Tuesday, September 5, 2017

100 novels everyone should read



In April of 2015, The Telegraph in the U.K. published its list of "100 novels everyone should read," and I stumbled upon the list while browsing the results of a Bing search: great novels. Here is a link to the list.

I'm not sure why such lists continue to be compiled and published. I'm not even sure why I now add to the confusion by providing a link to such a list. 

However, I am confident of one thing: Such lists are like car wrecks; people cannot resist looking at them. 

I confess: I've read only about half of the titles listed. Perhaps I can read the rest of them if I hurry before my brain and body shut down at closing time.

So, go ahead, take a look at The Telegraph's list. Then tell me what you think of the "100 novels everyone should read." 








12 comments:

  1. I find such lists really interesting, Tim, because they can vary so much, depending on who is doing the compiling. I do find them useful in terms of getting ideas for books to read, but, honestly, I don't hold them sacred, if that makes sense.

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    1. Margot, we are kindred spirits; we see such lists in the same way.

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  2. R.T.--that's the reason I read those lists--for ideas, for authors and titles that are unknown to me. The ranking is irrelevant. I've read close to 2/3 of the books on the list.

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  3. i haven't looked at it, so i can say i've read them all... hahaha; ignorance is truly bliss....

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  4. I must also admit that I love these lists. I tend to count how many that I actually read.

    I also think that one should not take the too seriously. As fun things to look at, and as conversation starters I think that they are good things.

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  5. Fred, Mudpuddle, Brian, Margot: do you remember the controversy when Random House came out with their 100 best of the 20th century lists? Lists that have teased and vexed me are the ones at the end of The Western Canon by Harold Bloom.

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    1. R.T.--no, I don't remember that Random House list, but there have been so many lists that it's hard to remember them.

      I looked at the lists at the end of the Western Canon and found it much like all the other lists I've seen. Some I think should be there aren't there, some I agree with, and some I disagree with.

      But I didn't add any to my Search list, although I added a few to my reread list.

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    2. Fred, here's a link:
      http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/

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    3. Bloom said later that he distanced himself from the list, wishing it hadn't been made and published.

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    4. R.T.--thanks for the link. I found the two lists fascinating. I think I could make my own list combining the Board's and the Readers' Lists.

      I hadn't heard that Bloom had said that. Did he say why? Did he think he could do better or just that he shouldn't have done it at all.

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    5. I don't know the answer to the Bloom question. I suspect the lists were put together without much thought mostly by his research assistants and with his hasty approval. That's just a guess. The old crank has always been hard to figure. Sometimes he's fascinating, and sometimes he's a pain the butt.

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