Books to boot from the Canon

The Second Pass nominates ten books to kick out of the "Western canon":

  • White Noise by Don DeLillo

  • Absalom, Absalom by Faulkner

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy

  • The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

  • The USA Trilogy by John Dos Passos

  • Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

It's a strong list (amen about One Hundred Years of Solitude), and even the criticism of the ones on the list that I've read and enjoyed are valid.

If I was to add an addendum for books that aren't necessarily part of the Western canon but that were pressed into my hands with the highest of personal recommendations and left those same hands tumbling to the ground by the force of gravity when I'd lost all patience, I'd name the following:

  • The Fountainhead

  • Lord of the Rings

  • Cold Mountain

There are probably others (e.g. the first Harry Potter book, whatever it was titled) but those are the ones that jump to mind immediately.