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28 out 100

I hate the concept of canonical lists of "the N best" of something, but I like filling out surveys about what I've seen/read.

via pir_anha
In 2005, Time magazine picked the 100 best English-language novels. mark the selections you have read in bold. If you liked it, add a star (*) in front of the title, if you didn't, give it a minus (-). Then, put the total number of books you've read in the subject line.

I used + for ones I liked and ? for the ones I don't remember well enough.


The Adventures of Augie March - Saul Bellow
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral - Philip Roth
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
+Animal Farm - George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra - John O'Hara
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
The Assistant - Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O'Brien
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories - Christopher Isherwood
+The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
?Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep - Henry Roth
-Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
-The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
+A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust - Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
A Death in the Family - James Agee
The Death of the Heart - Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance - James Dickey
Dog Soldiers - Robert Stone
Falconer - John Cheever
?The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles (I liked other Fowles I read, but can't remember if I liked this one.)
?The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin
+Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
-Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon (I think partly I didn't like it because it was a "must read to count as cool" among my crowd in college)
?The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
+/-A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh (I liked it overall but it's very bleak)
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
Herzog - Saul Bellow
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas - V.S. Naipaul
+I, Claudius - Robert Graves
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
?Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
Light in August - William Faulkner
+The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis (Read as a kid and didn't notice the Christian symbolism as such.)
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
+/-Lord of the Flies - William Golding (I liked it overall, but it was just too close to the truth. What can I say, I like a little escapism in my novels.)
+++The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien (Definitely one of my favorites and one of the few works I reread regularly)
Loving - Henry Green
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children - Christina Stead
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Money - Martin Amis
The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch - William Burroughs
Native Son - Richard Wright
+/-Neuromancer - William Gibson (Liked the style, thought the plot was thin.)
Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
+1984 - George Orwell
?On the Road - Jack Kerouac
+/-One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey (Liked, but bleak and too close to the truth.)
The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
Play It As It Lays - Joan Didion
+Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth (I liked it at the time I read it, but I think I would find it annoying now.)
Possession - A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run - John Updike
Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions - William Gaddis
Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
+/--Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut (I liked it at the time I read it, but I reread it recently and found it intensely annoying.)
+Snow Crash- Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor - John Barth
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford
+The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John le Carré (le Carré is one of my favorite authors...I can only listen to his books on audio though, I can't seem to read them. I should try again to read one, one of these days.)
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
+To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
+To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
Under the Net - Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
+/-Watchmen - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (I think it's more that I wanted to like it than that I actually did like it. I didn't know enough of the characters' backstory for one thing.)
White Noise - Don DeLillo
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
surelars
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this. Reminds me again that I need to start reading Neal Stephenson.

I'm startled that you didn't like "Catch-22". If you can, would you mind sharing why? I'm also intrigued that "Slaughterhouse-Five" annoyed you; I've only read it once, many years ago. Could it be that my memory is mixing up the book and the movie? Maybe I should read it again.
firecat
Nov. 3rd, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
Catch-22 = "too bleak". I might like it better now.

The "Slaughterhouse-Five" book...it's a brilliant book, don't get me wrong, but there are a bunch of scenes that, although I liked them when I read them as a teenager, now push my buttons in a way that makes the book unpleasant to read. I don't really want to discuss the details here but if you are curious about specifics send me email.
surelars
Nov. 3rd, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the answer about "Slaughterhouse-Five".

The first time I read "Catch-22" was in high school. I just laughed and laughed - without it ever diminishing the terror of the whole thing. I've read it a few times since, and it still makes me laugh, and cry, and fume, and nod in recognition.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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