Want to read with me? Follow this link to view the list and pick a book (or a few!) to read along with me. I'd love for this project to be collaborative, and will post anyone's thoughts beside my own.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It begins...

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Greetings, readers! I've decided to read through a list of the top 100 novels and blog about it. I just saw the movie "Julie and Julia", and I was inspired. If you think I'm nothing but an unoriginal, boring copycat, feel free not to read this blog. No one's forcing you!

First things first. Here is the link to the list I chose for this endeavor:
[Update 7.18.2015 - I see that this list has shifted (it is generated by a voting mechanism) and therefore does not match the list I read. Interestingly, if I embarked on the project today, I would have been required to read these titles:

- The Road by Cormac McCarthy (perhaps I would have liked it more than Blood Meridian?)
- Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (I might read this anyway - I have become quite the Faulkner fan)
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (read it. didn't love it.)
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (I might read this - I liked The Kite Runner both times, and have heard that Suns deals much more with gender relations, which intrigues me.)
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (meh. Haven't read it. Not sure I want to.)
- The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (ahem. read it. ahem. more than once. #don'treadintoit)
- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (interested in reading this, for sure.) Update over!]

The list is also located on the right side of this blog. I just wanted to include the link in case people were curious about who created the list, and/or wanted more background on it.

For those of you wondering how I chose this list, here are my reasons for choosing it.

(1) I considered choosing a list compiled by critics, but the critics seem to think that "Ulysses" is the best novel written. I think that a book which is impossible to understand without the help of structured academic study is hardly accessible to the public and is therefore disqualified. Or, at the very least, demoted. It made this list, but was knocked down a few pegs.

(2) I wanted a list that included the public's favorites, but wasn't too preachy. Another list I found contained several L. Ron Hubbard books, and though my mother pointed out rather heatedly that they seem a little "doctrine-heavy", and it does please me from time to time to spar with her, I must admit that I'm inclined to agree. The list I chose seems to include a good mix of new and old, fantasy and "classic" (not that fantasies can't be classics, but they're not always included in the use of the term). In fact, I liked that both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings made the list, and I look forward to re-reading both series.

But really, a list, an order, no matter how "scientifically" created, is still an arbitrary ordering of objects. So it only seemed fitting that my choice of list was just as arbitrary.

Thus, I begin with 1984.


  1. I think this is a really cool idea!

  2. Hi,

    I am the owner of The Best 100 Lists and I'm happy to see that you like our best 100 novels list. Good luck with your reading and I will check back to see how it is going. Make sure to come back and post your reviews on the site to help others choose which books would be best for them.

    Good Luck,


  3. This is a neat idea.

    There are some seriously LONG books on here. You're going to read all of Remembrance of Things Past in ONE week?! (not to mention the whole HP series, LOTR, Middlemarch, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and the other doorstops on that list)

    It'll be interesting to read about reading at a grueling pace!

  4. Great beginning for a great adventure! Keep your enthusiasm! (The red type on the green screen is invisible.)

  5. This is a really cool idea. Good Luck! I wonder what will become of you after 100. :) J/K