#45 The Sun Also Rises I thought that I would like this book. I really didn't. I thought it was boring, even though there was bullfighting. I wish that I liked it. I did like Brett, though.
#74 A Farewell to Arms The other Hemingway on the list. I read this in April or May of 2003. I remember the time very vividly. I had graduated college the December before, but all my friends were still at school. So every weekend, I would go to visit them, get terribly "tight" (as Ernest would say) and then go back to work on Monday and pretend to be some kind of responsible adult. This all was complicated by the fact that I was in this strange almost-relationship of sorts with a German exchange student there who was going back to der Vaterland in May. And there was someone else who I also had my eye on, who had a girlfriend and who I thought couldn't really care less about me (but he was in love with me, as I came to discover two years later). Did I mention that I was engaged to someone else at the time? Yeah. Let's just say that I was A TOTAL MESS. And during this time, I read A Farewell to Arms. Honestly, all I remember of it was the scene in the end where they are rowing away across a lake. That did happen in this book, right? I'm not sure if I don't remember anything else because I was drunk all the time, or because my life was a mess, or because I was kind of indifferent to the novel, though I liked it much better than The Sun Also Rises.
#78 Kim This novel factored heavily in The English Patient, which is one of my favorite novels OF ALL TIME. So, I was expecting to really like it. I didn't.
#100 The Magnificent Ambersons Sometime I am going to have to back and reread this book and do a long post on it. This is one of those books that I have never heard of outside of this list, by an author I had also never heard of. But this book is great. The main character, George, is an asshole, and enough bad things cannot happen to him. You WANT bad things to happen to this jerk. What sticks in my mind most about this novel is that it really predicts the future. Written in the early 1900s, sometimes it feels like someone from the last 50 years writing about what impact the car was going to have on society, knowing already what that impact was. But Tarkington really saw it coming...he hit it right on the nose. Definately a novel that deserves more fanfare than it seems to get.