Look, I don’t like to brag, but as a professional writer, I read a lot of books. Not tweets, or Facebook statuses, or Instagram captions, but honest to god booooooooooks: those thick fluttering tree accordions filled with print that people used to read before their attention spans were permanently curdled by the Internet, home of the “2 Minute Read.” Which is why I would totally rub my quarter down to a dime, scratching the foil off this “100 Essential Novels” chart from Pop Chart Lab.
The poster features 100 literary classics, with covers partly obscured by gold foil. Since the point is to scratch that foil off as you read the books, there’s going to be some easy wins here. Pop Chart Lab is no bunch of fools: They know they need to play to the back rows, as well as the balconies.
For instance, Lord of the Flies by William Golding? Every kid has to read that in freshman English class. Same goes for Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, George Orwell’s 1984, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Likewise, I’m sure you read On the Road at some point to get into someone’s pants, snoozed your way through the John Ford adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath to make your way through a college essay, and picked up and subsequently abandoned David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest the same month you first moved off-campus.
But there are also less conventional picks like Wittgenstein’s Mistress by David Markson, At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and more.