Time Magazine critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo have complied a list of the 100 best novels written in the English language since 1923.
It’s a pretty solid list, but there are some glaring omissions, notably The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and Dalva by Jim Harrison. My list would also include: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Bright Lights Big City by Jay McInerney, A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and All the Little Live Things by Wallace Stegner.
The great thing about lists like this is you can easily see which books you have yet to read and place them on a short list. Some of the books I want to read include: Light in August by William Faulkner, The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski, The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, and Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara.
Also, I see Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter made the list. I realize Ford is a major talent, but I’ve taken a couple stabs at the book in question and I can’t seem to get through it. Ford’s short story collection, Rock Springs, is more my speed.