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Friday · March 17 2006

List of Top 1000 books in U.S. public libraries
One of these things is not like the other…

At #15, no less. If you remove Garfield's thought balloons, the comic strip reveals it's true self — "a sad man talking to his fat cat"

Archived: Read » March 2006
What you had to say:
March 17 2006

I just wanna know why Garfield beat Calvin & Hobbes?
;)

March 18 2006

No surprise that most of the top 100 are the "lets-turn-every-high-school-kid-in-america-off-to-reading" books. Oops, did I say that out loud? I mean the "classics." (I just can't wait to read Beowulf again. That's a real page turner)

March 18 2006

Well, there's a difference between the top 100 books on freshman reading lists and the top 100 books in libraries. The most held library books should represent world culture with a particular slant towards American culture since they _are_ American libraries. In that regard, Garfield is cringe-worthy.

Admittedly, Beowulf isn't the most thrilling sophomore year read, but I'm willing to bet you wouldn't be as bitter about it if you had had a teacher more engaging with the material than Kuch.

March 19 2006

I'm just saying that the libraries keep multiple copies of these books because every high school kid in the country is forced to read the same ones every year. The smart ones borrow from the library rather than spend the $8.95. It's simple supply & demand -- only the demand is forced by evil english professors.

March 20 2006

a few years ago I harbored the notion that Garfield had originally been a funny comic. Luckily I am a girl and at one point was 12, so naturally my parents have a copy of the original book. Apparently that was a false notion. As far as I can tell it has never, ever been funny.

March 20 2006

What, no 1984 by George Orwell on the list? That is surely a classic high school must-read book.

I don't know if you remember, or I told you this Kuch story: One day in junior year English lit class he was blathering on and on about an insipid Yeats poem, something about swans (Found it online: The Wild Swans of Coole, http://www.bartleby.com/148/1.html ). He was working my last nerve by posing such stupid questions as why Yeats chose the particular number of swans (59). Questions like: what was the significance of the number? did it have special meaning to the author? and other metaphysical variations on this trivial detail.
Finally, I think I said in exasperation that it didn't matter how many f'n swans Yeats mentioned. It probably had no meaning at all, he may have chose it at random. Kuch responded that he didn't know why Yeats chose 59 either and maybe I was right. That rat bastard wasted ten minutes of my life that I can never have back, but I'm not bitter.

March 20 2006

All of my high school english teachers were, each in their own unique way, batshit crazy.

However, at my school we did a lot of writing assignments, which gave my mom (technical writing teacher and editor) lots of opportunities to teach me how to beat my prose into readibility.

That has served me well in life. Writing is the closest thing to a marketable skill I have and it says "managing editor" on my business card, so I'm faking it well.

March 20 2006

My searching skills suck. 1984 is on the list at #139. My bad.

The Far Side is #115, yay!

© 2006 Jason Keglovitz