Brain Work

I have been reading this fascinating book called, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession. In this book the thief, John Gilkey, often refers to the Modern Library 100 Best Novel List as he is trying to steal collect first editions of all printings from this list. I was curious to see what this included and was inspired to take on a new challenge! I am going to read ALL the books, yes that’s right all of them, from both the Board’s List and the Reader’s list.
I figure I have probably read some of them already and there are bound to be duplicates between the two lists. So 200 books quickly becomes whittled down to a much more manageable number. So that being said, let’s see what we have in store for us. (I have combined the lists into one. Crossed out books are the ones I have already read.)

ULYSSES by James Joyce
THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
1984 by George Orwell
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O’Hara
U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
ALL THE KING’S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
PARADE’S END by Ford Madox Ford
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
KIM by Rudyard Kipling
A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
THE OLD WIVES’ TALE by Arnold Bennett
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
LOVING by Henry Green
MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
IRONWEED by William Kennedy
THE MAGUS by John Fowles
WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
SOPHIE’S CHOICE by William Styron
THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard
DUNE by Frank Herbert
THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein
A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute
GRAVITY’S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
SHANE by Jack Schaefer
TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOM by Nevil Shute
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
THE STAND by Stephen King
THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN by John Fowles
BELOVED by Toni Morrison
THE WORM OUROBOROS by E.R. Eddison
MOONHEART by Charles de Lint
ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner
WISE BLOOD by Flannery O’Connor
FIFTH BUSINESS by Robertson Davies
SOMEPLACE TO BE FLYING by Charles de Lint
YARROW by Charles de Lint
AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS by H.P. Lovecraft
ONE LONELY NIGHT by Mickey Spillane
MEMORY AND DREAM by Charles de Lint
TRADER by Charles de Lint
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams
THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy
ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute
GREENMANTLE by Charles de Lint
ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card
THE LITTLE COUNTRY by Charles de Lint
THE RECOGNITIONS by William Gaddis
STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert Heinlein
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
THE WOOD WIFE by Terri Windling
THE DOOR INTO SUMMER by Robert Heinlein
ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Robert Pirsig
AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS by Flann O’Brien
FARENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury
ARROWSMITH by Sinclair Lewis
WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
NAKED LUNCH by William S. Burroughs
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy
GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton
THE PUPPET MASTERS by Robert Heinlein
IT by Stephen King
V. by Thomas Pynchon
DOUBLE STAR by Robert Heinlein
CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY by Robert Heinlein
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST by Ken Kesey
SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION by Ken Kesey
MY ANTONIA by Willa Cather
MULENGRO by Charles de Lint
SUTTREE by Cormac McCarthy
MYTHAGO WOOD by Robert Holdstock
ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach
THE CUNNING MAN by Robertson Davies
THE SATANIC VERSES by Salman Rushdie

What is the due date for this endeavor? Whenever the fuck I finish it. That is the joy of how I set goals. There is no end insight and it doesn’t matter one bit if I accomplish this or not.

Hmmmm. Maybe that’s why I never finish anything I start…..might what want to think about that little correlation.

OK. Well in that case, three years. I think that is fair. Let’s see that works out to be about 4 books a month, give or take. I think I could pull that off.

Anyone care to join me in this?! Eh?! Eh?! Come on!

Come on!

Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!Come on!

Advertisements

18 Responses

  1. I dunno, I’m a little leery of any list that has multiple L. Ron Hubbard books on it. I’ve read 23 of those books and I tried to make it through The Stand not once but twice. How about I’ll make a list of books you should read and I’ll leave off the stupid boring ones!!!

    I HAVE been wanting to read The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, though.

  2. Were I not embroiled in a master’s degree program, I would. But what a great project to do. I am stunned at how many books on that I have NOT read. Ok, not stunned, guess I feel kind of stupid! But at least my favorite book of all time, The Stand by Stephen King, is on there! After you finish a book you should tell us of our impressions when you cross it off the list!

    • That is a very good idea. I was thinking of keeping some kind of book journal, but I should just do that here!

  3. pth. Yeah . . . I’ll join you . . . riiiight.

    Seriously though, I’ve got issues with major works of literary genius. I never read them in school (because while I love reading, I hate reading because I’m forced to). So let’s just say that if I have the time and inclination and funds to get these books I might read a couple here and there.

  4. I’m doing something similar, but gave myself until 2023 to complete it, figuring that if the Mayans are right and the world ends in December 2012, I’m off the hook. “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Brave New World”, and “Midnight’s Children” are also on my list. We should do a book club. Meet you in Chicago for drinks and discussion!

  5. I would like to join you! But, I am giving myself way more than 3 years to complete it.

    • That works for me! I don’t actually think I will complete it in 3 years (see there we go with why I never accomplish any of my goals.) In all honestly, if I complete this in my lifetime, I will be happy.

  6. I am game but I want to read Mein Kampf first. I am sure that it will take me longer then three years. But I can try.

  7. First, I want to read read the book that has inspired this great idea. It’s been on my list. So is Blood Meridian, which I’ve had in a bag of books I bought, ahem, a year and a half ago. Can we get credit if we’ve seen the movie versions? What if we wrote a particularly kick ass paper on one AND saw the movie. I mean, I don’t like to brag, but I like to imagine my interpretation of Animal Farm is still regarded as masterful in the hallowed halls of my college English department.

    • I would say it is up to you if you want the “movie version” of the book to count.

      And I could only imagine how kick ass your paper regarding Animal Farm must be. Hell I wouldn’t be surprised if it included a little menagerie of plastic animals set up by rank.

      “FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD”

  8. ugh so. maybe that bookclub we “started” last year in honor of our lover Jordan Catalano shoulda been called, “teach this bitch to read.” ugh. cause i’ve read like .4 of the books on that list. for reals. you’d think i went to school at a detention center or something. (not that there’a anything wrong with that).

  9. Dude, great idea! I do think you should give us a quick review of the books you read. I won’t read all of them, but I would love to pick a few, and follow your lead (that way sifting through the crap). Good luck, you can do it! This reminds me a bit of Julia and Julia. FUN!

  10. Can I count it if I’ve watched the movies?
    It’s embarrassing how few of these I’ve actually read.

    Okay, I’ll give it a go. But I’m pretty sure ‘Ulysses’ is going to take me three years at least, so I’m increasing my time line to…forever.

  11. oh, I just saw the “watched the movie” comments…I’m counting them. For now. Except for “A Room With a View”. I want to read that one.

  12. I’m in! I’ve copied the list to a document on my ‘puter and will be reading along with you. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: