The First 40: A Look Back
This project is 40% done, people. The next time I do a “look back” post like this, 101 Books will be halfway complete! What will I do?
Today’s post is simply a review of some highlights and lowlights from the first 40 novels. It’s a 101 Books Award Show, if you will, except that there are no awards to hand out and no drunken celebrities to present them.
Let us begin.
Total pages read: 14,418
Least favorite book: Oh, Mrs. Dalloway. Will any book ever be worse than you?
Favorite character: Yossarian (Catch 22).
Least favorite characters: Humbert Humbert (Lolita).
Least favorite writer: William Gibson (Neuromancer) tops Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway).
Most inspirational book: Inspiration has been hard to find on this list. That said, To Kill A Mockingbird is tops.
Funniest book: Catch 22. Nothing else is even close.
Longest read: Infinite Jest
Shortest read: Animal Farm
Best opening line: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” (The Blind Assassin)
Most memorable line: Three favorites from the first 30:
- “Soon you’ll regret all that sun-tanning. Your face will look like a testicle.” – Iris Chase
(Iris Chase, The Blind Assassin)
- “I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’” ( Hal Incandenza, Infinite Jest)
- “Hate is a lack of imagination.” (The Unnamed Priest, The Power And The Glory)
Favorite posts: Some posts that I’m fond of either because of the subject matter or the discussion that resulted from it.
The Beginning: First post. How it all got started.
Book #27: The Sound and The Fury: My slightly controversial review of the Faulkner classic. Freshly Pressed.
101 Books Guide To Carrying An Embarrassing Book In Public: Believe me, thanks to this project, I have a lot of experience.
Q&A With Lev Grossman: My interview with one of the two creators of the Time list.
Why Read Fiction? The journey of a former nonfiction snob. That’s me.
Looking Back on Infinite Jest: All everything from my experience reading IJ.
The Art of Reading While Watching Football: It can be done.
Do You Like Depressing Stories? If you don’t, you should.
5 Disgusting Words That Make Me Cringe: This is nasty stuff.
Book #33: Lolita: Controversial book (and post).
5 Things I’ve Learned About Book Blogging: Free advice. You get what you pay for.
Reading Tips From A One-Year-Old. Stuff my son taught me about reading.
What do Harper Lee and Captain Underpants Have in Common? More than you think!
Want To Write A Classic Novel? Here’s How. Get depressed.
The Perks of Being An English Major. Hilarious comic strip.
7 Annoying Words That Should Die A Horrible Death. The worst of the worst.
Love Stories That Aren’t Really Love Stories. They simply aren’t.
The Graham Greene-Shirley Temple connection. This post went slightly viral after getting linked to from The New Yorker and The Book Slut.
It’s Not You. It’s Me. What does Seinfeld has in common with books?
Your Search Questions Answered: My meager attempt at humor.
That’s all for this time around.
Agree or disagree with any of these “awards?”