Tentative Starting Date

I plan on starting next Thursday, because midterms will be over by then.  I may have a friend also doing it with me and contributing to the blog. She can add a female perspective to the, admittedly very dead, old, white man-ish, list.  I can’t confirm for sure, however she seemed pretty set on doing it with me.

The first book is THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington, and as true with many of the books on the list, I have no idea what to expect. I’ve read 5 of the books on the Modern Library’s list, and around 13 on the Radcliffe list, so I will be going into most of these blind.

I am extremely excited to start, and I will get started as soon as possible. Hopefully the first novel isn’t too hard of a read, so I can get my first review in.

On a random note, I plan noting whether or not each book has a movie each review because I’m interested in seeing how many of the so-called greatest novels ever have warranted a film version.



About AroundtheML

I'm a teenager who's decided to broaden my literary knowledge by reading the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels.

Posted on January 5, 2012, in Updates. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I was intrigued to find your project picked up by Zite. How does a teenager gain a worldwide audience? (I’m in Canberra.)

    By chance? By some happenstance of random web cogs meshing? Or is there some whimsical intelligence at work, tying threads between readers and booklovers?

    You may very well find you and your great quest the focus of more eyes than you ever intended! Good luck!

    Oh, and where are you planning to find copies of all these books? An open-ended account at Amazon? A well-stocked library? A circle of literary friends? A trust in BookCrossing.com?

    • I didn’t know that I was in anything, except for being mentioned in tweets. I got an audience (despite the fact that I haven’t started yet) with one well placed comment on a blog. This caused a few tweets, and it kind of got a reaction, albeit small, from some people. I can’t wait to start to see if it’s as good as everyone expects.

  2. Oh, and I most likely plan on going to the local libraries (the biggest one being fairly large) and if the library happens to not have one, I may go to a bookstore and read it in the store. I’ll find a way somehow

  3. Good luck ! it will be interesting to follow your reading journey.
    BTW your story (and blog link) was picked up in Publishers Weekly (Daily Edition)

  4. Maren Elisabeth

    Wow, I’m definitely going to be following this blog. I’ve read a lot – not all – of the books on the list. Can’t wait to see what you have to say. Are you dreading Ulysses?

  5. You were mentioned this morning in the Publisher’s Weekly Roundup, of all places, so some eyes are on you indeed (no pressure there!). Having about forty years on you I’ve read a good many of these, but there are still well over half I haven’t got around to yet, so good luck with the project, and expect to be writing this blog for a good long time! Wading through 1500 pagers like Atlas Shrugged will tend to slow you down. I’ve been working through “The Lifetime Reading List” for a couple decades now, which includes all the major classics since Gilgamesh. All I can say is I hope I live a long time…

  6. I found out about your blog from “The Roundup” on the Publishers Weekly website today. I’m impressed you are taking this on in your junior year, especially with AP (and other?) tests still to come. (I have two kids, a junior in college and a senior in high school.) Good luck to you! I look forward to following your progress, and I hope that you find you like reading more, and not less, by the time you finish. And good for you for using the libraries!

  7. Dude – your blog is making the rounds on Facebook now. prepare for a much larger audience for your journey. 😉 Good Luck.

  8. This librarian in Ohio is rooting for you and looking forward to reading your impressions of the books! Enjoy!!

  9. Buzz, R. Scot, and Janet- thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea it would get this much attention, especially this fast.

    Maren- Definitely dreading Ulysses a bit, but I think it will be good, even if it is tough.

    R. Scot- Definitely going to take a while. I’m hoping maybe 2 years-ish will do it.

    Janet- It will be pretty tough sometimes, but some of the time I feel bored because I have minimal homework, so those times it will be especially fun.

    Kcassidys- people are linking to me on Facebook? Wow that’s pretty cool. Being in Publisher’s Weekly and Zite feel minor compared to Facebook haha

  10. Why are you starting at the bottom of the list, rather than with #1? Is it so the books get “better” as you go?

    You have inspired me to read more of the books on these lists. Some (many) I have avoided for too long.

    • Yah, I figure that I should end with the best. I may deviate to some more of the fun ones, every once in a while if I get bogged down with work at school, or if there is multiple really heavy books like HEART OF DARKNESS.

  11. Dude! Reddit has picked up your story here. There’s 35 comments so far, and a consensus is developing that you’ll be into your fifties by the time you finish!

    Me, I’m reminded of that boy in Tom Sawyer, who won bibles through reciting verses: Mary had acquired two Bibles in this way—it was the patient work of two years—and a boy of German parentage had won four or five. He once recited three thousand verses without stopping; but the strain upon his mental faculties was too great, and he was little better than an idiot from that day forth—a grievous misfortune for the school.

    An idiot or a genius – the jury of 176 is out on this question, but it will be a grand ride all the way to the nuthouse!

    • I just saw that not too long ago from my stats. I don’t think it will take more than 3 years max. Especially during the summer I should be able to fly through. I’m not trying to analyze it too deeply or anything, so it shouldn’t take too long. I love Tom Sawyer! Huckleberry Finn was good, but not as fun. I’m sure I’ll be totally nuts by the time I’m done. Someone will say something that happened, and I’ll be like “That reminds of this guy in Ulysses” or something haha.

      • I noticed – too late! – that towards the end of the discussion you had joined in. Having all those classics on board will be a wealth you can never lose. I had a teacher in primary school, who would read to us on summer afternoons from Mark Twain, and we kids went exploring caves and rafting down the Mississippi together before he’d put the book down and send us home. Years later I followed the streaming map on a flight from Frankfurt to DFW, and it took us right over Hannibal Missouri. They had to hang onto my ankles, I had my head so far outta the window!

        And in April, I was there for real, looking on the fence that Tom Sawyer whitewashed, the statue of Tom and Huck not far away. But, of course, I had been there long ago in my mind, just as I had walked with Gandalf through Moria or looked out on the sea from Manderlay. Shared adventures.

      • Trust me on this: it will probably take longer than three years. But that’s not a bad thing. Go with the pace of the reading. That’s the best way to approach it. You will find that your life experience and your reading experience will end up informing each other in unanticipated ways. Good luck on your journey!

      • I know I’ll learn a lot, but I don’t know how long it will take. I have the summer, and I’ll probably blow through books decently fast then.

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