Monday, 7 September 2009

What is Intelligence?

What is Intelligence?

For a number of people intelligence is perceived to be linked to what you/they have read. Who hasn’t heard someone say: “You haven’t read Niffenegger? What sort of slime have you crawled out of?”

I love lists of books. I love circling the books that I would love to read. My friend Erin sent me this list of 100 books (And most of them are very well known – there are only six that I have not heard of) and I have read 29 of them. That made me feel a bit un-intelligent, also because the ones that I have read are mostly either kid’s books or science-fiction. Then again, I think people should read the types of books that interest them, and not read books just because the book is a “classic”.

Working at a leading educational University I showed the list to an academic and she said “I’ve read ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and it is an awful book” . Movies on the other hand, any one who hasn’t seen “The Dish” should be deported...

...However, getting back on topic… “The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books” If I only have to admit to reading six, I will choose…

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
I quote it almost every day (well definitely every day that I talk to Stace – thanks for suggesting that I read it, it’s just a shame I didn’t read it for about three years after you suggested it)

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Because of how it relates to Jasper Fforde – and I shouldn’t hide my geekiness (thanks E and S).

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
Amazing book and I like it how list incorporate new books, especially books such as The Curious Incident, which I can imagine will be seen as a classic in ten and fifty and a hundred years time.

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Because I read most of it to my nephew which was a very nice experience.

I don’t like how the list contains both: “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” and “Hamlet” I have not read Hamlet. I’ve started Hamlet, and I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t get into it and I couldn’t finish it. It just might not be my cup of tea. I’ll give it a rest and have another go in a year or two. But I think the list would be better served by replacing Hamlet with: “The Princess Bride – by William Goldman.” Or something else…

Am I a book snob? I hope not – though I probably am. Anyway I’m not going to let the list get me down. I will use it as motivation (though that is not quite the word I want) and find five books that I would like to read (I leave the fifth book as your suggestion):

1. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
2. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
3. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
4. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
5. ___________________________

Or what books would you like to add to the list????

Anywhoo here is the list, do to it what you wish.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag other book nerds---and that would include me. I want to know who's read what.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

Total Read: 7

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (about half of them)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

Total: 3

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Total: 3

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

Total: 3

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown -
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

Total: 2

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley -
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Total: 3

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

Total: 0

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt

Total: 2

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

Total: 4

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Total: 2

Grand Total: 29


Stace said...

To answer your first question, I once read a study linking intelligence to memory - in other words, your IQ will be higher if you remember better. Which kind of makes sense.

I also read a couple of fascinating reports recently about the intelligence of a certain bird - some particular kind of crow, I think. Anyway, they found that this bird could figure out how to use a tool in order to obtain another tool to do a job - in other words, not simply using a tool, but realising that another tool would do the job better and getting that one before even trying with the inadequate one. It was pretty interesting stuff! It was somewhere here:

Lletna said...

I agree about the comment about "The Dish" I am working with a brunch of american's I have attempted to get them into Australian movies. I have educated them in The Castle (They believe it was too Victorian - too many in jokes), CrackerJack - The Happy Gilmore of bowls, and The Dish - and thre were a touch surprised that they hadn't heard of it before.

I probably should note here - that the work for a company that has links with NASA - so their know about space etc.

Anonymous said...