Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top 100 Books

I found this list of top books a while back, but I can't remember where it was.

When I look at it I'm surprised at the number of them I've read. Also, it seems quite an arbitrary list. James Joyce at the bottom? But anyway, lists are fun. Titles with an asterisk are those I've read.

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)*
(Great page turner. By comparison, the movie sucked. And furthermore, I don't care what the judges said, you'll never convince me that the whole premise wasn't based on Holy Blood & Holy Grail...or that the controversy wasn't manufactured by the publisher to boost sales of both books...)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)*
4.Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5.The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)*
6.The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)*
7.The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)*
(I read the entire trilogy approximately every five years.)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)*
(I want J.K. Rowling to stop using the word "revision" for "review".)

12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)*
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
(Saw the movie. Loved it.)

16.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)*
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)*
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21.The Hobbit (Tolkien)*
(What has it got in its pocketses?)

22.The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)*
(High school required reading.)
23.Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)*
26.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)*
(See previous post on this.)

27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)*
(Can't tell you how many times I've read this.)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)*
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)*
(A masterpiece. Again, the movie sucked.)

32.The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33.Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)*
(Ayn Rand makes me want to chew nails...both for her philosophy and her fictional style.)
34. 1984 (George Orwell)*
(Orwell makes me want to chew peyote buttons...just to forget about things for a while...)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)*
(Really well-written retelling of the Arthurian story from the women's point of view.)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)*
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40.The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
(Too much violence. Too much sex. Too many characters.)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47.The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)*
48.Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49.The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50.She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51.The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)*
(Kingsolver engages in the exercise of writing from several disparate points of view.)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
(Only managed the Coles Notes.)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)*
55.The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)*
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)*
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)*
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)*
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)*
62.The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)*
(See above)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)*
(I read this for the first time when I was 12 years old.)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)*
(You really can tell he's from Ontariario.)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)*
(This is a Major Major piece of work.)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)*
(I first read this probably around the same time I read WarrenPeace. I did not then understand why Police Inspector Javert hounded Jean Valjean. Valjean had done his time (originally) and paid his debt to society. What right had Javert to persecute him? I recently re-read it. My opinion has not changed.)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)*
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
(Great movie.)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73.Shogun (James Clavell)*
(Everything I know about Japan I learned from this book.)

74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
(Great movie.)
75.The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78.The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)*
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)*
(Huxley makes me want to chew peyote buttons...just to forget about things for a while...)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)*
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)*
(Another masterpiece.)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)*
(Everything I know about Toronto...well, actually, I didn't learn it from this book.)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)*
(More high school reading.)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)*
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)*
(I want Redfield to stop using the word "intensely" when he means "intently".)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)*
(Still working on this one...about two-thirds through it...on my second attempt...I have no idea what it's about.)

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Anonymous said...

Do you think these are chosen according to how many people read them, or some other mechanism for judging?

Larry Keiler said...

Since I can't remember the provenance of the list, it's difficult to say. Maybe some kind of survey. If it was according to how many people read them, Ulysses could not possibly be on the list...

Help! I've written and I can't get up!