Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stands in some rank of praise

I've decided to succumb to popular demand and rank the books I've read from Time's list of 100 All-Time Novels.  I was also inspired by my fellow list reader at 101 Books, who has ranked the books he's read as well. And I admit I find it quite interesting to see where he has ranked the books he's read, and compare it to where I would rank those same books.

I found it actually very difficult to rank the books I've read, and found myself continuously changing the rankings to arrive at what you see below. One problem is it is very difficult to compare books I read two years apart. Secondly, deciding how much I enjoyed a book can't really be quantified. It isn't a matter of listing my golf scores from lowest to highest.

In making these rankings, I first looked at how I rated them on Goodreads, which I would have done immediately after finishing. I then thought about those books now, to see if I still felt the same way about them. For example, I had originally rated The Blind Assassin five out of five, but when I think back now, two years later, I don't have the same impression of it. I remember that I enjoyed it, but it doesn't pop into my head when somebody asks me about my favorite books from the list. As a result, it moved down the list quite a bit.

Now I suppose the fun will be in adding the remaining books into the rankings.

There is also a new tab on the site, where the rankings can be checked at a moment's notice, for those times when you need to know what Bryan thought of one book in relation to another.


  1. The Sot-Weed Factor
  2. Lolita
  3. Gone with the Wind
  4. I, Claudius
  5. Lucky Jim
  6. Revolutionary Road
  7. The Berlin Stories
  8. The Corrections
  9. Rabbit, Run
  10. Animal Farm
  11. Portnoy's Complaint
  12. Under the Net
  13. Brideshead Revisited
  14. The Sheltering Sky
  15. All the King's Men
  16. The Great Gatsby
  17. Midnight's Children
  18. The Blind Assassin
  19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  20. Money
  21. The Sun Also Rises
  22. Catch-22
  23. Appointment in Samarra
  24. The Catcher in the Rye
  25. Atonement
  26. The Assistant
  27. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  28. The Painted Bird
  29. Slaughterhouse-Five
  30. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  31. The Moviegoer
  32. On the Road
  33. The Sportswriter
  34. The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  35. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
  36. Play it as it Lays
  37. Deliverance
  38. Herzog
  39. The Power and the Glory
  40. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  41. Things Fall Apart
  42. Ubik
  43. Ragtime
  44. Housekeeping
  45. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  46. Death Comes for the Archbishop
  47. Snow Crash
  48. Tropic of Cancer
  49. Under the Volcano
  50. The Crying of Lot 49
  51. Falconer
  52. Red Harvest
  53. The Day of the Locust
  54. Light in August
  55. The Sound and the Fury
  56. Beloved
  57. Mrs. Dalloway
  58. Blood Meridian
  59. Lord of the Rings
  60. Infinite Jest
  61. To the Lighthouse
  62. The Recognitions
  63. Naked Lunch


  1. I agree with your high ranking of Lolita. I have a copy of The Sot Weed Factor, but I haven't been brave enough to start it.

    Also, To the Lighthouse was way better than Mrs Dalloway, in my humble opinion.

    For fun, I did my own ranking of the books you have ranked so far. I did it based on memory of the book, how much it stuck with me. Here is what I came up with:

    1. Lolita
    2. Catch-22
    3. To the Lighthouse
    4. Under the Volcano
    5. The Sound and the Fury
    6. Slaughterhouse-Five
    7. Infinite Jest
    8. Run, Rabbit Run
    9. The Catcher in the Rye
    10. Beloved
    11. Light in August
    12. The Great Gatsby
    13. The Corrections
    14. The Crying of Lot 49
    15. Animal Farm
    16. Mrs Dalloway
    17. Ubik
    18. The Recognitions
    19. Naked Lunch (to be honest, I didn't make it through this one, but I read enough of it to know it was crap)


    1. It's always so neat to see how everybody ranks books so differently! We are in agreement with Lolita and Catch-22, The Recognitions and Naked Lunch, but in disagreement with Animal Farm and To the Lighthouse.

      Such is the fun is discussing and dissecting books!