Best 100 Novels

I’ve been on this audiobook kick lately. 

As a working mom, I’m basically obsessed with packing as much as I can into any given moment.  I’d mentioned to a friend that I wished I could find something productive to do with my 30 minute commute home every night at midnight.  Yes, I know, I should relish in the opportunity to relax and decompress.  Sometimes I do.  But lately I’ve found that I hear the same old songs and think about the same old things.  I started thinking that I should get a voice recorder so I could talk to myself and throw out ideas for my blog.  However, I’ve been doing well working on my blog at other times (I can neither confirm nor deny the theory that I do much of my writing at work).

There was a forward going around Facebook a month ago with a list of the 100 Greatest Books.  You were supposed to mark the books you’d read and post it for all of your friends to see.  They would look at your list, see how brilliant and well-read you were and repost the list with THEIR books marked (probably bumping it up just a bit to feel superior to the friends who’d already participated).  I’d read 21….not too shabby compared to others, but pathetic when you consider that these 100 books are the GREATEST books that EVERYONE should have already read.  So, as a result, I decided that I need to read more classics.

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point I decided that maybe I’d try to listen to these classics on CD while driving home.  I wasn’t quite sure how it would work.  I had visions of driving off the edge of I-20 and crashing after being lulled to sleep by a reader’s calm voice.   Luckily, it worked out better and I found that it was extremely relaxing (but not TOO relaxing) and decompressing to be read to.

My local library is pathetic and the Audio Book selection is even sadder.  Well, the CD section is sad…..if I had a cassette player in my car, I’d be golden.  However, there are a lot of books that  I have yet to read, so it’ll do for a while.  I can also request audiobooks from other libraries if I can get organized enough to plan ahead.  I miss out on the fun “browsing” element, but I guess you do what you’ve got to do.

So far I’ve listened to Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama (read by Obama.  seriously the best way I can imagine to “consume” this book.  completely amazing).  I’m currently listening to Night by Elie Wiesel, which is one of those classics that I just never got around to reading. 

Because books aren’t that plentiful at my library, and there are so many books that I should read, I figured that I should have a list to work off of.  First I printed the list from Facebook, but then I started wondering if this was really the “Official” list.  I found that there are a million lists of “The 100 Best Books of All Time”, and the selections really don’t vary that much, so I just picked one.  Conveniently, it’s from a website called www.best100novels.com/.  It sounded good to me.  I printed the list and carefully went through and marked the books I’d read   Somehow 1 of my books was lost in the move and now I’m at 20 books read.  There are a few that I know that I have read, but I have no recollection of them so I didn’t count them.  Others are listed as entire series and I counted them if I’d read at least one and had no interest in continuing (I won’t mention names, but I’ll go on record as saying that I don’t particularly like fantasy books, no matter how much money the blockbuster movies make).

Here’s my list so far.  I’ll try to keep this updated…..

1.                   1984 by George Orwell

2.                   To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3.                   The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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

5.                   Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

6.                   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

7.                   Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

8.                   Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

9.                   Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

10.               The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

11.               The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

12.               Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

13.               Ulysses by James Joyce

14.               Lord of the Flies by William Golding

15.               Animal Farm by George Orwell

16.               Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

17.               Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

18.               Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

19.               Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

20.               The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

21.               Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

22.               Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

23.               East of Eden by John Steinbeck

24.               One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

25.               The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

26.               Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

27.               Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

28.               A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

29.               War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

30.               The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

31.               Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

32.               The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

33.               The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

34.               The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

35.               Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

36.               The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

37.               A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

38.               The Stranger by Albert Camus

39.               The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

40.               A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

41.               Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

42.               One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

43.               The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

44.               Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

45.               The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

46.               Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

47.               Moby Dick by Herman Melville

48.               The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

49.               Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

50.               Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

51.               Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

52.               The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

53.               On the Road by Jack Kerouac

54.               Watership Down by Richard Adams

55.               A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

56.               Life of Pi by Yann Martel

57.               The Stand by Stephen King

58.               Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

59.               His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

60.               Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

61.               A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

62.               Middlemarch by George Eliot

63.               Dracula by Bram Stoker

64.               Dune by Frank Herbert

65.               Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

66.               The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

67.               Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

68.               The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

69.               The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

70.               Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

71.               Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

72.               Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

73.               Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

74.               The Trial by Franz Kafka

75.               Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

76.               Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

77.               The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

78.               To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

79.               David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

80.               The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

81.               For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

82.               The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

83.               Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

84.               Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

85.               Atonement by Ian McEwan

86.               I, Claudius by Robert Graves

87.               Persuasion by Jane Austen

88.               A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

89.               The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

90.               The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

91.               Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

92.               The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

93.               Beloved by Toni Morrison

94.               The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

95.               Emma by Jane Austen

96.               As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

97.               It by Stephen King

98.               Light in August by William Faulkner

99.               Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

100.            Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

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3 thoughts on “Best 100 Novels

  1. Pingback: Topics about Books » Best 100 Novels

  2. Pingback: Catch-22 « Simplyjess’s Blog

  3. Pingback: Reading List – Making Progress « Simplyjess’s Blog

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