Other people’s reading lists…

I keep coming across these lists of “The Greatest Books Ever”, or “The Greatest Books since …”, or “Books You Must Read”, or whatever, where people mark in some way which ones they’ve already read/liked/hated or want to read. To help me keep up with the PostADay2011 challenge I thought I might find some of these and share how I do on them. Hopefully it’ll also inspire me with more books I haven’t read, although I’ll admit I rarely have trouble finding those. I have a feeling I’m going to forget have I read some of them, which probably means it wouldn’t hurt to read them again! I’ll bold the ones I’ve read (or link them if they’ve been discussed here already, although I likely won’t go back to add in ones I read after this post). I’ll bold just the author if I’ve read other books by them but not the one in question. If Zemanta suggests links for the authors I’ll add them, but I’m not going to look for links for every author.

So, the first list is Time Magazine’s ALL TIME 100 Novels, which really means their pick of novels since 1923, when the magazine was first published, apparently. I found this via 101 Books, where he’s blogging his way through the books on the list. I’m not all that keen on how they’ve listed them alphabetically by title, but not aggrieved enough to rearrange the list…

The Adventures of Augie March (1953), by Saul Bellow
All the King’s Men (1946), by Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral (1997), by Philip Roth
An American Tragedy (1925), by Theodore Dreiser
Animal Farm (1946), by George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra (1934), by John O’Hara
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970), by Judy Blume
The Assistant (1957), by Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds (1938), by Flann O’Brien
Atonement (2002), by Ian McEwan
Beloved (1987), by Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories (1946), by Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep (1939), by Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin (2000), by Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian (1986), by Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited (1946), by Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), by Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep (1935), by Henry Roth
Catch-22 (1961), by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye (1951), by J.D. Salinger
A Clockwork Orange (1963), by Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), by William Styron
The Corrections (2001), by Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), by Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time (1951), by Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust (1939), by Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), by Willa Cather
A Death in the Family (1958), by James Agee
The Death of the Heart (1958), by Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance (1970), by James Dickey
Dog Soldiers (1974), by Robert Stone
Falconer (1977), by John Cheever
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969), by John Fowles
The Golden Notebook (1962), by Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953), by James Baldwin
Gone With the Wind (1936), by Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath (1939), by John Steinbeck
Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), by Thomas Pynchon
The Great Gatsby (1925), by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Handful of Dust (1934), by Evelyn Waugh
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (1940), by Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter (1948), by Graham Greene
Herzog (1964), by Saul Bellow
Housekeeping (1981), by Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas (1962), by V.S. Naipaul
I, Claudius (1934), by Robert Graves
Infinite Jest (1996), by David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man (1952), by Ralph Ellison
Light in August (1932), by William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), by C.S. Lewis
Lolita (1955), by Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies (1955), by William Golding
The Lord of the Rings (1954), by J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving (1945), by Henry Green
Lucky Jim (1954), by Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children (1940), by Christina Stead
Midnight’s Children (1981), by Salman Rushdie
Money (1984), by Martin Amis
The Moviegoer (1961), by Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway (1925), by Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch (1959), by William Burroughs
Native Son (1940), by Richard Wright
Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson
Never Let Me Go (2005), by Kazuo Ishiguro
1984 (1948), by George Orwell
On the Road (1957), by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962), by Ken Kesey
The Painted Bird (1965), by Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire (1962), by Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India (1924), by E.M. Forster
Play It As It Lays (1970), by Joan Didion
Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), by Philip Roth
Possession (1990), by A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory (1939), by Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), by Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike
Ragtime (1975), by E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions (1955), by William Gaddis
Red Harvest (1929), by Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road (1961), by Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky (1949), by Paul Bowles
Slaughterhouse Five (1969), by Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash (1992), by Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), by John Barth
The Sound and the Fury (1929), by William Faulkner
The Sportswriter (1986), by Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1964), by John le Carre
The Sun Also Rises (1926), by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), by Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart (1959), by Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), by Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse (1927), by Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer (1934), by Henry Miller
Ubik (1969), by Philip K. Dick
Under the Net (1954), by Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano (1947), by Malcolm Lowry
Watchmen (1986), by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
White Noise (1985), by Don DeLillo
White Teeth (2000), by Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), by Jean Rhys

Graphic Novels

Berlin: City of Stones (2000), by Jason Lutes
Blankets (2003), by Craig Thompson
Bone (2004), by Jeff Smith
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2002), by Kim Deitch
The Dark Knight Returns (1986), by Frank Miller
David Boring (2000), by Daniel Clowes
Ed the Happy Clown (1989), by Chester Brown
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000), by Chris Ware
Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories (2003), by Gilbert Hernandez
Watchmen (1986), by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

Huh – only sure I’ve read 18 of these, which doesn’t seem all that many. There are several others I’ve thought about reading (some of which we have on our shelves), so perhaps I’ll give them a go. What I’m surprised about is that (by memory – I didn’t check) I haven’t read any of them within the past three-and-a-bit years. Perhaps I need to get back to the classics…


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6 Responses to “Other people’s reading lists…”

  1. hakea Says:

    Uh oh, I have only read 2, and both when I was a kid.

    You’re an avid reader with a score of 18!

  2. Best Sewing Machine Says:

    I’ve read about 12 – mostly as a kid. Interesting how there are very few on the list from the last 20 years or so. Does age make it more “all time” best?

  3. Daisy Says:

    Have you seen the list that was doing the rounds on Facebook? I’m not sure where it originated, but it had some weirdities on it – the whole works of Shakespeare for instance (I’d have put them separately).

    • kaet Says:

      I have seen it, yes. I’d considered doing that one next, but it seems to be roughly based on the BBC Big Read list, so I did that one for now. Listing complete oeuvres like that makes it a bit complicated to say what I’ve read or not!

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