Further Confessions of a Guilty Book Reader

      Books I started to read and didn’t finish….Part II

A few weeks ago I posted a blog confession regarding books I started to read and for some reason wasn’t able to complete.  Last week I stumbled upon an article published online in late January this year.  The article appears on both the online Atlantic Monthly Magazine and on BrainPickings.org. and its about a 2007 book entitled The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books.

As I looked at the two book lists that were compiled from the voting of choices made by 125 famous authors, I wondered how these greatest books compared with the books that I started to read and stopped.  Here are the two top 10 book lists (organized by the past two centuries) with my guilty or not guilty (meaning yes, I read the entire book) notations included:

Top Ten Books of the 20th century

1.  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald   (YES, completed)

3.  In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

4.  Ulysses* by James Joyce

5.  Dubliners* by James Joyce  (Oops, this one isn’t on my original list–I forgot I started it and stopped — GUILTY)

6.  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez   (GUILTY)

7.  The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

8.  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf   (GUILTY twice)

9.  The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor

10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

**I must include here that I did read at least (and finish) Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Top Ten Books of the 19th Century

1.  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

2.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

3.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

4.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain  (GUILTY)

5.  The stories of Anton Chekhov

6.  Middlemarch by George Eliot

7.  Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

8.  Great Expectations by Charles Dickens   (YES, completed)

9.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

10. Emma by Jane Austen

The articles also include two additional lists related to authors whose books were most frequently included in the voting process.  If you are interested in reading further here is a link to the online piece written by Maria Popova on her website Brainpickings.org: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/01/30/writers-top-ten-favorite-books/


Here also is a link to the work The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books on Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Top-Ten-Writers-Favorite/dp/0393328406/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336623743&sr=1-1-fkmr0


I don’t know if I’ll use these lists to fill in the gaps in my reading.  I guess I’m wondering about Nabokov as he’s on the 20th century list twice (for Lolita and Pale Fire) and I’ve never read him.   It will probably be Pale Fire if I decide to.


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