01 May 2005

The Modern Library List, annotated by me

Crossed-out entries indicate ones I've already read.

1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce

4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner

7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
22. APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster

39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey

43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad

47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm

60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
61. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLE by John Cheever
64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger

65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton

70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
76. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster

80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
81. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul

84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow

87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London

89. LOVING by Henry Green
90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
98. THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy

100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

Number of books I’d already read on this list when I started: 30
Books that will take a long, long time to read: #43 is a ten-book series. How the makers of this list were able to sneak that one by, I’ll never know. And let’s not forget #77.
Hidden trilogies: #23 and #29.
Books I checked as done and then had to undo: #15, TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. I have attempted it several times, but let’s be honest here, I’ve never actually finished it. So don’t go telling me everyone dies in the end.
Three favorites of the books I’ve read: I really enjoyed THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (#58) even though it was assigned reading for AP English in high school. Like the vast majority of people my age I like Fitzgerald in pretty much all his efforts (#2 and #28 here). And after I finish all these, maybe I ought to re-read ALL THE KING’S MEN (#36) in advance of the star-studded filmic remake -- though I hate Sean Penn, but that’s really neither here nor there.

4 comments:

Imani said...

Oh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who tried To The Lighthouse and failed. Having only made one attempt I still have it in my TBR pile, staring at me longingly. And the latest Penguin cover for it is so pretty.

Litlove said...

That's very impressive, and it's a fabulous line up of books to work from. I've just come across from Danielle's site, where she's been doing the same thing, and it is a great selection of books. I'm tempted to pick out some myself for 2007.

bloglily said...

I'm trying to resist saying when the deaths happen in To the Lighthouse, but I'll tell you now I've never actually read about a significant death in a parenthetical statement, which is how it goes in Lighthouse!

I love lists like this. I can't possibly do them, but I am full of admiration for those who can.

sophomorecritic said...

That's an interesting article idea would be which of these 100 have the most critically acclaimed movies:
Grapes of Wrath, Clockwork Orange, From Here to Eternity, Sophie’s Choice Heart of Darkness (or as it’s movie title was known “Apocalypse Now”) and Maltese Falcon are all on the Ameican Film Institute’s Top 100 Films of all time and Lolita is on the British Film Institute’s List.
On top of that All the King’s Men is an Oscar-winning film for best picture
Behind them, I would say Deliverance, Magnificent Ambersons (one of Orson Welles’s masterpieces that got sliced up in the editing room) and Room with a View (1980s) have the greatest reputations as film

Some others: Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (won Maggie Smith an Oscar for best actress), Catch-22 (Film by Mike Nicholls), Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Alan Arkin was in it, from the 1960s), The Way of All Flesh (From the 1920’s), Ironweed (also by Mike Nichols) and Postman Always Rings Twice, Age of Innocence (better regarded as Marty Scorcece's biggest chick flick)