Hi! I'm a psychotherapist and writer eager to offer my two cents on the books and/or authors I choose to read from this long list of uneven quality. It may take the rest of my life, though.
I've already read The Interpreter of Maladies, as I adore short story collections more than novels, even. And I was forced to read Arrowsmith in high school way back in the l960's and all I remember about it is that everyone in the class hated it almost as much as Ethan Frome. The Bridge of San Luis Rey was in the running for the top boredom award as well, though it was high school and we had juvenile taste back then. I did voluntarily read Gone with the Wind at least five times in high school and The Fixer once. Loved both at the time. Voluntary versus forced back then did cast a pall on certain books, however.
I read The Color Purple and Beloved in my early feminist days. Had been a devoted Toni Morrison fan. Loved her visual imagery.
I read The Hours along with The Mrs. Dalloway Reader edited by Francine Prose last year which is the only way either book becomes comprehensible. Reading The Hours alone is meaningless, since it is essentially a jazz riff on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, so I strongly recommend pairing the reading. I could do a review of this pairing if readers are interested, or you can just discover the connections yourselves.
Looking forward to this reading adventure. I will likely post my reviews on my blog.