Sites We Like

Sites We Like: 101 Books

Johann Thorsson

Staff Writer

Johann Thorsson is a native of Iceland, but spends much of his time in Bookland. He has lived in a few parts of the world but currently lives in Iceland with a pretty woman and a mischievous son who resembles Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) more each day. He has a complicated but ultimately useless degree in bioinformatics from a very pretty college in England. His favorite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon and The English Patient. He hopes one day to call himself a writer without feeling like he's just fooling himself. Blog: Johann Thorsson - On Book and Writing Twitter: @johannthors

For coverage of the best books in the world, there are a number of sites.

101 Books is a site run by Robert Bruce, who is going to read his way through all 101 books on Time Magazine‘s list of 101 greatest English-speaking novels since 1923. An ambitious plan if you ask me.

101 Books

However, the way Mr. Bruce covers the books make the blog a joy to follow, and should one be inclined to read along, his reviews and discussions are informative and easy to read.

Robert also ranks the books after he reads them and keeps a running list. While I don’t agree 100% with his ranking (I’m not sure any two people would rank 101 books in the same order), he gets pretty close. Though putting Invisible Man above Grapes of Wrath is… just like, his opinion, man.

Bruce treats the books with … I was going to say “respect,” but I think “love” is the closer word. He discusses the authors in detail, covers the covers (see what I did there) and delves deep into the themes and quality of each book. I wish I had known about this site when I started my classic-themed reading a few years ago, because it would have been a cake-walk with 101 books.

In his own words, on why he started the site:

Other than reading through 101 books, all on Time Magazine’s list of ALL-TIME novels published since 1923? I like to read. I like lists. I like big projects. I like blogging. Why not? When I started the blog, I thought I’d simply write a “review” of each book, with a related post here and there, maybe once a week. But the blog slowly morphed into a 5-day-a-week deal, and I’m loving it.

101 Books is an honest and amusing book-review site that is highly likely to make you want to read that classic you keep putting off.

[editor’s note: Robert Bruce has written two guest posts for Book Riot. Check ’em out here and here.]