Newsweek’s Top 100 Books of All Time, part 3
Last week I started looking at Newsweek’s Top 100 Books of All Time; I hope to finish their list today beginning where I left off with #76.
#76 “Night” by Elie Wiesel. This is Wiesel’s story of his time in the Nazi camps but it is written with a touch of blurring between fiction and fact. While I have not yet read this work, it is on my must read list.
77- “Rabbit, Run” by John Updike. I have never read Updike, and never much wanted to. But some of the things I have read of him make me curious. Maybe I will, and maybe not.
Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, “The Age of Innocence” is probably not a genre I would be interested in at #78.
#79 is held down by Philip Roth’s “Portnoy’s Complaint”. Never heard of it, zero interest.
Theodore Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy” comes in at 80. I have wanted to read Dreiser but just haven’t gotten around to it.
I have heard of “The Day of the Locust” by Nathanael West but really know nothing about as is the case for most of these books in the final 25 it seems!
At 82 is Henry Miller’s, “Tropic of Cancer” which I would never read…nor any other of Henry Miller book. Just lack of interest I reckon. But he is known for a lot of s-e-x in his books. This one was banned in America for something like thirty years.
Why Dashiell Hammett’s “Maltese Falcon” shows up on the list at #83 eludes me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the old Bogart Movie, but haven’t read the book. It’s just…with all the great books out there, while a detective/crime novel?
#84 freaks me out. Why is Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” on the list. Admittedly I have not read it but when the movie came out with Nicole Kidman I read up on it. This is some serious atheistic stuff for children. Voof.
Willa Cather’s 1927 novel, “Death Comes for the Archbishop” is #85. I have never read Cather and probably won’t.
Sigmund Freud makes an appearance at #86 with “The Interpretation of Dreams”. Granted Freud changed the world…but probably more for the worse. Won’t read it.
At #87 is a book I was supposed to read for Dr. levy’s class at OU; started it, couldn’t make it through, took the exam and…well…that test score was my worst grade in all of the classes I took under Dr. Levy. I would like to go back and read it now though; I have heard more about it over the years and think I could get through it.
Curious as to why we have “Quotations from Chairman Mao” at #88? I actually have read Mao Tse-tung’s “On Guerilla Warfare”, but not this one. Of course Mao influenced history, killed off millions and millions of Chinese and helped kill over 30,000 Americans in the Korean War.
“Varieties of Religious Experience” by William James comes in at 89. So far I have not read any from the back quarter of the list, this one included. However, I would like to read James and did study him a bit under Dr. Levy.
Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited” comes in at 90. Never read Waugh, never will.
91 Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring” is a tree hugger delight I suppose, but I have never heard of it and will not likely ever read it.
92 And of course it they are going to have an economics book on this slightly liberal list, why not include John Maynard Keynes with, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”. Oh well…..Where is Thomas Sowell or Milton Friedman?
93 Finally a book I have read on this last 25 of the list! Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim”. I just don’t really get Conrad though. May have to try him again though.
94 “Good Bye To All That” by Robert Graves. This book sounds interesting as it is his memoirs of WWI. Put this one on my list.
95 And if you were to have two economics books on the list you would also, if you are a good liberal, include John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Affluent Society”. I would actually like to read this classic of economic thought.
96 “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame is a children’s book from 1907. I kind of vaguely remember the title, but have never read it.
97 “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley and Malcom X. Uhhhh, probably not on my list.
98 “Eminent Victorians” by Lytton Strachey. Gotta be kidding me?
99- “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. Didn’t even watch the movie.
100- Winston Churchill makes the list with his “The Second World War” in 6 volumes. I actually own this but have never read it. I would love to because I have heard so much about Churchill’s writing, but, 6 volumes….
OK, that ends the list, let me count up my total. In this last quarter of the list I did badly reading only 1 of the books and 1/2 of another. Pretty dismal I know. I was greatly perplexed, disturbed even, by the selections on this part of the list.
Overall then, out of the 100 books on Newsweek’s list I have read 16 and parts of 5 others. Let me know how many you have read and which ones. Next I think I will attempt my own list and see which ones should be on the top 100 books of all time.