Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reading Lists: 100 Greatest?

Every once in a while, something pops up that just demands to be blogged. I ran across this listing of Time magazine's 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. Lists like this are always up for debate, but I thought it would be interesting to see how I fared. Of their 100 choices, I've read these:
All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Deliverance - James Dickey
Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
Light in August - William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Native Son - Richard Wright
1984 - George Orwell
Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John le Carre
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
Watchmen - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
I don't know what it says about me that I've read Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret but no Virginia Woolf. I get some cool points for Watchmen, but I should probably be ashamed that I've never read William Burroughs. Or Styron, Pynchon, or Roth, for that matter. In my defense, I started Catch-22 and The French Lieutenant's Woman but just couldn't make myself finish them. I've also read titles by Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Thornton Wilder, Graham Greene, Robert Stone, James Baldwin, and Zadie Smith, just not the ones selected for this list. I have to say it does my heart good to see two of Faulkner's novels on the list, but only one Hemingway (his short stories are better). Twenty-eight titles out of 100 is an okay showing (technically thirty, since The Lord of the Rings is one work in three volumes), but I guess I have some grownup reading to do once I finish all those Newbery books!

Check out the list for yourself here. How many titles have you read?


Elizabeth Bradley said...

I've read fourteen of them. Good subject for a posting.


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