Here it is. My Top 100 Novels – the complete list.
Here is the list: (more…)
22 February, 2013
17 February, 2013
This list works a bit differently than the Top 100. First of all, this is not a ranked list. Except for the first three listed titles, they are placed on this list chronologically. Second, I have not been back through each one of these titles the way I have gone through the Top 100. Some of these I haven’t re-read in years while every one of the Top 100 were re-read before I wrote on them. There won’t be individual posts on these books. Think of this list as less the definitive second 100 as 100 great novels that are worth a read.
Don’t mistake me. These aren’t just books I enjoy reading. I hope to start a series soon called Great Reads (which will all get individual posts), which are all about the books I really enjoy, but that don’t really belong on a list like this one, let alone the Top 100. These are all great novels (though some might also end up in Great Reads).
What about your book, the one you were surprised didn’t make the Top 100 and are even more surprised didn’t make this list? Well, I had to pare it down (I originally typed out over 125 novels and considered far more). Just imagine that whatever book you’re thinking of that didn’t make the list was one of the last ones I cut. Well, unless your book is Infinite Jest, Middlemarch, On the Road or anything by Jane Austen or Henry James. If you thought those might ever make the list you have clearly never read anything else I have ever posted on literature and are probably brand new to the site. Welcome!
Now, as for those first three titles. Well, I made the decision not to re-approach my list while in the process of doing these posts (of course I didn’t know it would take over three years to get the whole list done). Because of that, sometimes things come up that I realized belonged on the list. The first of them was something I had somehow never read and as soon as I read it (mid-2011), I realized it should have been on the list. The second was one I went back and re-read in the summer of 2012 after re-watching the film with Veronica and I realized I had long under-estimated it and it should have been on the list. The third of them I have the best excuse for – it hadn’t even been written when I did the list. But it belongs on it. So those are the de facto other Top 100 books. (more…)
28 July, 2010
29 May, 2010
20 July, 2008
A quick note: the following 10 novels will not appear on
this list. It’s not your list. You might think these are great. I think they are overrated, whether because they are simply badly written (The Historian, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter), pretentious McSweeney’s-esque prattle (Absurdistan, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Everything is Illuminated), boring (Life of Pi), overrated due to serious subject matter (Lovely Bones), well written but uninteresting (Bee Season, Wickett’s Remedy), or fatally flawed due to oversimplification of a truly horrid situation (The Kite Runner). They’re not here so don’t ask for them. Also not here are the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, which are fantastic, but, like Douglas Adams, not quite great writing, or the Jump 225 Trilogy, which I love and was written by a friend of mine, but isn’t quite up there and isn’t done yet. I have done away with the English language requirement for this list, because my previous list was done to Modern Library standards to match up against their list. Only two of these are foreign language novels anyway. Here’s my list:
Before I get to the list, I feel I should point out that it’s now up to 29 books. That’s because I have added some updates over the last couple of years and didn’t feel the need to delete the books at the bottom of the list.