Late last week a post on NZLibs contained a link to Time magazine’s 100 best English language novels from 1923 (the year that Time Magazine began) to the present, as chosen by Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo. Between them they agreed on 80 of the titles and the rest they hammered out. What might have made the list a few years ago didn’t make the grade this time around. A book read at different times of your life can evoke different emotions and responses, depending on your current experiences. I’ve noted this myself when I’ve gone back to re-read a book I thoroughly enjoyed, only to find it didn’t really touch a nerve the second time. I think Alberto Manguel mentioned this in his book “The Library at Night” which I recently read (and enjoyed).
But back to the list. I have to admit to never having heard of many of them. Of the 100, I’ve read nine and attempted to read another two. How many does your library have? How many have you read? Would you agree that they belong on a list of the 100 best? Of the nine I read I really only enjoyed three of them. Which in the list would you highly recommend and perhaps I could have another go?
Any list of the 100 best is subjective, especially when chosen by two individuals. What novels would you like to see included in a “best 100” list (and especially of New Zealand authors)?