a compilation of lists

Whew! You all might know that I’m a sucker for book lists. It can get a little exhausting with everyone publishing their own “100 greatest books” etc. (you know I did!), and this is a highly subjective matter. But I’m still attracted.

But then I saw this list (through Shelf Awareness, naturally). It’s a chart compiled from all the books on 11 lists of 100 books. [One list says “American novels”, where the others seem to be international. Eight of the 11 say either “novels” or “literature,” and a glancing survey does seem to confirm that this is a fiction list. These rules are not entirely made clear.] There aren’t 1100 books, because there’s overlap: that’s the point of this chart. And what fun: statistical analysis! Three books make 10 of the 11 lists: Catch-22, Lolita, and The Great Gatsby. Four books make 9 lists; 4 make 8; and so on from there. I found it fascinating to see the semi-democratic selections between these lists. Of course, each of those 11 lists is just another subjective view; but it’s nice to the the intersections. The lists, if you’re curious, come from sources like bookriot.com; TIME magazine; Entertainment Weekly; Modern Library; Goodreads; and Reddit.

Naturally what I want to do now is show which ones I’ve read, plan to read, or don’t plan to read (hello, Faulkner and Ulysses). Let’s say bold are those I’ve read, italics are those I want to read, and underlined for those I’ve picked up and put back down or don’t intend to.

Please excuse my laziness in listing only titles and not authors. You will fairly easily figure it out yourself or find the author via The Google. A few of these titles, for the record, didn’t ring a bell to me at all. Some authors are available at the original link; others are not. I’m guessing this was a copy/paste in from the 11 lists themselves…

Made 10 lists:
Catch-22
*Lolita
*The Great Gatsby

Made 9 lists:
Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison, not H.G. Wells. I have read the one by Wells, actually.)
Slaughterhouse-5
The Catcher in the Rye
The Sound and the Fury

Made 8 lists:
*1984
Beloved
The Grapes of Wrath
To Kill a Mockingbird

Made 7 lists:
The Sun Also Rises

Made 6 lists:
An American Tragedy
Atlas Shrugged
Brave New World
Gone With the Wind
Midnight’s Children
My Antonia
*On the Road
* The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Tropic of Cancer
Their Eyes Were Watching God
To the Lighthouse
Ulysses

Made 5 lists:
A Clockwork Orange
A Passage to India
All the King’s Men
Animal Farm
Brideshead Revisited
Crime & Punishment
Fahrenheit 451
Go Tell It On the Mountain
Heart of Darkness
Infinite Jest
Light in August
Lord of the Flies
Moby-Dick
Mrs. Dalloway
Native Son
One Hundred Years of Solitude
*Pride and Prejudice
The Age of Innocence
The Call of the Wild
* The Lord of the Rings
* The Old Man and the Sea
The Stand
The World According to Garp
Things Fall Apart
* Wuthering Heights

Made 4 lists:
*A Confederacy of Dunces
A House for Mr. Biswas
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Anna Karenina
Blood Meridian
Charlotte’s Web
Death Comes for the Archbishop
Don Quixote
Ender’s Game
Howards End
I, Claudius
Naked Lunch
Neuromancer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Rabbit, Run
Ragtime
Sons and Lovers
Sophie’s Choice
The Adventures of Augie March
The Brothers Karamazov
The Color Purple
The Fountainhead
The Golden Bowl
The Handmaid’s Tale
*The Hobbit
The Maltese Falcon
The Moviegoer
The Sheltering Sky
Under the Volcano
War and Peace

And on.

I have added *asterisks* for the 11 that overlapped with MY list of 100: that was interesting to note. In such subjective measurements, I think that’s not a bad statistic. And some of the ones on this list that I’ve been looking forward to reading may well end up on my own list.

What are your reactions?

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