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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the often-asked questions I receive about this project, as well as a few others that might help you understand what in the world this blog is about.

What’s the point of 101 Books?

Other than reading through 101 books, all on Time Magazine’s list of ALL-TIME novels published since 1923? I like to read. I like lists. I like big projects. I like blogging. Why not? When I started the blog, I thought I’d simply write a “review” of each book, with a related post here and there, maybe once a week. But the blog slowly morphed into a 5-day-a-week deal, and I’m loving it.

If the Time Magazine list is 100 Books, why is the name of your blog 101 Books?

I explain this a little more in my first post, but basically the list only includes books published since 1923, which was the year Time Magazine started. Ulysses just missed the cut because it was published in 1922. Since it’s widely regarded as the greatest novel in the history of the history, I decided to include it.

How do you have time to read that many books?

Great question. I don’t necessarily have time, but I make time. I read during my lunch break, for about 30 minutes, and I read at night after my wife and kid have gone to bed, for about an hour. Reading and running are my two hobbies right now. I think everyone needs a little breather, a little downtime, to re-engergize the batteries. Reading is one of the ways I do that. If you’re really interested, I talk more about it in this post and I give some tips in a guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog.

In what order are you reading the books?

No particular order. It’s a list but it’s not an ordered list.

So how do you select which book you’re going to read next?

I read them in groups of five with no super-organized plan, to be honest. Sometimes I let the blog readers vote on it. I’ve done that several times, actually. I try and space out the really long 600+ page novels, so I’m not left reading a bunch of weighty novels at the end.

Are you only reading the novels you haven’t read before?

Nope. I’m re-reading the ones I’ve already read, too. Sadly, I had only read 12 of the 101 books before I started.

When do you expect to finish the list?

Well, I started in August 2010. It’s October 2011 and I’ve read 28 books. I have 73 books left to read, not factoring in that The Lord of the Rings is actually 3 books and A Dance To The Music of Time is actually 12 books. I’ll be happy if I can finish all of them sometime in 2014. That said, I love your book suggestions, but if it’s not on the list, I won’t be reading it for a few years.

Will the blog continue once you’ve finished the list?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll continue it in another form or start a new blog with a new concept. I’ve thought about trying to beat the 100 greatest video games of all time, but I don’t know what my wife would think about that. I guess I’ve got a while to figure out what I’ll do next, if I do anything at all.

What’s your favorite/least favorite book you’ve read so far?

Check out my rankings. Through the first 27 books, my favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird and my least favorite is Mrs. Dalloway.

What book are you looking forward to the most/the least?

I’m really looking forward to re-reading The Great Gatsby. It’s one of my all-time favorite books.On The Road was also one of my favorite reads in my early 20s, but I haven’t read it in probably 10 years. It will be interesting to see what I think of it now.

As for the book I’m least looking forward to—that’s got to be A Dance To The Music of Time. It’s not really a book…it’s more like a twelve-volume set of literary torture. Actually, the story is supposed to be great. It’s just long, really long, as in more than 3,000 pages long.

Do you have guest posts?

Not usually. I’ve had one guest post in the first year. I’m not totally opposed to the idea, but it needs to be a well-written article that’s relevant to the list. And, even then, I might not post it. I guess I’m just a control freak.

Have you guest posted on other blogs?

Yes. To this point, I’ve had three opportunities to guest post on other blogs. My first was Jane Friedman’s Writer’s Digest blog. In late 2011, I also guest posted Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like on and Michael Hyatt’s blog.

What are your favorite posts so far?

We’ll I’d be lying if I didn’t include the three freshly pressed posts (Ignorance RevealedJonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules of Writing, and Book #27: The Sound and the Fury). After all, those posts have brought in the most traffic and long-term visitors. But here are a few of my other favorites:

Are You On Twitter?

Yes. You can follow me—but not in the cultish sense of the word–@robertbruce76.

How do I subscribe?

Input your email in the text box at the top right side of my homepage. Or, if you’re on WordPress already, simply click “subscribe.”

Favorite nonfiction books?

Into The Wild. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Under the Banner of Heaven. Mere Christianity.

Traditional book or e-reader?

Paper all the way.

Do you like milk?

Yes.

Do you like vinegar?

Absolutely not.

Favorite herb? 

Basil…hands down.

What’s the capital of Delaware?

Dover.

Any other questions? Feel free to fire away.

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30 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve a question: are you only going to read the books on your list until you’ve finished them – no sidetracks by other wonderful books that you come across as you make your way through the 101?

    Like

    January 24, 2012
    • Yeah, I’m only reading books from the list, unless it’s something I need to read for work or something like that. Actually plan on posting about this soon, as I’ve got a ton of book recommendations, but they’ll all have to wait a few years.

      Like

      January 24, 2012
      • That’s dedication – I have about four or five separate lists that I am trying to get through – except they keep growing!

        Like

        January 25, 2012
  2. what are pages 36- 100 about in the called “Beloved” by Toni Morrison?

    Like

    March 4, 2012
  3. Having said all the negative things I did about Catcher in the Rye, I would like to compliment you on this venture you’ve embarked on. It’s a really good idea and I hope you make it to the end of the list. Would you consider following my blog? Sometimes I post political satire. Other times I actually post news articles.

    Like

    March 19, 2012
    • Welcome to the blog! Thanks for reading. Followed yours. Thanks again.

      Like

      March 19, 2012
  4. I really respect and appreciate this blog and what you’re doing. Reading Time magazine’s 100 greatest novels has always been one of my goals, but it seems so daunting. Hopefully reading through your blog will inspire me to get started. It will be a great accomplishment when you finish!

    Like

    May 23, 2012
  5. sweetrocky1999 #

    How many books do you think a teenager can read in one summer

    Like

    July 21, 2012
  6. I am new to this website and I am hooked. I am a voracious reader too. I find your website very inspirational. I had embarked upon a Project 52 in 2011 and documented it in my previous blog (now closed on Blogger). I had created a list of 47 books with plans of adding 5 more spontaneously. I ended up reading 45 books (35 of them Non-fiction) at the end of the project even though I could only follow my initial list only 60%. It was fun but now it is time for a new journey. After seeing your website I can see what I could have done too.
    Kudos to 101books!

    Like

    November 24, 2012
  7. Faizan #

    Hello, Robert! I’m trying to get into reading, I want to read lots and lots of books and learn all sorts of new things through them, but its a little hard to find time. That’s ok, that’s my fault and I’m trying to handle it. But there is another problem, could you please advice me on it? After reading a book for, I don’t know, one or two consecutive hours, my mind gets exhausted and I put the book down. Do you ever have to deal with this? There are people who finish multiple books in one week whereas I finish one in weeks or months. Will repeated efforts to read eventually increase my reading ‘stamina’?

    Like

    February 23, 2013
  8. You said that you were not opposed to guest bloggers, but I can’t seem to find any contact info so I can approach you about it. Can you help me out? The short of it is; I am an author, about to publish, and I am scheduling a blog tour. You can check out my book at http://www.benevolentthenovel.com. I will begin my blog tour in a few weeks, when I launch Benevolent. As for your blog, I am available for giveaways, interviews, or guest blogs (see my blog at http://www.devontrevarrowflaherty.com) or any combination thereof.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Devon
    contact@devontrevarrowflaherty.com

    Like

    February 25, 2013
  9. Hello there,

    My name is Munir and i have recently released a book called the break up recipe that i was hoping you could plug on your blog, please take a look and let me know what you think. It’s had a great reception and fantastic reviews and i hope you can help it grow. It’s available on amazon and if the link below doesn’t work then i apologise. you can search for it on the amazon site. i guarantee you will love it as after reading your terms i firmly believe that this is right up your street. would love to hear what you think as you are one of the key demographics i’m aiming for. many many thanks for your time.

    Munir

    Like

    March 23, 2013
  10. Absolutely paper! Actually posting something tomorrow that sings the praises of paperback. Okay, you have a fan fer sher now. :)

    Like

    June 23, 2013
  11. Bluebell #

    Hey, do your posts contain any spoilers?

    Like

    June 24, 2013
  12. I think this is the best idea for a blog ever! It is rare that I find a blog that is both interesting, funny and useful at the same time. Great effort!

    Like

    July 12, 2013
  13. The idea is great! Because you have exactly one life to read the greatest books on the planet.

    On average, a person reads merely one book per year, which means that most people may never be able to do what you are doing, and know what you are knowing.

    I have been an average reader (and I am a graduate student) most of my life, but in the past few years I increased my reading amount from 10 books per year to 100 books per year.
    It keeps growing year by year.

    Some simple almost primitive reading techniques helped me to double my reading speed in few weeks by myself.

    Enjoy, your novels!

    All the best,
    Fabian Markl.

    http://www.rapidstudents.com/

    Like

    September 13, 2013
  14. Hello Robert!
    I am writing on Behalf of BookExpo America (BEA). I was wondering how I could contact you to find out about possible marketing/advertising opportunities for an upcoming event at BEA. Please contact me anytime via my email given.

    Sincerely,
    Jason Bartelstone

    Like

    January 14, 2014
    • Thanks Jason. I emailed you yesterday. Let me know what you have in mind.

      Like

      January 15, 2014
  15. Hi Robert,
    I wonder how you feel about having any of your posts re-blogged as long as you are given full credit for the post. I don’t have one in mind, but have often thought I’d like to share some of your posts with my readers. If you prefer, you can email me at akandew28@gmail.com. And if you want to see my posts to see if it’s somewhere you want your name: – http://akandrew.com/blog-a-writers-notebook/ Many Thanks Robert. I know I’ve said it before, but your site is my favorite book blog hands down:-)

    Like

    February 19, 2014
    • Hey A.K. I don’t mind having my posts re-blogged, as long as I’m given credit like you mention. Thanks so much for reading and your regular tweets!

      Like

      February 20, 2014
  16. Bob Berry #

    Please help! I am a late comer to your blog, but I’d like to join the rest of the way. Being that my computer skills haven’t been updated since the 90’s, I can’t figure out the next book you are going to cover. Would you please advise ? Thanks.

    Like

    July 4, 2014
  17. Mary #

    How do I ask a question? –I’m looking to find humorous books similar to Pink Panther movies. Just plain goofy. Thank you.

    Like

    July 19, 2014
  18. Mary #

    I quote your email: “If some one wishes to be up dated….” Whaaaaattt??? …Don’t bother. Thanks anyway.

    Like

    September 11, 2014

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