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I recommend Watership Down. I see you have no intention of reading it and I think you should. But other than that, kudos on doing so well on this list. I don't think I would even make half of it and you've nearly completed it.

The book "Cold Comfort Farm" is much, much better than the movie. It's one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Speaking of funny, why no Wodehouse, regarded by some as the finest writer of the 20th century?

I admire your literary experience...and sympathize with the book weight problem (how DID you move them all to LA? That must've been insane and hugely expensive. Oy.)

I'd like to recommend another to feed your addiction: The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks. Again, you don't seem to have read it, or intend to. But you should. I'm not one for horror novels - this may be the only one I have ever read. But it is so artfully done - even my mother liked it. Iain Banks is a master of the psychological conflict. Highly recommend it.

I'm amused that everyone seems distressed that I haven;t read THEIR favorite book, nor have any intention of doing so. C'mon, people, I've read three-fourths of the books on the list (a mere fraction of the number of books read thus far in my lifetime)! And there are more new books being published every time also demanding my attention. Something's gotta give!

I _do_ have one way out of the dilemma: outsourcing. The Spousal Unit has actually read most of the books on the list that I haven't read. See, this is why we complement each other! (He also highly recommends THE WASP FACTORY, incidentally.) Between the two of us, we've got that infernal Top 100 list covered.

That said, I think I will actually add COLD COMFORT FARM to my "to read" list, since Jack recommends it as funny, and is also a Wodehouse fan, so he must know from funny. :)

It's impossible to read too much.

Cold Comfort Farm? Great movie. Watership Down? Plague Dogs is better.

Wodehouse? If you want tragically funny Brits, there's Evelyn Waugh and William Boyd and Kingsley (f**king) Amis, noticeably absent. No Hemingway would be a blessing, but no Cormac is ridiculous.

The Little Prince is drivel, but Night Flight by the same guy (pronounced gee en franche) is terrific.

Jane Eyre? Skip down to Wuthering Heights. Owen Meany and not Garp?

Making a a list of this sort without Huckleberry Finn is pretty much like wearing a hospital gown without rear closure. Oh, there's Don DeLillo, Gunter Grass, Lampedusa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mark Helprin, TC Boyle, Nabokov, Stendahl (who beats Flaubert all to hell), Homer, Peter Matthiesson, Walter Mosely, Chaucer (whom we have to thank for the blessing of Procol Harum), Thomas Pynchon, William Gibson, Raymond Chandler, the woman that wrote Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell whose name I can never remember, Margaret Atwood, John Gardner, Mikhail Bulgakov (who didn't write the Great American Novel but did write the Great Russian Novel), Thomas Wolfe (who, in fact, wrote the Great American Novel), Homer, Joseph Conrad, Henry David Thoreau, and bada beda.

What's truly hilarious about the list is that it includes William Kennedy Toole and not Walker Percy. If Confederacy of Dunces is remotely in a class with The Second Coming and Love in the Ruins, my education was a shard of ill-spent youth.

Hamlet's good, but you can just read the second soliloquy. The greatest Shakespeare are Richard II, Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest.

Reading lists, like comparisons, are odious. I say, read everything, but skip the non-fiction. Perversely, truth is best found in fiction.

But, you know, I'll bet the First Librarian has this list tacked on the wall in Crawford, next to the Clearing Brush list.

Great blog. Of course, by now you have probably discovered that this is not the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read but rather one from the U.K. and compiled by the BBC. In its Big Read, the NEA ( provides grants to communities for “one book, one community” programs. The communities then choose among a few dozen (not 100) books and distributes free resources for book group and classroom discussions. Just thought NEA and the Big Read communities should get their just due!

Hello, I am going to do the very obvious thing, i.e. wondering why my favorite one isn't on the list and warmly recommending it ;-)

Umberto Eco - The name of the rose

Pax Vobiscum!

I have been doing a similar thing except I have compiled 4 different lists of 100 greatest books (and 1 of top 10) totaling 306 books. Good job reading so many on the list before even looking at it though. Many of the books I read (and loved) were only a result of my list. I have compiled them here if you are interested:

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.