Comments: 20
Sock Poppet at Play 10 years ago
I never completely agree with 100 best book lists. Usually about #3 I'm starting to get agitated and along about #10 I'm thinking, "Who in the world thought up this crazy list?"

It sure would be fun to be around in a 100 years and see what books make the list.
Emma 10 years ago
Was he being all gender-inclusive putting Evelina in there? Again: important book, not a good book. And how is Nana NOT in the list?
Was Zola still alive? (Haven't checked.}
Emma 10 years ago
He was still alive, and he made the eight-living-authors list with La Reve.
Emma 10 years ago
Which, I have just discovered, is now a line of vibrators sold by Amazon
Ceridwen 10 years ago
Haha! I was surprised initially by how many women were on the list. But there were were so many women writing novels right at the beginning, because novels were seen as inferior and possibly morally damaging. Much like women! Thank God for both!
OK, so you are asking why La Reve, not Nana? Well, I dunno; never heard of La Reve, but I could name several Zola novels I like
more than Nana...
Emma 10 years ago
Which two are your favorite?
Germinal top...then probably The Debacle.
Ceridwen 10 years ago
I like Germinal too.
Emma 10 years ago
Really? I haven't ever read The Debacle, because war/soldier stories = not my thing, but I might give it a go.
I tend to get OCD with lists if I take them seriously so mixing that with my OCD book tendencies could get dangerous...but the real reason I never take these lists seriously is because I'm too much of an arrogant individualist to believe somebody else could possibly know better than me, regardless that they might actually be more widely read than me. For instance all the way through that list I was thinking, Hardy better be one of the 8 living authors!
Interesting snapshot, thanks for sharing, Ceridwen -- as subjective and individual a POV as any and all of these lists, and also with regard to some books, a great reminder that not all books judged masterpieces in one particular era stand the test of time equally well. Also interesting to see how transcription standards with regard to non-Western alphabets (and languages) can change over time ... seen the name of the author of "Crime and Punishment" spelled "Feodor Dostoieffsky" lately?
Ceridwen 10 years ago
The spelling was a trip! Even some of the English names were written strangely: using initials when people don't anymore, or the reverse.
aka Grasshopper 10 years ago
Fascinating stuff -both the list and your remarks.
That is a very curious list indeed. Both in the selections of authors, the selections of books, and the absences. Thanks very much for this post!
pronghorn 10 years ago
Anyone notice the Oscar Wilde quote in the comments about the importance of a list of books not to read? Or is the quote old hat, already emblazoned on the pennants of you crusaders from GR?
I did indeed notice it. That one was new to me.
Ceridwen 10 years ago
I hadn't seen that before. Agreed with Wilde.
Merle 10 years ago
I'm hardly the best-read person when it comes to classics, but I was actually surprised by how many of the books on the list *are* books we still read today. The only one I was startled not to see was Tolstoy, but then he popped up in the "8 living authors" addendum.