Ethan and Gemma

Ethan and Gemma

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I've Read, Part 2

TIME Magazine's ALL TIME 100 Novels - "the 100 best English-Language novels from 1923 (the year TIME Magazine began) to the present." There is of course some overlap with the BBC list from yesterday. I haven't even heard of about half of the books on this list. Weird.

The List (books I've read in blue again):
A - B
1. The Adventures of Augie March (1953), by Saul Bellow
2. All the King's Men (1946), by Robert Penn Warren
3. American Pastoral (1997), by Philip Roth -
I want (and as an English major, need) to read this
4. An American Tragedy (1925), by Theodore Dreiser
5. Animal Farm (1946), by George Orwell
6. Appointment in Samarra (1934), by John O'Hara
7. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970), by Judy Blume
8. The Assistant (1957), by Bernard Malamud
9. At Swim-Two-Birds (1938), by Flann O'Brien
10. Atonement (2002), by Ian McEwan
11. Beloved (1987), by Toni Morrison
- This is a very weird book. Usually thought to be Toni Morrison's best. I disagree. I think Song of Solomon is much better.
12. The Berlin Stories (1946), by Christopher Isherwood
13. The Big Sleep (1939), by Raymond Chandler
14. The Blind Assassin (2000), by Margaret Atwood
- I love most books by Margaret Atwood, but this is one of her best. Kate Morton, an emerging Australian novelist, basically ripped this book off for her book The House at Riverton, but in my opinion, Morton just made it even better. If you like The Blind Assassin, you should definitely read The House at Riverton. Even if you've never heard of The Blind Assassin, you should still read The House at Riverton.
15. Blood Meridian (1986), by Cormac McCarthy
16. Brideshead Revisited (1946), by Evelyn Waugh
- I'm not sure I ever really got the point of this book. Oh well.
17. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), by Thornton Wilder
C - D
1. Call It Sleep (1935), by Henry Roth
2. Catch-22 (1961), by Joseph Heller
3. The Catcher in the Rye (1951), by J.D. Salinger
4. A Clockwork Orange (1963), by Anthony Burgess
- What the heck is this book? This is one of the worst books I've ever read. It's complete nonsense. And I've never understood why writing something that's complete nonsense somehow makes you "brilliant" instead of just plain nonsensical.
5. The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), by William Styron
6. The Corrections (2001), by Jonathan Franzen
7. The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), by Thomas Pynchon
- I hated this book when I first read it, but after I finished it and pieced it all together, I realized it was pretty brilliant in its intricacy. That still doesn't mean I like it though. But Thomas Pynchon is another one of those people (like Umberto Eco, Milan Kundera, and Richard Powers) whose books are too smart for me.
8. A Dance to the Music of Time (1951), by Anthony Powell
9. The Day of the Locust (1939), by Nathanael West
10. Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), by Willa Cather
11. A Death in the Family (1958), by James Agee
12. The Death of the Heart (1958), by Elizabeth Bowen
13. Deliverance (1970), by James Dickey
14. Dog Soldiers (1974), by Robert Stone
F - G
1. Falconer (1977), by John Cheever
2. The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), by John Fowles - Definitely one of my favorites. A "Neo-Victorian" novel. John Fowles' portrayal of Victorian society and the emergence of Darwinism is brilliant. There is an old movie version with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons that is actually pretty good too.
3. The Golden Notebook (1962), by Doris Lessing
4. Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953), by James Baldwin
5. Gone With the Wind (1936), by Margaret Mitchell -
Frankly, I don't give a darn about this book. . .
6. The Grapes of Wrath (1939), by John Steinbeck -
I liked the Veggie Tales version better.
7. Gravity's Rainbow (1973), by Thomas Pynchon -
Thought about attempting it several times, but didn't feel smart enough.
8. The Great Gatsby (1925), by F. Scott Fitzgerald
H - I
1. A Handful of Dust (1934), by Evelyn Waugh
2. The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (1940), by Carson McCullers
3. The Heart of the Matter (1948), by Graham Greene
4. Herzog (1964), by Saul Bellow
5. Housekeeping (1981), by Marilynne Robinson -
It's in the stack of books I'm currently reading, so I'm counting it, although it's not Robinson's best (though anything she writes is fantastic). Her novel Gilead is one of the best novels I've ever read, hands down. It's an amazing blend of superb prose and religious imagery and doctrine. She's clearly Presbyterian.
6. A House for Mr. Biswas (1962), by V.S. Naipaul
7. I, Claudius (1934), by Robert Graves
8. Infinite Jest (1996), by David Foster Wallace -
Another book I'm not smart enough to read. I'll move on to this after I'm finished with Gravity's Rainbow. Ha.
9. Invisible Man (1952), by Ralph Ellison - Ah, African American Lit class.
L - N
1. Light in August (1932), by William Faulkner
2. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), by C.S. Lewis
3. Lolita (1955), by Vladimir Nabokov
4. Lord of the Flies (1955), by William Golding -
Still don't understand the hype.
5. The Lord of the Rings (1954), by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. Loving (1945), by Henry Green
7. Lucky Jim (1954), by Kingsley Amis
8. The Man Who Loved Children (1940), by Christina Stead
9. Midnight's Children (1981), by Salman Rushdie
10. Money (1984), by Martin Amis
11. The Moviegoer (1961), by Walker Percy
12. Mrs. Dalloway (1925), by Virginia Woolf -
I hate Virginia Woolf. I actually hate every writer from that time period. I took a whole class on British fiction from 1900-1945 that covered Joyce, Woolf, Conrad, and Forster and I kind of wanted to kill myself.
13. Naked Lunch (1959), by William Burroughs
14. Native Son (1940), by Richard Wright
15. Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson
16. Never Let Me Go (2005), by Kazuo Ishiguro -
On my Kindle waiting to be read. Some of his other stuff was really good, so I'm looking forward to reading it when I eventually get around to it.
17. 1984 (1948), by George Orwell
O - R
1. On the Road (1957), by Jack Kerouac
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), by Ken Kesey
3. The Painted Bird (1965), by Jerzy Kosinski
4. Pale Fire (1962), by Vladimir Nabokov
5. A Passage to India (1924), by E.M. Forster -
I think I literally slept through this book while reading it. Rushdie does India better.
6. Play It As It Lays (1970), by Joan Didion
7. Portnoy's Complaint (1969), by Philip Roth
8. Possession (1990), by A.S. Byatt
9. The Power and the Glory (1939), by Graham Greene
10. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), by Muriel Spark
11. Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike
12. Ragtime (1975), by E.L. Doctorow
13. The Recognitions (1955), by William Gaddis
14. Red Harvest (1929), by Dashiell Hammett
15. Revolutionary Road (1961), by Richard Yates -
This is one of the worst, most pointless and depressing books ever. And the movie was awful too. Do not read this book.
S - T
1. The Sheltering Sky (1949), by Paul Bowles
2. Slaughterhouse Five (1969), by Kurt Vonnegut -
"Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time." Wasn't crazy about it the first time I read it, but after I read it two or three more times and start memorizing bits of it (I wrote a term paper on Vonnegut's treatment of women in Sl-5), I grew to at least appreciate the intricacy of Vonnegut's chronology (or lack thereof).
3. Snow Crash (1992), by Neal Stephenson
4. The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), by John Barth
5. The Sound and the Fury (1929), by William Faulkner -
Shoot me in the face if I ever have to read this again. I abhor Faulkner!
6. The Sportswriter (1986), by Richard Ford
7. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1964), by John le Carre
8. The Sun Also Rises (1926), by Ernest Hemingway -
Not too bad. I'm not a fan of Hemingway, but he's better than Faulkner for sure.
9. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), by Zora Neale Hurston
10. Things Fall Apart (1959), by Chinua Achebe -
African Lit class. Not to be confused with African American Lit class. This was lit straight from Africa.
11. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), by Harper Lee
12. To the Lighthouse (1927), by Virginia Woolf
13. Tropic of Cancer (1934), by Henry Miller
U - W
1. Ubik (1969), by Philip K. Dick
2. Under the Net (1954), by Iris Murdoch
3. Under the Volcano (1947), by Malcolm Lowry
4. Watchmen (1986), by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
5. White Noise (1985), by Don DeLillo -
Another one I hated the first time but grew to appreciate. Pretty relevant still to today's society.
6. White Teeth (2000), by Zadie Smith
7. Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), by Jean Rhys -
Love it. A different (Caribbean) perspective on Jane Eyre. You can tell how much painstaking care went into Rhys' prose.
All-TIME Graphic Novels -
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I haven't read any of these. Oh look, I was right. And I'm not really feeling like there's a gap in my education so I think I will continue to not read any of these.
1. Berlin: City of Stones (2000), by Jason Lutes
2. Blankets (2003), by Craig Thompson
3. Bone (2004), by Jeff Smith
4. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2002), by Kim Deitch
5. The Dark Knight Returns (1986), by Frank Miller
6. David Boring (2000), by Daniel Clowes
7. Ed the Happy Clown (1989), by Chester Brown
8. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000), by Chris Ware
9. Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories (2003), by Gilbert Hernandez
10. Watchmen (1986), by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons


Aubrey said...

So you really should add some graham greene and walker percy to your "to read" list. I read the power and try glory but prefer the end of the affair by greene. It's one of my favorite all time books. And The moviegoer is brilliant. As are several of percy's other works.

As for the graphic novels, I'm not a big fan normally, but I did read blankets and loved it. For what it's worth.

Speaking of other great books, I just finished Run by ann patchett and The sweetness at the bottom of the pie. They were both awesome. If you need other suggestions.

Carissa said...

Already read the Ann Patchett book and the Alan Bradley book - they are both fantastic! I actually have met Ann Patchett and always read her books - her sister went to Converse. :) I do need to read some Graham Greene for sure though.