Monday, September 24, 2007

What's Your Number?

On Time's website, the company's critics review the 100 all-time novels since 1923. As I was reviewing the list of books, I felt completely ashamed. I have only read 6 of these books . . . yes, only 6!! I couldn't believe it! Though many are on my to-be-read list, I just have never gotten around to them.

Sometime in my college years, I decided that I was going to read a minimum of one classic a year. Since then, I have made it a point to read such titles as The Scarlet Letter, Wuthering Heights, and The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, but I see that I have a long ways to go to read some of the classic literature!

In case you are wondering, here's my personal list from "the complete list":
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I now have two questions for you . . .

  1. How many books from the list have you read? (See the link above.)
  2. Which books am I completely missing out on by not reading?

I obviously need to read more classics since I am so immensely lacking in this area. If you have some classics to recommend that are not on this list, please feel free to share these as well. I do intend to pick a classic as one of my next reads!


  1. Um - WOW! I think I've read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in high school - but I can't remember. I loved the Great Gatsby - don't ask me why but I think it's a classic. Looks like I should do some reading, too...

    A book I just finished that was AWESOME is called "Cast Off" by Jan Murra. She's SUCH a good author - I love her humor and style. The book is a true story of her experiences living in the south of France, dumped there in the 1970's by her husband who needed to get rid of his family so he could carry on an affair back in the States. SUCH a good story - she's absolutely amazing!

  2. I have only read 7 books from the list. All the same ones as you except Housekeeping.
    The only other one I would recommed would be, Catch 22 & The Great Gastby

  3. The ones that I would add are Gone With the Wind and Lord of the Flies. It's been too long since Lord of the Flies, but if I remember correctly, I hated it. I don't remember if the book was well-written, I'm sure it was, and that it made a wonderful point-- it was just a horrible concept that I had a hard time experiencing.
    And Gone With the Wind? I LOVED it! It was better than the movie, though the movie did an excellent job of sticking with the book and the casting was marvelous. The book gave so much more insight into Scarlett, and I felt that even if I didn't agree with her, I could understand and even respect her more than I had in the movie.

  4. Ok so I have only read 3 of the list but I have seen movies based on many of them and have heard of a lot of the titles. I was really surprised that there were not more popular books on there. Do you know the criteria for picking them? Interesting list.
    My 3 are The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, To Kill a Mockingbird and Are you there God? Is me, Margaret. Are you there God is a good book about a girl growing up- great book for preteens! But I would suggest reading it together- some really grown up issues are addressed if I remember correctly.

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  6. I was excited to see The Blind Assassin on the list since I recently purchased it and plan on reading it next--I am on book 6 of Harry, and I totally think that series should have made the list! Just Joking! I only had nine off the list--LOTR, Lord of the Flies, The Sun Also Rises, The Crying of Lot 49, THe Great Gatsby, Things Fall Apart, Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

  7. The only ones I've read are
    The Great Gatsby
    The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
    The Lord of the Rings
    To Kill a Mockingbird

    I read all but Gatsby for pleasure. Of the other ones, on my to read list (which may never be gotten to) are Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye.

    I don't know if I would agree that they are the All-Time best novels, it looks more like a list of important "defining" novels that had cultural impact. Which is the type of book you read in high-school English class, because of their cultural significance, rather than how good of a read they are.

    Not to say they are bad books, as some of them are quite good.


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