“The air was white, and when they alighted it tasted like cold pennies.  At times they passed through a clot of grey.  Mrs. Wilcox’s vitality was low that morning, and it was Margaret who decided on a horse for this little girl, a golliwog for that, for the rector’s wife a copper warming-tray.”  (p 60, Norton Critical Edition)

My Top 10

  1. Howards End
  2. The Player
  3. The Last of the Mohicans
  4. A Few Good Men
  5. Flirting
  6. Glengarry Glen Ross
  7. Raise the Red Lantern
  8. Enchanted April
  9. Aladdin
  10. A River Runs Through It

note:  The list goes well past 10 as listed below though none of the other films on my list earned nominations (so they’re all in the top list at the bottom) and the rest of the list is all fairly weak.


“George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her.” (p 66)

My Top 10

  1. A Room with a View
  2. Stand by Me
  3. The Color of Money
  4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  5. Little Shop of Horrors
  6. Children of a Lesser God
  7. Manhunter
  8. Crimes of the Heart
  9. Aliens
  10. The Name of the Rose

note:  A big drop after the first two – this year is much stronger in Original (Hannah and Her Sisters, My Beautiful Laundrette, Mona Lisa, Platoon, Blue Velvet) than Adapted.


SALIERI: Mediocrities everywhere – now and to come – I absolve you all. Amen!
[He extends his arms upward and outward to embrace the assembled audience in a wide gesture of benediction]. Scene 19

My Top 10

  1. Amadeus
  2. A Passage to India
  3. The Killing Fields
  4. Under the Volcano
  5. A Soldier’s Story
  6. 1984
  7. The Bounty
  8. The Bostonians
  9. Once Upon a Time in America
  10. Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes


We all got it comin, kid.

We all got it comin, kid.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Unforgiven  **
  2. The Crying Game  *
  3. The Player  *
  4. The Last of the Mohicans
  5. Howards End  *
  6. Reservoir Dogs
  7. Raise the Red Lantern
  8. Aladdin
  9. Flirting
  10. Singles

Analysis:  These are the only **** films.  There’s a four point drop from the #10 to the #11 film.  The #11 film is also an Oscar and Consensus nominee: A Few Good Men. (more…)

Sinclair Lewis is king of the second 100, with four books.  He is on the cover of Time Magazine, 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize.  Have you ever read anything by him?

Sinclair Lewis is king of the second 100, with four books. Here he is on the cover of Time Magazine, 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize, yet now he is mostly forgotten or ignored. Have you ever read anything by him?

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…)

"We all got it coming, kid."

The 65th annual Academy Awards for the film year 1992.

Best Picture:  Unforgiven

  • The Crying Game
  • Howards End
  • A Few Good Men
  • Scent of a Woman

Most Surprising Omission:  The Player

Best Film Not Nominated:  Last of the Mohicans

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #30

note:  If the Academy had nominated The Player instead of Scent of a Woman this year would rank #5.


My Dickens and Dostoevsky Bantam Classics

The Bantam and Signet go side by side.  Bantam is the classics paperback side of Random House just like Signet covers that for Penguin.  They are owned by two of the largest publishers and they publish many of the same books.  They are possibly the two best ways to get large library of classics in paperback.  They look great, they hold up well and they are a great bargain.

Bantam hasn’t been doing this as long as Signet – Signet, after all, has been around for decades, and I am not doing a whole history of Bantam.  These classics are the ones that began to be published around about 1981.  There were earlier Bantam Classics, but they seem to have set aside a large group of ISBN’s beginning in 1981 and they began to make them more uniform.  For a long time, they were all one solid color along the side – the Dostoevksy’s in the picture are a good example of what I love about them.  They also standardized the font on the front and spine, so they all look good together on the shelf. (more…)

The Norton Critical Edition of E.M. Forster's Howards End (1910)

Howards End

  • Author:  E.M. Forster  (1879  –  1970)
  • Rank:  #45
  • Published:  1910
  • Publisher:  Edward Arnold
  • Pages:  243  (Norton Critical Edition)
  • First Line:  “One may as well begin with Helen’s letters to her sister.”
  • Last Line:  ” ‘The field’s cut!’ Helen cried excitedly – ‘the big meadow!  We’ve seen it to the very end, and it’ll be such a crop of hay as never!’ “
  • ML Edition:  paperback (1999 – Top 100 Novels edition); paperback classics
  • Film Version:  1970 – tv; 1992  (**** – dir. James Ivory)
  • Acclaim:  Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #38
  • First Read:  Spring, 1993 (more…)