In 2016, I was able to complete reading around 92 books. That was the first time that I was able to reach the 90+ mark in my years of reading. However, in my rush to reach my goal of 100 books for the year, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate most of these books and I intend to reread some of them once I have the time.
In 2017, I plan to read more leisurely on a more leisurely pace. Just like 2016, I will concentrate more on books listed under the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die. Currently, I have already read about 60 of these books and I am looking forward to ticking off more this year.
Currently, I intend to do a perfect mix of the classic works and the contemporary ones. So here’s my list of the Top 20 books I am yearning to finish this year.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Paperback, 684 Pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2000
“A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnus opus” (The New York Review of Books), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling. in New York City, 1939, a young escape artist named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep in to the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From their shared fears, dreams, and desires, they spin comic book tales of the heroic Escapist and the beautiful Luna Moth. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink. Spanning continents and eras, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay remains one of the defining novels of our modern American age.”
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
Paperback, 563 pages
Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1957
“A novel depicting the coming of age of Eugene Gant – his boyhood in North Carolina and his growing passion to experience life. This was Wolfe’s first book and is probably his most widely read.”
Ulysses by James Joyce
Paperback, 732 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications, Inc., 2009
“Originally reviled as obscure and obscene, Joyce’s masterpiece now stands as one of the great literary achievement of the twentieth century. Loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey, the novel traces the paths of Leopold Bloom and other Dubliners through an ordinary summer day and night in 1904-a typical day, transformed by Joyce’s narrative powers into an epic celebration of life.”
On The Road: The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac
Paperback, 408 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2008
“During three weeks in 1951, Jack Kerouac wrote the first draft of On the Road–typed as a long, single-spaced paragraph on eight sheets of tracing paper, which he taped together to form a scroll. Representing the identifiable point at which his vision and narrative voice first came together in a sustained burst of creative energy, the scroll is the “uncut” version of Kerouac’s masterpiece-rougher, wilder, and more sexually explicit than the edited work that appeared in 1957. On the Road: The Original Scroll is Kerouac’s signature achievement – and one of the most significant, celebrated, and provocative documents in American literary history.”
Paperback, 1085 pages
Publisher: Signet Book, April 1963
“WHAT MOVES THE WORLD?
This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world-and did.
Is he a destroyer or a liberator?
Why does he have to fight his battle not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?
You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this remarkable new book by the author of The Fountainhead. You will discover why a productive genius became a worthless playboy . . . why a great steel industrialist was working for his own destruction . . . why a philosopher became a pirate . . .why a composer gave up his career on the night of his triumph . . why a beautiful woman who ran a transcontinental railroad fell in love with the man she had sworn to kill.
Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is unlike any other book you have ever read. It is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder-and rebirth-of a man’s spirit.”
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Paperback, 502 pages
Publisher: Pan Books Ltd, 1984
“Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk, a Benedictine novice travelling under his protection, arrive at a Benedictine monastery in Northern Italy to attend a theological disputation. Upon their coming, the monastery is disturbed by a suicide. As the story unfolds, several other monks die under mysterious circumstances. William is tasked by the monastery’s abbot to investigate the deaths, and fresh clues with each murder victim lead William to dead ends and new clues. The protagonists explore a labyrinthine medieval library, discuss the subversive power of laughter, and come face to face with the Inquisition, a reaction to the Waldensians, a heresy which started in the 12th century and claimed to advocate an adherence to the Gospel as taught by Jesus and his disciples. William’s innate curiosity and highly developed powers of logic and deduction provide the keys to unraveling the abbey’s mysteries.” (Source: Wikipedia)
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
Paperback, 362 pages
Publisher: Hardcourt, Inc., 1952
“Hailed as one od the finest novels of the twentieth century and transformed into an Academy Award-winning film, A Passage to India hauntingly evokes India at the peak of the British colonial era, complete with the racial tension that underscores every aspect of daily life. Into this setting, Forster introduces Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore, British visitors to Chandrapore who, despite their strong ties to the exclusive colonial community there, are eager for a more savory taste of India. But when their fatea tangle with those of Cecil Fielding and his local friend, Dr. Aziz, at the nearby Marabar Caves, the community of Chandrapore is split wide open and everyone’s life-British and Indian alike-is inexorably altered”
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Paperback, 983 pages
Publisher: Signet, August 1990
“The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy, between the time of the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Thomas Becket. The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time.” (Source: Wikipedia)
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Paperback, 559 pages
Publisher: Vintage Contemporaries, April 2004
“Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last-inexorably-into evil.”
Part I My 2017 Top 20 Reading List (Part I)
Part II My 2017 Top 20 Reading List (Part II)
Also read my Book Blog: New York Times by the Book Tag.