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Ranking The First 55 Novels

Here’s my latest attempt to explain my highly subjective, totally meaningless, pretty much idiotic rankings of the first 55 books I’ve read from the Time list.

I try and do this every five books or so, so it’s about that time.

Here’s how I ranked the last several books and why I ranked them as I did.

Book #52: Pale Fire. Current Rank: 28. This book is a logistical nightmare, but if you’re up for that, it can be a fun challenge. I enjoyed Pale Fire much more than Nabokov’s other novel on the Time list, Lolita.

Book #53: Snow Crash. Current Rank 48. I was told Snow Crash might redeem my faith in cyberpunk and science fiction in general. One word on that: Barf. Neal Stephenson’s occasional humor has nothing on his long-winded and self-absorbed tangents.

Book #54: The Golden Notebook. Current Ranking: 41. Yeah, I really like Doris Lessing. But I’m not so fond of this novel. I appreciated her experimental style, but the novel just got repetitive in the last few hundred pages. What started as a book that I really enjoyed became a book I just wanted to finish.

Book #55: The Sun Also Rises. Current Rank: 8. By now, you should know I love Hemingway. I’ll view anything written by him through my Hemingway-colored glasses. That’s why these are my “highly subjective” rankings. The Sun Also Rises is top 10 now and should be a solid top 20 novel when I’m finished with the list.

If you’re interested in seeing how I rank all 55 books, here you go.

So whatcha think?

Spot on? Way off?

Tell me how much you hate my terrible rankings in the comments. Hooray for polite discourse!

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. The Hemingway is spot-on. I haven’t read the others, so no idea about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 24, 2013
  2. Dominick Sabalos #

    Out of interest – at what point in your subjective/meaningless rankings does the list make the switch from “book I liked” to “book I didn’t like”?

    Like

    April 24, 2013
    • Good question. I think my fondness of the books shifts somewhere around 39, Watchmen. Although some of those later books, like Lord of the Flies and Slaughterhouse Five, I think are ranked too low. I might need to readjust at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 24, 2013
  3. Any intention to revisit the order of the rankings? Surely some of their positions have changed with time and consideration.

    PS – Braves looked good pounding my Rockies the past couple days.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 24, 2013
    • I’ve thought about it. Possible. I’ve definitely changed my opinions on a few books over time.

      Like

      April 24, 2013
  4. I loved Pale Fire, it is so annoyingly ridiculous that it was good. If an author can make me hate a narrator and I still want to finish the novel then that’s a talented guy.

    Like

    April 24, 2013
  5. I did this same thing about 2 years ago. Such a great exercise. I’ve now read about half the list. Personally I had grapes of wrath higher. Is To the lighthouse in the list, because that book stinks

    Liked by 1 person

    April 24, 2013
  6. I think this blog may have pushed me to the point where I’m thoroughly uncomfortable with having never read any of Hemingway’s novels (I’ve read some of his short stories). This has to change.

    Like

    April 26, 2013
  7. I love Hemingway too, such sparse beautiful language.

    Like

    April 27, 2013
  8. Just checked out your current rankings. Have read three of your top ten – am a complete fan of Things Fall Apart and now feel I ought to read The Great Gatsby. Further down I’m a little disappointed by how low Beloved and Animal Farm are, but with so many great books ranking is going to be a very personal thing. I continue to find this project of yours educational and inspiring:-) Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    April 28, 2013

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