The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Favourite Book Challenge Blogfest

         Okay, I said I wasn't going to do blogfests for a while and now here I am doing one.  This one is from Teralyn Rose Pilgrim's A Writer's Journey.  What can I say?  It's one of those list-your-favorites type things that I couldn't resist.   Here's the scoop:

June 20-22nd - Favourite Book Challenge Blogfest

  1. Pick your top five favorite books
  2. Between Jun 20 and 22, write one line of what each book is about and then write one line of why you liked it. Think of it like a twitter pitch for other people’s work. Semi-colons are cheating, but you can use them anyway.
  3. Go to other blogs and discuss the books.
  4. If you do not keep a blog, put your challenge in the comments on the day of the event.
        I'm not including anything like the Bible or a dictionary  or any reference books to which I frequently refer.   My choices will strictly be novels that have influenced me in a significant way.  There are other books that I might like better and probably some I didn't think of.   But these are big ones for me.  Here they are:

       1.   The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
            "A boy and a runaway slave have adventures along the Mississippi River as they each seek their own interpretations of freedom."

              An often absurd story with great humor combined with some very true insights and touching moments.


    2.  The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

         "Young man goes to war, finds out war sucks, becomes cowardly, then becomes heroic."

          This short book has a simplicity of style with an eloquence of plot and character development--an epic of a young man's personal growth.

           3.  A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

                "War is hell and can really screw up a relationship."

                 It's a depressing story that's easy to read and has some pretty cool scenes.

       4.  Intra Muros: My Dream of Heaven by Rebecca Ruter Springer

           "Woman on her deathbed visits heaven then lives to tell about it."

            Idyllic read that is reflective and comforting like a story my grandmother might tell.


       5.  The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy

                                            "Cowboys who don't seem to know there's a Mexican border struggle with the modern era."

          Somber and weighty stuff that captivated me and took me to another place and time.


And those are mine.
You can find the choices  from the other participants at The Writer's Journey.

          Which of my choices have you read?   What was your opinion of those choices that you read?

          On Wednesday I will present five favorite non-fiction books.



  1. Great choices and why you liked them.
    Have a good day.


  2. You definitely favor literary classics.

  3. Let's see now - I've definitely read Huck Finn and might include it in my own list were I to do one. I remember Crane's The Red Badge of Courage with some pleasure. I loved A Farewell to Arms but it isn't my favourite Hemingway - that would be Islands in the Stream. I love anything by Cormac and I don't know Springer. I like your choices...

  4. I'm so bad at reading! I suppose that I could post my five favorite crochet books!! Oh well, it sounds like fun for avid readers Arlee. Unfortunately I am a reference book fanatic as I am always trying to learn how to do things or fix them.
    Love Di ♥

  5. I love Twain of course--he's Missouri and I love anything Hemingway.

    Great choices.

  6. Those are some great classics! I haven't read some of them so I should check them out.

  7. I read Huckleberry Finn in grade school and spent that whole summer trying to recreate it.

  8. Huck Finn would be one of my favorites too. And The Red Badge of Courage is a good one. I haven't read the Border Trilogy yet, but I must. Love Cormac McCarthy.

  9. Love some of those literary classics! Great choices.

  10. LOL - I've only read the first one!

  11. Excellent choices Lee! I love Huckleberry Finn! The Red Badge of Courage and A Farewell to Arms are also on my long lists of faves..I've never read the other two..this looks like a real fun challenge!

  12. Yvonne -- I neglected any of the British classics!!! Sorry.

    Alex -- I tend to remember the literary classics better probably because I studied them in depth in school so they made a bigger impact I guess.

    Jan-- Springer's book is one that back in the first half of the 20th century was often given to people grieving after the loss of a loved one. It is a comforting book. The style is rather quaint and Victorian so might not be that appealing to readers who like more modern lit.

    Diana -- I too have tended to read more non-fiction in the past many years. I lean toward histories.

    Teresa -- Twain is an American treasure.

    Clarissa -- Except for the Springer book, any writer or literature buff should be familiar with all of these books.

    Mybabyjohn -- I read Huck Finn in college and liked it a lot. Then I reread it with my wife a few years back and liked it even better. It was much funnier than I had remembered. I was laughing out loud as I read.

    L.G. -- McCarthy's work takes some effort to get into, but once the reader adapts to his writing style it is a beauty to read.

    Ciara -- They're called "Classics" for a good reason.

    L. Diane -- You must read the others. Especially, McCarthy--if you haven't read The Road you might want to start with that one--scary apocalyptic stuff.


  13. Eve --You ought to join in. I have a difficult time resisting these lists of favorites.


  14. It's one thing to host a blogfest. It's another to join in on one that someone else is hosting. I think it's good that you have allowed yourself to enjoy this particular blogfest, Arlee.

  15. I am in. My post will come up tomorrow. The only one you listed that I was Red Badge of Courage. I was required to read it in school. Since that was so long ago I can't think of what I thought of it, I would have to read it again.

  16. Huckleberry Finn is the only one I've read.

  17. I've read your first three picks and enjoyed them as well! I'm going to check out "Intra Muros" and "Border Trilogy," - both sound intriguing.

  18. I've only read Hemingway. I'm a big fan of Hemingway!

  19. Nice selection. Although, isn't the Border Trilogy cheating?

  20. MR. ARLEE BOID ~
    I'm gonna join this blogfest later today or tomorrow because I'm sure everyone is just dying to know what my favorite books are [Cough!-Cough! & Ha!-Ha!].

    Thanks for the heads up about it. I've already decided what's going on my list, but I had to include 10 titles because restricting myself to just 5 woulda been too painful and our blog host said that 1 to 10 books was permitted.

    I gave some serious thought to including "Huckleberry Finn" on my list also, because I believe that the combination of chapters 16 and 31, culminating in that moment where Huck says to himself, "All right, then, I'll go to hell" - and tore it up represents the very greatest writing in the history of the English language.

    Poor Mr. Twain, he always felt that he was less than an A-List Writer because he was essentially a humorist, and yet he captured the most elevated, the most beautiful core of truth contained within the human heart in that brilliant series of thoughts in which Huck Finn eventually disregards all that his society has taught him is just and right, and chooses an eternity in hell rather than sell out a fellow human being who trusts in him.

    BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT THINKING AND WRITING! Writers have spent entire careers trying to capture something so pure as that truth and yet Twain caught it in a mere two chapters of one book. It's almost enough to bring a jaded, hardened, curmudgeonly old bloke like me to the verge of tears.

    Ultimately though, I had to choose other books for more personal, sentimental reasons.

    "You can't pray a lie - I found that out."
    ~ Huckleberry Finn
    Chapter 31

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  21. Ooo, and my reading list gets longer.

  22. Great choices. I've read three of the five. I'll check out the other two. Thanks for that!

  23. Hi Arlee! This is my first visit to your excellent blog. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on mine! I'll definitely be back here.

    Cindy at Cindy's Book Club

  24. Jeffrey -- I love these favorites lists. And they are usually pretty quick to put together.

    Gregg -- Red Badge is a short quick read. Look forward to your list.

    Ocean Girl-- You might enjoy A Farewell to Arms.

    Paula -- is some great writing and story telling.

    Talli -- I light the simplicity of Hemingway's style.

    Mood -- You can now purchase the entire trilogy in one volume so I can justifiably consider this one book now. They all together anyway. Come to think of it somewhere I have a one volume copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare--I should have considered that one.

    StMc -- Huckleberry Finn gets a bit silly at the end, but all that comes before makes up for it. I'm looking forward to your list. I'm going to have 10 as well as I going to do five non-fiction favorites on Wednesday.

    E.Arroyo -- I assure you that there's some good lit here.

    Pat -- I wonder which two! Whichever I hope you will enjoy them.

    Cindy --- Welcome to my blog and I look forward to your future visits.


  25. Cool choices, Lee. I might have to give this one a go.

  26. Ok let's try this.
    Call of the Wild-Jack London
    tale of a St Bernard taken from sunny cali and forced into sleddogship, finds his heart.
    Easy read with just a little darkness thrown in.

    A Chrismas Carol by Charles Dickens
    Story of a miser that finds a higher calling
    Enjoyable read, of course just right to read during the holidays.

    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    tale of 2 migrant workers in depression California that ends with tragic results
    Enjoyed the interplay between George and Lenny

    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    tale of a time traveler who travels far into the future lending glimpes into where man may be going, with just the right amount of plausable sci-fi thrown in.
    Interesting read, leads one to ponder the future of man.

    My last is not a novel but rather a play
    As you Like it-By Shakespeare
    Brothers fight, girl falls in love in the forest of Arden 'all the world's a stage."
    Interesting mostly light early work by the bard

    Take Care

  27. Yep, I agree with you, BOID. I hate it toward the end when Tom Sawyer suddenly makes an appearance in the story and things get too wacky.

    But, yes, that great stuffs that precedes Tom, is indeed GREAT STUFFS!

    Glad to know you're a-gonna do a nonfiction list. I'll definitely check it out, Brother.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  28. As I expected you have a very very American taste in books.
    I remember writing an essay on A FAREWELL TO ARMS back in college and being praised for it :) by one of Serbia's biggest experts on Hemingway, but I don't like Hemingway generally.

  29. Arlee
    You are addicted to blogfests, just admit it. :D
    I think this blogfest is pretty great, however and I wish I had the time to join!
    I've read Huck Finn and I love it!looking forward to your nonfiction selections.

  30. Word Nerd -- Go for it! It's fun.

    Lisa at fishy face -- You've got classics as well!

    StMc -- Hope you aren't too disappointed with my non-fiction choices as they don't deal heavily in ideologies.

    Dezmond -- As I recall I wrote a paper comparing Farewell to Arms to Huckleberry Finn and I think I got a good grade on this strange juxtaposition.

    Nutschell -- I think an awful lot of us feel the irresistible allure of a good blogfest. Who doesn't like listing their favorite things?


  31. Interesting choices, Lee!

    I've read #1 and #2 on your list. Loved Huck Finn. When my son read it last year, it was abridged. Alas, the Mark Twain flavor just wasn't I found an original version for him to read. ☺

    I'm adding Intra Muros to my library list, as it sounds of a story I'd enjoy.

    I have no desire to read Hemingway; however, it reminds me of the blonde who, when asked if she'd read it, thought Farewell to Arms was a diet book. ☺

    Happy Monday!

  32. The first three are among my all time favorites. Great choices.

  33. all great choices...will have to pick some up. Blessings, Joanne

  34. Huck is always a good choice! I also enjoyed the Red Badge. Never did find Hemingway as fascinating as a lot of people did. Should give him another shot one of these days! :)

  35. I remember reading 1 and 2. I loved Huck Finn and the adventures of him and Tom Sawyer. The young man in the Red Badge of Courage was upsetting to me. I was happy it turned out like it did, but it was shocking and instilled fear in me. I was twelve when I read it. I haven't heard of the others. I will have to check them out. I'm really interested in "My Dream of Heaven"~ Thanks Lee this was interesting~ Nicely Done!

  36. >>...Hope you aren't too disappointed with my non-fiction choices as they don't deal heavily in ideologies.

    What are you saying, LEE? That "The Communist Manifesto" won't be appearing on your nonfiction list? Dang! What sort of American are YOU?!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  37. Larri -- Seems like a lot of division on Hemingway. I guess I haven't read a lot of his work, but Arms did leave a big impression.

    Mary -- Thanks!

    Joanne -- I liked these books!

    Jemi -- I can only speak for Farewell and some short stories. I read Old Man and the Sea but I don't remember it much.

    Ella - I read Red Badge of Courage in junior high and as a boy I really liked it and still did when I reread it as an adult.

    StMc -- I do have some Marx in the home library, but no they won't be in my favorites.


  38. This is an inspiring blogfest. I want to go and reread the first three and get to know the last two.

  39. Well what a list of classics. Huck Finn now that one takes me back! Heaven sounds intriguing! Have to follow a fellow Nanowrimo sufferer and am a bit intrigued about the A-z challenge. I'm number 13 (yes the kangaroo one) on this blog fest. Cheers

  40. OH, this is a great idea for a blog fest! I love hearing about people's favorite books.

    I've only read A Farewell to Arms. Yes, depressing but I couldn't put it down.

  41. That's a good idea for a blogfest. I just posted yesterday, so I'm not due to post again for a few days.

    Of your books, I've only read The Red Badge of Courage. Thats's bad!

    What would my favorite be?
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Accidental Tourist
    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    Harry Potter
    The Great Gatsby (tied with a few others)

  42. I love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Now I want to read Huck and Tom Sawyer all over again. I've seen The Red Badge of Courage out there. I've never read it but understand its a classic. I'll out it on my TBR List. Thanks!

  43. Melissa -- The McCarthy books are probably the most challenging.

    Chandra -- I'm happy and grateful also.

    Cheryl -- Thanks for stopping by.

    Jennifer - I have a hard time resisting the favorite list fests.

    Theresa -- Mockingbird and Potter seem to be the favorites that are most often listed.

    Lion -- thanks

    Stephen Tremp -- Red Badge of Courage is a short quick read. I love the story.


  44. That's the second time (so far) I've seen My Dream of Heaven on participants lists - I'll definitely pick that one up. Love your choices!

  45. Wow, you're very good at summarising novels in one line. :-)

    Thanks for the recommendations. There were 3 on your list I hadn't heard of yet.

  46. great list. The only one I've read is Huck Finn and that was truly awesome in so many ways.

  47. Heidi -- I think so too!

    Lady Gwen -- I was very surprised to see My Dream of Heaven on another list--it seems like such an obscure book. I was glad though that someone else reaffirmed my choice. It is a wonderful book in its genre.

    KC -- Thank you. I wouldn't be too surprised if you hadn't heard of the last 2, but what was the other one--the first three are so widely read in schools and movies have been made of all of them that I would think most people would have at least heard of them.

    Lynda -- Many literature scholars have argued that Huckleberry Finn is the greatest American novel.


  48. Added most of these to my TBR list - thanks :)

  49. I haven't heard of any of those books, but really like the sound of book 4 - am going to search it up now:) Thanks.

  50. Gotta get that Border Trilogy, thanks for the reminder.

  51. I've read Huck Finn and while I love Cormac McCarthy, I haven't read The Border Trilogy.

  52. I can see that time will at a premium here while I read, read, read.

  53. Gosh I have only heard of Huckleberry Finn amongst those. :O)

  54. Good books here that deserve to be read. Hope you'll check them out. Thanks for your comments.



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