Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The 100 Top Novels

Around June 2008, I decided that I needed to become "well-read". Everyone always noted that I must be, since I read so much, but I felt like I wasn't. I mean, what qualifies you to be well-read? Is it the quantity? The quality? As determined by whom? I decided to define these subjective measures and made the decision to read the Top 100 Novels of the Twentieth Century as selected by the Modern Library. I mean, if the Modern Library did not know what was quality reading, and 100 wasn't quantity, then who does? After familiarizing myself with their website, I quickly learned that was not the only top reading list. There were also the Top 100 Novels as picked by readers and the Rival Top 100 list as picked by Radcliffe. So, because I cannot do anything halfway, or three quarters, or any easy way, I decided to read them all. There are many overlapping titles, and, as the huge dork that I am, I entered them into an Excel worksheet, just two looming titles "READ" and "TO READ".

In total there are 211 books and I have currently read 61 of them. It has been slow, since I started school and my "fun" reading time has been pushed aside by monstrous texts about bowel impaction, but I have made headway. It has forced me to read genres and titles I would not have otherwise even given a second glance. I have found some top reads and struggled through some wordy novels. I have found that Kurt Vonnegut might be for some, but is definitely NOT for me but that I really love Theodore Dreiser. And, because I know all of you, ok the 38 of you that have viewed my blog, really really want to know what I am reading. Here is my dorky spreadsheet. What is your favorite book/author/genre?

Read: great gatsby, portrait of artist of young man, lolita, brave new world, sound and the fury, catch 22, grapes of wrath, 1984, To the lighthouse, an american tragedy, the heart is a lonely hunter, slaughterhouse five, invisible man, native son appointment in samarra, winesburg ohio, passage to india, tender is the night, animal farm, golden bowl, sister carrie, as I lay dying, lord of the flies, deliverance the sun also rises, portnoy's complaint, light in august the catcher in the rye, a clockwork orange, heart of darkness, a farewell to arms, a room with a view brideshead revisited, the adventures of augie march, lord jim, the call of the wild, the magnificent ambersons, my antonia, watership down, farenheit 451, zen and the art of motorcylce maintence, the world according to garp, beloved, a prayer for own meany, to kill a mockingbird, the color purple, of mice and men, charlotte's web, winnie the pooh, their eyes were watching god, for whom the bell tolls, the old man and the sea, the jungle, in cold blood, franny and zooey, ethan frome, a separate peace, o pioneers, the war of the worlds, this side of paradise

To Read ulysses darkness at noon sons & lovers under the volcano the way of all flesh I Claudius henderson the rain king usa trilogy wings of the dove the ambassadors the studs lonigan trilogy the good soldier a handful of dust all the king's men the bridge of san luis rey howards end go tell it on the mountain the heart of the matter a dance to the music of time point counter point the secret agent nostromo the rainbow women in love tropic of cancer the naked and the dead on the road the maltese falcon parade's end the age of innocence zuleika dobson the moviegoer death comes from the archbishop from here to eternity the wapshot chronicles of human bondage main street house of mirth the alexandria quartet a high wind in jamaica a house for mr biswas the day of the locust the prime of miss jean brodie finnegans wake kim angle of repose a bend in the river the death of the heart ragtime the old wives tale loving midnight's children tobacco road ironweed the magus wide sargasso sea under the net sophie's choice the sheltering sky the postman always rings twice the ginger man the satanic verses the cunning man illusions mythago wood suttree mulengro sometimes a great notion one flew over the cuckoos nest citizen of the galaxy double star v it the puppet masters guilty pleasure the hunt for red october naked lunch arrowsmith at swim two birds the door into summer the magus the wood wife the haunting of hill house sometime wicked this way comes starship troopers the recognitions the little country ender's game greenmantle on the beach blood meridian the handmaid's tale the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy trader memory and dream one lonely night at the mountains of madness yarrow someplace to be flying fifth business wise blood absalom absalom moonheart the worm oroboros the french lieutenant's woman the stand trustee from the toolroom shane gone with the wind gravity's rainbow a town like alice stranger in a strange land the moon is a harsh mistress dune fear mission earth we the living anthem the lord of the rings battlefield earth the fountainhead atlas shrugged song of solomon portrait of a lady schindler's list mrs dalloway the wonderful wizard of oz lady chatterly's lover the awakening jazz a good man is hard to find orlando bonfire of the vanities cat's cradle the wings of the dove things fall apart rebecca look homeward angel in our time the autobiography of alice b tokias white noise the bostonians the wind in the willows babbitt the beautiful and the damned rabbit run where angels fear to tread scoop pale fire

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