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"The Greatest Books of All Time" top 100 quest

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prodigalgodson
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"The Greatest Books of All Time" top 100 quest

#1

Post by prodigalgodson »

Hey folks.

So lately I've been a lot more interested in reading and music in film, and while looking for recommendations I stumbled across this TSP-esque list.

https://thegreatestbooks.org/

Anyone familiar? It gets a little wonky order-wise the further you go down imo, but I thought having completed TSP's top 500, I should make this my new bucket list. So here's what I got so far, and I'm hard at work on Moby Dick atm. Some of these ones I've marked read I only have the vaguest recollections of and definitely owe re-reads too (as much as Paradise Lost captured my middle school imagination, I'm not sure if I read it cover to cover; and I definitely didn't give LOTR the close reading it deserved). I'm also a very slow reader and many of these books are very long, so I expect this will be a very long-term project.

1. In Search of Lost Time -- Marcel Proust
2. Ulysses -- James Joyce
3. Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gael Garcia Marquez
5. The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald 5/10
6. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville 10/10
7. War and Peace -- Leo Tolstoy 9/10
8. Hamlet -- William Shakespeare
9. The Odyssey -- Homer
10. Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert
11. The Divine Comedy -- Dante Alighieri
12. Lolita -- Vladimir Nabokov 9/10
13. The Brothers Karamazov -- Fyodor Dostoevsky 9/10
14. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky 10/10
15. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
16. The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger 7/10
17. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austin
18. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
19. Anna Karenina -- Leo Tolstoy
20. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
21. The Illiad -- Homer
22. To the Lighthouse -- Virginia Woolf 9/10
23. Catch-22 -- Joseph Heller 10/10
24. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad 8/10
25. The Sound and the Fury -- William Faulkner
26. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell 8/10
27. Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens
28. One Thousand and One Nights -- anonymous
29. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
30. Absalom, Absalom! -- William Faulkner
31. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
32. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee 9/10
33. The Trial -- Franz Kafka
34. The Red and the Black -- Stendhal
35. Middlemarch -- George Eliot 10/10
36. Gulliver's Travels -- Jonathan Swift
37. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
38. Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
39. The Stories of Anton Chekov -- Anton Chekov
40. The Stranger -- Albert Camus 9/10
41. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
42. The Aeneid -- Virgil
43. Collected Fiction -- Jorge Luis Borges
44. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
45. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
46. Tristram Shandy -- Laurence Sterne
47. Leaves of Grass -- Walt Whitman
48. The Magic Mountain -- Thomas Mann
49. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- James Joyce 8/10
50. Midnight's Children -- Salman Rushdie
51. Oedipus Rex -- Sophocles
52. Candide -- Voltaire
53. The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkein 8/10
54. The Idiot -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
55. Les Miserables -- Victor Hugo
56. A Passage to India -- EM Forster
57. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
58. Things Fall Apart -- Chinua Achebe 5/10
59. Emma -- Jane Austen
60. For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
61. The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka -- Franz Kafka 10/10
62. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka 9/10
63. The Portrait of a Lady -- Henry James
64. Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley
65. Pale Fire -- Vladimir Nabokov 10/10
66. Antigone -- Sophocles 6/10
67. As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
68. The Color Purple -- Alice Walker
69. Demons -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
70. Gone with the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
71. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding 5/10
72. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley 9/10
73. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe -- Edgar Allen Poe
74. The Age of Innocence -- Edith Wharton
75. Dead Souls -- Nikolai Gogol
76. On the Road -- Jack Kerouac
77. The Good Soldier -- Ford Maddox Ford
78. Animal Farm -- George Orwell 8/10
79. Orlando -- Virginia Woolf
80. The Canterbury Tales -- Geoffrey Chaucer
81. Vanity Fair -- William Thackery
82. Under the Volcano -- Malcolm Lowry
83. The Waste Land -- TS Eliot 8/10
84. A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
85. Journey to the End of the Night -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine
86. The Castle -- Franz Kafka
87. A Sentimental Education -- Gustave Flaubert
88. The Scarlet Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
89. Slaughterhouse-Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
90. The Handmaid's Tale -- Margaret Atwood
91. Charlotte's Web -- EB White 7/10
92. Native Son -- Richard Wright 7/10
93. The Charterhouse of Parma -- Stendhal
94. Paradise Lost -- John Milton
95. Gargantua and Pentagruel -- Francois Rabelais
96. Poems of Emily Dickinson -- Emily Dickinson
97. Faust -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
98. Rebecca -- Daphne du Maurier
99. The Flowers of Evil -- Charles Baudelaire
100. Decameron -- Giovanni Boccaccio
Last edited by prodigalgodson on August 10th, 2022, 4:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#2

Post by mightysparks »

I'm also a slow reader and prefer reading sci-fi over these kinds of things but I have had my eye on this list. Seems like the list has changed since I made a spreadsheet for it so I'll have to update thatLooks like 5 new additions to the list since the last time I made a spreadsheet and the 5 that fell off I hadn't read anyway. I've seen 18/100:

The Great Gatsby
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Hamlet
The Catcher in the Rye
Madame Bovary
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Pride and Prejudice
Catch-22
Nineteen Eighty Four
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Lord of the Rings
Les Miserables
Lord of the Flies
Brave New World
Animal Farm
Frankenstein
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Handmaid's Tale


Out of those the only ones I really enjoyed were Catch-22, Nineteen Eighty Four, Lord of the Rings, Les Miserables, Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid's Tale.

The #1 is way too daunting for me. If I ever read that it'll probably be the last one I check off the list.
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#3

Post by Chilton »

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gael Garcia Marquez
5. The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
14. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
20. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
26. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell
40. The Stranger -- Albert Camus
44. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
49. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- James Joyce
57. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
59. Emma -- Jane Austen
61. The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka -- Franz Kafka
62. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka
64. Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley
73. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe -- Edgar Allen Poe
76. On the Road -- Jack Kerouac
89. Slaughterhouse-Five -- Kurt Vonnegut


Surprised to see I already read 17 of these (plus four more collecting dust on my shelf). All in all, it seems to be a decent list with at least some variety in terms of language, although still very anglo-centric and old, as most of these lists tend to be. I used to be more into reading and then stumbled on this list as well (and of course the book "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"), but after reading the first dozen pages of Ulysses (which was then #1 iirc), I quietly gave up on ever finishing it :lol: . There are still several books on that list I'd like to read, but safe to say I switched more to film and more modern literature since then.
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#4

Post by OldAle1 »

Huh, I don't know that I've seen that list before. It's got some obvious limitations - almost entirely western-centric and focused nearly as much on the 19th and 20th centuries, with earlier works listed being very obvious indeed, but that said it's hard for me to argue with the quality of the choices and hey, it's at least one great books list that doesn't have any Any Rand so there's a huge plus!

I was an English lit major in college and thought (ha) that I'd be a writer and teacher someday back in those days when failure and depression were still being shrugged off sometimes, so I've read a fair number of these and, being a compulsive collector as well, I own the majority of ones I haven't read. I started reading

1. In Search of Lost Time -- Marcel Proust

in the spring of 2016 and read about half of it. I didn't stop because I wasn't loving in - on the contrary, even with just half the book finished I can say pretty honestly that it's likely the greatest novel I've ever read - but I happened to start it in one of those periods where my focus on film was low, and at the end of that summer I started getting really into movies again and just stopped. And it's a book that, for me at least, demands a lot of concentration and daily reading. Thankfully the edition I have has a very detailed summary so I feel it will be easy to pick it up again more or less where I left off, and I've been thinking about that a lot lately. It's one of those things that just has stayed with me. I also started

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gael Garcia Marquez

Around the same time or maybe a little later but I didn't get far for some reason; and it's not a long book. And back in college I read the first half of

48. The Magic Mountain -- Thomas Mann

but the edition available at the time only had the German bulk of the book translated - there is a long, important passage in French that went untranslated and I got there and just stopped. Now I'm pretty sure I could get it with the whole of it translated, though it's one of the few books here that I don't own so I dunno. Anyway, those three are probably the priorities for me, along with some of the shorter works that I've unaccountably missed (or at least have no memory at all of reading).

Other books I've definitely read - in most cases over 20 years ago:

5. The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
8. Hamlet -- William Shakespeare
13. The Brothers Karamazov -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
14. Crime and Punishment[/b] -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
15. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
17. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austin
18. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
20. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
24. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad
25. The Sound and the Fury -- William Faulkner
26. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell
27. Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens
30. Absalom, Absalom! -- William Faulkner
31. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
33. The Trial -- Franz Kafka
36. Gulliver's Travels -- Jonathan Swift
37. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
38. Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
43. Collected Fiction -- Jorge Luis Borges - certainly haven't read everything, but I've read quite a bit of the best-known stuff, most collected in "Labyrinths"
44. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
45. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
49. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- James Joyce
53. The Lord of the Rings-- JRR Tolkein
59. Emma -- Jane Austen
61. The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka -- Franz Kafka
62. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka
63. The Portrait of a Lady -- Henry James
67. As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
72. Brave New World-- Aldous Huxley
73. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe -- Edgar Allen Poe - as with Borges, I've definitely read a good chunk if not the vast majority, but I can't be sure exactly
74. The Age of Innocence -- Edith Wharton
75. Dead Souls -- Nikolai Gogol
78. Animal Farm -- George Orwell
80. The Canterbury Tales -- Geoffrey Chaucer
83. The Waste Land -- TS Eliot
86. The Castle -- Franz Kafka
91. Charlotte's Web -- EB White
97. Faust -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Not gonna try to rate of rank these; let's just say I have the mindset (if not the mind) to appreciate "great literature", and that most of these made very positive impressions on me in one way or another. The major disappointments for me - and it's not that I disliked them, just that they failed to convince me of their mastery on one go - were probably the two dystopias by Orwell and Huxley, and I suspect this is because I was already a pretty heavy science fiction reader and knew many of the concepts, and because both struck me as rather heavy-handed at the time. And I liked Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 more. I'd be curious to revisit them now, as I'd be curious to re-read any of these now - I think The Lord of the Rings is probably the only one of these I've read within the last 20 years.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#5

Post by gunnar »

I haven't seen this particular site/list before, but I've looked at other such lists in the past. I made a concerted effort for a number of years to read certain classics and also expanded that to read every novel and some of the shorter works from Dickens and Austen. I'm sure that I'll get back to it eventually, but have been reading mostly science fiction and fantasy over the last couple of years. I did reread Brave New World and Crime and Punishment during the last couple of years, though.

Here's what I've read from the list:

3. Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes
6. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
7. War and Peace -- Leo Tolstoy
8. Hamlet -- William Shakespeare
9. The Odyssey -- Homer
14. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
15. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
16. The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
17. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austin
18. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
20. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
21. The Iliad -- Homer
22. To the Lighthouse -- Virginia Woolf
23. Catch-22 -- Joseph Heller
24. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad
26. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell
27. Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens
29. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
31. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
32. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
33. The Trial -- Franz Kafka
36. Gulliver's Travels -- Jonathan Swift
37. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
38. Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
40. The Stranger -- Albert Camus
42. The Aeneid -- Virgil
44. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
45. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
47. Leaves of Grass -- Walt Whitman
51. Oedipus Rex -- Sophocles
52. Candide -- Voltaire
53. The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkein
57. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
59. Emma -- Jane Austen
60. For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
62. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka
64. Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley
66. Antigone -- Sophocles
67. As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
71. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding
72. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
78. Animal Farm -- George Orwell
80. The Canterbury Tales -- Geoffrey Chaucer
84. A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
88. The Scarlet Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
89. Slaughterhouse-Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
91. Charlotte's Web -- EB White
92. Native Son -- Richard Wright
94. Paradise Lost -- John Milton
99. The Flowers of Evil -- Charles Baudelaire

I am definitely not a Virginia Woolf fan, but I know that others are. Still, three titles on the list seems excessive. I enjoyed many of these, though a few were a chore to finish.
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#6

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

I tried going through a similar list around 10 years ago (there's so many damn lists out there) so I've read half the books on this one. As OldAle said it's got a heavy American + European flavour with a lot of 19th + 20th century novels in there (quite surprised at no asian novels). Out of the ones I've read and you haven't read I've loosely grouped them up so you can take a better whack at them.

Picaresque:
Candide -- Voltaire
Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes

Candide is the much shorter read and pretty entertaining at that. Don Quixote's first part is more adventure-based and the second more philosophical, there's also a story-within-a-story in Part 1.


Play:
Hamlet -- William Shakespeare
Faust -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Faust has 2 parts but some movie versions just film the first part; second part throws in a lot of references to Greek mythology which flew over my head. Hamlet is the more familiar work though school lessons really put me off Shakespeare.


19th century France/Russia:
Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert
Anna Karenina -- Leo Tolstoy
The Red and the Black -- Stendhal
The Charterhouse of Parma -- Stendhal
Les Miserables -- Victor Hugo

Anna Karenina is one of my absolute favourite novels, the storyline bears some similarity to Madame Bovary which came out a couple decades earlier.
Out of the Stendahl's Red & the Black is more of a social climber storyline and Charterhouse of Parma is more action-packed.
Les Miserables is one of my least favourite classic novels. It's an epic story, Hugo's prose is beautiful and there are some memorable set pieces in there but I found it quite melodramatic and over-the-top at times, Victor Hugo loves going on 20-page tangents describing the history of a building or the Battle of Waterloo.


19th century England (male):
Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens
David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
Vanity Fair -- William Thackery

Both Dickens novels deal with childhood and you can't go wrong with either of them. Alice in Wonderland is a brisk read while Vanity Fair feels a little old fashioned in its storytelling and is the longest of the lot.


19th century England (female):
Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austen

Jane Eyre is the more personal work with bits of gothic horror thrown in, the storms are internal compared to Wuthering Heights' external stormy atmosphere. Jane Austen's prose isn't as flashy as the others but doesn't make Pride & Prejudice less shallow than the others.

Hemingway:
The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway

Old Man & the Sea is the shortest of those, I much prefer Farewell to Arms over For Whom the Bell Tolls as the latter is all about the build-up to a big event. I don't remember much about Sun Also Rises.


20th century:
The Trial -- Franz Kafka
Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
On the Road -- Jack Kerouac

Kafka's novel lives up to its reputation, I prefer "Invisible Man" over "To Kill a Mockingbird" when it comes to racism. I didn't get Jack Kerouac's novel at all.

Modernist:
Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
Orlando -- Virginia Woolf
One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gael Garcia Marquez
As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner

Mrs Dalloway occurs over the course of one day and it's less confusing than "To the Lighthouse". One Hundred Years of Solitude is great but you need a family tree of all the character names because they're all so similar to reflect the theme of history repeating. I don't remember much about Faulkner's novel but he's pretty challenging to read.

Long modernist:
The Magic Mountain -- Thomas Mann
Ulysses -- James Joyce
In Search of Lost Time -- Marcel Proust

Magic Mountain is an amazing novel to read about, it all takes place in one location and it can feel like quite a slog going through it with a fair bit of philosophical dialogue (it's a social commentary on pre-WWI European society). Ulysses flew over my head when I read it (I gave up on Finnegan's Wake after one page), Proust's novel requires a lot of concentration, the pacing is very slow and it took me a couple months to finish it (I was trying to go quickly too!)
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#7

Post by Dimitris Psachos Springer »

Good list, heavily anglo-oriented (which seems to be the disgusting norm in most lists across the artistic spectrum), but I'll say this: I find it positive that critics are still hanging on to pre-WWII glories (at least 40% of those glories is worthy of all this attention, yes, no matter how "old" they are / the "old" term shows how prejudiced most people are), since only particular countries/names post-1970s deserve one's attention (definitely NOT from U.S. and almost all Western European lands)

Read and Ranked (the 5s are, more or less, equally appreciated, the ranking below is of-the-moment-preference)

1. Pale Fire -- Vladimir Nabokov 5/5
2. Ulysses -- James Joyce 5/5
3. To the Lighthouse -- Virginia Woolf 5/5 (Woolf trashes 2/3s of the authors here)
4. Lolita -- Vladimir Nabokov 5/5
5. Orlando -- Virginia Woolf 5/5
6. The Scarlet Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
7. Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert 5/5
8. The Divine Comedy -- Dante Alighieri 5/5
9. The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkein 5/5 (all three, correct? hehe)
10. Hamlet -- William Shakespeare 5/5
11. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad 5/5
12. Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley 5/5
13. Antigone -- Sophocles (haven't searched Sophocles as I wanted to, yet this one demolishes several "fiction giants" of this list)
14. A Sentimental Education -- Gustave Flaubert 5/5
15. Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf 5/5
16. As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner 5/5
17. The Waste Land -- TS Eliot 5/5
18. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell 5/5
19. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -- James Joyce 5/5
20. The Castle -- Franz Kafka 5/5 (Kafka's best, superior to any short I've read by him, including Country Doctor)
21. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austin 4,5/5 (I'll probably give it a 5, after I read two more from Austen)
22. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding 4,5/5
23. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky 4,5/5
24. The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger 4,5/5 (close to brilliant, but I do think others deserve more to take its place)
25. Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens 4/5 (Dickens is fine and all, but I doubt this one of his crown achievements)
26. Animal Farm -- George Orwell (borderline 4,5, but this one doesn't really need to be here, right?)
27. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee 4/5 (others deserve more to be in this list)
28. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck 4/5 (Steinbeck is way too simplistic)
29. The Trial -- Franz Kafka 4/5 (strong bureau-allegory, but, c'mon, let's forget fame for a while)
30. Emma -- Jane Austen 3,5/5 (nah, even Love and Friendship excels over this)
31. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka 3/5 (yeah...no, plenty who were influenced by Kafka surpass Kafka by miles / I do have a couple of great ones by him, this one's definitely OUT)
32. The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald 2,5/5 (should be kicked out of the list)
33. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway 2/5 (nope, OUT, how is this even here?)

Read Half (or in need of a re-read)

1. The Illiad -- Homer (botched read during my school days, almost despised it because of how it was taught / I suspect lots will attest to this with similar examples in their English, French, Russian etc departments)
2. The Odyssey -- Homer (botched read during my school days, almost despised it because of how it was taught / I suspect lots will attest to this with similar examples in their English, French, Russian etc departments)
3. Anna Karenina -- Leo Tolstoy (stopped halfway because of a reader's block type-of-"emotion")
4. One Thousand and One Nights -- anonymous (hoping to find a complete version, or else I'll download a pdf)
5. Gulliver's Travels -- Jonathan Swift (read a children's edition, will have to atone myself at some point)
6. The Stories of Anton Chekov -- Anton Chekov (all of Chekov's short stories? this one's getting a raincheck)
7. Leaves of Grass -- Walt Whitman (read half, I'm a sucker for poetry, I guess I was a bit affected from a broken heart and left it incomplete)
8. Oedipus Rex -- Sophocles (botched read during my school days, almost despised it because of how it was taught / I suspect lots will attest to this with similar examples in their English, French, Russian etc departments) deliberately posted for a third time
9. The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka -- Franz Kafka (again, all his shorts, yes? another raincheck)
10. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe -- Edgar Allen Poe (another raincheck, though I've read quite a lot!)
11. Paradise Lost -- John Milton (1/3 of it, stopped due to linguistic obstacles, even with a helping hand manual beside me / I'd have included Canterbury too, but that I gave up before I reach 1/3, hah)
12. Poems of Emily Dickinson -- Emily Dickinson (maybe it's time to buy/borrow the complete edition, hmmm)
13. Faust -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (still haven't read Part 2, pff)
14. The Flowers of Evil -- Charles Baudelaire (read half of it in my pre-teens, wasn't too keen with cursed/damned poets back then, I was enchanted by English romantics, heh)
15. Decameron -- Giovanni Boccaccio (still haven't read the second volume)

I highly suspect half of those have garnered spots because of their populist acclaim / I mean, Gone with the Wind, let's be serious here / I can name a few masterpieces from Japan, Egypt, Greece, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, yes, even India, where we could substitute them for...ahem, Charlotte's Web!

To Read (will edit once I decide some priorities, although I have a handful in mind)
1. In Search of Lost Time -- Marcel Proust
2. Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gael Garcia Marquez
4. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
5. War and Peace -- Leo Tolstoy
6. The Brothers Karamazov -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
9. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
10. Catch-22 -- Joseph Heller
11. The Sound and the Fury -- William Faulkner
12. Absalom, Absalom! -- William Faulkner
13. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
14. The Red and the Black -- Stendhal
15. Middlemarch -- George Eliot
16. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
17. The Stranger -- Albert Camus
18. Jane Eyre -- Charlotte Bronte
19. The Aeneid -- Virgil
20. Collected Fiction -- Jorge Luis Borges
21. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
22. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
23. Tristram Shandy -- Laurence Sterne
24. The Magic Mountain -- Thomas Mann
25. Midnight's Children -- Salman Rushdie
26. Candide -- Voltaire
27. The Idiot -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
28. Les Miserables -- Victor Hugo
29. A Passage to India -- EM Forster
30. Things Fall Apart -- Chinua Achebe
31. For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
32. The Portrait of a Lady -- Henry James
33. The Color Purple -- Alice Walker
34. Demons -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
35. Gone with the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell
36. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
37. The Age of Innocence -- Edith Wharton
38. Dead Souls -- Nikolai Gogol
39. On the Road -- Jack Kerouac
40. The Good Soldier -- Ford Maddox Ford
41. The Canterbury Tales -- Geoffrey Chaucer
42. Vanity Fair -- William Thackery
43. Under the Volcano -- Malcolm Lowry
44. A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
45. Journey to the End of the Night -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine
46. Slaughterhouse-Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Handmaid's Tale -- Margaret Atwood
48. Charlotte's Web -- EB White
49. Native Son -- Richard Wright
50. The Charterhouse of Parma -- Stendhal
51. Gargantua and Pentagruel -- Francois Rabelais
52. Rebecca -- Daphne du Maurier
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#8

Post by 3eyes »

58 of the top 100
273 of the top 1000
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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#9

Post by prodigalgodson »

Boy, this list gets even weirder as you go down. Looks like I've hit 67 more from the top 1000, most of them things I read as a kid. They've got Twilight and Goodnight Moon but no Notes of a Native Son or The Fire Next Time for Baldwin? No Snow Country for Kawabata? No Silmarillion for Tolkien? No Radiance of the King for Laye? No Dark Tower for Stephen King? No last days of Socrates stuff from Plato? No Spinoza or James Ellroy or John Williams at all?

107. A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess) 9/10
146. Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy) 10/10
151. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) 6/10
156. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz) 4/10
157. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (CS Lewis) 6/10
161. MacBeth (William Shakespeare) 9/10
173. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck) 3/10
188. The Plague (Albert Camus) 9/10
192. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) 9/10
193. The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien) 10/10
201. The Republic (Plato) 10/10
202. The Stand (Stephen King) 8/10
207. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) 8/10
209. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (JK Rowling) 7/10
220. Dune (Frank Herbert) 8/10
224. The Road (Cormac McCarthy) 4/10
226. The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler) 6/10
242. Gravity's Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon) 10/10
246. Steppenwolf (Hermann Hesse) 9/10
256. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera) 9/10
266. Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse) 9/10
284. The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett) 9/10
312. All the Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy) 10/10
323. The Horse and His Boy (CS Lewis) 7/10
324. Prince Caspian (CS Lewis) 6/10
325. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (CS Lewis) 6/10
326. The Silver Chair (CS Lewis) 4/10
327. The Magician's Nephew (CS Lewis) 7/10
328. The Last Battle (CS Lewis) 8/10
336. Nausea (Jean-Paul Sartre) 9/10
340. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle) 5/10
342. Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak) 3/10
359. Death in Venice (Thomas Mann) 8/10
369. The Lover (Marguerite Duras) 10/10
390. Notes from the Underground (Fyodor Dostoevsky) 8/10
393. Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin) 9/10
405. Watchmen (Alan Moore and David Gibbons) 10/10
413. His Dark Material (Philip Pullman) 6/10
488. The Giver (Lois Lowry) 4/10
499. A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare) 8/10
509. The Crying of Lot 49 (Thomas Pynchon) 8/10
512. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain) 8/10
520. The Postman Always Rings Twice (James Cain) 8/10
567. V. (Thomas Pynchon) 8/10
588. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John le Carre) 9/10
605. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl) 5/10
620. The Sellout (Paul Beatty) 4/10
629. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Thornton Wilder) 9/10
669. Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel) 3/10
674. The Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy) 8/10
758. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling) 8/10
760. Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown) 7/10
773. The Amber Spyglass (Philip Pullman) 6/10
786. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) 8/10
790. Vernon God Little (DBC Pierre) 8/10
799. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) 4/10
804. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (JK Rowling) 8/10
806. Red Harvest (Dashiell Hammett) 10/10
809. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (JK Rowling) 6/10
810. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (JK Rowling) 8/10
811. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (JK Rowling) 7/10
854. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Mildred Taylor) 7/10
865. The Ravishing of Lol V. Stein (Marguerite Duras) 7/10
884. Riders of the Purple Sage (Zane Grey) 4/10
893. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) 6/10
936. Suttree (Cormac McCarthy) 10/10
998. Sandman (Neil Gaiman) 9/10
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#10

Post by prodigalgodson »

OldAle1 wrote: June 12th, 2022, 11:34 am The major disappointments for me - and it's not that I disliked them, just that they failed to convince me of their mastery on one go - were probably the two dystopias by Orwell and Huxley, and I suspect this is because I was already a pretty heavy science fiction reader and knew many of the concepts, and because both struck me as rather heavy-handed at the time. And I liked Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 more. I'd be curious to revisit them now, as I'd be curious to re-read any of these now - I think The Lord of the Rings is probably the only one of these I've read within the last 20 years.
I was never a big sci-fi reader, and read those two early enough that they made a big impression on me, especially Brave New World. I'd probably give Fahrenheit 451 the edge too though, the horror there is just so unsettlingly mundane.

The Lord of the Rings is one of the ones I'd most like to revisit, I was like 9 when I read it, and I remember in the Helm's Deep part for instance I had no idea what was going on and didn't connect it to the epic battle in the second LOTR film at all. I do remember The Scouring of the Shire making a pretty deep impression on me though. Both The Hobbit and the Silmarillion are much fresher in my mind, and two of my all-time favorites.
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#11

Post by prodigalgodson »

RolandKirkSunglasses wrote: June 12th, 2022, 1:41 pm I tried going through a similar list around 10 years ago (there's so many damn lists out there) so I've read half the books on this one. As OldAle said it's got a heavy American + European flavour with a lot of 19th + 20th century novels in there (quite surprised at no asian novels). Out of the ones I've read and you haven't read I've loosely grouped them up so you can take a better whack at them.
Thanks Roland! I'm very surprised no Asian novels either, I would've thought at least one of the big 4 Chinese classics or something from Mishima or Kawabata over Charlotte's Web (??) and Rabelais.

I have a copy of Candide floating around; given Voltaire's philosophical reputation I didn't realize this was in the picaresque style, or an easier read. Don Quixote has always fascinated me but the length and the age have been barriers to entry for a long time.

Tbh I didn't even know Goethe's Faust was a play. I had mixed experiences with high school English reads, sometimes I feel like I ended up short-shrifting some of the assignments (The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men), but it also introduced me to some of my favorite works (Crime and Punishment, The Plague). I think Shakespeare came off pretty well to me in this context (especially since I was able to see some performances of his work around this time), while Sophocles suffered.

Anna Karenina's one of my highest priorities right now; when I finish the Melville I'm planning to hit A Hundred Years of Solitude, then take a break with something lighter like a Ross MacDonald, and then dive in to the Tolstoy. I'm very excited for it, War and Peace was a hell of an experience. Hugo, like Dickens, is one of the authors I've always been a little bit skeptical about for whatever reason; I have a vague sense his work would strike me as corny for lack of a better word. That said, I'm always down for a good 20-page tangent (Pynchon, Moby Dick).

I've picked up a few of the Bronte sisters' books over the last few years, very much looking forward to them.

Hemingway and Faulkner are two giants I've shied away from so far, look forward to digging in before too long.

I'm surprised I haven't read Invisible Man yet actually. To Kill a Mockingbird was just such an essential and recurring part of my childhood, and such a wonderfully evocative portrayal of childhood itself, it retains a special place in my heart. It's a beautiful portrait of human nature from a child's perspective, but there are certainly more insightful and nuanced takes on American racism. I'm not looking forward to the Kerouac at all; I think I would've appreciated it if I was in my 20s when it came out, but I have a feeling it will not have aged well ("corny" again comes to mind from the snippets I've encountered).

Lol my edition of 100 Years has a family tree on the first page, glancing over the times I can see why it's necessary, and I'm usually pretty good at keeping characters straight.

I got The Magic Mountain for Christmas this year, seems challenging but very much up my alley. Yeah I feel like the intimidating shadow of Ulysses has hung over me for years. Portrait of the Artist was such an easy and satisfying read it gave me some hope though. One of these days I'll take the plunge.
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#12

Post by OldAle1 »

Whoa I didn't realize it went past 100, just didn't look that far. I don't feel like going through the whole list right now but I did look through the top 250 and I'm at 74 of those total. Not bad I guess for someone who has barely read anything in a couple of decades except easy stuff (i.e. Harry Potter). My nemesis Ms. Rand is down there at #212 with her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, or, it is Better to Have all the Money and Tell the World to Fuck Off than Compromise For a Second, You Miserable Worms. I guess it'd be too much to hope for her total absence. For me it's the literary equivalent of my movie-bane It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World - except far more awful and influential. Just a bit below it is Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler which I recently had with me on a short trip, but failed to break open. That, and returning to Proust, are likely my next forays into the list.
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#13

Post by gunnar »

I'm at

50/100
81/250
152/1000

Candide was mentioned earlier. I read that in high school. We got to choose from a long list of novels for a report and I choose Candide. I thought it was very good.

My top 5 from this list:

135 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
627. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
829. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
805. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
31. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
Other favorites from the ones that I've read
17. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austen
32. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
45. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
157 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
193 . The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
220 . Dune by Frank Herbert
260 . Persuasion by Jane Austen
307 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
323 . The Horse and His Boy: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
324 . Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia by C. S. Lewis
325 . The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
327 . The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis, Clive Staples Lewis
397 . Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
405 . Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
415 . Germinal by Émile Zola
521 . The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
667 . Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
676 . A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
697 . Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
728 . The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
998 . Sandman by Neil Gaiman
full list of books read from this list
3. Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes
6. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
7. War and Peace -- Leo Tolstoy
8. Hamlet -- William Shakespeare
9. The Odyssey -- Homer
14. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
15. Wuthering Heights -- Emily Bronte
16. The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
17. Pride and Prejudice -- Jane Austen
18. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- Mark Twain
20. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll
21. The Iliad -- Homer
22. To the Lighthouse -- Virginia Woolf
23. Catch-22 -- Joseph Heller
24. Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad
26. Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell
27. Great Expectations -- Charles Dickens
29. The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
31. Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
32. To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
33. The Trial -- Franz Kafka
36. Gulliver's Travels -- Jonathan Swift
37. Beloved -- Toni Morrison
38. Mrs. Dalloway -- Virginia Woolf
40. The Stranger -- Albert Camus
42. The Aeneid -- Virgil
44. The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
45. David Copperfield -- Charles Dickens
47. Leaves of Grass -- Walt Whitman
51. Oedipus Rex -- Sophocles
52. Candide -- Voltaire
53. The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkein
57. The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
59. Emma -- Jane Austen
60. For Whom the Bell Tolls -- Ernest Hemingway
62. The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka
64. Frankenstein -- Mary Shelley
66. Antigone -- Sophocles
67. As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
71. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding
72. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
78. Animal Farm -- George Orwell
80. The Canterbury Tales -- Geoffrey Chaucer
84. A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
88. The Scarlet Letter -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
89. Slaughterhouse-Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
91. Charlotte's Web -- EB White
92. Native Son -- Richard Wright
94. Paradise Lost -- John Milton
99. The Flowers of Evil -- Charles Baudelaire
103 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
106 . King Lear by William Shakespeare
130 . Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson
131 . Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
135 . The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
140 . The Tempest by William Shakespeare
148 . The Call of the Wild by Jack London
157 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
158 . Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
161 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171 . Dracula by Bram Stoker
174 . The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
177 . The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
185 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
189 . The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
190 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
192 . Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
193 . The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
206 . The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
207 . The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
209 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K Rowling
212 . Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
213 . Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
214 . Winnie the Pooh by A. A Milne
220 . Dune by Frank Herbert
222 . The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
229 . The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
231 . A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
237 . The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
248 . Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
249 . Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
258 . 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
260 . Persuasion by Jane Austen
265 . The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
292 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
293 . The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
304 . War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
307 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
323 . The Horse and His Boy: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
324 . Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia by C. S. Lewis
325 . The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
326 . The Silver Chair: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
327 . The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis, Clive Staples Lewis
328 . The Last Battle: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
340 . A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
343 . Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
361 . The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
370 . The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
379 . Foundation by Isaac Asimov
386 . The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
388 . The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
397 . Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
399 . The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
400 . Neuromancer by William Gibson
404 . Life of Pi by Yann Martel
405 . Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
406 . Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory
413 . His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
415 . Germinal by Émile Zola
488 . The Giver by Lois Lowry
494 . Othello by William Shakespeare
499 . A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
511 . Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
512 . The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
521 . The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
523 . A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
548 . The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
553 . A Separate Peace by John Knowles
558 . The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
605 . Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
627 . Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
639 . Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
644 . Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
647 . Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
651 . Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
667 . Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
676 . A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
692 . Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
697 . Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
728 . The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
733 . Time and Again by Jack Finney
734 . I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
741 . Sula by Toni Morrison
758 . Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K Rowling
773 . The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
786 . Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K Rowling
804 . Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K Rowling
805 . The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett
809 . Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban by J. K Rowling
810 . Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by J. K Rowling
811 . Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K Rowling
812 . Richard III by William Shakespeare
821 . Junky by William S. Burroughs
829 . Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
846 . The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
868 . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
882 . The Crucible by Arthur Miller
891 . The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
917 . The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
930 . A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
938 . Twelfth Night: Or, What You Will by William Shakespeare
998 . Sandman by Neil Gaiman
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#14

Post by prodigalgodson »

Moby Dick -- Herman Melville

I'd had this sitting in a box for probably a decade, too daunted by its leviathanic proportions to dive in. Then I recently read Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, which had a profound effect on me, and found out this was his favorite novels, which finally gave me the push I needed. The monumental command of language, the relentless procession of otherworldly adventures, the masterful extrapolations of various intricacies, the palpable sense of lived reality, the pervasive but ambiguous mystical and metaphysical underpinnings...god damn, this is the art of the novel sublimated to its pseudo-Platonic essence. "The Doubloon," in which various members of the crew analyze the image on a gold coin Ahab's nailed to the masthead, their multiplicity of interpretations, extensions of their incompatible axiomatic worldviews, illuminating their deepest selves while the object of their contemplation remains an enigma, might be the single best chapter I've ever read.
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#15

Post by prodigalgodson »

One Hundred Years of Solitude -- Gabriel García Márquez

I haven't read a book of this caliber before that felt so much like a laundry list of occurrences. The two primary, paradoxically coexisting themes seem to be that things change with time and that history regularly repeats itself; but as much as these concepts arise organically from the narrative, there's not so much an exploration of the nature of time or eternal recurrence as an illustration of their simple fact, both verbalized multiple times by various characters. Likewise with the concept of solitude, which though it's often attributed to various characters (interestingly I don't think the word makes an appearance until about halfway through, but after that it comes up constantly), doesn't get treated with any apparent philosophical or psychological angle. These horny, isolated characters engage in their follies and the chips fall where they may. Marquez's aloof, vaguely ironic style and dense plotting result in a certain distance from his subjects, but there are moments of poignancy and insight, most of which come from the accumulation and synthesis of events than from individual events themselves. The "magical" element contributes to the vibrant milieu, but I'm not sure how substantially different the novel would've been without it. A particularly harrowing take on American imperialism was probably the highlight for me. I found the ending pretty weak, and less true to reality, even in a fantastical sense, than what had preceded it.
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#16

Post by Minkin »

I have to thank this thread for actually + finally giving me some impetus to start reading again - something I haven't made time for in over ten years, but has been long overdue. I already own most of the classics via leatherbound editions, but I could never make time to get to any of them. But that's starting to change and I think I'll always keep a book in rotation from here on out - as though I don't have enough projects to keep me busy, but that's been my excuse for years and I'm trying to combat that.

Granted, I'm not steadily working on the top 100 right away - but I'll try to focus on the greater list of 1500+ books from both the fiction and non-fiction lists. Currently working on #1850 - Fried Green Tomatoes, after recently rewatching the film, which might end up being a theme for some of my choices (even though I've learned right off the bat that it's far better to start with the book than the film).

So thanks for posting this list and for working on it - as I think it's finally what I needed for encouragement to take up this hobby again.
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#17

Post by prodigalgodson »

Hey Minkin, sorry for the late reply, but so glad to hear and happy to help! Enjoy Fried Green Tomatoes -- I have fond memories of my mom reading that to us at dinner.
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#18

Post by RenaultR »

OldAle1 wrote: June 12th, 2022, 11:34 am Huh, I don't know that I've seen that list before. It's got some obvious limitations - almost entirely western-centric and focused nearly as much on the 19th and 20th centuries, with earlier works listed being very obvious indeed, but that said it's hard for me to argue with the quality of the choices and hey, it's at least one great books list that doesn't have any Any Rand so there's a huge plus!

I was an English lit major in college and thought (ha) that I'd be a writer and teacher someday back in those days when failure and depression were still being shrugged off sometimes, so I've read a fair number of these and, being a compulsive collector as well, I own the majority of ones I haven't read. I started reading

It seems like every art form's canon is generally western-centric, although each art form seems to have its own non-western region of the world that doesn't get shafted for one reason or another. For film, it's East Asia. For literature, it's Latin America. For music, it's the African-American community and to some extent, Brazil. And so on...

Russians are usually afford "Western canon" status in all art forms, film included.

For what's it's worth, this list of top 100 books has two Latin American-penned works, one Nigerian-penned works and a few African American works.
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