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Even though I'm a Lit major, I actually dislike classics. A lot. So the few that I liked are:

51. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I grew up on this book. 

52. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
I hated the movie, any movie. I found it terrifying. And then after reading quotes from it in Princess Diaries of all places, I tried it and wowza! Puns! Wordplays! I guess what makes it so great is not as transferable from print to screen.

53. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Confession: I did not read this in high school even though we were supposed to. Instead I read it years later, long after I graduated college. And the lyrical writing got to me. 

54. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
I picked up the two volume set years and years ago, and can barely remember the cases, except for the last one in Australia with the lion's head and the one with the bloody print that proved the dead guy was still alive. But I fell in love with Holmes, and remembered thinking how he'd find it terribly difficult to deduce people nowadays because the tattoos can mean just about anything, etc. (I guess I didn't calculate the fact that he's a methodical genius and would adapt to current tech.)

55.  Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montogomery
I like how Anne thinks and this is a perfect example of hate to love. Also: best friends! Mostly I read this because it's there. (My mother must have bought it.) I followed the series until Anne's kids, but I don't remember them that much. 

As for general fiction, I don't read it that much. I tend to get bored unless it's by an author I already trust. I actually read one book on this list recently and got depressed because it was so good. And I can't stand wading through all the other fiction books out there to find one just like it.

56. When You Don't See Me by Timothy James Beck
Aforementioned book. It's written by three people, two of which have collaborated before in another book I like called Three Fortunes in One Cookie. Technically, these two books belong to the L/G section because they have gay characters, but there's no explicit sex and I mostly read it for the friendships and complicated family and actual plot. It's not like a Nobel worthy book, but it has heart. It deals with all sorts of things like post 9/11, job hunting, roommates, etc. I read it in bed and didn't get up until I was done. And I couldn't read anything else afterwards.

57. Narcissus Ascending by Karen McKinnon
It's a book that's very important to me, but I wouldn't really call it great. I wrote about it before and called it hipster-y before hipsters were a thing. The author does not use quotation marks so you don't know when they're talking or just thinking. And it's about a group of friends bound by a common enemy. And there's art and there's sex and there's jealousy and drama. And the ending is a little bit cathartic. It just really hit close to home as I was dealing with a toxic friendship at that time in my life.

58. Women's Room by Marilyn French
I didn't know what this book was about but it impacted me like a meteor. It disturbed me and comforted me and inspired me and horrified me and I emerged a little bit more jaded about men. 

59. Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg
I like the format of this book, with letters alternating with diary entries to record Nan's running away from home when she turned fifty. I gave a copy to a friend's mom when she turned fifty and she liked it. :P Berg's a pretty solid writer. There's also a short story somewhere with Nan's husband writing to her instead. 

60. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
I watched the movie first and even though I loved the scrapbook it mostly left me scratching my head. Then I read the book and wow. It's like a million times more complicated and more heartbreaking. It's like those moments in Gilmore Girls where you just get to see through Emily Gilmore's eyes for a second and feel for her before she closes up again. This is mother-daughter drama that earns it. And I always cry at the end. I also gain an appreciation for the South which I frankly don't know anything about. (Not American and Not White.)

61. How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto
Same with the above. The book is so much better than the movie just because you really get to know the characters. Also the metaphor works better. I actually thought about making a quilt after reading this. One thing that really lingered: the idea that you can fall in love with two people at once. And another: the broken crockery mosaic. I also liked Otto's The Passion Dream Book mostly for the art.

62. Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
I had this book for the longest time. (A gift from a friend that gathered dust on my shelf.) And then when we were going to move I decided to finally read it, and it's like a bomb. A very lyrical, poetic, heart-wrenching bomb of a book. So, so beautifully written. It's the sequel to The Bean Trees. I also love her Prodigal Summer with the different POVs and even though the topic was iffy for me, I read The Poisonwood Bible and she made it bearable. I also read her non-fiction collections: High Tide in Tuscon and Small Wonders, plus her short story collection. Her recent ones though I failed out of.

63. Cotillon by Georgette Heyer
I think this was the first book I read by her. I love it because I didn't know what to expect, which is really strange to say of a romance novel. Really cute! I also liked Venetia and I've been reading her mysteries too.

66. Bad Manners by Marne Davis Kellogg
Speaking of mysteries, I picked this one up for a song, to my mother's dismay at the title. And then I fell in love with this sassy book. My favorite line is: "But. Shit." Hahahaha. I also like Kellogg's series about the art thief Kick Keswick which always makes me hungry and also makes me want to buy jewelry.

67. AKA Jane by Maureen Tan
It's about a spy who also happens to be a mystery author and it's just a fun mix of romance and mystery/spy thriller. There's a sequel too which I had to track down called Run Jane Run and it's less on the romance and more on her past. 

I dislike short stories unless they're part of a bigger universe (like Card's First Meetings or Pratchett's Discworld stories) but once in a while I find a collection that really appeals.

68. Light Action in the Caribbean by Barry Lopez
There's a certain sense in his writing of craft, people who take their time and lovingly create whether it be boats or stories. I left my copy back home and then grabbed it from the shelf at our old place when I last visited. He writes gorgeous sentences. I also liked his collection Resistance.

69. Family Dancing by David Leavitt
Gay-themed but focuses more on family, the stories are not fantasy nor sci fi. They're just pure human spirit. Pure heart. 

70. Three in one: Manga titles (only the finished ones though): Gokusen which delves deeper into Yankumi's Yakuza background and also ships her and Shin so so much; Ashita no Ousama which is about theatre and is so amazing; and Cat Street which is about alternative education.

And the next will be my favorite thirty fantasy and science fiction books or series, I promise.

January 2017

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