lists and lists of books

I’ve recently (and by recently, I mean in the last few hours) decided to make an attempt at reading the top 100 best fiction books. I miss reading, and I would like to read something different from my standard collection and beloved genres*. And I want something more intellectual to discuss during cocktail hour… and by that, I mean I want to be able to know what my many English-major friends are talking about when they talk about books from their lit classes. I also just like having goals… and yeah. Basically there are a lot of reasons why this excites me, but it all just boils down to… I just want to.

Apparently there are a lot of “Top 100 Best Fiction Novels” lists out there… so which one to choose?? And do I go with the “board” list, or the “readers” list… or do I stick with fiction, or do I want to do non-fiction, too?! This shouldn’t be so complicated.

I found “The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century: A Composite List and Ranking” that is a compilation of the Modern Library list, the Library Journal list, the Koen Book Distributors’ list, and the Radcliffe Publishing Course list. I do like compromise. :)

The composite list has 223 books on it, but it does have them ranked so I could still just focus on the top 100… but some of the books ranked below 100th sound intriguing (and others still not at all). Maybe I’ll do Sarah’s Top 100 That She Wants to Read list. There are about 15 or so on the composite list that I have already read, but some of them I may want to read again.

Ha I don’t know what I’ll do exactly yet… but the great thing is that I’m not doing for anybody but myself, so I can do whatever I want! Sweet.

A few books that I have that I have been meaning to read include Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Whoredom in Kimmage: Irish Women Coming of Age by Rosemary Mahoney, and a few others I can’t think of right now. They’re not on the list… but they’re on mine.

For those of you that read my random ramblings, do you have any suggestions from the composite list that I should definitely read? Or maybe something that isn’t on the list?

*My taste in reading material is as varied and random as my taste in music… I really enjoy non-fiction, especially anything by Bill Bryson. He writes travel-like books and has an awesome, witty sense of humor that makes me literally laugh out loud. (My favorite of his is A Walk in The Woods, where he hiked part of the Appalachian Trail and wrote about the history of the trail, the people he met, his adventures, etc.) Another favorite is Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides, which is about the Bataan Death March during WWII. It’s a bit graphic at times and definitely not a light book to read, which is understandable considering the content. My all-time favorite author is Mercedes Lackey. She writes fantasy books. Not my most intellectually stimulating reading material, but her books allow me a great escape from the real world when I need one.

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One response to “lists and lists of books

  1. There are lots of wonderful books on that composite list. I haven’t read fiction in a long time, but a couple of my favorite books from this last year have been: Fields of Plenty by Michael Abelman and Miles Davis’ Autobiography.

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