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100 Novels I Wish Everyone Would Read

Listen up! (please)

These sorts of lists are kind of a joke as far as actually being the 100 best of anything. If you can find the formula that actually demonstrates that one book is superior to another beyond any doubt, please show it to me. Ultimately, no matter how much the academics scream and posture, it’s all just opinion.

That said,  I really hope we can agree that Don Quixote is superior to Snooki’s autobiography. I don’t have the formula to show you, but I could probably come with a pretty entertaining venn diagram.

The eclectic list that follows below comprises what I consider the best 100 novels for me. The most moving, the funniest, most memorable, beautiful, or sad. Books that I know I’ll be compelled to read again.

Some of them would be right at home on a grad student’s literature list. Others would be scoffed at and spat upon by “serious readers.” Oh well. The experience of reading every book on the list was near-perfect for me. These are the books that shut the world out better than any others.

Once the list is complete, it will change as I read new books and reread those on the list.

The more that your own opinions overlap with this list, the greater the chance the we’re either soulmates or were separated at birth.

(list in progress) 100 novels I wish everyone would read, in no order

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

1984 by George Orwell

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Moby Dick by Herman Melville (at least read the Ahab sections!)

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West

The Stand by Stephen King

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

The Plague by Albert Camus

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (not absolutely a novel, but I’m leaving it)

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson