The LIST

Saintseester and I have been emailing back and forth this evening about what the next Dark and Stormy Book Club selection should be. It’s my turn to choose, but I feel a particular pressure with this decision; I’m planning on visiting Bo and Seester at the beginning of April, and part of our plan for my visit is to have an “all hosts in the same room” broadcast of the book discussion. I’d hate to be the one to choose a stinker book for one of the few times we can do this together.

Anyway, Seester sent me a link to Time Magazine’s 100 Novels of All Time. Since I’m running short of blog fodder today (though I’ve got stuff lined up for both tomorrow AND Tuesday – go figure), I’ve decided to read through the 100 and let you know which books I’ve read. I’ve a feeling I’m going to be heartily embarrassed by how few of these I’ve gotten to – especially given that I identify myself as both a voracious reader AND an English teacher, but here we go anyway. Don’t laugh….

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (thanks, Seester!)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Dear GOD, but I hated this book…)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein

Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie

Native Son by Richard Wright

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (thanks again, Seester!)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Holy crap! FIFTEEN out of ONE HUNDRED?! I’m pathetic…

Here’s the list of the 100 best novels as voted by “regular people.” I’ve put in bold those that I’ve read…

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
13. Ulysses by James Joyce
14. Animal Farm by George Orwell
15. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
16. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
17. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
18. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
19. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
20. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
21. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
22. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
23. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
24. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
25. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
26. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (I’m SO glad this made a list. It’s my favorite) 27. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
28. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
29. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
30. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
31. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
34. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
35. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
36. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
37. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
38. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
39. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (I own this, I’ve just not read it yet) 40. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
41. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
42. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
43. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
44. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
45. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
46. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
47. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
48. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
49. The Stand by Stephen King
50. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
51. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (I’ve read this six times)
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
53. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
54. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
55. Watership Down by Richard Adams
56. Dracula by Bram Stoker
57. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
58. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
60. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
61. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
62. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
63. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
64. Dune by Frank Herbert
65. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
66. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
67. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
68. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
69. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
70. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
71. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
72. The Trial by Franz Kafka
73. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
74. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
75. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
78. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
79. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
80. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
81. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
82. The Stranger by Albert Camus
83. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
84. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
85. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LeRoux
86. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
87. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
88. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
89. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. Persuasion by Jane Austen
91. Light in August by William Faulkner
92. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
93. Call of the Wild by Jack London
94. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
95. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
96. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
97. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
98. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
99. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
100. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

So – 28 on this list. A little better, but still pretty frickin’ shameful for an ENGLISH teacher… I’m going to go sulk for a while…

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11 Comments

Filed under Dark and Stormy Book Club, my oh-so-exciting life, reading, strange but true

11 responses to “The LIST

  1. That first list is English-language novels since 1923 (who knows why?) and the second list has no time limit. There are more that I have read on the first list.

    You and I have 6 in common from the Time list: The Blind Assassin, Never Let Me Go, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Grapes of Wrath (hated it, too), and To Kill a Mockingbird (which is one of my all-time favorites).

    We 18 in common on the “regular” people’s list. I’ve already found several new novels I want to read. Gravity’s Rainbow looks intriguing, but I am not even going to try War and Peace.

  2. Oops: That sentence should read “there are more on the second list than I have read on the first list.” It makes more sense that way.

  3. A few years ago I found a list of 100 greatest books ever somewhere and the first book on the list was Don Quixote. So I started that one. About 150 pages or so in I still hadn’t lost the intense desire to kill myself with a blunt object — so I gave up on it. I am about 33 for your list above (the second list)…. Maybe I need to tackle that first list — I’ve been on some sort of fiction break for awhile…

  4. I am stealing this to post later this week. I need to crack some spines myself.

  5. I’m about 28 for the second list.

    I’ve also heard and read in numerous places that The Catcher in the Rye is a must read for boys from 14-17. I have read it, and be grateful you have daughters.

  6. I’m gonna be looking through this list as well. For an avid reader, I, too, fall drastically short on the classics.

  7. OK so on the posted list I’ve read 42, possibly more but I have a hard time remembering which books by some authors I’ve read when they have more than one on the list. May I suggest heartily that you DO NOT choose Madame Bovary. Just knowing that you were working on it would bore me to tears AGAIN.

    On the Time list I’ve read 23, maybe 24 but I’m having trouble remembering if I got all the way through The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.

    Beloved is an awesome book. I think anything by Toni Morrison would be a great choice for your club. If you haven’t read Lord of the Flies it’s a quick read and has endless discussion possibilities for people who raise and teach children. Or for people who watch Lost a lot. I don’t know if you guys are into less realistic fare but Stephenson’s Snow Crash (Time list) is also highly readable and has some intense things to think about in terms of the parameters we put on technology and information. A girl who loved the Matrix would probably really like Snow Crash.

    Have fun!

  8. twoblueday

    On the Time list of English language novels since 1923, I’ve read 26 of them.

    On the people’s choice (which, obviously, is not a comparable list) I’ve read 50.

  9. Kizz, great suggestions. I have read Snowcrash, but I am not sure I would necessarily pick it. Probably because it irritates the computer scientist in me a bit. Books about computer software often do. Funny. I loved the Matrix.

  10. I was really light on the Time list: Just 12. I did much better on the other list: 40 5/7 (I haven’t finished all the Harry Potter books yet). I have to say, I like the second list better because it includes a much broader selection of work from non-English cultures.

    I have to go on record as saying that I found The Grapes of Wrath to be an incredibly moving story (and the whole chapter on the turtle didn’t bother me at all). I don’t know why it strikes as strong a tone in me as it does, but it does.

  11. I have only read 15 on the second list, as a 41 yr old college grad I should have read more I suppose, but most of those 15 have had a profound effect on me and I think of them often.

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