the 1990s

Books to Read in the 1990s

100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (read 1-99)

1846: Year of Decision
Bernard de Voto (12-99)

Beneath the Underdog
Charles Mingus (1-95)

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian
Wallace Stegner (11-92)

David Copperfield
Charles Dickens (11-94)

Dead Souls
Nikolai Gogol (3-93)

Don Quixote
Miguel Cervantes (1-01)

Frank Herbert (3-93)

Moby Dick
Herman Melville (11-97)

Now Playing at Canterbury
Vance Bourjaily (4-90)

James Clavell (5-91)

The Castle
Franz Kafka (3-99)

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck (8-96)

The Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain (11-92)

The Odyssey
Homer (11-92)

The Oregon Trail
Francis Parkman (3-93)

The Snow Leopard
Peter Matthiessen (7-90)

Thomas Pynchon (11-95)

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy (12-99)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert Pirsig (7-97)

* * *

Well, I made it through 19 books on my first decade list, which seems pretty good to me. (And finished off the 20th later.) A few (Marquez, Twain, Pirsig) were much less interesting than I thought they’d be, even tedious; a few (Dickens, Steinbeck, Clavell) even better than I expected.

The Bourjaily, which I read first (and I’m amazed I even put it on the list), is an incredibly good book.

The Matthiessen, Melville, and de Voto were very slow going, but worth it. And yes, War and Peace, except for the last 40-page epilogue of its 1440 pages, was magnificent.

* * *

My Decade Book Lists

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