
World’s End – T. Coraghessan Boyle
Enigma of Arrival – V.S. Naipaul
The Taebek Mountains – Jo Jung-rae
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Anagrams – Lorrie Moore
Matigari – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Marya – Joyce Carol Oates
Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons
The Old Devils – Kingsley Amis
Lost Language of Cranes – David Leavitt
An Artist of the Floating World – Kazuo Ishiguro
Extinction – Thomas Bernhard
Foe – J.M. Coetzee
The Drowned and the Saved – Primo Levi
Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel
The Parable of the Blind – Gert Hofmann
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
The Cider House Rules – John Irving
A Maggot – John Fowles
Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
Contact – Carl Sagan
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Perfume – Patrick Süskind
Old Masters – Thomas Bernhard
White Noise – Don DeLillo
Queer – William Burroughs
Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd
Legend – David Gemmell
Dictionary of the Khazars – Milorad Pavi?
The Bus Conductor Hines – James Kelman
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
Empire of the Sun – J.G. Ballard
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Flaubert’s Parrot – Julian Barnes
Money: A Suicide Note – Martin Amis
Shame – Salman Rushdie
Worstward Ho – Samuel Beckett
Fools of Fortune – William Trevor
La Brava – Elmore Leonard
Waterland – Graham Swift
The Life and Times of Michael K – J.M. Coetzee
The Diary of Jane Somers – Doris Lessing
The Piano Teacher – Elfriede Jelinek
The Sorrow of Belgium – Hugo Claus
If Not Now, When? – Primo Levi
A Boy’s Own Story – Edmund White
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Wittgenstein’s Nephew – Thomas Bernhard
A Pale View of Hills – Kazuo Ishiguro
Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
The Newton Letter – John Banville
On the Black Hill – Bruce Chatwin
Concrete – Thomas Bernhard
The Names – Don DeLillo
Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
Lanark: A Life in Four Books – Alasdair Gray
The Comfort of Strangers – Ian McEwan
July’s People – Nadine Gordimer
Summer in Baden-Baden – Leonid Tsypkin
Broken April – Ismail Kadare
Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Rites of Passage – William Golding
Rituals – Cees Nooteboom
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
City Primeval – Elmore Leonard
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
Smiley’s People – John Le Carré
Shikasta – Doris Lessing
A Bend in the River – V.S. Naipaul
Burger’s Daughter - Nadine Gordimer
The Safety Net – Heinrich Böll
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Cement Garden – Ian McEwan
The World According to Garp – John Irving
Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
The Singapore Grip – J.G. Farrell
Yes – Thomas Bernhard
The Virgin in the Garden – A.S. Byatt
In the Heart of the Country – J.M. Coetzee
The Passion of New Eve – Angela Carter
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin
The Shining – Stephen King
Dispatches – Michael Herr
Petals of Blood – Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
The Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector
The Left-Handed Woman – Peter Handke
Ratner’s Star – Don DeLillo
The Public Burning – Robert Coover
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Cutter and Bone – Newton Thornburg
Amateurs – Donald Barthelme
Patterns of Childhood – Christa Wolf
Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez
W, or the Memory of Childhood – Georges Perec
A Dance to the Music of Time – Anthony Powell
Grimus – Salman Rushdie
The Dead Father – Donald Barthelme
Fateless – Imre Kertész
Willard and His Bowling Trophies – Richard Brautigan
High Rise – J.G. Ballard
Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow
Dead Babies – Martin Amis
Correction – Thomas Bernhard
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle
Dusklands – J.M. Coetzee
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Fear of Flying – Erica Jong
A Question of Power – Bessie Head
The Siege of Krishnapur – J.G. Farrell
The Castle of Crossed Destinies – Italo Calvino
Crash – J.G. Ballard
The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch
Sula – Toni Morrison
Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
The Breast – Philip Roth
The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
G – John Berger
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
House Mother Normal – B.S. Johnson
In A Free State – V.S. Naipaul
The Book of Daniel – E.L. Doctorow
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
Group Portrait With Lady – Heinrich Böll
The Wild Boys – William Burroughs
Rabbit Redux – John Updike
The Sea of Fertility – Yukio Mishima
The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark
The Ogre – Michael Tournier
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick – Peter Handke
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Mercier et Camier – Samuel Beckett
Troubles – J.G. Farrell
Jahrestage – Uwe Johnson
The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G. Ballard
Tent of Miracles – Jorge Amado
Pricksongs and Descants – Robert Coover
Blind Man With a Pistol – Chester Hines
Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
The Green Man – Kingsley Amis
Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Ada – Vladimir Nabokov
Them – Joyce Carol Oates
A Void/Avoid – Georges Perec
Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen
Myra Breckinridge – Gore Vidal
The Nice and the Good – Iris Murdoch
Belle du Seigneur – Albert Cohen
Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The First Circle – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid – Malcolm Lowry
The German Lesson – Siegfried Lenz
In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan
A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
The Quest for Christa T. – Christa Wolf
Chocky – John Wyndham
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
The Cubs and Other Stories – Mario Vargas Llosa
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
Pilgrimage – Dorothy Richardson
The Joke – Milan Kundera
No Laughing Matter – Angus Wilson
The Third Policeman – Flann O’Brien
A Man Asleep – Georges Perec
The Birds Fall Down – Rebecca West
Trawl – B.S. Johnson
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
The Magus – John Fowles
The Vice-Consul – Marguerite Duras
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
Giles Goat-Boy – John Barth
The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
Things – Georges Perec
The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
August is a Wicked Month – Edna O’Brien
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor
The Passion According to G.H. – Clarice Lispector
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
Come Back, Dr. Caligari – Donald Bartholme
Albert Angelo – B.S. Johnson
Arrow of God – Chinua Achebe
The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein – Marguerite Duras
Herzog – Saul Bellow
V. – Thomas Pynchon
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Graduate – Charles Webb
Manon des Sources – Marcel Pagnol
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré
The Girls of Slender Means – Muriel Spark
Inside Mr. Enderby – Anthony Burgess
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
The Collector – John Fowles
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
The Drowned World – J.G. Ballard
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
Labyrinths – Jorg Luis Borges
Girl With Green Eyes – Edna O’Brien
The Garden of the Finzi-Continis – Giorgio Bassani
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
A Severed Head – Iris Murdoch
Faces in the Water – Janet Frame
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
Cat and Mouse – Günter Grass
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor
How It Is – Samuel Beckett
Our Ancestors – Italo Calvino
The Country Girls – Edna O’Brien
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Promise at Dawn – Romain Gary
Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee
Billy Liar – Keith Waterhouse
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
Absolute Beginners – Colin MacInnes
Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow
Memento Mori – Muriel Spark
Billiards at Half-Past Nine – Heinrich Böll
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Pluck the Bud and Destroy the Offspring – Kenzaburo Oe
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Bitter Glass – Eilís Dillon
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – Alan Sillitoe
Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico
Borstal Boy – Brendan Behan
The End of the Road – John Barth
The Once and Future King – T.H. White
The Bell – Iris Murdoch
Jealousy – Alain Robbe-Grillet
Voss – Patrick White
The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham
Blue Noon – Georges Bataille
Homo Faber – Max Frisch
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Pnin – Vladimir Nabokov
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
The Wonderful “O” – James Thurber
Justine – Lawrence Durrell
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
The Lonely Londoners – Sam Selvon
The Roots of Heaven – Romain Gary
Seize the Day – Saul Bellow
The Floating Opera – John Barth
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
A World of Love – Elizabeth Bowen
The Trusting and the Maimed – James Plunkett
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
The Last Temptation of Christ – Nikos Kazantzákis
The Recognitions – William Gaddis
The Ragazzi – Pier Paulo Pasolini
Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan
I’m Not Stiller – Max Frisch
Self Condemned – Wyndham Lewis
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
A Ghost at Noon – Alberto Moravia
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Under the Net – Iris Murdoch
The Go-Between – L.P. Hartley
The Long Goodbye – Raymond Chandler
The Unnamable – Samuel Beckett
Watt – Samuel Beckett
Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
Junkie – William Burroughs
The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow
Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
The Judge and His Hangman – Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
The Killer Inside Me – Jim Thompson
Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar
Malone Dies – Samuel Beckett
Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
The Opposing Shore – Julien Gracq
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Rebel – Albert Camus
Molloy – Samuel Beckett
The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
The Abbot C – Georges Bataille
The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz
The Third Man – Graham Greene
The 13 Clocks – James Thurber
Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake
The Grass is Singing – Doris Lessing
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
The Moon and the Bonfires – Cesare Pavese
The Garden Where the Brass Band Played – Simon Vestdijk
Love in a Cold Climate – Nancy Mitford
The Case of Comrade Tulayev – Victor Serge
The Heat of the Day – Elizabeth Bowen
Kingdom of This World – Alejo Carpentier
The Man With the Golden Arm – Nelson Algren
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
All About H. Hatterr – G.V. Desani
Disobedience – Alberto Moravia
Death Sentence – Maurice Blanchot
The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene
Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Doctor Faustus – Thomas Mann
The Victim – Saul Bellow
Exercises in Style – Raymond Queneau
If This Is a Man – Primo Levi
Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry
The Path to the Nest of Spiders – Italo Calvino
The Plague – Albert Camus
Back – Henry Green
Titus Groan – Mervyn Peake
The Bridge on the Drina – Ivo Andri?
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
Loving – Henry Green
Arcanum 17 – André Breton
Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi
The Razor’s Edge – William Somerset Maugham
Transit – Anna Seghers
Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
Dangling Man – Saul Bellow
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Caught – Henry Green
The Glass Bead Game – Herman Hesse
Embers – Sandor Marai
Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner
The Outsider – Albert Camus
In Sicily – Elio Vittorini
The Poor Mouth – Flann O’Brien
The Living and the Dead – Patrick White
Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
Between the Acts – Virginia Woolf
The Hamlet – William Faulkner
Farewell My Lovely – Raymond Chandler
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
Native Son – Richard Wright
The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati
Party Going – Henry Green
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Finnegans Wake – James Joyce
At Swim-Two-Birds – Flann O’Brien
Coming Up for Air – George Orwell
Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller
Good Morning, Midnight – Jean Rhys
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
After the Death of Don Juan – Sylvie Townsend Warner
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson
Nausea – Jean-Paul Sartre
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
Cause for Alarm – Eric Ambler
Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
U.S.A. – John Dos Passos
Murphy – Samuel Beckett
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Years – Virginia Woolf
In Parenthesis – David Jones
The Revenge for Love – Wyndham Lewis
Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)
To Have and Have Not – Ernest Hemingway
Summer Will Show – Sylvia Townsend Warner
Eyeless in Gaza – Aldous Huxley
The Thinking Reed – Rebecca West
Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Keep the Aspidistra Flying – George Orwell
Wild Harbour – Ian MacPherson
Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner
At the Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft
Nightwood – Djuna Barnes
Independent People – Halldór Laxness
Auto-da-Fé – Elias Canetti
The Last of Mr. Norris – Christopher Isherwood
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy
The House in Paris – Elizabeth Bowen
England Made Me – Graham Greene
Burmese Days – George Orwell
The Nine Tailors – Dorothy L. Sayers
Threepenny Novel – Bertolt Brecht
Novel With Cocaine – M. Ageyev
The Postman Always Rings Twice – James M. Cain
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
Tender is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
Call it Sleep – Henry Roth
Miss Lonelyhearts – Nathanael West
Murder Must Advertise – Dorothy L. Sayers
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein
Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
A Day Off – Storm Jameson
The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil
A Scots Quair (Sunset Song) – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
To the North – Elizabeth Bowen
The Thin Man – Dashiell Hammett
The Radetzky March – Joseph Roth
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
The Glass Key – Dashiell Hammett
Cakes and Ale – W. Somerset Maugham
The Apes of God – Wyndham Lewis
Her Privates We – Frederic Manning
Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
Hebdomeros – Giorgio de Chirico
Passing – Nella Larsen
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett
Living – Henry Green
The Time of Indifference – Alberto Moravia
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
Berlin Alexanderplatz – Alfred Döblin
The Last September – Elizabeth Bowen
Harriet Hume – Rebecca West
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Les Enfants Terribles – Jean Cocteau
Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolfe
Story of the Eye – Georges Bataille
Orlando – Virginia Woolf
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
The Childermass – Wyndham Lewis
Quartet – Jean Rhys
Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh
Quicksand – Nella Larsen
Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford
Nadja – André Breton
Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse
Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust
To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
Tarka the Otter – Henry Williamson
Amerika – Franz Kafka
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Blindness – Henry Green
The Castle – Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Švejk – Jaroslav Hašek
The Plumed Serpent – D.H. Lawrence
One, None and a Hundred Thousand – Luigi Pirandello
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
The Making of Americans – Gertrude Stein
Manhattan Transfer – John Dos Passos
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Counterfeiters – André Gide
The Trial – Franz Kafka
The Artamonov Business – Maxim Gorky
The Professor’s House – Willa Cather
Billy Budd, Foretopman – Herman Melville
The Green Hat – Michael Arlen
The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
A Passage to India – E.M. Forster
The Devil in the Flesh – Raymond Radiguet
Zeno’s Conscience – Italo Svevo
Cane – Jean Toomer
Antic Hay – Aldous Huxley
Amok – Stefan Zweig
The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield
The Enormous Room – E.E. Cummings
Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf
Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
The Glimpses of the Moon – Edith Wharton
Life and Death of Harriett Frean – May Sinclair
The Last Days of Humanity – Karl Kraus
Aaron’s Rod – D.H. Lawrence
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Fox – D.H. Lawrence
Crome Yellow – Aldous Huxley
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Main Street – Sinclair Lewis
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
Tarr – Wyndham Lewis
The Return of the Soldier – Rebecca West
The Shadow Line – Joseph Conrad
Summer – Edith Wharton
Growth of the Soil – Knut Hamsen
Bunner Sisters – Edith Wharton
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
Under Fire – Henri Barbusse
Rashomon – Akutagawa Ryunosuke
The Good Soldier – Ford Madox Ford
The Voyage Out – Virginia Woolf
Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham
The Rainbow – D.H. Lawrence
The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan
Kokoro – Natsume Soseki
Locus Solus – Raymond Roussel
Rosshalde – Herman Hesse
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists – Robert Tressell
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
The Charwoman’s Daughter – James Stephens
Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
Fantômas – Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
Howards End – E.M. Forster
Impressions of Africa – Raymond Roussel
Three Lives – Gertrude Stein
Martin Eden – Jack London
Strait is the Gate – André Gide
Tono-Bungay – H.G. Wells
The Inferno – Henri Barbusse
A Room With a View – E.M. Forster
The Iron Heel – Jack London
The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett
The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson
Mother – Maxim Gorky
The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Young Törless – Robert Musil
The Forsyte Sage – John Galsworthy
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
Professor Unrat – Heinrich Mann
Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Forster
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
Hadrian the Seventh – Frederick Rolfe
The Golden Bowl – Henry James
The Ambassadors – Henry James
The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers
The Immoralist – André Gide
The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann
Kim – Rudyard Kipling
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad

Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. – Somerville and Ross
The Stechlin – Theodore Fontane
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
What Maisie Knew – Henry James
Fruits of the Earth – André Gide
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Quo Vadis – Henryk Sienkiewicz
The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
Effi Briest – Theodore Fontane
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
The Real Charlotte – Somerville and Ross
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Born in Exile – George Gissing
Diary of a Nobody – George & Weedon Grossmith
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
News from Nowhere – William Morris
New Grub Street – George Gissing
Gösta Berling’s Saga – Selma Lagerlöf
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The Kreutzer Sonata – Leo Tolstoy
La Bête Humaine – Émile Zola
By the Open Sea – August Strindberg
Hunger – Knut Hamsun
The Master of Ballantrae – Robert Louis Stevenson
Pierre and Jean – Guy de Maupassant
Fortunata and Jacinta – Benito Pérez Galdés
The People of Hemsö – August Strindberg
The Woodlanders – Thomas Hardy
She – H. Rider Haggard
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy
Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
Germinal – Émile Zola
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Bel-Ami – Guy de Maupassant
Marius the Epicurean – Walter Pater
Against the Grain – Joris-Karl Huysmans
The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy
A Woman’s Life – Guy de Maupassant
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
The House by the Medlar Tree – Giovanni Verga
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
Bouvard and Pécuchet – Gustave Flaubert
Ben-Hur – Lew Wallace
Nana – Émile Zola
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Red Room – August Strindberg
Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Drunkard – Émile Zola
Virgin Soil – Ivan Turgenev
Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
The Hand of Ethelberta – Thomas Hardy
The Temptation of Saint Anthony – Gustave Flaubert
Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Enchanted Wanderer – Nicolai Leskov
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
In a Glass Darkly – Sheridan Le Fanu
The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Erewhon – Samuel Butler
Spring Torrents – Ivan Turgenev
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
King Lear of the Steppes – Ivan Turgenev
He Knew He Was Right – Anthony Trollope
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
Phineas Finn – Anthony Trollope
Maldoror – Comte de Lautréaumont
The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola
The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
Uncle Silas – Sheridan Le Fanu
Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Water-Babies – Charles Kingsley
Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
Silas Marner – George Eliot
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
On the Eve – Ivan Turgenev
Castle Richmond – Anthony Trollope
The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
The Marble Faun – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Max Havelaar – Multatuli
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Oblomovka – Ivan Goncharov
Adam Bede – George Eliot
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
Hard Times – Charles Dickens
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Villette – Charlotte Brontë
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Blithedale Romance – Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Shirley – Charlotte Brontë
Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
The Count of Monte-Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
La Reine Margot – Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
Lost Illusions – Honoré de Balzac
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Dead Souls – Nikolay Gogol
The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
The Nose – Nikolay Gogol
Le Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac
Eugénie Grandet – Honoré de Balzac
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
The Red and the Black – Stendhal
The Betrothed – Alessandro Manzoni
Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg
The Albigenses – Charles Robert Maturin
Melmoth the Wanderer – Charles Robert Maturin
The Monastery – Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Ormond – Maria Edgeworth
Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott
Emma – Jane Austen
Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Absentee – Maria Edgeworth
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Elective Affinities – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Castle Rackrent – Maria Edgeworth

Hyperion – Friedrich Hölderlin
The Nun – Denis Diderot
Camilla – Fanny Burney
The Monk – M.G. Lewis
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
The Interesting Narrative – Olaudah Equiano
The Adventures of Caleb Williams – William Godwin
Justine – Marquis de Sade
Vathek – William Beckford
The 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade
Cecilia – Fanny Burney
Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Reveries of a Solitary Walker – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Evelina – Fanny Burney
The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Humphrey Clinker – Tobias George Smollett
The Man of Feeling – Henry Mackenzie
A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne
Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
The Vicar of Wakefield – Oliver Goldsmith
The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
Émile; or, On Education – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rameau’s Nephew – Denis Diderot
Julie; or, the New Eloise – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rasselas – Samuel Johnson
Candide – Voltaire
The Female Quixote – Charlotte Lennox
Amelia – Henry Fielding
Peregrine Pickle – Tobias George Smollett
Fanny Hill – John Cleland
Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
Roderick Random – Tobias George Smollett
Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
Pamela – Samuel Richardson
Jacques the Fatalist – Denis Diderot
Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus – J. Arbuthnot, J. Gay, T. Parnell, A. Pope, J. Swift
Joseph Andrews – Henry Fielding
A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Roxana – Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
Love in Excess – Eliza Haywood
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift

Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
The Princess of Clèves – Marie-Madelaine Pioche de Lavergne, Comtesse de La Fayette
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Unfortunate Traveller – Thomas Nashe
Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit – John Lyly
Gargantua and Pantagruel – Françoise Rabelais
The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous
The Golden Ass – Lucius Apuleius
Aithiopika – Heliodorus
Chaireas and Kallirhoe – Chariton
Metamorphoses – Ovid
Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

What do you think of this list? What do you recommend? What do you recommend not to read?

Monday, September 22, 2008

VH1's Tribute to the Who

Yesterday I got the glorious opportunity to watch VH1's tribute to The Who. Amazing artists came out to play tribute songs to the band, and then the band performed afterwards.

I was very impressed by all who played and spoke as a quick guest. David Duchovny was the opening speaker to introduce the first band, the Foo Fighters. The Foo Fighters went on first as planned despite Dave Grohl's problem with his vocals. Rainn Wilson came on in between the next set, doing an amazingly hilarious spoof on a weird character (The Office humor). Sean Penn came out last, introducing Pearl Jam. He had a funny moment where he mentioned music stations selling out. I like that he's ballsy enough to announce that during a VH1 show.

All acts had incredible energy. I loved their take on a Who song--every one had its own life and flavor based on the band. They were all right on. Especially Pearl Jam--they really blew my mind with their playing.

I am happy to say that, this summer, I got to see two of these Who tribute songs played live. I saw the Foo Fighters' "Young Man Blues" and Pearl Jam cover "Love Reign O'er Me." Both were phenomenal.

I am glad that they got to have a special concert like this to honor them. As Pete Townshend said, it's much more memorable than being handed a piece of plastic. I think it's the greatest honor to have such well-known, respected bands come out to play one of your songs to you and add their own flavor to it. That's really cool.

Anyway, below is the setlist from the show.

The Foo Fighters -- "Young Man Blues"

Incubus -- "I Can See for Miles"

The Flaming Lips -- "Pinball Wizard"

Tenacious D -- "Squeezebox"

Pearl Jam -- "Love Reign O'er Me" (with orchestra)

Pearl Jam -- "The Real Me"

Adam Sandler -- nonsense introduction to the Who

The Who -- "Teenage Wasteland," "Who Are You," "Behind Blue Eyes," "My Generation," "Tea and Theatre"

So what did you think of the tribute to the Who?

Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal

Recently, I came across Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal. Being a fan of his, I enjoy reading what he has to say whenever I have an extra few minutes when I'm online. It's very funny.

Check it out here.

I feel a bit strange blogging about it since I know that Mike gets Google alerts for when people blog or write about him online. He did a bit on it in one of his shows that is posted on YouTube--I then thought how weird it would be if he actually read this and checked it out. Strange connected world.

In his segment, he talked about blogging and how sad it is when no one posts. It's like standing in the middle of a party and talking for like fifteen straight minutes, and then no one responds. Awkward silence. I definitely know what he's talking about, and it's pretty funny.

Anyway, this guy is very talented. Read what he has to say; you can hear the way he speaks and delivers his comedy through his writing.

I think it's courageous to put your material on the internet, as people like to steal information, pictures, music, etc. I think it shows a lot of confidence on his part, and it's also excellent because he gets instant feedback on his new comedy. He can try it out and see if people like it before he goes on stage. Very smart technique.

So what do you think of Mike Birbiglia or his Secret Public Journal?

If you've never seen him, watch a video of him on his website or through YouTube.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I'm a big fan of the Poetry 180 website. This poem comes from it, and I'd like for you to check it out.

This poem really makes you feel like you are on the motorcycle with the rhythm and short words on lines. It gives you the feel of a motorcycle. This is a very effective poem because its message is also translated in its style.


by Jim Daniels

My brother kept
in a frame on the wall
pictures of every motorcycle, car, truck:
in his rusted out Impala convertible
wearing his cap and gown
in his yellow Barracuda
with a girl leaning into him
on his Honda 350
on his Honda 750 with the boys
holding a beer
in his first rig
wearing a baseball hat backwards
in his Mercury Montego
getting married
in his black LTD
trying to sell real estate
back to driving trucks
a shiny new rig
on his Harley Sportster
with his wife on the back
his son in a car seat
with his own steering wheel
my brother leaning over him
in an old Ford pickup
and they are
holding a wrench a rag
a hose a shammy

My brother helmetless
rides off on his Harley
my brother's feet
rarely touch the ground-
waving waving
face pressed to the wind
no camera to save him.

What do you think of the poem? Comments?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurricane Names

Did you know that they pre-name all hurricane names?

I didn't until I read about it in a magazine. Can you imagine if your job was to come up with a list of names for hurricanes? That's a pretty fun job. There are so many obscure jobs I have never even imagined. This is one of them.

Check this out from the magazine:

Because hurricanes often occur at the same time, officials assign short, distinctive names to the storms to avoid confusion among weather stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea. Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists created by the National Hurricane Center and now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization. The lists featured only women's names until 1979, when men's and women's names were alternated. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2008 list will be used again in 2014. If all the names in a season's list have been used, later storms are named for Greek letters, in alphabetical order. (This has only happened once, in 2005). A storm is given a name once its winds reach a speed of 40 MPH. In addition to the Atlantic list of names, there are ten other lists corresponding to other storm-prone regions of the world.











What do you think of these hurricane names?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google making us stupid? What a great question to ask.

It sounds kind of stupid because, if anything, with online databases such as Google, we are exposed to more information than ever before. Wouldn't that make us smarter, not more stupid?

Nicholas Carr makes excellent points in his article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" He poses that, since most of our information-getting and reading takes place on the internet, and this reading is quick and changing, that our thinking processes are becoming altered because of it. We read shorter pieces and quickly jump to the next thing. We no longer need to read longer books because we can read excerpts or go to Sparknotes. Our brains are becoming used to quick internet reading, not reading of long texts in paper form anymore.

Read the article from The Atlantic here.

"My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading."

Now with text messages, blogs, emails, online articles, databases, links, and abbreviated notes, we receive information in a totally different way than before. In essence, this changes our minds and the way we think. I think it's an excellent argument to pose.

“We are not only what we read,” says Maryanne Wolf, a developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. “We are how we read.”

I can already see this in the classroom in the younger generation than myself. They grew up with the internet and all of its benefits (and hindrances). They live in the Information Age, but will they suffer because of it?

These students clash with traditional classrooms, becoming easily bored with readings and worksheets. They are used to fast-paced thinking and acting in their own lives. Shool is too slow and boring.

Yesterday, a friend of mine was talking about this same issue with me, but she said something that shocked me: "At least we will be the last generation that knows how to do things on our own." Even though my generation grew up with technology, it was still new to me as a teenager. I had to learn it as it developed, and I knew what life was like before it so I can appreciate its benefits. The younger generation is used to this and is native to it. Now what can we do with this drastic change?

"Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It’s not etched into our genes the way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the language we understand."

And further, “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.”

I agree that reading can change then, because our brain becomes used to our behavior. It's like coaches always told us as players: You will play as you practice. So, when we slouched and didn't play hard in practice, that translated into our performance. You fall into routines, patterns, and habits. It's just human nature. Can't the same be true with reading?

And, I think that the thinking process is completely different when using a computer as opposed to a typewriter or paper/pen. The thought process is much slower when writing, but I think that is a good thing because it makes you think about what you are trying to communicate. Computers are so much faster--the brain must work faster to produce words and sentences, thoughts. It's insane to see this change. Could you imagine how different a work of Hemingway's or Shakespeare's would have been if they used a computer? Perhaps now we'll see a shift in intellectual products and writing pieces.

“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.”

I will leave you with this last piece from the article that I really enjoyed:

"As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski."

So what do you think of Carr's arguments or the article itself?

Joan Steiner

Today I came across this really cool artist named Joan Steiner. She makes these dioramas that look like one thing, but they really are another. For istance, she will construct a kitchen, but when you look closely, each item is made out of many smaller items (i.e. rulers, clothes pins, etc).

I just wonder how someone gets into this sort of thing, and how it can becomes someone's hobby or job. She's so good at it that she's making money for it now, but I wonder how many odd talents like this go wasted because they can't make any money (or are too expensive to prolong). Kind of an interesting hobby she has here.

A lot of her pictures have been turned into puzzles, which will be included here below. Check out some pictures below and see if you can spot what items are made out of what else.

Or, check out this website for some more pictures of hers; they are actually puzzles that you can also purchase.

What do you think of this art?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sarah Palin Sketch on SNL

This past weekend, SNL, one of my favorite shows, kicked off with a much-talked about introduction where Tina Fey (returned for the spoof) portrayed Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler portrayed Hillary Clinton, as she always does.

Tina Fey is incredibly brilliant. I was so happy to see her guest-star for this bit. She has Palin right on. She has her accent and her look. And Poehler always has portrayed an excellent Hillary. I think she does Hillary justice too.

Watch the video here. It's hilarious.

They really get their personalities across as well through their dialogue, and they touch upon heated issues and topics. Hillary's dislike for Palin's rise to power as a woman in the presidential race. McCain stating that Palin can see Russia from her house (which would make her qualified to deal with international affairs). Sexism in the political race for president. The division on global warming (Palin thinking that it's "God just hugging us closer"). Palin as inexperienced. Talking about the women's bodies, Palin as a MILF and Hillary as a "shrew" with a pants suit. Palin driving home Alaska ("the crystal meth capital") and her status as a hockey mom. Palin is posing for popularity, but is she qualified?

The writers are just so smart. They captured so many of America's feelings, doubts, gossip, and hesitancies about the presidential race, as it is all-consuming in the news or wherever you go. This bit really kicked off their season, and I will be interested to see what other bits they do with the race and if Fey will continue to come on the show to act as Palin.

Sidenote, the comment on Palin wearing Tina Fey glasses was hilarious.

And, I really hope that Fred Armisen does not play Obama. He really doesn't do a good job. Anyone else could do better than he can.

And who do you think will play McCain? My vote is on Darryl Hammond. I bet he could get it DOWN.

So many news shows played this sketch. You can even see if you go to YouTube and look at the results. But check this out from a website I found:

Palin's take on the SNL sketch: "'She thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween,' Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt told CBS.

According to her spokesperson, the governor and the press corps watched the sketch in the back of her plane, laughing at Tina and Amy’s satirical take on the two politicians.

“Saturday Night Live” is planning three primetime “Weekend Update” specials before the election. Viewers could see Fey reprise her Palin role again before America goes to the polls."

So now I will end with an incredible line from the opener which made me laugh very, very hard: "It just goes to show that anyone can be president. ANYONE. All you have to do it want it."

What did you think of the sketch or the portrayals?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seinfeld Facts

I don't know why, but currently I am obsessed with watching episodes of Seinfeld. It's pretty easy considering how many times that show re-runs on various channels. You can catch it so often, and it's rare for episodes to double up since the show has so much material.

I have also been watching Curb Your Enthusiasm which is also midly entertaining. On the show, they had a big running joke (a true joke) that Larry makes money for every time they air the show. That's incredible considering that Seinfeld plays at least four times in prime time television where I get cable.

Jerry and Larry have such incredible talents for writing. Their episodes are so genius; they go full-circle and create multiple plot lines that all are interesting and somehow intermingle throughout the episode. Every plot line has closure. And, it's not necessary for you to have seen the prior episode to understand the current episode. It's just so smart. And real.

Today I was looking up some facts on Seinfeld. Check them out:

Jerry is left-handed.

Jerry is a fan of Porsche and owns at least 35 of the cars.

He attended Birch Lane Elementary School and Massapequa High School. He went to Oswego College in upstate New York but transferred and graduated from Queens College in New York City.

He had a habit of throwing out the clothes he had traveled with after each road trip.

He donated the puffy shirt from Seinfeld to the Smithsonian Institution in 2004.

Jerry sold light bulbs over the phone, before becoming a comedian.

When Seinfeld first started doing stand up comedy, his mother and sister said he would never be as funny as his father.

Jerry's first store-bought Halloween costume was a superman costume that didn't fit. His mother made him wear his winter coat over it.

He owns over 500 sneakers. They are all white.

Since 1992, he has been a celebrity spokesman for American Express.

Jerry was ranked #12 in Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.

He is a lover of breakfast cereal.

He is a New York Mets fan.

Famous for his "What's the deal with..." jokes, Jerry is considered to be one of the best observational comedians of all time.

He wrote the following books:
"Stories From A Moron" in 2004.
"Letters From A Nut" in 1999.
"Halloween" in 2002, a childrens book.
"Seinlanguage" in 1993, and was a New York Times bestseller.
"Foreword to the Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook", from his favorite sandwich shop in New York City.

These facts all come from this website. Check out more there. That site also has many bits from Jerry's stand-up acts which are incredibly hilarious and well-known. Check them out.

What do you think of Seinfeld? Do you know any other interesting piece of information?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making America Stupid

Thomas Friedman is a very intelligent man. He wrote a wonderful book called The World Is Flat which identifies problems America will have if it falls short of keeping up with the rest of the world with technology and other issues. He really is a man to listen to.

Currently, he has a running op-ed column in The New York Times, and I came across this article over the weekend which I found incredible. I feel like it sums up a lot of my current ideas with the political race, as it is getting frustrating with competition, bitter words, and constant campaigning.

This article is called "Making America Stupid."

"Imagine for a minute that attending the Republican convention in St. Paul, sitting in a skybox overlooking the convention floor, were observers from Russia, Iran and Venezuela. And imagine for a minute what these observers would have been doing when Rudy Giuliani led the delegates in a chant of “drill, baby, drill!”

I’ll tell you what they would have been doing: the Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan observers would have been up out of their seats, exchanging high-fives and joining in the chant louder than anyone in the hall — “Yes! Yes! Drill, America, drill!” — because an America that is focused first and foremost on drilling for oil is an America more focused on feeding its oil habit than kicking it.

Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. “Typewriters, baby, typewriters.”

Of course, we’re going to need oil for many years, but instead of exalting that — with “drill, baby, drill” — why not throw all our energy into innovating a whole new industry of clean power with the mantra “invent, baby, invent?” That is what a party committed to “change” would really be doing. As they say in Texas: “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”

I dwell on this issue because it is symbolic of the campaign that John McCain has decided to run. It’s a campaign now built on turning everything possible into a cultural wedge issue — including even energy policy, no matter how stupid it makes the voters and no matter how much it might weaken America.

I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

In order to disguise the fact that the core of his campaign is to continue the same Bush policies that have led 80 percent of the country to conclude we’re on the wrong track, McCain has decided to play the culture-war card. Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences.

A Washington Post editorial on Thursday put it well: “On a day when the Congressional Budget Office warned of looming deficits and a grim economic outlook, when the stock market faltered even in the wake of the government’s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when President Bush discussed the road ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what did the campaign of Senator John McCain spend its energy? A conference call to denounce Senator Barack Obama for using the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’ and a new television ad accusing the Democrat of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read.”

Some McCain supporters criticize Obama for not having the steel in his belly to use force in the dangerous world we live in today. Well I know this: In order to use force, you have to have force. In order to exercise leverage, you have to have leverage.

I don’t know how much steel is in Obama’s belly, but I do know that the issues he is focusing on in this campaign — improving education and health care, dealing with the deficit and forging a real energy policy based on building a whole new energy infrastructure — are the only way we can put steel back into America’s spine. McCain, alas, has abandoned those issues for the culture-war strategy.

Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?

Sorry, but there is no sustainable political/military power without economic power, and talking about one without the other is nonsense. Unless we make America the country most able to innovate, compete and win in the age of globalization, our leverage in the world will continue to slowly erode. Those are the issues this election needs to be about, because that is what the next four years need to be about.

There is no strong leader without a strong country. And posing as one, to use the current vernacular, is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig."

What did you think of the article? Or Friedman and his writing?