The Modern Library 100 Best Novels Challenge discussion

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message 1: by Stephanie (last edited Jul 25, 2009 12:20PM) (new)

Stephanie Stephanie, the moderator. I have been working at this list for several years and have read many of the books, but it is time to conquer it once and for all. I am going to go back and read the titles I have not read for quite awhile and look forward to some new reads as well. I am even going to finish Brave New World and Lord of the Flies - two books I loathe and have tried to read on several occasions.

I moderate one other group on goodreads called Busy as a Bee books and co-moderate a group with Lisa for Bookmarks magazine subscribers. I am also part of a YA reading group for adults so I can read what my high school students are reading. (A LOT of these titles are required high school reading and are shelved in both sections of my local library!) I love being a part of so many different groups because while I feel I am very well-read, "meeting" different people from around the world and reading books together has taken my passion to a whole new level. I have read Sci-Fi for crying out loud!

Anyway, great to have you all. Like I said, we're going to keep this casual even though most of these books could allow for lengthy papers (I even wrote several papers on some of these titles as an English major - HOUSE OF MIRTH haunted me for an entire course!) I am not going to stifle intelligent conversation, but I don't want people to feel that they can't join in because they feel intimidated. So jump in, have fun, expand your horizons. (That is the teacher coming out in me.)


message 2: by Wanda (last edited Jul 22, 2009 05:34PM) (new)

Wanda (wanda514) Hi! My name is Wanda and I am excited to be part of this group and to be able to read and discuss The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

I have a simple question - do we start reading the book on August 1 or should we be ready to discuss it by August 1? Thanks much!


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael (mkindness) Hi my name is Michael and I'm a lurker... I have way too much reading to do for work to be able to commit to a project of this scope, but I want to see how the rest of you do!

Read on!


message 4: by Gail (new)

Gail My name is Gail and I'm addicted to books. Looking forward to this ambitious project and hoping that it will force me to (I mean, encourage me to) read some titles that I too loathe.


message 5: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) Hi Everyone! My name is Jen. I've attempted this list before, on my own, but always come to a title that's a slog and then give up. Hopefully working together on this will be helpful. Happy Reading Everyone!


message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen (jeninseattle) Oh, and full disclosure. No way I'm reading Ulysses. I tried before, with analysis and Cliff's Notes in hand and wanted to poke my eyes out. I like my eyes. They help me read the other stuff. :-)


message 7: by Stephanie (last edited Jul 23, 2009 09:53AM) (new)

Stephanie Michael wrote: "Hi my name is Michael and I'm a lurker... I have way too much reading to do for work to be able to commit to a project of this scope, but I want to see how the rest of you do!

Read on!"


I am embarrassed I did not mention my involvement with Michael's group, Books on the Nightstand, although I have promoted it in all of the other groups I am part of. Michael and his partner in crime, Ann, deliver a fantastic podcast, blog, and discussion group that is very "reader friendly." I blame them for adding to my already overwhelming to-read list. If you have iTunes, I would DEFINITELY subscribe and listen to previous episodes. They describe the podcast as a "conversation about books" and that is exactly what the listening experience is like - eavesdropping on a couple of avid readers in a coffee shop discussing favorite books and upcoming releases. (Both work in the industry.)

Alright, that delicious plug should make up for my omitting it in my introduction.

We welcome lurkers! An occasional cheer or pep talk might be required at times, especially when it comes to Lord of the Flies. ;)




message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Hi! I'm Lisa. I co-moderate the Bookmark Subscribers group with Stephanie, actively participate in her Busy as a Bee group and am also a participant in another mutual YA fiction group; so I figured why not join up again in one more group.

Actually, I'm just as addicted to lists as I am books, which makes this group a perfect fit. I love the challenge of reading from The Modern Library's Top 100 novels. It fulfills my desire of reading classics I've overlooked and satisfies my obsessive need to cross things off a list for a sense of accomplishment.

I look forward to the camaraderie of sharing these books and reading together to reach this lofty goal. :)


message 9: by Garlan ✌ (new)

Garlan ✌ Hi. I'm Garlan, and I'm also a member of the Busy as a Bee group. Hi, Lisa and Jenn! Long time no see!:) I was surprised to see I've only read 12 of the 100 books listed, and I only wrote down 12 others that I've thought about reading over the years. I found several in the Members' choice section that I've also read; I think many of them should be in the top 100... Anyway, hopefully this will give me the encouragement to pick up some of those that I've been pondering...


message 10: by Molly (new)

Molly Hart Ok, I posted this in the wrong place....let me try again...

Hi, I'm Molly, and I am addicted to GoodReads and Bookmarks magazine. I just finished my dissertation, so I am so excited about all that time I have spent reading professional journals now being spent reading whatever I want.

I am going to try this, because I too am a list fanatic, but lose steam right after the first few books.

I am a middle school principal, so the YA books are interesting to me for many reasons. It absolutely shocks seventh graders when you casually mention that you read that same book (that they are reading) just last week....they of course don't believe you until you quote a character or two...



message 11: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Hi Molly! Lisa and I (and I think a few others in this group) are also part of a group called YA Reads for Teachers. Maybe you want to check that out. The moderator is fantastic, and we read one title per month.


message 12: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Hi, I'm Jenn. I'm a member of Stephanie's Busy as a Bee group, and I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of sharing several English Lit courses with her in college! I'm excited to get back into reading some of the classics, and I feel that the more time that comes between me and my college days is directly proportional to the disintegration of my ability to successfully analyze literature. I'm looking forward to discussing some great works with fellow book-worms!


message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Hmmm...stealing lines from my emails, are we???

"I feel that the more time that comes between me and my college days is directly proportional to the disintegration of my ability to successfully analyze literature."

This sounds very familiar from an email I sent you this week. ;)

Jenn, I am going to fall in love with Henry James this time. I am telling you. It's going to happen.


message 14: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Guess I should introduce myself too. I'm Lynn and I'm another addicted reader... I think my parents started this as they are both readers too and read to us all the time when we were little. I'm a member of two local book clubs, have subscribed to Bookmarks for several years, got involved in Goodreads, and now am going to try the 100 Best Novels Challenge! I can't imagine not having a book at hand. My husband doesn't understand the strong attraction that books have for me, but he goes along with it. It's great to meet so many other book lovers!


message 15: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Stephanie, the comment you made in your email to me just struck me as so true and so well-put. You' can't improve upon perfection! :)

And I will wait with bated breath to see you fall in love with H.J.




message 16: by Stephanie (last edited Aug 03, 2009 09:23AM) (new)

Stephanie It is true, and it is probably true for many. I was just messing with you. It is something that frustrates me. I tell my husband sometimes that teaching teenagers is sucking away my intelligence.

And...I probably won't fall in love with Henry James, but with ten years separating me from studying his novels, maybe I will better APPRECIATE him and we can at least come to some sort of understanding. ;)


message 17: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Dove (brookeanndove) Hey There,
I'm Brooke. I am also a member of the Busy as a Bee group...but after reading these threads, 2 groups maybe too much. We'll see. I am addicted to lists. My life list includes reading books on lists. I always have a book with me and so times two!


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Hi Brooke! I belong to both groups too, plus a few others. Don't let the threads discourage you from attempting both groups. We're all here to support each other, even if it means not reading every book proffered by each club. For instance, this summer in the BBB group we had a choice of 22 novels. It was okay to read as little as one or all. Never feel pressured to read the selections, because it takes the joy out of reading. Do what you can. I look forward to getting to know you through both groups. :)


message 19: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Dove (brookeanndove) thanks Lisa!


message 20: by Brian (new)

Brian | 1 comments Hi I'm Brian.

I don't read as much as I probably should so I'm hoping this book club will challenge me to read some of the classic books. I probably won't meet two books per month, but plan to read one of the books each month.


message 21: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Jenn wrote: "Hi, I'm Jenn. I'm a member of Stephanie's Busy as a Bee group, and I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of sharing several English Lit courses with her in college! I'm excited to get back into..."

Jenn - were you in my lit class that read To the Lighthouse? I think that might have been before we met, but I can't remember. I loathed that book in college. I can't even remember who the prof was.



message 22: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Stephanie wrote: "Jenn wrote: "Hi, I'm Jenn. I'm a member of Stephanie's Busy as a Bee group, and I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of sharing several English Lit courses with her in college! I'm excited to ..."

I don't remember The Lighthouse from a course and I don't think I've read it, either.




message 23: by Erin (new)

Erin Hi all!

I'm also a book list addict and looking forward to reading these and discussing them with you! I'll even try to read James Joyce. Key word: try...


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Hi, I'm Lisa, and I know I'm joining the party a tad late but am very excited to tackle the list. I am addicted to reading and have many "to be read" lists floating around my place. I'm new to Goodreads and have been a mostly solitary reader in the past but got tired of trying to excite my husband into conversations about books he has neither read nor cares to read.


message 25: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Lisa wrote: "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I know I'm joining the party a tad late but am very excited to tackle the list. I am addicted to reading and have many "to be read" lists floating around my place. I'm new to Go..."

Welcome Lisa!


message 26: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Welcome new challenge seeker! Have fun reading Winesburg! :)


message 27: by Eric (new)

Eric pearson Hello I am Eric and i already read way to much. so why not more. I look forward to this adventure. Thank you


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Eric, glad you could join us!


message 29: by Stephanie (last edited Sep 19, 2009 08:01AM) (new)

Stephanie Haha....Eric, I could second that and I KNOW Lisa could third that. Even with being back to teaching high school, I am reading 1-2 hours per night. No television during the week! I use the DVR and watch shows on the weekends. I am nuts...I am usually in the middle of anywhere from 2-7 books at a time.

Anyway, welcome to the group and we're glad to have someone else trying to challenge themselves to read out of their comfort zones.


message 30: by Elena (new)

Elena Hi, my name is Elena. I was browsing through the groups and see you are about to read 3 books I have on my to read list so I decided to jump in.


message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Glad to have you join us!


message 32: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Awesome! These are three fantastic books, so you picked a great time to join. We're glad to have you...spread the word! We could use some more active members.


message 33: by Sunflower (new)

Sunflower | 22 comments Hi, I'm Sunflower. Can't guarantee to read all the books each month, (trying to keep up with two other GR groups) but will try for at least one. Looks like an interesting month!


message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 57 comments Welcome Sunflower!


message 35: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Welcome! :)


message 36: by Julia (new)

Julia (jujulia) hey, i'm Julia from Salzburg, Austria, and i just love the idea of discussing books of this list with you guys.....i'll try to get along with all the reading, but can't promise, as my to-read-list is growing at a terrifying speed since i've joined goodreads......


message 37: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I am going to be in Salzburg next summer with my husband! I have family in Graz, and I am hoping to learn some German by then. Welcome to the group!


message 38: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) Hi, I'm Linda. LemonLinda here because of all the other Lindas on Goodreads. I am like Sunflower in that I am a member of one local book club and a couple of other groups on Goodreads. I do, however, like the challenge of reading more on this list so I might not get in both selections but will do my best. I have been an avid reader since childhood and it only increases with age. Since I no longer have children at home I have much more free time. My free time is now taken with books, needlework, cooking, gardening, traveling, musical theater.


message 39: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Hi LemonLinda! Good to see you on this group too! This is a good group to read with and I've been enjoying it.


message 40: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I like the Lemon in front. I was thinking of adding something to my name because in another challenge group I belong to, there are a few Stephanies. I hope you enjoy the group; we are always glad to have new participants and perspectives.


message 41: by Dree (new)

Dree Hi, I'm Dree. I don't know how active I will really be--I read a lot, but more in the summer when the kids are out of school and my volunteer commitments much lower. BUT I will likely be reading the discussions. And trying to squeeze in a book here and there. I have read about 30 books form these lists already--some of my all-time favorites, and some of my all-time least favorites!


message 42: by Shanna (new)

Shanna Mae (shannamae) I am Shanna-Mae, and I collect books. I am a university student, so I don't always have alot of time to read. Still, I love all the classics (well not all of them, but you get the point). The best part about reading for me, is analyzing the material, and a boook club is one of the best ways to do that!


message 43: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Hi Dree and Shanna-Mae - Glad to see you join us!


message 44: by KrisT (new)

KrisT | 24 comments Hi I am part of the BusyBee group. I started working on this list in 02 and have made some headway but thought this might be a help. I am going to try to participate and see how it goes. I see lots of familiar avatars. :)


message 45: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Hey KrisT! Nice to see another familiar face!


message 46: by Paula (new)

Paula Hi all! I'm Paula, and am also addicted to books and lists, so can't help myself with a challenge like this one! Was humbled to see I've only read 5 from the main list and 12 from the people's choice list, so I have a long way to go!

I am a co-mod for the Victorians group, and a member of a few other groups, so can't guarantee I'll keep up with the books here; however, this group has several books that were group reads that I've had on my TBR shelf forever now, so am hoping this group will help motivate me to finally read them!


message 47: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Hi KrisT and Paula! Welcome to the group! Paula, most of us haven't read many of them, so don't worry about that. Hope you both enjoy reading with us.


message 48: by John (new)

John Parker (stingo) | 14 comments Hi, my name is John Parker. I've been using the Modern Library 100 Best lists for a few years now to build my libary and to make reading selections. Looking forward to reading along with the group.


message 49: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (rivera_bookjunkie) Hi my name is Marlene. I looked over the list and though I've read some of the books on the list, I barely remember anything about them. So I'm going to try and read them all.

I'm exicted. Hope to get involved with the discussions soon. ;o)

~M


message 50: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Hi Tiff and Marlene! It is nice to see some new faces here. This is a very low-key group and I hope you enjoy working through the list with us!


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