Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and happy holidays!
I finally finished the first 10 books on the Telegraph’s 100 greatest novels of all time. (well not really I stopped reading 2 books based on principle, more on this below).
So here it is: an overview and mini reviews of the first 10 books on the list.
# 100: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I’ve found. I found it is the small things. Every day deeds by ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. – Gandalf
I usually hate anything too whimsical and unrealistic. I need to be able to relate to something to love it so imagine my great surprise when I LOVED this book. Tolkien is a genius! Amazing read!
# 99: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
Great book, wonderful moral and very powerful message. That being said, I understand why the book is studied at middle school (high school) levels. Can’t wait till my kids get to read it!
# 98: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
What I really feel is this, that those who cannot find food for their enthusiasm in a knowledge of their country as it actually is, or those who cannot love men because they are men, – whose needs must shout and deify their country in order to keep up their excitement, – those love excitement more than their country.
It is an honor to read a book written by a man who wrote the Indian National Anthem and get a greater understanding of the political struggles in the region at that time. But, its philosophical writing made it a bit of a hard read for me.
#97: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
This to me is a one liner book. On the book back cover, the Washington Post Book World calls it “inspired lunacy.” I think it’s more of lunacy with some inspiration scattered through.
# 96: One Thousand and One Nights by Anon
Grade: n/a (stopped reading based on principle)
I honestly can’t believe this book is so popular and considered one of the classics. The racism, sexuality, and vulgarity in it is repulsive. I not only refuse to continue reading it, but refuse to actually have it in my home.
# 95: The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
All the high-flown schoolteachers and tutors agree that children do not know why they want; but that grown-ups too tumble around like children on the face of the earth, not knowing where they come from or where they are going, acting as little from true purpose, and just as ruled by biscuits and cakes and birch rods: no one really wants to believe that …
The story was very sad; not as in heartbreaking sad, but pathetic sad, Young Werther, Come on! Be a man, get over it and move on.
# 94: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
… where the truth is what it is instructed to be, reality quite literally ceases to exist
Beautiful. Amazing story where history comes alive and emotions are so raw, your heart aches for them. Loved it!
# 93: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre
“We’ve had enough.” He took back the report and jammed it under his arm. “We’ve had a bellyful, in fact.” “And like everyone who’s had enough,” said Control as Alleline noisily left the room, “he wants more.”
This is not an action filled spy story but a gripping psychological thriller that is so beautifully written. It will keep you engaged and intrigued from beginning to end.
# 92: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Here was an occasion, she thought, for indulging in that deliberate rudeness which only persons with habitually good manners have the right to commit…
Apparently, this book is a satire. And going through this book, you really do feel like the writer is trying to make a joke, but you don’t really know at who or why you should laugh. So yeah, I don’t get the joke really.
#91: The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
Grade: n/a (stopped reading; based on principle .. again)
Second book from this list (and ever) that I decide to stop reading. I approached this list with an open mind, just like I approached this book. I was adamant on finishing all the books I read, no matter how ‘boring’ they are.
But, I realized, there are books that I can’t read based on what I personally believe and my principals.
Just like the 1001 nights, I stopped reading this book when Genji kidnapped a child from her home and forced her to sleep next to him even when she was crying for her nanny. That was it for me really.
There it is. Overviews and mini reviews of the 1st 10 books on the Telegraph’s 100 greatest novels of all time.
It only took me over a year to finish these. At this rate, it will take me 10 years to finish the list lol. Hopefully now that my almost one year old boy is staring to sleep better, I can get more reading done.
Under the Net by Doris Lessing. I always get excited when its a book I know nothing about. Hope it is good and I get to write the next 10 reviews in less than a year.