100 Book, New Year Goal

I am so underread. (And only someone underread would even dare use an expression as ‘underread’.) It’s true, I don’t know a lick of contemporary literature. Except for the names you can’t escape, like Dan Brown, Rowling, or Tolkien, the rest of the authors’ names stir no recall to me. You might as well be reading off the batting order of the ’87 Cubs for all I know– and it would indeed produce the same dumb look in my expression.

So in effort to combat my own literary ignorance, I’ve taken on a new campaign for the new year. My goal is to read all 100 books from the Modern Library Best 100 Reader’s list. Firstly, I refuse to call it a “New Year’s Resolution”, and thereby nominate it for failure. Instead, I’m going to stick to using the word “goal”. Sounds silly and irrelevant, I imagine. But you see, with the word “goal”, you don’t feel like such a loser when you fail– like when use the word “resolution”. Actually, I would even suggest that with a goal, no one really expects you to succeed, and when you do, your accomplishment is met with nothing but lavish praise and incredulity.

So there you have it: my 100 book reading list. And I extend to you the same challenge. Let’s make it a goal.

3 thoughts on “100 Book, New Year Goal”

  1. I am amazed at how many science fiction books are on that list. And smug over how many I’ve already read. Take that Mr. I can name any classic author!

  2. Try some Latin American literature:

    Gabriel García Márquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude

    Jorge Luis Borges – Ficciones (English Translation)
    Jorge Luis Borges – The Aleph and Other Stories

    Mario Vargas Llosa – The Green House
    Mario Vargas Llosa – Death in the Andes

    Carlos Fuentes – The Death of Artemio Cruz

    Augusto Roa Bastos – I, the Supreme

    Laura Restrepo – Isle of Passion

    Julio Cortázar – Blow Up: And Other Stories
    Julio Cortázar – Bestiary

    Jos̩ Donoso РHell Has No Limits

    Manuel Puig – Kiss of the Spider Woman

    Adolfo Bioy Casares – The Invention of Morel

    Juan Carlos Onetti – Let the Wind Speak

    Juan Rulfo – Pedro Paramo (English Translation)

    Alan Pauls – The Past

    Manuel Puig – Kiss of the spider woman


    * Don’t waste your valuable time reading L.Ron Hubbard’s books.
    * Why so many works of Charles de Lint? He is not so relevant! Select only one or two and discard the others.
    * SciFi is great, but Hemingway & Faulkner are waaay better, read them first (& Joyce, Steinbeck, Woolf, Kerouak, Burroughs, Lowry, Miller, Bowles, McCullers)
    * Beguin the SciFi books with Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
    * You are doing well with the green ones (the “read after list”)
    *Post some comments about the books you have already read, it’s a good exercise!

    Good luck and happy reading!

  3. Wow! Excellent advice. I will take it! You’re right, I going to replace the Hubbard book … not only do I NOT want to seduced into anything, they are also quite hard to find. Again, awesome advice!

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