I read 100 books!

The title is obviously misleading, because of course I’ve read a lot more than 100 books. But what I did was read a list of the 100 “greatest” books of the 20th century. I started on it back in 2015, because I wanted to read a bunch of the so-called classics, many of which I feel get ignored these days (unless your high school teacher forces it on you), but also because I wanted to challenge myself to expand past my normal daily reading into genres and themes I wouldn’t normally pick up off the shelf.

It’s been a blast. It took a hair over 5 years total, though in my defense, a solid year (May 2017 – May 2018) I took as a break to read some other books. During that time, I read some current books that had stacked up on me, and also, having read a few books by Willa Cather on the list (which I loved), I read through her other books which were not on the list. I also took a small break to read Infinite Jest, because I’d recently seen a movie about the author, and was intrigued.

As expected, I didn’t enjoy everything. Some books took a really long time to read, and others were difficult for their own reasons. But what a joy to read some of the truly greatest authors of the last 100 years, writers you recognize from a single name alone: Lewis, Hemingway, Conrad, Fitzgerald, Joyce (Henry and James!), Wolfe (and Woolf!), Steinbeck, and so many more. Some of these books made me think, some made me cry. Reading through these (many of which were old) books also expanded my tastes in the films I watched. Whereas I used to stick to modern releases, as you can see from my blog, I got heavy into films of all genres, countries, and ages.

So what’s next? I don’t know! I love setting goals for myself, but right now I don’t have one. I saw 100 movies in the theater in 2014, read 100 books from then till now, and last year saw 365 films in a year. I can’t possibly go any bigger. There are still plenty of great books and movies out there left unknown to me, so I think I’m going to keep watching, keep reading, and please, if you see or read something good, recommend it to me. I might try to start writing longer (better) reviews for the newer films I watch, more like I used to a few years ago, but these days I watch so much that I’m not sure I can stick to it. We’ll see!

For posterity’s sake, here’s the final list (read in reverse order, started at # 100) :

One thought on “I read 100 books!

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