Looking over the list and seeing some of the books I had read over my lifetime caused me to reflect on the importance that our own life experiences bring into what we read. I am a very different person now, in my seventies, than I was when I read Catcher in the Rye in Junior High School. That book was always included in my top five favorite book lists, so a couple of years ago I decided to reread it. I cannot express the deep disappointment I felt when I read it for the second time. It seemed so sophomoric! I completely related to Holden Caulfield's teenage angst when I was a teenager but I could barely get through the book as an older adult. I do want to caution that in case you decide to reread a favorite book it may have a completely different meaning for you the second time around.
I was quite taken with Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand when I was an idealistic college student, but I can't imagine her objectivist philosophy having ANY appeal to me today. I believe she would be considered a libertarian in today's political world. I am sure many of my favorites will hold up over time but I don't think I am going to chance being disillusioned again by rereading any more of them! I will be voting for The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood as my favorite novel.
Please do check out the Great American Read and the list of the top 100 books. It has inspired me to add several books to my reading list and I hope it will do the same for you. Jill B.