I started this list a long time ago…. It’s basically the TIME Top 100 Novels list, because I figured I might as well read at least some of the books that everyone is supposed to have read.

Note: I doctored it a little, cutting out a handful of books I wasn’t willing to read, or had read recently.

The time lag is mostly because the list got set aside after graduation, and unearthed more recently. I’ve been working on it, slowly, between other books that I prioritized higher.

After all, some classics are, well–not interesting.

It didn’t help that I moved libraries throughout this list– first, my college library, and then I found every book I could at another library–which was by no means all of them. The rest I had to ILL (Inter Library Loan), or I found from a third library.



Nonetheless, I am done! I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I am never doing this again. Definitely.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

6 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Amazing accomplishment, Caitlin! I’m duly impressed. Anyone who can actually read Russian novels is someone to be reckoned with, in my book. As I look over your list, I find I have read many of them. Most, actually. But there are some that I just couldn’t do. I got halfway into Tropic of Cancer and discovered I hated it, for instance. So I quit, though this was many, many years ago. Perhaps I’d like it more now. And I’ve never even heard of Ubik, or the Sot-Weed Factor, I’m afraid. Many of these, I read when they came out, believe it or not. (I’m so ooooollld!) And many are on my favorites list…Rebecca, of course, which I named my daughter after (Erin Rebecca), and A Passage to India, Of Human Bondage, The Three Musketeers, and others. I avoid anything by Hemingway like the plague, but I have read both of these. I read pretty much all of Vonnegut over the years, and overall, I think I’ve done okay on this list, though I’ve had a lot longer to work on it than you. (And I didn’t even know I was working on it. I think I’ll pring it out later, and mark off mine, just to see what the actual count is.

    Good post! And good reading, too. DId I mention I’m impressed?

    • Marcia says:

      Make that “print it out.” I hardly ever PRING anything, any more. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • caitlinstern says:

      I think the list was meant to be a ‘you should have read these books’ kind of thing, with the understanding that if you haven’t you should work on that. So I did. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Honestly, I didn’t finish all of them–I gave them all my ‘three tries’ rule. If I put it down because I don’t want to read it, I’ll pick it up three times. After that, it goes back to the library. But that was only a handful of them.

      As for the Russians and Hemingway, I had some experience with them in college. Maybe I’ve strengthened by brain muscles for lifting dense, maze-like texts. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Marcia says:

        Dense, maze-like texts with a Cast of Characters in the thousands, all with unpronounceable names. GAH. I was flipping back to the front to see who was who more than I was turning pages to progress through the book. Urk. The only Russian novel I was ever able to finish was Dr. Zhivago, and that took four times longer than any book should have.

        As for Hemingway, I just don’t like his style. I don’t like his pseudo-macho personality, don’t care for the way he lived his life, drinking and killing and swaggering around, and think it all showed in his books. The couple I finished, I did not enjoy. The couple more I tried to read, I hated, and quit. Now I know why, as I’ve read more about who he was and what his philosophy and method of writing was all about. Oh, I said to myself. So he did that on purpose, eh?

        Now I just ignore him. He’s not for me. I prefer writing that drips with adjectives, and yes, some of those adverbs he hated so much, so I was doomed as soon as I picked up any of his books.

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