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  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light
  24. Card, Orson Scott — Ender's Game
  25. Clarke, Arthur C. — Childhood's End
  26. Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
  27. Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
  28. Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
  29. Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
  30. Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
  31. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead
  32. Bester, Alfred — The Stars My Destination
  33. Greene, Graham — The Power and the Glory
  34. Gaiman, Neil — Neverwhere
  35. Ballard, J.G. — The Drowned World
  36. Ballard, J.G. — Crash
  37. Joyce, James — The Dubliners
  38. Le Guin, Ursula — Tales from Earthsea
  39. Le Guin, Ursula — The Other Wind
  40. Asimov, Isaac — The Robots of Dawn
  41. Dick, Philip K. — A Scanner Darkly
  42. Stewart, George R. — Earth Abides
  43. du Bois, William Pène — The Twenty-One Balloons
  44. Wells, H.G. — The Time Machine
  45. Toole, John Kennedy — A Confederacy of Dunces

I've now read books by Robert F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, and John Kennedy Toole. I wonder how many more Kennedys I can fit into my reading….

A Confederacy of Dunces was certainly an enjoyable read. I wouldn't consider it a great book, though. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it immensely. I just didn't have that satisfied sigh that so often accompanies the conclusion of a great novel.

Personally, the best scene occurred in the first chapter, where most of the book's major characters collide for the first time. None of Ignatius Reilly's other misadventures seemed quite as hysterical as that first one. I think at least part of that is that Reilly grew tiresome. He's been compared to Falstaff or a fat Don Quixote. Really, Reilly has almost no redeeming qualities—he's just a spoiled, overgrown brat—while Falstaff has several and Quixote is nothing but redeeming qualities.

And Reilly was hardly the only one who grated on my nerves. Just about everyone in this story was so dysfunctional, and I already have more than my fair share of dysfunctional people (including, more than occasionally, myself). Though I laughed at the funny bits, of which there were quite a few, I also winced a lot watching Mr. Levy, Mrs. Levy, Mrs. Reilly, and just about everyone else screwing each other over with their meddlesomeness and inability to listen. I sometimes felt like Miss Trixie, wanting to shout at them all to shut up!

One character I really enjoyed, though, was Burma Jones. I found myself wishing for more of him and less of the others.

Since I have dwelt mostly on the negative, surely I'm giving the impression that I didn't enjoy A Confederacy of Dunces. I did, though. It's a very entertaining novel. I just couldn't help feeling aggravated by the characters and wondering if there'd be anymore laugh-out-loud moments after the opening salvo.

Now, on to the first of two Halloween-appropriate reads.

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