The 110 Best Books or How to Start a Fight with Readers

I love book lists, thus I was happy to discover another list of book lists.  This one from Britain’s Telegraph back in April.  The article is entitled 110 Best Books: The Perfect Library.  I could not discover who wrote the article, and think I know why after reading the comments from readers at the end of the article.  The comments are as entertaining (to me) as the lists themselves.  The article could easily have been entitled, “How to Start a Fight with Readers.”

The lists in the article include: CLASSICS, POETRY, LITERARY FICTION, ROMANTIC FICTION, CHILDREN’S BOOKS, SCI-FI, CRIME, BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, BOOKS THAT CHANGED YOUR WORLD, HISTORY, and LIVES.  I’ve listed a couple of lists as samples:

CLASSICS

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer (Leisure Guy should be delighted)

The Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Stacy should be thrilled)

War and Peace by Tolstoy

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Middlemarch by George Eliot

LITERARY FICTION

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

A la recherche du temps perdu by Proust

Ulysses by James Joyce

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh

The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark

Rabbit series by John Updike

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Human Stain by Philip Roth

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (Not When We Were Young, but Chartroose should be happy)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

ROMANTIC FICTION

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault

Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Literate Housewife should be pleased)

Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy

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7 responses to “The 110 Best Books or How to Start a Fight with Readers

  1. To really understand the power of the Iliad and the Odyssey, it’s go to listen to them read aloud. Borders used to have them on CD at a reasonable price.

    They do, for about $20 (I believe by Blackstone Audio). My commute each day is about two and a half hours and I listen to books on CD while driving. I decided to try listening to Divine Comedy rather than read it again – it is good.

  2. Wow. You really DO like lists…and books…and lists about books!

    I think it says something about me that I’ve read almost all of the Children’s books…and only a few of the others. I still read my childhood favorites over and over as an adult. It’s like revisiting cherished memories.

    Yeah, I’m weird about books and lists.

  3. Yes, I am well pleased to find GWTW on that list. I also like to see James Joyce and Daphne Du Maurier represented as well.

    I thought you might be.

  4. thatdengfilipino

    Whoa. You weren’t kidding when you said that you liked books! Very nice list. I’ve got “Beloved” on my shelf and “Babar” takes it way back for me.

    Nice stuff, man. You’ve got another reader.

    Thanks. I enjoyed my visit to your blog, too.

  5. Books and lists…can the day get any better? 🙂

    Yes… a good day.

  6. When I was a kid, I read Babar in the original cursive printing. I really wish that I had a copy now since it definitely taught me how to read cursive before I even fully learned how to write it!

    I need it now. I never learned to write in cursive and still have difficulty reading it.

  7. Have you ever tried to read Ulysses? Seriously one of the most confounding books I’ve ever attempted. I couldn’t even get through it after reading an explanation of it on the internets.

    Leisure Guy says it’s great on audio book, so I’m going to try it. I have read it, but look forward to the audio experience.

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