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And The Next Five Novels Are…

Finally, the next five books. A fresh start. A few new authors. This is one of my favorite parts of this project–deciding on which books to read next.

As always, it’s a mix between short and long novels. My strategy is to not leave myself weighted down by a bunch of the thicker novels at the end. So I always try and have a good mix of the long stuff and the short stuff.

So here’s the next five, in no particular order.

The Crying Of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. This will be my second read of this short Pynchon novel. I read it in college and remember really liking it. A dozen years later, we’ll see if my tastes have changed.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow: I’ve been on the verge of picking this novel several times now, so it’s time. Doctorow is one of those authors that’s a must-read, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about with this one–including the musical based on this novel.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: I love Hemingway. This will be another re-read for me. Some people don’t like Hemingway’s short, simple style. But I’ve always found it refreshing.

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth: American Pastoral was my first experience with Roth, and I loved that novel. Roth is an outstanding writer. I’ve heard great things about Portnoy’s Complaint, so this is one I’m excited about diving into.

All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren: Another classic that I’ve never read. I honestly don’t know a lot about this book other than the fact that it was made into a popular movie. Feel free to fill me in.

In all, this looks like a pretty solid group of books.

I’ll be wrapping up The Golden Notebook and posting my review next week. After that, it’s on to these five.

What should I expect from these novels?

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow you have some great reading ahead of you! I’ve read your first three and they’re all brilliant! Haven’t read the Roth, but it’s Roth, so it’s bound to be good. And I’ve never read All the King’s Men, but you’ve inspired me.
    I’m studying at the moment so my reading list is almost completely dictated to me by my course (though I sneak in some for-fun reads), so I’m jealous of other people’s freeom to read what they please. Massive book envy right now! And I love your blog!

    Like

    March 20, 2013
  2. Just so you’re sure…there are a lot of us living (reading) vicariously through your efforts. Reading “The Great Books” or Time’s “Greatest Novels” has been on my list of things to do but always seemed unmanageable. I am considering tweaking that to include reading your favorite 50 or so of the 101 books, once you’re done… Maybe I’ll be done with the Presidential Biographies by then?

    Like

    March 20, 2013
    • Thanks for reading Steve. I really appreciate all the people who have joined along in this journey, even those who don’t comment and just lurk in the background. Reading is often thought of as an isolated activity, and I guess it is, but blogs like this one show that readers love a good community too.

      Like

      March 20, 2013
  3. Ryan #

    I read Ragtime in high school and, at the time, was pretty shocked by at least a couple of the scenes. I do remember liking the way Doctorow connects the characters.

    Like

    March 20, 2013
  4. Good luck! All I remember from All The King’s Men is wanting to gouge my eyes out from boredom and making up an answer in class that was horribly wrong because I stopped reading and getting a serious talking to by the teacher. I could probably appreciate it a lot more now, but stream of consciousness is not my favorite.

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    March 20, 2013
    • I didn’t even realize it had SOC as the style. Oh boy.

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      March 20, 2013
      • I don’t think it’s fully so but there are parts of it that are.

        Like

        March 21, 2013
  5. What a great set of books! I’ve read them all and loved all but Portnoy’s Complaint. I read The Crying of Lot 49 just a few years ago, but plan to reread it with you. I loved the exercise of reading between the lines and filling in the gaps.

    Like

    March 20, 2013
    • Always happy to know you’re reading along with me, Teresa! Just FYI: I think I’m going with The Sun Also Rises as my first one from this batch.

      Like

      March 20, 2013
  6. Claire #

    I read All The King’s Men my junior year of high school and I remember absolutely hating it. My sister, however, loved it. Good luck with it. Hopefully you’ll be more like my sister and actually enjoy it!

    Like

    March 20, 2013
  7. Yay, both my picks made it! The Sun Also Rises has some of the best descriptions of drinking I’ve ever read. It was tough to read while pregnant. It would have been perfect with a glass of red. Though I was grateful to be missing out on the horrific hangovers – he describes those really well, too!

    Like

    March 20, 2013
    • Hemingway with a glass of red sounds like the perfect combo to me.

      Like

      March 20, 2013
  8. LOVED “Ragtime”

    Like

    March 20, 2013
  9. Ok, I’ll admit it – I’m one other the “lurkers” in the background, but after seeing two of my faves make the list, I thought I would drop a line. Sun Also Rises is my fave (after Augie March) so I know you’ll enjoy that; as someone who previously read it, however, I’m sure you already know that. But the second is All the Kings Men. It’s brilliant and fascinating – especially if you enjoy ‘political’ and ‘period’ pieces. The beginning is slow, but then it builds up and turns into an absolute (at least for me) page-turner. Don’t forget, it did win the Pulitzer for a reason!

    Just one note, after you’re done, don’t even think of Netflixing (is that a word?) the Sean Penn version. Go with the 1949 Broderick Crawford classic.

    Like

    March 21, 2013
    • I’m on board with any book that’s won the Pulitzer. And thanks for lurking! But feel free to come out and comment any time as well. 🙂

      Like

      March 22, 2013
  10. Amy #

    I’ve never read any of these, but I love Hemingway’s style and have been wanting to pick that one up for a long time. PErhaps I should pour a glass of red and get started!

    Like

    March 21, 2013
  11. Reblogged this on Self Publishing.

    Like

    March 22, 2013
  12. My second reading of Lot49 was better expirience than the first but catch up with his other novels some time, especially Gravity’s Rainbow

    Like

    March 30, 2013

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