Second Try on a Goal…100 Bests

by theaudioprof on January 23, 2010

Earlier today I posted the following status update to Facebook:

Enjoying reading a classic novel this weekend…which one?  More later.

It generated a number of comments from curious people…folks wanting to know which one it was and several making suggestions. The “more later” was this blog post, which I wanted to write as a public statement of a goal I had set upon myself more than 10 years ago. About that time the Modern Library made a bunch of headlines by releasing their 100 Best Novels list.  Like many other people, I’d imagine, I said “wouldn’t it be great if I could say I’ve read them all.”  I started with number one…which seems logical even now.  But it was Ulysses.  Fantastic book written unlike any other I’ve ever read.  But, it was not an easy read.  (The stream-of-consciousness style, however, was what I have thought ever since would be a great example of what “thought-listing” data should look like).  And, although it was a book I think I only partially understood, it was one I’ll never forget.

But, after reading it I thought I deserved to “take a break” and read something lighter.  That break has been close to a decade long.  So, the other day I saw a reference once again to the Modern Library in someone’s Tweet, and it rekindled the goal.

Of the 100, I have only read 7.  Shameful.

A goal re-kindled

So, I am currently in the middle of Brave New World by Huxley and have The Great Gatsby on my nightstand.  Perhaps I’ll even share thoughts on each as I finish them.  Why this goal is getting re-kindled now?  Well…part of it may be due to the little bit (AND I DO MEAN LITTLE BIT) of time I have on my hands during my sabbatical.  And, I think part of it is a sense of growing old and realizing that there are likely many better things I can spend my time with than Australia’s Funniest Home Videos.  We’ll see how far I get on this goal…this time.  But, that got me thinking about how I fared on other “Top 100” Lists.  Modern Library also has a Top 100 Non-Fiction list.  I’ve read four of them.  And, if you’ve visited the links you’ll notice that each ML list generated alternative lists from “Readers.”  I’ve read 14% of their recommended Fiction and 2% of their Non-Fiction.  However, I think I’ll put that list…the “Reader Non-Fiction List” last on my goals…as it contains work by both Howard Stern and Pat Buchanon.  Um, not one they co-authored, no.

And, as I’ve said many times over…”I’ve seen Fletch more than a dozen times but I’ve never seen The Godfather.”  That saying, btw, used to be “…but I’ve never seen Jaws.”  But, my wife couldn’t stand for that one. 

The American Film Institute has a large number of “Top 100” lists.  From the big list of sorts…America’s Greatest Movies…I’ve seen 26.

Go ahead…make your comments below:

“You mean you haven’t seen_________________?!!?”  Fill in the blank.  Chances are, the answer’s no.  Try me.

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