Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Modern Library List - How Much Shall I Ashame Myself Today?

Before even looking over this list, I had the creeping feeling that I just may be ashamed at how few of them I had actually read. Well, with a grand total of 9, yes I am. These are ones I've crossed out....

On top of it, I honestly didn't even love all 9 of them! Catch-22 just didn't "catch" me, Slaughterhouse Five was a bit too much, and I never have been able to get into really anything Kerouac.

The most shameful, and unexpected, fact of all though? I can honestly say that I have never even heard of 43 of these books. Really? Am I that sheltered? Do I really know soooooo much less about the world of literature than I thought? Oi vay!

And no, I don't feel like telling which 43 I haven't heard of....I've shamed myself enough for the day.

#1 ULYSSES (1922) by James Joyce
#2 THE GREAT GATSBY (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
#4 LOLITA (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
#5 BRAVE NEW WORLD (1932) by Aldous Huxley
#6 THE SOUND AND THE FURY (1929) by William Faulkner
#7 CATCH-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller
#8 DARKNESS AT NOON (1940, 1941 in English) by Arthur Koestler
#9 SONS AND LOVERS (1913) by D.H. Lawrence
#10 THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1939) by John Steinbeck
#11 UNDER THE VOLCANO (1947) by Malcolm Lowry
#12 THE WAY OF ALL FLESH (1903) by Samuel Butler
#13 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
#14 I, CLAUDIUS (1934) by Robert Graves
#15 TO THE LIGHTHOUSE (1927) by Virginia Woolf
#16 AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (1925) by Theodore Dreiser
#17 THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER (1940) by Carson McCullers
#18 SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut
#19 INVISIBLE MAN (1952) by Ralph Ellison
#20 NATIVE SON (1940) by Richard Wright
#21 HENDERSON THE RAIN KING (1959) by Saul Bellow
#22 APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA (1934) by John O'Hara
#23 U.S.A. (trilogy) (1930, 1932, 1936) by John Dos Passos
#24 WINESBURG, OHIO (1919) by Sherwood Anderson
#25 A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1924) by E.M. Forster
#26 THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (1902) by Henry James
#27 THE AMBASSADORS (1903) by Henry James
#28 TENDER IS THE NIGHT (1934) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
#29 THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY (1932, 1934, 1935) by James T. Farrell
#30 THE GOOD SOLDIER (1915) by Ford Madox Ford
#31 ANIMAL FARM (1945) by George Orwell
#32 THE GOLDEN BOWL (1904) by Henry James
#33 SISTER CARRIE (1900) by Theodore Dreiser
#34 A HANDFUL OF DUST (1934) by Evelyn Waugh
#35 AS I LAY DYING (1930) by William Faulkner
#36 ALL THE KING'S MEN (1946) by Robert Penn Warren
#37 THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY (1927) by Thornton Wilder
#38 HOWARDS END (1910) by E.M. Forster
#39 GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN (1953) by James Baldwin
#40 THE HEART OF THE MATTER (1948) by Graham Greene
#41 LORD OF THE FLIES (1954) by William Golding
#42 DELIVERANCE (1970) by James Dickey
#43 A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) (1951-1975) by Anthony Powell
#44 POINT COUNTER POINT (1928) by Aldous Huxley
#45 THE SUN ALSO RISES (1926) by Ernest Hemingway
#46 THE SECRET AGENT (1907) by Joseph Conrad
#47 NOSTROMO (1904) by Joseph Conrad
#48 THE RAINBOW (1915) by D.H. Lawrence
#49 WOMEN IN LOVE (1920: sequel to #48) by D.H. Lawrence
#50 TROPIC OF CANCER (1934) by Henry Miller
#51 THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (1948) by Norman Mailer
#52 PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT (1969) by Philip Roth
#53 PALE FIRE (1962) by Vladimir Nabokov
#54 LIGHT IN AUGUST (1932) by William Faulkner
#55 ON THE ROAD (1957) by Jack Kerouac
#56 THE MALTESE FALCON (1930) by Dashiell Hammett
#57 PARADE'S END (1924, 1925, 1926, 1928) by Ford Madox Ford
#58 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (1920) by Edith Wharton
#59 ZULEIKA DOBSON (1911) by Max Beerbohm
#60 THE MOVIEGOER (1961) by Walker Percy
#61 DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP (1927) by Willa Cather
#62 FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1951) by James Jones
#63 THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES (1957) by John Cheever
#64 THE CATCHER IN THE RYE (1951) by J.D. Salinger
#65 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1962) by Anthony Burgess
#66 OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1915) by W. Somerset Maugham
#67 HEART OF DARKNESS (1902) by Joseph Conrad
#68 MAIN STREET (1920) by Sinclair Lewis
#69 THE HOUSE OF MIRTH (1905) by Edith Wharton
#70 THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET (1957, 1958, 1958, 1960) by Lawrence Durell
#71 A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA (1929) by Richard Hughes
#72 A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS (1961) by V.S. Naipaul
#73 THE DAY OF THE LOCUST (1939) by Nathanael West
#74 A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1929) by Ernest Hemingway
#75 SCOOP (1938) by Evelyn Waugh
#76 THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE (1961) by Muriel Spark
#77 FINNEGANS WAKE (1939) by James Joyce
#78 KIM (1901) by Rudyard Kipling
#79 A ROOM WITH A VIEW (1908) by E.M. Forster
#80 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED (1945) by Evelyn Waugh
#81 THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH (1953) by Saul Bellow
#82 ANGLE OF REPOSE (1971) by Wallace Stegner
#83 A BEND IN THE RIVER (1979) by V.S. Naipaul
#84 THE DEATH OF THE HEART (1938) by Elizabeth Bowen
#85 LORD JIM (1900) by Joseph Conrad
#86 RAGTIME (1975) by E.L. Doctorow
#87 THE OLD WIVES' TALE (1908) by Arnold Bennett
#88 THE CALL OF THE WILD (1903) by Jack London
#89 LOVING (1945) by Henry Green
#90 MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN (1981) by Salman Rushdie
#91 TOBACCO ROAD (1932) by Erskine Caldwell
#92 IRONWEED (1983) by William Kennedy
#93 THE MAGUS (1966) by John Fowles
#94 WIDE SARGASSO SEA (1966) by Jean Rhys
#95 UNDER THE NET (1954) by Iris Murdoch
#96 SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1979) by William Styron
#97 THE SHELTERING SKY (1949) by Paul Bowles
#98 THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1934) by James M. Cain
#99 THE GINGER MAN (1955) by J.P. Donleavy
#100 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1918) by Booth Tarkington

So the question of the day is, how do you compare? I'd be very curious to see where anyone falls on this one...unless of course you know of all 100 and have read 99 of them. That might make me sad.


  1. Nothing to be ashamed about - it just means there are more wonderful things waiting to be read! (I like to think of it as having Christmas presents to unwrap all year round.)

  2. Although I come in at more than 9, I don't think I can get behind this list. For one thing, there's too much Joyce on it. Actually, there's just too much repetition of the same authors on the list overall. And, in the end, this is just someone else's list. What's more important is what's on your top 100 list. I mean, I know people that can't make a top 100 list. Or even a top 10 list.

  3. How embarrassing for me, I've only read 3! =O lol.