Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

My challenge is to read 100 books in 100 weeks.  No small feat, I say, whilst others may snicker at my mere mortal goal.

I love to read, always have.  In fact, I am sometimes reading three books at a time and feel like I’m incomplete if I am not in the midst of at least one book.  While I consider myself an avid reader, I am not quite so sure about the “well read” label so I’ve decided to finally challenge myself to the task.

Bear in mind, I’ve been known to procrastinate from time to time.  At the age of 6, I decided to “read” the dictionary.  Starting with the letter ‘A’ (of course), I neatly wrote down each word with its definition and then rewrote the word ten times.  Let’s just say I never made it to the letter ‘B’.

My first year in college, I met an interesting older student (he was probably 30) who I shared my dream of reading the classics with.  He graciously provided me with a list  of what he considered to be the books that would help me become well read.   I’m ashamed to say I don’t even think I read one from his list (and a good list it was).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read some of the classics found on the Modern Library’s list, but I’m a tad short when it comes to the number 100.  I’ve even kept a reading list the last 5 years and have been reading about 20 books per year with a classic or two sprinkled in the mix.  If I’ve done my mental math correctly, I need to up the reading ante by more than double to reach my goal.

So what got me to finally attempt this literary marathon?  My mother passed away a year ago and while recently going through her things, I came across the Modern Library’s list.  She marked the list with symbols indicating she’d read 66, planned to read 24, found 2 she may have read and listed 8 she was not interested in (gotta love that).  I did a quick tally of what I’ve read and let’s just say, it was not close to 66.

Starting June 21, 2010, I will begin with James Joyce’s Ulysses (egads, talk about light summer reading) and will report in weekly with a review of each book and my challenges of reading a (good/bad/ugly) book a week.  Please post your comments here and join me, if you dare…

First up…Ulysses by James Joyce

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3 Comments

Filed under Literature

3 responses to “Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

  1. Pam

    What were the 8 books your mom wasn’t interested in? 🙂 I bet I have already read at least three of them.

    • vsudia

      1. Ulysses by James Joyce
      2. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
      3. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
      4. Light in August by William Faulkner
      5. A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul
      6. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
      7. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul
      8. Midnight’s Children by Salmon Rushdie

      For some reason, I’m committed to reading all 100!

      • Pam

        Sad! She missed several completely amazing books. Do not miss either of the Naipaul books or the Rushdie book. I would personally have to agree with her on skipping ANY and ALL Faulkner books, as well as the Joyce books (obviously). 🙂

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