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So What’s Next?

So here’s where we stand in the 101 Books project.

Before my hiatus, I started At Swim Two Birds, so I’ve made good headway into that and will hopefully finish it up soon. From there, here’s what’s left:

The Adventures of Augie March (1953) by Saul Bellow

The Berlin Stories (1946) by Christopher Isherwood

Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon

Herzog (1964) by Saul Bellow

Light in August (1932) by William Faulkner

The Man Who Loved Children (1940) by Christina Stead

The Recognitions (1955) by William Gaddis

The Sheltering Sky (1949) by Paul Bowles

To The Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf

Tropic of Cancer (1934) by Henry Miller

Under the Net (1954) by Iris Murdoch

White Noise (1985) by Don DeLillo

I’ve got to say: I thought I had a pretty good strategy tackling the list–looking to leave some interesting novels for the end. However, I’m not so sure how that played out in reality.

I wasn’t a fan of my first Virginia Woolf novel (Mrs. Dalloway), and I still have another left to read (To The Lighthouse). I’ve heard horrible things about Tropic of Cancer.

I just wasn’t fan of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Will Light in August be any better? I’m intrigued by Gravity’s Rainbow, but it’s a beast. The Recognitions is another beast. And the rest I just don’t know a lot about.

So we’ll see how it goes down the stretch here. What do you guys think about the remaining novels?

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. I thought Thw Man Who Loved Children was wonderful. I also liked White Noise

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  2. Rupak Banerjee #

    I would say, start with something that you are more likely to enjoy. Once you are back in the game, go for the big ones. But the books you have lined up, are still all challenging!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 27, 2017
  3. I’m still to read Mrs Dalloway. It’s really hard though to read that generation literature sometimes. 😁

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  4. I fell under the spell of the rhythms of To The Lighthouse and enjoyed it for the language. Enough that I’ve read it several times. But I never fully understood it. Time to pick it up again so I’m ready when you write about your reactions.

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    February 27, 2017
  5. I predict “White Noise” will make the top 20 on your list.

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    February 27, 2017
  6. On first reading i did not enjoy ‘to the lighthouse’ however Woolf so cleverly deals with the complex nature of time that it drew me back for a second reading which I appreciated so much more ( I certainly think some books really improve the more you read them and this is one of them). Best of luck x

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    February 27, 2017
  7. Whelp, good luck. Oh, you want to hear something more positive? I suspect you will prefer Light in August to Sound and the Fury, much more straight forward, but still Faulkner.

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  8. It’s funny, having read ‘The Year of Reading Dangerously’ by Andy Miller, I decided to read more of the ‘classics,’ but I set myself a v.easy task of one a month. I wonder with this challenge you have set yourself, whether it has put you off reading at all? Sometimes I need to read something purely for pleasure where I don’t have to think too hard! I just wonder where you are mentally with this challege….would love to know! Best of luck anyway.

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  9. Glad to see you are back. You can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 27, 2017
  10. amandathebookwormblog #

    Berlin Stories is where the story for the movie/musical Cabaret is from. And I LOVE Iris Murdoch.

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  11. Hi, I’m so interested in Gravity’s Rainbow, I want to read since I knew that is one of the cultural references of LOST. Hope you read soon to have a contrasted opinion about.
    Regards from Spain.

    Like

    February 27, 2017
  12. laurali99 #

    The good news is that Auggie March and To the Lighthouse are quite short, so they’ll be quick reads. I have both on my shelf so I’ll try to read along too. You can do it!

    Like

    February 28, 2017
  13. I absolutely despised The Man Who Loved Children. It’s the one that broke me.

    Like

    March 1, 2017
  14. It’s nice to see you back, Robert. I enjoy reading challenges because they’re like pursuing Literary Treasure Hunts. That’s how I pursue them, anyway. I’ve set myself to reading one particular book over and over, and it keeps getting pushed further down The List. It must be normal for us readers to do that occasionally.
    I believe it’s okay to feel some ambivalence at this point. You’ve read the bulk of the list so congratulate yourself on that. I do! The dozen that are left will be as enjoyable or excruciatingly boring and frustrating as the former ones were.
    I didn’t like “Mrs. Dalloway” either and because ‘people’ seemed so enamored of it, I thought there must be something wrong with me. So I read it again to see if I could find some redeeming value in it. No; I still don’t like it.
    We will all be pulling for you to the end and look forward to your insights, whether or not they are the same as ours. Hailing you from the Midwest USA.

    Like

    March 1, 2017
  15. I detested The Sound and the Fury in college, but my daughter loves Faulkner, so I will try Light in August this year(her college copy is somewhere in the house). Another daughter encouraged me to read my only Virginia Woolf novel, To the Lighthouse, which was a stream-of-consciousness novel that I could digest without nausea, and I admired the stylistic skill of the author. Perhaps because of my age and stage in life, many novels hit me this way now…I appreciate the artistry even when I cannot BE the book, as I was able to do when I was younger.

    Like

    March 2, 2017
  16. mee #

    Surprisingly I have read 2 on this list: Light in August and To the Lighthouse. If I could do it, I’m sure it’s not a problem for you.

    Like

    March 3, 2017
  17. Have you ever read anything by Don DeLillo before? I am about 150 pages into Underworld and having a hard time getting into it…

    Like

    March 16, 2017
  18. Brady #

    Read Light in August for a class and really liked it. Much more accessible than Faulkner’s other works and spilling over with humanity and heart, may find a spot in your top 15 like myself. Berlin Stories and White Noise are definetly the easiest ones you have left so recfomend you use them as pallet cleansers between Pynchon and Gaddis (who I also recommend you read a guide or notes or something alongside).

    Like

    March 17, 2017
  19. Ajay Shukla #

    Very useful information. Keep it up…

    Like

    April 28, 2017
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    Like

    July 29, 2017
  21. I don’t want to discourage you, but Tropic of Cancer is the only book I ever put aside, resolved to never touch it again

    Like

    October 12, 2017

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