I ran across Newsweek’s top 100 books list yesterday. I know no list is perfect, there are always books that should be added or deleted, but I was curious how many of them I’ve read. Ones I’ve read are in bold.

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  2. 1984 byGeorge Orwell
  3. Ulysses by James Joyce
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov *
  5. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  8. The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer
  9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  10. Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  11. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (I think I did read portions of this in school)
  12. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  13. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  14. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  15. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  16. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  18. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  20. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  22. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  23. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  24. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  25. Native Son by Richard Wright
  26. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  27. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  28. The Histories by Herodotus
  29. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  30. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
  31. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  32. Confessions by St. Augustine
  33. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
  34. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
  35. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  36. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
  37. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  38. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
  39. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  40. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  41. The Holy Bible
  42. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  43. Light in August by William Faulkner
  44. The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. DuBois
  45. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  46. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  47. Paradis Lost by Joh Milton
  48. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  49. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  50. King Lear by William Shakespeare *
  51. Othello by William Shakespeare
  52. Sonnets by William Shakespeare
  53. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  54. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  55. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  56. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  57. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  58. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (But I saw the movie, if that counts for anything.)
  59. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  60. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  61. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  62. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  63. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote *
  64. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  65. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  66. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler *
  67. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  68. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway *
  69. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  70. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  71. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
  72. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  73. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  74. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  75. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  76. Night by Elie Wiesel
  77. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  78. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  79. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  80. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  81. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
  82. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  83. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett *
  84. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  85. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  86. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
  87. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
  88. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong
  89. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature by William James
  90. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  91. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  92. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes
  93. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  94. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves
  95. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
  96. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  97. The Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
  98. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
  99. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  100. The Second World War by Winston Churchill

I’ve read 19, I ‘m pretty sure. That’s not very good, but really there aren’t that many left that I want to read. I’ve starred the ones that I’m hoping to get around to soon.

What about you? What would be at the top of your 100 best list?


  • Should I admit this? I’ve only read 17 and some of those were a long time ago. I do think you should someday get to Chandler’s The Big Sleep and Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. I’m a fan of noir and those are good ones. (Can you tell those are two of my 17?)

  • chey

    11 for me and most of them were forced on us in highschool! A few others sound familiar, but I can’t remember for sure if I read them.

  • RockCod

    Canterbury Tales
    Native Son
    The Prince
    A Passage to India
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Holy Bible (the good parts)
    A Clockwork Orange (one of my favorite books)
    King Lear
    Frankenstein (actually, in the middle of this one)
    Slaughterhouse-Five (great, quick one I read over Christmas)
    Sons and Lovers
    Lord Jim

  • I didn’t count but I have read more than I thought. Some I started and never finished, ie. Slaughterhouse Five. Sorry but I was bored to tears and had no interest whatsoever.

    14 I read and finished
    2 I read part of (1 left in the Dark Matters Trilogy) and only the Illiad
    5 I started and gave up on.

    Interesting list though.

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