501 Must-Read Books discussion

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Surprising books that aren't on the list

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message 1: by C.E. (last edited Mar 02, 2012 05:28AM) (new)

C.E. Crowder | 6 comments I'm surprised that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are nowhere to be seen; I thought those would be shoe-ins. "Catch 22" isn't a book I especially like, but it's another I'm surprised isn't here.

I expect they could have made the list entirely from western cannon but then pared it down to fit in more foreign entries. That's the best explanation I can think of for some peculiar absences.


message 2: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Crowder | 6 comments An updated opinion, six years later:

I've since read Uncle Tom, and while it has significant historical value I can't say it offers much as literature, so it's absence is understandable. I'm still backing Harper Lee, and could still be coerced to add Catch 22.

I keep a running list of others I'd propose, for various reasons, and not all of which I've read:

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Remarque
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry
The Call of the Wild / White Fang, by Jack London
The Decameron, by Boccacio
The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Babbitt, by Sinclair Lewis
The Thirty-Nine Steps, by John Buchan
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown
We Were the Mulvaneys, by Joyce Carol Oates
Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow
The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Chess, by Stefan Zweig
Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper
A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
I, Claudius, by Robert Graves
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Night, by Elie Wiesel
The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
Boy's Life, by Robert R. McCammon
The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman
A Dance to the Music of Time, by Anthony Powell
Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, by Frederick Douglass
The Journals of Captain Cook, by James R. Cook
???? By Chinua Mieville?
???? By Neil Stephenson?
The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
Little, Big, by John Crowley
Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
???? By Ann Patchett
???? By Nevil Shute


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