“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
― Groucho Marx
My name is Dan. I like to read books. Lots of books. I also like to write about reading books. So I have arbitrarily chosen to read the TIME 100 greatest novels, blogging the fuck out of each book as I go, simply for my own spiritual well-being.
I’m not going to rush through the books. This isn’t a ‘how many books can I read in a year’ kind of challenge, because that just negates the sheer joy of reading (looking at you Goodreads). I’m going immerse myself in each book, taking as long as I need with each one, maybe even reading other books by the same writers to help my understanding, and just writing as many posts as necessary. I will essentially write a post whenever I have something relatively interesting to say about each book, which may be never, or may be every day. I’ll usually start off with an introductory post about each book I’ve chosen, detailing its history, and the life of the author. Then it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next.
Of course, no list of ‘greatest books‘ is ever quintessential. I recognise this. In addition, the TIME list only stretches from 1923 to 2000, ignoring any books not written in English. I mean, how can I just read English language books? I’d be ignoring a vast literary history. So fuck that.
There are also several books missing from TIME’s list that fit into every category and almost definitely should be on it (objectively speaking). I’m going to read those as well. If there is one great problem with the list, it’s that it is a classic collection of novels by straight white American/British guys. Which is fine, because the majority of people writing and getting published in the 20th century (at least the early part) were white straight American/British guys, saying white straight American/British guy stuff. But in the 21st century, this just ain’t okay. So I’m going to supplement the list. And this is coming from a straight white British guy.
So the blog should be called the TIME-ish 100-ish Challenge (with plenty of books not by straight white American/British dudes). But that sounds stupid. The title of the blog is essentially a lie. I’m picking and choosing which books I read. Because fuck Ewan McEwan, I’m not reading that. I only have, like, 40 years left on this planet.
If you like books, come along for the ride. 100-ish novels, one man, too much booze, one stupid challenge.
Here’s the list of books so far: