The First 30: A Look Back
After each set of ten books, I write a brief recap that highlights some of my favorite and least favorite aspects of the novels I’ve read to that point.
Now, without further ado, here’s a breakdown on the first 30 novels–the 101 Books Awards, if you will.
Total pages read: 10,614
Favorite book: It’s still To Kill A Mockingbird (Complete rankings.)
Least favorite book: Mrs. Dalloway, by a hair, over The Sound and The Fury
Favorite character: Yossarian (Catch 22).
Least favorite characters: 1) April Wheeler (Revolutionary Road) 2) Case (Neuromancer)
Favorite writer: George Orwell (1984 and Animal Farm)
Least favorite writer: William Gibson (Neuromancer).
Biggest surprise: I, Claudius over The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Most difficult book: The Sound and The Fury tops Infinite Jest
Most depressing book: Rabbit, Run edges Revolutionary Road.
Most violent book: Blood Meridian edges A Clockwork Orange by half a bloody torso.
Most inspirational book: To Kill A Mockingbird
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)
- “Because in the end, when you were falling into water, there was no solid thing to reach for but your children.” (The Corrections)
- “I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’” ( Hal Incandenza, Infinite Jest)
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.
Freshly Pressed Fun: My thoughts on the first freshly pressed feature—the day after.
Freshly Pressed Fun, Part Deux: Self-explanatory.
The Sound and The Fury: My slightly controversial review of the Faulkner classic. Also 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.
One Book You’ll Never Read: The books we all hate.
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.
The Book You’ve Never Read: Be honest.
What do Harper Lee and Captain Underpants Have in Common? More than you think!
Getting Spammy With It: Where I make fun of spammers.
Your Search Questions Answered: My meager attempt at humor.
Thanks to all of you, this blog keeps growing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Even if you weren’t reading, I’d still be doing this. But it’s a lot more fun knowing a few people make 101 Books part of their daily routine.
So, enough sentimental crap. Agree or disagree with any of my “awards”?