Autumn, 2011: Top 2 Top 100 Lists (Final)

Autumn, 2011: Top 2 Top 100 Lists

As the loser of the last pentad, David made a special request: to be able to name the theme of the first podi of Pentad the Second. He decided on books that were included in the Modern Library’s list of the 100 best novels written in the English language in the 20th century, since he has a lot of books on that list he wants to read. Will turned up his nose at this list, however, so Dave agreed to add a second list: The Telegraph’s list of 100 novels that everyone should read. Thus was born the current competition. All books listed on either list are fair game.

So let the competition commence! It shall run from November 1st, 2011 to November 22nd, 2012, and it shall be epic.

Final Scoreboard

The Autumn, 2011 competition has been completed. The final scoreboard is posted below:

# Title/Author Date Read Pages # Title/Author Date Read Pages
1 The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (Telegraph) 12/19 524 1 Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (ML) 11/25 153
2 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Telegraph) 9/26 851 2 The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse (Telegraph) 2/1 222
3 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (ML) 9/26 569 3 Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Telegraph) 7/11 545
4 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding (Telegraph) 9/26 968 4 Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (Telegraph) 8/30 192
5 Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford (ML) 10/31 906 5 Rabbit, Run by John Updike (Telegraph) 11/8 255
6 6 The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (ML) 11/22 217
Total: 3,818 Total: 1,584
Average Book Length: 764 Average Book Length: 264

* Note: It was decided mutually that books of non-epic poetry would count for half the number of their total pages, seeing as the text of many poems do not take up even half of a full page.


The winner of the initial leg of the Second Pentad of the Great Reading Competition (Autumn, 2011: Top 2 Top 100 Lists), and the coveted Golden Egret, is: WILL. Congratulations to Will for putting forth the strongest effort this contest has ever seen.

The Golden Egret Award: Autumn, 2011: Will McPherson

Note: Will shattered a whole slew of records this competition. A summary of his accomplishments is given below:

  • One of the lone bright spots in this competition for Dave is that he, yet again, drew First Blood, bringing his all time total to 4.
  • The other bright spot for Dave is that he reclaimed the title of Tome Swallower, by finishing 6 books to Will’s 5.
  • Now onto Will. Will had the highest book length average ever (764 pages per book) and also claimed the Longfellow by reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (968 pages). This proved to be the longest book Will has read (or, at least, successfully completed) for a competition to date.
  • Will equaled his previous high by finishing three books in a month (leaving the finish of all of them to the same day, clever badger he), and also recorded his highest page count in a month (2,388) and a competition (3,818). Both totals are all time bests.
  • Will achieved his greatest margin of victory (2,234), which became the new all time record for margin of victory in a competition, beating Dave’s previous record by almost a thousand pages.
  • Though collectively (on account of Dave’s low page total) they failed to beat the all time best mark for number of pages read in a competition, Will and Dave did set a new record for the highest combined average book length in a competition with an average of 491 pages a book.
  • Dave here wishes to note that Will, who is now out of grad. school, for the first time found himself with more free time than Dave, who was working on several projects.

Thus has Pentad the Second begun. Though Dave was seriously drubbed, he takes solace in the fact that Will failed to give Dave the Joan Collins Special, pale shelter though that may be. He vows to rededicate himself to the task and put up a better showing in the next leg of the Great Reading Competition!

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