100 Best Novels

I have always been fascinated by lists with names like The 100 Best Novels, or 100 Classic Books.

I was browsing the Modern Library (American publishing company) list of the 100 Best Novels, and make a list of the novels I have read and those novels I would like to read. There are two lists, The Board’s List and The Reader’s List.

I don’t think it is necessary to read all of these novels but a good cross-section.

Top 10 books on the Board’s list:

  1. 1922 Ulysses – James Joyce
  2. 1925 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. 1916 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  4. 1955 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  5. 1932 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  6. 1929 The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  7. 1961 Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  8. 1940 Darkness at Noon – Arthur Koestler
  9. 1913 Sons and Lovers – D. H. Lawrence
  10. 1939 The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

I have read the books marked in bold so my goal for the next six months is to read the remaining titles. You can learn more about these books by following the links in the Wikipedia article about this link.

I reviewed both lists in the Modern Library page and compiled a list of books I have read as well as my list of novels to read.

Books already read

Adams, Douglas Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Bradbury, Ray Fahrenheit 451
Burgess, Anthony A Clockwork Orange
Burroughs, William The Naked Lunch
Conrad, Joseph Heart of Darkness
Golding, William Lord of the Flies
Hammett, Dashiel The Maltese Falcon
Heinlein, Robert Stranger in a Strange Land
Heinlein, Robert The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Heller, Joseph Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms
Herbert, Frank Dune
Huxley, Aldous Brave New World
Irving, John The World According to Garp
Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Joyce, James Finnegans Wake
Joyce, James Ulysses
Kerouac, Jack On the Road
Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird
Nabokov, Vladimir Lolita
Nabokov, Vladimir Pale Fire
Orwell, George 1984
Orwell, George Animal Farm
Pirsig, Robert Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Rushdie, Salman The Satanic Verses
Salinger, J. D. Catcher in the Rye
Shute, Nevil On the Beach
Tarkington, Booth The Magnificent Andersons
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings
Vonnegut, Kurt Slaughterhouse Five
Waugh, Evelyn Brideshead Revisited

Books to read

Baldwin, James Go Tell it on the Mountain
Bach, Richard Illusions
Bowles, Paul The Sheltering Sky
Clancy, Tom The Hunt for Red October
Conrad, Joseph Lord Jim
Conrad, Joseph Nostromo
Conrad, Joseph The Secret Agent
Dickey, James Deliverance
Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby
Ford, Ford Madox The Good Soldier
Forster, E.M. A Passage to India
Forster, E.M. Howards End
Fowles, John The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Graves, Robert I, Claudius
Greene, Graham The Heart of the Matter
Hemingway, Ernest The Sun Also Rises
Irving, John A Prayer for Owen Meany
Kesey, Ken One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Kipling, Rudyard Kim
Koestler, Arthur Darkness at Noon
London, Jack The Call of the Wild
Lowry, Malcolm Under the Volcano
Roth, Philip Portnoy’s Complaint
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath
Styron, William Sophie’s Choice
Woolf, Virginia To the Lighthouse

How about your novel reading?

Which novels have you read and which novels would you like to read?

Is there a novel which you think should be on the list?

Please share your answers in the comments.


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Author: charuzu

I live in Sydney and interests include music, piano playing, technology, cooking, English language, public speaking, Toastmasters, Asian culture (especially Japan and Korea), cinema, personal development, productivity and making friends with people from around the world.

3 thoughts on “100 Best Novels”

  1. Don’t feel bad about not having read some of the classics, you still have plenty of time.
    Nobody will regret not having read “Moby Dick” or “War and Peace” once they’re dead. But when you are 80 and alive and there is nothing good left to be read, you might regret having rushed through all these volumes earlier.
    Take your time throughout life with good books: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/take-your-time-with-good-books/

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