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Time To Announce The Next 5 Novels

Today, I introduce to you the next five novels I will be reading from the Time list. These books will come after I finish Invisible Man, of course.

With the exception of The Golden Notebook, the novels in this group are fairly short, which hopefully means I can get through this batch quicker than the last one. Also, since I’ll be wrapping up A Dance To The Music Of Time at the end of the year, my reading pace should pick back up to the level I had in 2011.

Anyway, here’s the next five in no particular order:

The Great Gatsby: Heard of this one? It’s an obscure little novel by some hack named Fitzgerald. And, well, I’ve read it four or five times. Before I started this list, The Great Gatsby was my favorite novel. And I believe it will give To Kill A Mockingbird a run for its money in my rankings. Gatsby will be book #50.

The Golden Notebook: I’ve been told by some of you that this novel by Doris Lessing is a little dry, plus it’s long, really long. I think I might save it as the last one in this batch, but I might change my mind about that. I really know nothing about it, other than that it has an experimental, post-modern style.

Snow Crash: The brief amount of time I’ve spent reading about this novel by Neal Stephenson makes me nervous. It sounds a lot like Neuromancer, and I really didn’t like that book. Someone tell me it’s going to be okay.

Pale Fire: Vladimir Nabokov, take 2. I had mixed feelings about Lolita, so I’m interested to see how I respond to Pale Fire, Nabakov’s other novel on the list. This one also looks extremely experimental, with the novel going back and forth between a 999 line poem and a critic’s commentary on that poem. Strange.

A Handful Of Dust: Finally! I’ve heard so much about this novel, and Evelyn Waugh in particular, that I’m excited to finally get around to reading it. This might be next on my list, book #49.

So that’s the next set of five. When I finish up these novels, I’ll be well over halfway finished with the list.

Less than two and a half years to read 53 novels. I guess that’s not so bad for a guy with a full-time job, a family, and an unhealthy addiction to college football, right?

Any thoughts on the next five novels?

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve only read Gatsby and I should re-read that as it was a forced High School reading. I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

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    October 8, 2012
  2. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorites, I will be interested to read your review on it.

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    October 8, 2012
  3. Pale Fire huh. Given the gravity of his other pile of trash, I can’t bring myself to read anything else by Nabokaaaaahvvvvvv. Tainted? You bet.

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    October 8, 2012
    • I’ve heard this one is pretty good. I guess we’ll find out.

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      October 9, 2012
  4. Dominick Sabalos #

    Take as much salt as you like with this, coming from a sci fi fan, but I love Snow Crash. There are a lot of superficial similarities to Neuromancer, and people compared them a lot when Snow Crash first came out, but I think Snow Crash is a lot more fun to read. It’s very over the top and has much more of a sense of humour.

    I just finally read Gatsby for the first time a few months ago, as it’s not really a school book here. For some reason – possibly Andy Kaufman-influenced – I had this vague impression of it as a gigantic, plodding tome of a book, so kept passing on reading it. A friend of mine insisted it was great, and I eventually listened to her, and she was more or less right.

    Turns out it’s pretty short, too.

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    October 8, 2012
    • Good news on Snow Crash. Thanks. Neuromancer had zero sense of humor and horrible dialogue.

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      October 9, 2012
  5. Ryan #

    Great Gatsby was one of the books I read a couple of summers ago when I decided to get back into reading. I liked the book, but it wouldn’t top my list. I read it about the same time that I read some Faulkner, Hemingway, and Salinger. It easily beat Catcher in the Rye; I enjoyed reading it more than The Sun Also Rises; I was much more taken by Light in August.

    Handful of Dust is on my shelf now, I may read that when I finish my It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. It would be interesting to compare notes.

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    October 8, 2012
  6. I’ll also speak up in favor of Snow Crash. I’ve never read any of Gibson’s books so I can’t directly compare the two authors, but Snow Crash was an enjoyable read (well, listen, actually). Stephenson seems to have a real appreciation, not just of the technology that we are developing, but for the history that makes it possible. And, as an example of some of the slightly irreverent humor in the book, Stephenson gives his main character the name of Hiro Protagonist–I think that fact alone is what compelled me to pick this up off the library shelf.

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    October 8, 2012
  7. I don’t see any other comments on Golden Notebook, so I’ll weigh in on this as one of my favorite books. It’s long, perhaps overly so with a few slow sections, but it’s easy to read and not really so disjointed as one might expect from a post-modern book. This follows the struggle of a young woman to define herself at a time (late 50s-early 60s) when notions of identity were under attack from a lot of psychological theories that were just becoming influential in mass culture. The main character is pulled in a lot of different directions, and finds it difficult to determine exactly who she is. My copy, an old Bantam mass market paperback printed in 1973 contains an introduction by Lessing which by itself is well worth reading.

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    October 8, 2012
    • Great comment. It really makes “The Golden Notebook” sound a lot more accessible. I do have it on my shelf and have been meaning to give it a try. One of the most interesting postmodern, dystopian novels I’ve read is “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood. I don’t mean to equate the two, except for their particular viewpoint on the marginalization of women. Thanks for the insight.

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      October 8, 2012
    • Awesome. Maybe it won’t be that bad after all.

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      October 9, 2012
  8. We had to do ‘A Handful of Dust’ in school… definitely an interesting read. I didn’t really enjoy it that much myself (not a massive fan of satire) but that might of been because I was made to read it and then dissect it, which will normally ruin a book a bit. I look forward to seeing what you think of it 🙂

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    October 8, 2012
  9. I feel like a nincompoop reading this list, since The Great Gatsby is the only one I’ve read. Like you, I’d be nervous about diving into Nabokov again. I look forward to your reviews, as you will essentially be my guinea pig for what I will and won’t read on this list 🙂

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    October 8, 2012
  10. ktleanne #

    Hmmm, interesting… I recently read The Great Gatsby having heard a few people tell me it was their favourite novel, and I’ve got to be honest, I was rather disappointed. Personally I think it reads as a screenplay – I’ve never seen a dramatisation of it, but I think I would prefer it that way. To hear you say it will give To Kill a Mockingbird a run for top place is beyond comprehension to me (that being my favourite novel, of course!). But I must be in the minority as so many others here have commented it is their favourite too. That’s the beauty of literature, I suppose… at least it generates interesting discussion!

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    October 8, 2012
  11. My favorite novel is actually John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” a contemporary novel, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Pride and Prejudice” are very close runners-up.

    I did read Gatsby recently myself, and really admired its style and story. Soon, there will be another Great Gatsby movie coming out, staring Leonardo DiCaprio. Maybe, however, you avoid books of your favorite novels.

    I recommend reading “The Golden Notebook” sooner rather than later. In getting my MFA, I have learned not to put off tasks that I would rather avoid until the last minute. It makes the entire endeavor so much harder.

    I look forward to your reviews, and I’m glad I found your blog when you checked out my blog,

    Happy reading.

    Like

    October 8, 2012
    • Sorry, I meant to say, maybe you avoid movies of your favorite books.

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      October 8, 2012
  12. Teresa #

    I read Gatsby for the 3rd time as part of reading the Time list. Reading #1 (age 19) I found it insipid. Reading #2 (age 45) I found it boring. Reading #3 (this past year) I thought it was a masterpiece. I haven’t read Snow Crash, Handful of Dust or Pale Fire. I’ll give them a try when you get to them. I’m scared to even open the cover of Pale Fire …

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    October 8, 2012
  13. Greg #

    I’m so sorry. I absolutely hated Gatsby. But then, I don’t really like many American literary authors. Non-American literary writers, yes. Genre writers also. I did need to read Ann Patchett’s Run for a book group last month and enjoyed it very much, so maybe there’s hope.

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    October 8, 2012
  14. Hmmm.. Read ‘A handful of dust’ recently http://malvikajaswal.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/a-handful-of-dust-evelyn-waugh/ . My recommendation – Eat lots of sweets!!

    Like

    October 9, 2012
  15. I’m also interested to see your take on Pale Fire . My first – and so far only – experiences with Nabokov was also Lolita and it was a roller coaster. I want to read more of his work but I have the feeling I’m going to need some sort of strategy, just like I need with Faulkner.

    I’m also looking forward to The Golden Notebook for a very specific reason. When I was in elementary school, we had to do some sort of writing assignment about our favorite author. I was already reading fairly voraciously, but I didn’t know who my favorite author was. To get ideas, I turned to our encyclopedias, of which we only had L, N-O, and V. (I guess my mother had run out of A&P register tape.) I found an entry for Doris Lessing and copied it word for word. It was my first and last act of plagiarism; I was so terribly ashamed when I got caught that I can still picture my teacher’s face when she was scolding me. I felt like such a loser. I vowed to actually read Doris Lessing so I could make up for my sin. So far, I have read a single word she wrote. So I really want to know what I’m getting into when I finally do suck it up and read one of her books!

    Like

    October 9, 2012

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