Is this a silly list? I see it has "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."
Why "since 1923"? There must be some book from then -- "A Passage to India" (1924)? -- that they were hot to include and then drew the cut-off at that point so they wouldn't have to be bothered with anything else.
Most of these books you'd have to pay me a lot of money to read. I have read some of them. Some I've read parts of and always meant to finish. Some I've read parts of and then flung aside, most memorably "The Golden Notebook," which contained a preface by the author saying life is too short to read books that fail to engage you. If you find yourself reading such a book, you ought to fling it aside! Great advice, from Doris Lessing!
Ah, isn't it obvious? I just don't like novels very much. I've wasted too much time trying to be the sort of person who loves novels.
UPDATE: A former student of mine writes:
I saw your post on novels today, and I feel compelled to give you one of Austen's great defenses of novel reading, this from her early novel "Northanger Abbey."I'm very aware of the reasons given for the importance of reading novels, and I've been influenced by this sort of thing for most of my life. I've never snobbily turned up my nose at novels, like Mr. Collins. I've always had the impression that the best people read novels. That has motivated me to try to be the sort of person who reads a lot of novels. Great mental powers, knowledge of human nature, and wit and humour are also displayed in well-chosen language in works of nonfiction and even in blogs or in live conversation. And novels also contain plenty of foolish notions, tedious observations, phony depictions of human nature, and awful writing. I'm most interested in learning about things that are true and hearing great ideas, and I have never found novels to be a particularly rich source. Of course there are the emotion-stirring stories, but for that, there are so many movies to see, nearly all of which are fiction. But I find I don't have much interest in stories -- all those personal problems with relationships! Even for a film, I'd rather see a documentary.
"Oh, it is only a novel!" ... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language."
"Pride & Prejudice" also contains a great but more subtle defense of novels--the fantastically preposterous Mr. Collins declares to his shocked cousins how he, unlike the ladies, never bothers with novels and only reads books with a more serious stamp.