Reluctant Habits

The Taming of Chance (Modern Library Nonfiction #98)

Posted by in hacking-ian, Law of Large Numbers, Mathematics, Modern Library, Nonfiction Challenge, Probability

What do statistics and probability reveal about the natural world? And how does chance factor into the story? In our third essay in the Modern Library Nonfiction Challenge, we tackle Ian Hacking’s history of how many mathematical maxims came to be. We’ve included a YouTube presentation to show you how you can prove the law of large numbers in your very own home!

Operating Instructions (Modern Library Nonfiction #99)

Posted by in lamott-anne, Modern Library, Nonfiction Challenge, Reading

Why has Anne Lamott’s groundbreaking book about motherhood fallen from grace? In our second essay in the Modern Library Nonfiction Challenge, we look into OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS as the urtext for mommy blogs and chick lit., while commending Lamott’s overlooked stylistic innovations to confessional writing.

Melbourne (Modern Library Nonfiction #100)

Posted by in cecil-david, Melbourne, Modern Library, Nonfiction, Reading, William Lamb

How can a bumbling statesman from the 19th century help us cultivate more tolerance for humankind? Lord David Cecil’s biography offers some unexpected possibilities. We examine the curious case of William Lamb Melbourne in the first of our Modern Library Nonfiction essays.

The Modern Library Nonfiction Challenge

Posted by in Modern Library, Nonfiction Challenge

While our faithful reading adventurer remains stalled on FINNEGANS WAKE on the original Modern Library Reading Challenge, he has decided to start a second challenge. Behold! A new Modern Library Reading Challenge! The top 100 nonfiction books of the 20th century!

Kim (Modern Library #78)

Posted by in Kim, kipling-rudyard, Modern Library, Reading

In the next thrilling Modern Library installment, our intrepid reader reads Kipling’s major novel and is troubled by the sour and regressive taint.

A Room with a View (Modern Library #79)

Posted by in forster-em, Modern Library, Reading

In this latest Modern Library essay, we offer our hostile thoughts on Merchant Ivory films, contemplate how many Cecil Vyse types were killed off during the war, and investigate E.M. Forster’s humanity.

Brideshead Revisited (Modern Library #80)

Posted by in Modern Library, Reading, waugh-evelyn

The latest Modern Library Reading Challenge essay responds to claims that Evelyn Waugh was “a bi-curious hipster boyfriend,” investigates the mysterious relationship between Charles and Sebastian, and gets into cultural dichotomies.

The Adventures of Augie March (Modern Library #81)

Posted by in Bellow, Saul, Modern Library, Reading

In this latest Modern Library Reading Challenge essay, our intrepid reader is awestruck by Saul Bellow’s masterpiece and what it says about stretching the soul.

Angle of Repose (Modern Library #82)

Posted by in Modern Library, Reading, stegner-wallace

In the latest Modern Library Reading Challenge installment, our intrepid reader dishes on his book club days, wrestles with Wallace Stegner’s plagiarism, and examines the relationship between history and personal mythology.

A Bend in the River (Modern Library #83)

Posted by in Modern Library, naipaul-vs, Reading

In the latest Modern Library Reading Challenge installment, Our Correspondent ponders whether VS Naipaul can ever overcome his monstrous tendencies.

The Death of the Heart (Modern Library #84)

Posted by in bowen-elizabeth, Modern Library, Reading

In this latest Modern Library Reading Challenge Essay, our intrepid reader discovers how Elizabeth Bowen’s cruelty somehow affirms unanticipated pockets of sanguinity.

Lord Jim (Modern Library #85)

Posted by in conrad-joseph, Modern Library

In the latest Modern Library Reading Challenge installment, our intrepid reader takes on Conrad’s masterpiece, contemplating honor, Jim’s emo whining, and the many eccentric characters on the high seas.

Ragtime (Modern Library #86)

Posted by in E.L. Doctorow, Modern Library

In our latest Modern Library Reading Challenge essay, we ask why EL Doctorow’s novel has relied so heavily on Kleist and whether Ragtime truly respects its readership.

The Old Wives’ Tale (Modern Library #87)

Posted by in bennett-arnold, Modern Library

In this latest installment of the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our fearless reader contends with Arnold Bennett’s Asperger’s-like kitsch.

The Call of the Wild (Modern Library #88)

Posted by in Modern Library

In our next installment of the Modern Library Reading Challenge, we uncover why Jack London’s wild and romantic view is still necessary within the comfort zone of the 21st century.

Loving (Modern Library #89)

Posted by in green-henry, Modern Library

In the next installment of the Modern Library Reading Challenge, we tackle Loving and find ourselves lapping up Henry Green’s stylistic exactitude like an eight-year-old let loose in a candy store.

Midnight’s Children (Modern Library #90)

Posted by in Modern Library, Rushdie, Salman

In the next installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, we tackle Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children!

Tobacco Road (Modern Library #91)

Posted by in caldwell-erskine, Modern Library

In the next 2,000 word installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, we tackle Erskine Caldwell’s still controversial Tobacco Road!

Ironweed (Modern Library #92)

Posted by in kennedy-william, Modern Library

In the next exciting installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our intrepid reader tackles William Kennedy’s Ironweed!

The Magus (Modern Library #93)

Posted by in fowles-john, Modern Library

In the next exciting installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our intrepid reader tackles John Fowles’s The Magus!

Wide Sargasso Sea (Modern Library #94)

Posted by in Modern Library, rhys-jean

In the next exciting installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our intrepid reader tackles Jean Rhys’s remarkably depressing Wide Sargasso Sea!

Under the Net (Modern Library #95)

Posted by in Modern Library, murdoch-iris

In the next exciting installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our intrepid reader tackles Iris Murdoch’s Under the Net!

Sophie’s Choice (Modern Library #96)

Posted by in Modern Library, styron-william

In the next exciting 3,000 word installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge, our intrepid reader tackles William Styron’s massive (and controversial) volume, Sophie’s Choice!

The Sheltering Sky (Modern Library #97)

Posted by in bowles-paul, Modern Library

“When I read about spoiled Americans who abscond with common sense, I have zero sympathy. ” The next exciting installment in the Modern Library Reading Challenge!

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Modern Library #98)

Posted by in cain-james-m, Modern Library

After reading Postman for the third time, I’m now wondering who Frank Chambers will be when I read him fifteen years from now.

The Ginger Man (Modern Library #99)

Posted by in donleavy-jp, Modern Library

The next exciting entry in the The Modern Library Reading Challenge, concerning itself with boorish protagonists, authors who sue themselves in court, and the interior monologue!

The Magnificent Ambersons (Modern Library #100)

Posted by in Modern Library, tarkington-booth

The first entry in the The Modern Library Reading Challenge, an ambitious project to read the entire Modern Library from #100 to #1.

The Modern Library Reading Challenge

Posted by in Modern Library

Introducing one of the most ridiculously ambitious reading challenges: a quest to read all of the Modern Library Top 100.