The List of Books

We awarded points for each selection – 10 points for a first place pick, nine points for a second place pick, and so on. Then we totaled up all the points and ranked them accordingly. Here are all the books ordered by the number of points each earned. In the parentheses are the initials of the authors that selected them and the points earned. Click on their initials to see their list. 

(2) Alligator by Shelley Katz (1977). He’s the Moby-Dick of the Everglades—a twenty-foot-long alligator with eighty razor sharp teeth who stalks men for pleasure. Like all legendary beasts, this killer is a symbol of mankind’s weakness and a challenge to those who dream of proving their mettle. When two death-hardened adventurers vow to pursue this leviathan, the hunters become the prey in this atmospheric thriller.

Total Points: 2 (DFW 2)

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut (1987). On one level this is a wickedly hilarious satire of the world of art. Yet, it is also a heartfelt story of American dreams, as a minor artist, whose lack of confidence led him to put down his brush and start collecting other people’s work, looks back on his life, analyzing his high points and low.

Total Points: 2 (PE 2)

Cal by Bernard MacLaverty (1983). Cal is a young Catholic trapped by the violence strangling Northern Ireland. With other members of the Irish Republican Army, he helps murder a Protestant policeman. Life takes a turn when he falls in love, and then offers a cruel twist when he learns that she is his victim’s daughter. Ultimately, though, love offers a glimpse of life apart from sectarian violence and a path to redemption.

Total Points: 2 (AS 2)

China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston (1980). Kingston won the National Book Award for this richly detailed, multigenerational novel about the Chinese American experience. Drawing on ancient legends, family lore, and history, she begins in the 1840s, with the building of the transcontinental railroad, and continues through the challenges posed by the Vietnam War era.

Total Points: 2 (PCle 2)

Clockers by Richard Price (1992). When cocaine dealer Strike Dunham’s hardworking brother confesses to murder, burnt-out detective Rocco Klein is convinced that Strike is behind the crime. As Klein turns the ulcer-ridden nineteen-year-old’s world upside down, Price provides a street-level look at America’s drug epidemic and searing portrayals of addiction—to drugs, power, status, and action.

Total Points: 2 (GP 2)

Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone (1973). Tom Bissell said this novel “has the single greatest death scene I've ever read, and I read it, probably, every couple of weeks to remind me what prose can do.”
Total Points: 2 (TBiss 2)

Dreamtigers by Jorge Luis Borges (1964). Borges called this “straggling collection” of tiny prose pieces and poems his most personal book. It contains meditations on the usual Borges themes: doubles, time as a fiction, the incursion of literature on reality. Its famous piece, Borges and I, is the most compact confession in all literature, as the real Borges seeks to disentangle himself from the writer Borges, concluding: “I do not know which of us two is writing this page.” Such abysses of Escher-like perspective mark this Argentinianunique style.

Total Points: 2 (SC 2)

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965). Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, and one of the best-selling works in science fiction history, Dune is a Shakespearean drama set on a withered planet. Conflict centers on Melange, a miraculous substance that extends life, grants psychic powers, and makes space travel possible. When the emperor transfers authority over this plant from the Harkonnen Noble House to the House Atreides, he sparks a chain of events that encompasses political intrigue, romance, war, and perhaps, the coming of the messiah.

Total Points: 2 (DAD 2)

End Zone by Don DeLillo (1972). At Logos College in West Texas, huge young men, vacuum-packed into shoulder pads and shiny helmets, play football with intense passion. During an uncharacteristic winning season, the perplexed and distracted running back Gary Harkness has periodic fits of nuclear glee; he is fueled and shielded by his fear of and fascination with nuclear conflict. Among oddly afflicted and recognizable players, the terminologies of football and nuclear war-the language of end zones-become interchangeable, and their meaning deteriorates as the collegiate year runs its course. Tom LeClair writes: “Underworld is DeLillo’s masterwork, but End Zone is my personal favorite, probably because it (along with Robert Coover’s Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.) showed me how a sports novel could ratchet up to treat the most serious of cultural subjects, in DeLillo’s case nuclear annihilation.  The novel’s first-person narrator is also the edgiest of DeLillo’s many acute and raspy speakers.”

Total Points: 2 (TLeClair 2)

Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (1833). Part of Balzac’s almost endless La Comédie humaine, Eugénie Grandet is his masterwork on the virus of greed and miserliness. Felix Grandet, a French millionaire, tyrannizes his family with his frugality, going so far as to personally measure the ingredients for each day’s meals. He dashes the romance between his daughter Eugénie and her penniless cousin Charles, setting in motion a bitterly ironic plot worthy of O. Henry, rendered with Balzac’s characteristic detail.

Total Points: 2 (TM 2)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953). Books are dangerous. They fill heads with ideas, make people think, question, causing harmful confusion. This is the ideology that informs Bradbury’s dystopia, whose citizens have traded independence for safe conformity, curiosity for the pleasures of wall-sized televisions. Fireman Guy Montag, who doesn’t douse blazes but burns books, seems happy until his wife attempts suicide and he seeks answers that make him an enemy of this brave new world.

Total Points: 2 (AH 2)

Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth (1959). Even if it only hinted at the depth of humorous rage Roth would later unload, this is the book that put him on the map. A novella coupled with five short stories, Goodbye, Columbus confronts issues of identity, class tensions within American Jewry, and a suffocating veil of conformity that exists amid so much American opportunity. By airing what many saw as his people’s dirty laundry, Roth gained a reputation as a self-hating Jew that was so pervasive even his mother asked if it was true.

Total Points: 2 (MW 2)

Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812–14). Where Hans Christian Anderson was sweetly folklorish and gentle, the German folk tales collected by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm are gritty and fearless. Their legendary stories—among them Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty—are as violent as they are enchanting. Though versions of the Frog Prince abound, the Grimms reject sentimental romance to tell a moral tale about keeping a promise. Their princess is a brat who throws the frog against the wall rather than kissing him to turn him into a prince. Grimm’s Fairy Tales deliver enchantment and moxie.

Total Points: 2 (AH 1) (JSalt 1)

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (1964). Eleven year-old Harriet M. Welsch is a spy living on New York's Upper East Side. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?

Total Points: 2 (MSouthgate 2)

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1980). This is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.

(TJ 2)

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (2004). At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England—until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.

Total Points: 2 (MM 2)

La Bête Humaine (The Beast Within) by Émile Zola (1890). The seventeenth novel in the Rougon-Macquart series, is one of Zola's most violent and explicit works. Set at the end of the Second Empire, when French society seemed to be hurtling into the future like the new railways and locomotives it was building,the novel is at once a tale of murder, passion, and possession and a compassionate study of individuals derailed by the burden of inherited evil. In it, Zola expresses the hope that human nature evolves through education but warns that the beast within continues to lurk beneath the veneer of technological progress.On one level a tale of murder, passion, and possession, it is also a compassionate study of individuals derailed by atavistic forces beyond their control. 

Total Points: 2 (JGil 2)

(2) Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill (1956). As one family unravels over the course of an evening, O’Neill offers harrowing portraits of the emotional abuse and the descent into madness and addiction that can result when parents and children withhold love and understanding from each other. O’Neilldrama cuts close to the bone, but his artistry and dramatic timing lift this dark tale to heights of sheer beauty.

Total Points: 2 (AHas 2)

Masquerade and Other Stories by Robert Walser (1878–1956). Beloved of other writers but not known to a broad reading public in America, Walser was a formative influence on many writers, including Franz Kafka and Robert Musil. This collection of sixty-four short, sometimes essayistic, and always piercing stories published in the early twentieth century offers the Swiss writer’s take—meditatively, dreamily, truthfully, and often joyously—on subjects both microscopic and vast, from women’s gloves to medieval battles.

Total Points: 2 (LMill 2)

Our Town by Thornton Wilder (1938). This enduringly popular, Pulitzer Prize–winning play depicts small-town New England life (in fictional Grovers Corners, New Hampshire) with a unique combination of warm sentiment, wry comedy, and even a touch of surreal modernism in its moving final act. Childhood’s passage to maturity, love and marriage, birth and death are memorably enacted by the closely knit families of newspaper editor Webb and Doctor Gibbs, and observed by the benign Stage Manager who sagely connects their experiences to all our lives. Irresistible Americana.

Total Points: 2 (TW 2)

Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks (1995). Holden Caulfield meets Dean Moriarty in this sprawling coming-of-age story narrated with crisp assurance by a fourteen-year-old runaway. A victim of parental neglect, this lost, angry boy who names himself Bone commits crimes and acts of violence. After saving a seven-year-old boy from a pedophile, he lives in an abandoned bus with a pot-dealing Rastafarian. Together they travel to Jamaica where strange and murderous events take place as this wounded boy finds and defines himself.

Total Points: 2 (JW 2)

Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth (1992). Unsworth explores the “ancient urge” to “command attention, dominate one’s fellows” in this Booker Prize–winning novel that offers a gripping, panoramic view of the slave trade during the eighteenth century. Following a mutiny aboard a slave vessel and the creation of a utopian community in Florida, Unsworth portrays the fight against greed, disease, and humanity’s inhumanity. In this novel of two cousins who have opposing dreams, Unsworth faces the heights and depths of human nature.

Total Points: 2 (EC 2)

Sergeant Getulio by João Ubaldo Ribeiro (1971). This deeply unsettling novel features one of literature’s most loathsome creations—a Brazilian policeman adept at torture, maiming, and beheadings. Yet, as he transports a political prisoner across remote and dangerous terrain, we see a man both resourceful and persistent. As he explains himself, we see a man driven by honor, loyalty, and morality. In the process this appalling figure seems almost appealing.

Total Points: 2 (ALK 2)

Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen (1934). The pseudonymous Danish noblewoman (Baroness Karen Blixen) revived the texture and resonance of myths and folklores in this landmark debut collection. Its richly detailed stories, set in aristocratic surroundings and steeped in romantic hyperbole, explore conflicts between civilization and primitivism, notably in the magical transformation of a cloistered woman into an animal (The Monkey); the power a celebrated singer exerts over her admirers’ imaginations (The Dreamers); and four interlocking tales about concealed or mistaken identities, told by flood survivors (The Deluge at Nordeney).

Total Points: 2 (GG 2)

Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme (1981). Giant of postmodernism, creator of worlds both surreal and mundane whose only constants are surprise and change, master of brief, epiphanic stories called sudden fiction, Barthelme juggled many balls, wore many hats. Though he wrote four novels, he was best known for his short stories. This compilation of stories from the 1960s and 1970s includes the tale of a giant balloon that engulfs Manhattan, “The Balloon,” and the youngsters who bring death to everything they touch, in “The School.”

Total Points: 2 (JBud 2)

Sullivan’s Travels (1941), The Lady Eve (1941), and The Palm Beach Story (1942), three screenplays by Preston Sturges. Sturges enjoyed one of the great comic runs in Hollywood history while the world was at war. A master of sparkling dialogue, he revealed the zany absurdity of American life in the twelve pictures he wrote and/or directed from 1940 to 1944, especially these three classics that feature, respectively, a runaway director, a brilliant female con artist, and a runaway heiress.

Total Points: 2 (AT 2)

Tennessee Williams: Plays 1937–1955. Through raw yet lyric depictions of violence, alcoholism, homosexuality, rape, loneliness, and frustrated passion, Williams helped transform and liberate the American theater. His most celebrated dramas, including his breakthrough hit The Glass Menagerie (1944) and the two plays for which he won Pulitzer prizes, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), written in the Southern Gothic tradition of his native region, offer indelible portraits of fragile characters—especially lonely, frustrated Southern women—trying to hold on in a harsh world.

Total Points: 2 (DMcF 2)

The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald (1988). “It is Jane Austen crossed with Chekhov and Turgenev,” observed A. S. Byatt of this witty domestic novel set in Moscow on the eve of war and revolution. In the spring of 1913, Frank Reid’s wife leaves him and their three children to return to England. Frank, who was born in Russia and runs the print shop his British father founded there, deplores change. Character, not plot, rules Fitzgerald’s fictions; with subtlety and insight she reveals him navigating his new circumstances (and hoping for his wife’s return) while dealing with a host of vividly drawn, often idiosyncratic characters.

Total Points: 2 (DL 2)

The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk (1990). An Istanbul lawyer searches for his wife, who seems to have disappeared with her half-brother, Jelal, a famous newspaper columnist. Chapters detailing Galip’s quest through the city’s twisted streets alternate with excerpts from Jelal’s writings, which Galip scours for clues. Both draw on Turkish history, religion, and culture—its conflicted place as a nation both Eastern and Western—to tell a rich, cerebral tale about the nature of storytelling and identity.

Total Points: 2 (AP 2)

The English Teacher by R. K. Narayan (1945). The Indian author reimagines the sudden death of his beloved wife through the life of an English teacher whose deeply satisfying marriage ends with his wife’s fatal illness. His deep despair is broken by devotion to their daughter and his successful efforts to communicate with his departed wife. Yet he does not achieve the inner peace he craves in this novel infused with Hindu spirituality, until he realizes that true happiness does not come from other people, but from within.

Total Points: 2 (AMS 2)

The Loser by Thomas Bernhard (1983). Our narrator had studied the piano with his friend Wertheimer and the virtuoso Glenn Gould. Gould’s unapproachable brilliance compelled them to give up music. While this abandonment leads to their ruin, Gould’s career does not bring him happiness. The Austrian writer probed these themes—of the joy, pain, and meaning of art—in this and his next two novels, which comprise his “arts trilogy,” Cutting Timber: An Irritation and Old Masters: A Comedy.

Total Points: 2 (CM 2)

(2) The Marquise of O— and Other Stories by Heinrich von Kleist (1777–1811).

Appreciation of Heinrich von Kleist’s The Marquise of O— and Other Stories by Paula Fox

Heinrich von Kleist was born in 1777 and killed himself thirty-five years later in a suicide pact with a young lady, after having been blessed, or cursed, with a formidable talent for writing. During his brief life he turned out eight plays, among which is the marvelous one-act Robert Guiscard; eight stories, including the novella Michael Kohlaas; and a long story, The Marquise of O—. He also wrote a philosophical discourse, “On the Puppet Theatre,” a group of anecdotes, and some brilliant journalism.

Von Kleist was a true Romantic, yet he is utterly modern in the swiftness and depth of his perception of his subjects. Perhaps he didn’t choose them—they chose him, as it often seems with such a writer, a kind of fatality of choice.

In Michael Kohlaas von Kleist writes of the passion for justice turning a man into an outlaw. In The Beggarwoman of Locarno, a three-page arrow of a short story, a man sets fire to his own house. The Marquise of O—begins with an advertisement, placed in journals by a widowed Marquise, that pleads for the father of the child she is carrying to come forward and marry her. She hasn’t the faintest idea how her pregnancy came about.

And here’s the remarkable opening line of “The Earthquake in Chile”: “In Santiago, the capital of the kingdom of Chile, at the very moment of the great earthquake of 1647 in which many thousands of lives were lost, a young Spaniard by the name of Jeronimo Rugera, who had been locked up on a criminal charge, was standing against a prison pillar, about to hang himself.”

There are other stories of so lyrical yet violent a nature that the reader is infected with a fever of interest and admiration; at least this reader.

Total Points: 2 (PF 2)

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers (1946). Twelve-year-old Frankie Addams’s summer has been routine until her brother, set to be sent to the battlefields of World War II, announces he is getting married. As the family’s cook Berenice says, Frankie falls “in love with the wedding.” McCuller’s evocation of a 1940s Georgia town in August will make you sweat, but Frankie’s desperation to connect with somebody sticks in your head like a sad, crazy tune.

Total Points: 2 (EH 2)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham (1919). Loosely based on the life of Paul Gauguin, this novel portrays a London stockbroker overcome by the need to paint. Abandoning his family, he moves to Paris and then Tahiti, where he lives in poverty and neglects his health, social conventions, and the feelings of others to pursue his obsession. Charles Strickland is selfish, but he is also a genius. And so the novel asks: What price art?

Total Points: 2 (JLB 2)

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (1987). Henri is Napoleon’s cook. For eight years he has followed his diminutive idol. But now, in Russia—as the land turns deathly cold, soldiers starve, and Moscow burns—Henri becomes disenchanted by war. His life takes an exotic turn when he falls for Villanelle, a Venetian pickpocket and croupier who has literally lost her heart to another woman. In Venice, Henri’s passion turns toward madness as he learns “the difference between inventing a lover and falling in love.”

Total Points: 2 (EDon 2)

The Plague by Albert Camus (1947). A haunting tale of human resilience in the face of unrelieved horror, Camus' novel about a bubonic plague ravaging the people of a North African coastal town is a classic of twentieth-century literature. The epidemic serves a telling symbol for the Nazi occupation of France, and, by extension, for human existence as a whole.

Total Points: 2 (CN 2)

The Public Burning by Robert Coover (1976). It is 1953 and Russian spies are everywhere, according to Fightin’ Joe McCarthy. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are scheduled to fry in the electric chair in Times Square, and Uncle Sam has delegated Vice President Richard Nixon (who narrates much of the story) to ensure that the show goes off. Coover is a master of lingos, from Uncle Sam’s Davy Crockett yawps to Nixon’s resentful Rotarian tones. Oddly, Tricky Dick comes off as a rather endearing soul, a 1950s Everyman helplessly folded, spindled, and mutilated in Coover’s funhouse mirrors.

Total Points: 8 (MCon 2)

The Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda (1970). Neruda’s biography is an impressive one, maybe even a heroic one: poet, ambassador, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. But his poetry is human-size stuff, packed with concrete images and honest emotion. The Chilean-born Neruda, who merged his leftist politics with Whitmanesque exuberance, took the objects and experiences around us and turned them into something bigger through stunningly immediate language.

Total Points: 2 (CD 2)

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844). “An almost endless chain of duels, murders, love affairs, unmaskings, ambushes, hairbreadth escapes, wild rides,” is how the critic Clifton Fadiman described this swashbuckling tale. In 1625, young D’Argent travels to Paris where he joins three Musketeers who guard King Louis XIII and live by the motto “All for one, and one for all.” Together they foil a plot against the king hatched by the evil Cardinal Richelieu and the gorgeous spy “Milady.”

Total Points: 2 (APhil 2)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898). A young governess who is the sole caregiver for two charming children living in a remote country manor finds herself battling for their very souls. James’s story of psychological duress and obsession has been called a ghost story, a thriller, and a horror tale. But its haunting power stems less from the supernatural than from the primal fear that we can’t always protect our children.

Total Points: 2 (MCunn 2)

The World According to Garp by John Irving (1978). I first found this book when I was stuck in a miserable first marriage and living in Pittsburgh, a city that seemed to hate me. To say this book rescued my life is an understatement.  A wild and wooly tale of a writer and the characters in his life, the book is filled with joy and surprise after surprise. Irving zips through story lines,  blending comedy with tragedy,  for a wild, painful, exuberant ride of a novel.

Total Points: 2 (CL 2)

V. by Thomas Pynchon (1963). This sprawling postmodern spy novel spiked with Rabelasian humor is ignited by a cryptic line in the journals of Herbert Stencil’s late father: “There is more behind and inside V. than any of us had suspected. Not who, but what: what is she.” The son’s search for the mysterious V.—involving a range of deliciously named characters, including the “schlemiel and human yo-yo” Benny Profane—stretches across three continents and two centuries, bringing Stencil ever closer to the secret powers that have conspired to control, and thereby corrupted, the modern world.

Total Points: 2 (TCB 2)

Voss by Patrick White (1957). A fearless man with a titanic ego, Johann Voss decides to prove his almost divine greatness by leading a party across the untamed Australian continent in 1845. Before his trip, he meets a young spinster with whom he will carry on a spiritual courtship through telepathy and dreams. Voss suffers immensely during his arduous journey; as he is humbled, he learns the meaning of Christian spirituality in this novel by the Australian Nobel laureate.

Total Points: 2 (TK 2)

W, or The Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec (1975). Perec was an experimental French author fascinated by literary boundaries—one of his novels, A Void, does not contain the letter E. Here, autobiographical chapters recalling (and trying to recall) childhood memories, when most of his family was murdered in the Holocaust, alternate with those telling the fictional story of an Aryan island called W that becomes totalitarian. Gradually, we see that each section says what the other cannot, as the riveting stories form a meta-meditation on narrative form.

Total Points: 2 (DM 2)

What’s for Dinner? by James Schuyler (1978).

Best known as a poet, Schuyler brings his eye for intimate details to this quirky comedy about three families in suburban Long Island. As his characters deal with rowdy children, alcoholism, and loneliness, Schuyler subtly explores the forces that tear people apart and bring them back together.

Total Points: 2 (PCam 2)

With by Donald Harrington (2004). The Ozark town of Stay More was Harington’s Yoknapatawpha, a literary landscape much like the Arkansas community where he spent youthful summers that Harington created and populated with a cast of indelible charcaters. A daring coming-of-age story of survival and love, this novel is the sensual, suspenseful tale of Robin Kerr, a young girl abducted from her family and brought to a remote Ozark mountaintop, where she is left to fend for herself. Over the course of a decade, Robin grows up without human relationship, but with the company of animals and an inhabit, the half-living ghost of a young boy. 

Total Points: 2 (BW 2)

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (1889). Few writers made ideas as entertaining as Twain, whose gifts are on full display when he transports an ingenious American named Hank “The Boss” Morgan to sixth-century England. The clash of sixth-and nineteenth-century mores allows Twain to offer scorching satires of compulsory religion, aristocracy, and superstition—and smart considerations of subjects ranging from slavery, trade unions, and technology to death and taxes—within the thrilling atmosphere of the Round Table and its legendary characters, including Lancelot, Merlin, and Guenever.

Total Points: 1 (RP 1)

A Personal Matter  by Kenzaburo Oë (1969). The preeminent voice of Japan’s New Left from the 1960s, Oë brings a most un-Japanese rawness and rebellion to his semiautobiographical story of a young intellectual who fathers a brain-damaged baby. This modern morality tale juxtaposes its protagonist’s tortuous cerebral musings with a visceral world of blood and bile, sexual deviance, and medically sanctioned infanticide. Oë’s grotesqueries paradoxically render his characters more human and sympathetic, rather than less, while the sometimes self-conscious artifice of his language accommodates a society adrift from tradition and meaning.

Total Points: 1 (DMe 1)

 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010). Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. In this novel, which won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award, Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, this is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

Total Points: 1 (MSouthgate 1)

 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010). Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. In this novel, which won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award, Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, this is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

Total Points: 1 (MSouthgate 1)


New List

Francine Prose

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877).
2. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (1839). (See below.)
3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27).
4. The stories of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
5. The stories of John Cheever (1912–82).
6. The stories of Mavis Gallant (1922– ).
7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
8. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871–72).
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967).


Classic List

Amy Bloom


1. The Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies (1983).
2.Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817).
3. His Dark Materialsby Philip Pullman (1995–2000).
4.The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (1995).
5.The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003).
6. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (1978).
7. The Plot Against Americaby Philip Roth.
8. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998).
9. Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier (1951).
10. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields (1997).


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