Tag Archives: Anna Karenia

The Ten Greatest Books: A List

Like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for book lists.  Although the book, The Top Ten: Writers pick their Favorite Books, edited by J. Peder Zane, has been out for some time, I just discovered it (I know, I’m a bit slow).  This book does just what the title says it will, compiling the favorite books of 125 authors from around the world.  The book includes summaries of 544 books – each thought to be a top ten by at least one of the authors.

What do you think are the ten greatest books of all time?  What would the list look like if it was compiled from the top ten choices of over one hundred of the top authors in the world?

Lev Grossman, in Time (Jan. 15, 2007), states, “…literary lists are basically an obscenity… Take it from me, a critic who has committed this particular sin many times over.”  It’s a fun read: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1578073,00.html

I say, let’s see their top ten (compiled from their individual lists): 

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot

So, there you go.  What’s your top ten (or is it obscene to ask?)?