The mission statement

This is a blog I’ve decided to maintain as I traverse my way through Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels published since the magazine’s first issue. The posts here won’t be reviews or full-blown essays so much as observations, just one active reader’s thoughts as he makes his way through the Canon of 20th Century American/English literature. I am not the first person to try this, nor the second, but I think it might be worthwhile nonetheless.

The list was released in 2005, so it covers just more than a hundred years of novels, but the starting date of 1923 necessarily cuts off several titles that otherwise no doubt would have made the cut — as they have on most other like-minded lists — such as Ulysses, The Age of Innocence, and Heart of Darkness, among others.

Why am I doing this? I’ve noticed an abundance of classics sitting on my bookshelves that I’ve been meaning to read but keep putting off. I figured the structure of an organized list would motivate me to get moving on them.  Plus it’s a way for me to revisit some of the books I read in high school and college, and see if my adult self, with hopefully a more refined reading taste, agrees with my younger self.

In addition to the 100 titles in the Time list, I’ve added some books that either fell outside the list’s purview (i.e., published between 1900-1923) or were left out of the list altogether.  If I happen to read any of those books, I’ll write about it here.

Once I clear my reading docket, I’ll get to work on the first title, which is…still left to be decided.