Need Help Picking A Book!



Well, basically every year in English class (for those of you who arn't familiar with the concept of ISUs) We have to pick a book to do for our Independent Study Unit. Basically we have to write a Proposal, Character Analysis, Theme analysis, A response Journal (quotes from the book and what they mean) A final Essay and A final presentation. All of this is spread over the course of the school year. So we got a list of books we can choose from today and well... I can't decide which book to choose. I just wanna know if there are any books that are REALLY REALLY good or books that I should totally stay away from (ie boring that would make you fall asleep everytime you try to read :LOL: ) So um... ya. Help is much appreciated. Here's the looong list. :LOL: The bolded ones are the ones that i found interesting...

A Death in the Family
Winesburg, Ohio
Alias Grace
The Handmaid's Tale
The Edible Woman
The Blind Assassin
Sense and Sensibility
Northanger Abbey
Mansfield Park
Pride and Prejudice
Tamarind Mem
Go Tell It On the Mountain
Pere Goriot
Seize the Day
Jane Eyre
The Professor
A Clockwork Orange
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Fall
The Plague
My Antonia
Death Comes fo the Archbishop
The Long Goodbye
The Big Sleep
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Awakening
Don Quixote
The Moonstone
The Woman in White
The Secret Agent
Almayer's Folly
The Last of the Mohicans
The Red Badge of Courage
The Rebel Angels
The Cunning Man
Moll Flanders
Hard Times
Great Expectations
Bleak House
Out of Africa
The Waterworks
The Brothers Karamazov
Crime and Punishment
Sister Carrie
An American Tragedy
The Count of Monte Cristo
Invisible Man
The Mill on the Floss
Famous Last Words
Not Wanted on the Voyage
Tender is the Night
The Beautiful and Damned
This Side of Paradise
Madame Bovary
The Good Soldier
A Passage to India
A Room with a View
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Memories of a Geisha
I, Cladius
Red Harvest
Tess of the D'Ubervilles
Far from the Madding Crowd
The Return of the Native
Jude the Obscure
The Scarlet Letter
The Sun Also Rises
From Whom the Bell Tolls
The Garden of Eden
To Have and Have Not
The Invention of the World
The Hotel New Hampshire
A Son of the Circus
A Widow for One Year
The Cider House Rules
The World According to Garp
Mr. Norris Chances Trains
Goodbye to Berlin
Daisy Miiller
The Golden Bowl
The Wings of a Dove
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Metamorphosis
The Trial
The Last Temptation of Christ
On the Road
The Dharma Bums
Life is Elsewhere
The Diviners
The Stone Angel
A Jest of God
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Women in Love
Sons and Lovers
A Hero of Our Time
Elmer Gantry
Main Street
Voices in Time
The Watch that Ends the Night
Barometer Rising
Death in Venice
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Of Human Bondage
The Razor's Edge
The Painted Veil
Billy Budd, Sailor
Moby Dick
A Fine Balance
Song of Soloman
The English Patient
In the Skin of a Lion
The Bell Jar
The Fountainhead
Atlas Shrugged
All Quite on the Western Front
Goodbye Columbus
Wide Sargasso Sea
The God of Small Things
Franny and Zooey
Quo Vadis

The Jungle
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
The Grapes of Wrath
East of Eden
Gulliver's Travels
The Joy Luck Club
Vanity Fair

Ann Karenina
War and Peace
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Rabbit, Run
IN the Beauty of the Lilies
Breakfast of Champioins
Cat's cradle
The Color Purple
Brideshead Revisited
A Time Machine
Miss Lonelyhearts
Day of the Locust
The Age of Innocence
The House of Mirth
The PIcture of Dorian Gray
Look Homeward, Angel
Mrs. Dalloway
To the Lighthouse
A Room of One's Own

Thanks in advance! :)

--Mandy :angelic:


Someone in my english class a couple years ago did Catch-22 but i'm to too into that kind of Genre, but Invisible man. I'll keep that in mind. :D
--Mandy :angelic:


Aug 26, 2004
Austin, TX
I don't have an specific suggestions, but I would almost advise that you steer clear of the obvious choices, the books that everyone writes on. Pick something eclectic. This way, you can sort of write what you think, and not what you think you ought to think.

Xin Li


xinli11 said:
I don't have an specific suggestions, but I would almost advise that you steer clear of the obvious choices, the books that everyone writes on.  Pick something eclectic.  This way, you can sort of write what you think, and not what you think you ought to think.

Xin Li
Well most people have never even seen one book on the list so everyone's in the dark except for a few people :LOL:
--Mandy :angelic:


typically terrific
Jan 4, 2003
A Clockwork Orange is confusing as hell, and extremely dirty. Handmaid's Tale was dirty and just plain creepy. Alias Grace was I've heard, good, but I didn't like the Handmaid's Tale. Anna Karenina is like 1000 pages and VERY BORING. Pride and Predjudice- yuck. The Girl with a Pearl Earring was fairly good, and I've heard Don Quixote is good. I want to read the Plague!!! The Counte of Monte Cristo I've heard was good, and Crime and Punishment was really good but incredibly drawn long. Memories of a Geisha has always sounded really cool to me. DON'T READ the Scarlett Letter!! But I've you've seen the movie Cider House Rules, I'm sure the book is even better because the movie was just fantastic already. I've heard from numerous people that the Bell Jar is amazing. My friend read Atlas Shrugged last year and became obsessed. It is *still* her favorite book. The Joy Luck Club was very very good, and I reccommend it even though I never finished, but I've heard that War and Peace was simply not worth it.


Aug 26, 2004
Austin, TX
Yeah, if you just look at the book from a plot perspective and not look at the metaphors, the story is pretty much whale hurts ahab. Ahab mad. Ahab tries to hunt down whale. They sail, sail, and sail. They find whale and try to kill it. THey fail.


Sep 20, 2003
It's actually 'MEMOIRS of a Geisha'. I really love that book, and have read it a number of times in the last few years.

There are a lot you didn't put in bold that I absolutely love, but as they are quite old they are in funny 'old' language, and probably more difficult to get into.

That's a great list! I think I'm going to save the list, because it's giving me some great ideas about what books I want to buy!
Aug 25, 2004
Melbourne, Australia
i totally recommend Pride and Prejudice, i REALLY loved it, but it is a classic, so you may want to do something different.

i personally found Alias Grace REALLy boring, but others have read it and loved it. if you are the type of person that needs a book to capture their attention right away, this book is NOT for you.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring is an interesting read, as is Out of Africa, but they might not be for you.

The Count of Monte Cristo is fantastic, i really liked it. i liked Moby Dick as well, but it does tend to drag on a bit.

The Joy Luck Club is another good book, i really liked it. I haven't read The Picture of Dorian Gray, but my mum keeps nagging me too, she says that it is great. If you like books with a slightly sci-fi edge, but without vamp or ghosts or anything weird, you may like it.

you have a great selection to read from, i wish i had a choice like this. my top pick would have to be Pride and Prejudice, but i would choose something you like, noit what someone else does.

hope that helps



Sep 20, 2003
i totally recommend Pride and Prejudice, i REALLY loved it, but it is a classic, so you may want to do something different.
I would be happy to never even see that book again! It has been done to death. I have been to locations the miniseries was filmed at, it's on TV every year, I know someone who did a course in it and so talks about it all the time.

It was a Mills and Boon book of the early nineteenth century.

And now ANOTHER film version of it is going to come out next year! When does it end?! :LOL:


LOL! :LOL: okay, i need more help :LOL:

We got our Writer's Craft ISU last week, and well today, most of the book on the list that i wanted was taken, so i need more suggestions.

So basically what we have to do for the ISU:
Part A - An Explication
5 paragraph explication to analyse the piece of work you have chosen, blah blah blah, it just goes on and on about what it is etc.
Original Story or Play
Having read yrou children's story or oen act play, you will use it as a model from which to construiict yoru own children's story or one act play that is based thematically or by genre.

That one I think will be a HUGE undertaking *dies*

Dramatic Presentation
You wll make a dramatic presentation of your original work. You are encouraged to incorporate costumes, music or children as an audience, etc. to enhance your presentation. Your Original work is due on the friday fo your presentation.

Again, something i'm not looking forward to...

so here's the list that we got

So, the list of childrens novels (and I thought they were gonna be an easy read :rolleyes:
Peter Pan
The Wizard of Oz
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
The Secret Garden
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Ramona Quimby As Herself
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Oliver Twist
Who is Bugs Potter?
The Golden Compass
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Bad Beginning
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which also happened to be one of the books on the ISU book list for English)
Charlotte's Web

Again, the bold ones are the ones that i'm interested in doing. I know the story of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Charlotte's Web but have never actually read the whole entire novel. The Secret Garden and The Golden compass, I just have never heard the whole entire story but have heard by word that are good. But, Alias in Wonderland/Alias through the looking glass has already been taken, so has charlott's web, Harry Potter, Who is bugs potter, Tales of a fourth grade nothing.

Then there are One Act plays which I'm not familiar with AT ALL so ya, here's hoping that you guys know some...

Finding the Sun
Moving OUt a Garden Party
The Big House
Dorothy Parker... ONe Foot in Scarsdale
Hands Across the Sea
The Boor
The Marriage Proposal
"Master Harold"... and the Boys
Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act
Helpless Doorknobs
Glory in the Flower
The Bald Soprano
The Lesson
Jack or The Submission
The Charis
Out of Our Father's House
A View From The Bridge
A Memory of Two Mondays
I Can't REmember Anything
The Pretentious Young Ladies
'Night Mother
Bedtime Story
The Web
Here We Are
The Dumb Waiter
The Lover
The Room
How He Lied to Her Husband
The Music Cure
The Bolshevike Empress
Miss Julie
An Encounter with an Interviewer
A Florentine Tragedy
The Happy Journey
27 Wagons Fulls of Cotton

So right now, i'm looking more towards children's novels so does anyone have any good recommendations other than the ones on the list?

--Mandy :angelic:


Jan 17, 2004
well I think you should consider vanity fair... I read the book like two years ago and I loved it so much I read it all in one saturday afternoon... I also recommend the scarlet letter it is an easier one to read and it is excellant!


Sep 20, 2003
Remember that a movie can never be like a book. They are two compeltely different mediums. So much has to be changed to fit film structure and length. And things that take place in the book while the characters sit around a table for hours have to be moved outside and/or put into action in a film.

I have just finished studying adaptation in scriptwriting!

But it is always good when studying a book to have various interpretations to look at. It helps to identify major themes, and also often gives the characters a voice, or many voices. There are many versions of Vanity Fair that have been made.
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