Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What About 'My Pet Goat'?

TIME has come up with a list of the 100 Best Novels [they limit it to English-language and since TIME started in 1923]. I feel like I'm a fairly average reader, but I know I am way skewed to more contemporary novels, and somehow I made it through school without reading many of the classics/staples. Before even looking at the list, I figured I would have read 15-20, tops.

Here goes. These are the books on the list I can remember reading:

Catch-22
Go Tell it on the Mountain
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lord of the Rings
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Slaughterhouse-Five
To Kill a Mockingbird
Watchmen


Ugh, not even ten. What a philistine. Fortunately, I don't have to even go to the library to double up. These books are sitting on the shelves just across the room:

Animal Farm
Beloved
The Blind Assassin
The Catcher in the Rye
The Corrections
The Great Gatsby
Light in August
On the Road
The Sound and the Fury


Which one should I pick up first? Anybody?

[h/t Otto Man]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think i will fair much better,

The Corrections
The Great Gatsby
Lolita
Lord of the Flies
1984
On the Road
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Sun Also Rises
To Kill a Mockingbird
Watchmen

I recomend both Gatsby and on the road.

I always enjoyed the Great Gatsby, but I would recomend On the Road first.

if it helps, i have seen a bunch of the movies!

Rob

ORF said...

I wonder if there's one on there that most EVERYONE has read. I bet it's Lord of the Flies. That's a pretty standard middle-school canon book.

Oh, and I forgot to leave this on Otto's blog but I too had reservations about the Corrections. I'd read all this stuff about what a kook Franzen is but also kind of applauded him for his outburst at Oprah b/c I HATE her bookclub (tho it DOES encourage housewives to turn off Days of Our Lives, hopefully). Anywho, I really enjoyed the book. It's a pretty frank look at a fucked up American family. Dysfunction, medications, Alzheimers, delusion, closet poverty and drugs. It's all in there, but not in a Klosterman kind of way. It's good.

srv said...

Hmm. Alot of crap in the Time list IMHO.

From yours:
Animal Farm
Gatsby
Catcher in the Rye (if for no other reason than George Will cries everytime someone reads it)

And if you haven't read any Thoreau, start with that century first.

circlethewagons said...

Animal Farm
Catch 22
Catcher in the Rye
The Crying of Lot 49
Grapes of Wrath
Great Gatsby
Invisible Man
Lion, Witch, Wardrobe
Lord of Flies
Native Son
1984
Portnoy's Complaint
To Kill A Mokingbird

And I think I read Deliverence and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but I might have either just seen the movies and/or been high.

Most of the above I read in middle school or early high school because they were required. And while I used to advocate more of an open school approach, particularly when I actually WAS in school, looking over this list makes me appreciate requirements.