The Top 100 Books?

July 1, 2009 at 5:33 am 1 comment

090627_Books_330-edit3The latest issue of Newsweek Magazine is dedicated to books and reading. In introducing the content, editor Jon Meacham says “we have taken a highly subjective stab at naming books we think you could profitably read.” What follows is not only a great summer reading list of “What to Read Now…And Why” but also includes an interview with six notable authors; “best books” as picked by authors in a related field (i.e., Melissa Gilbert’s pick of best Hollywood Memoirs); a profile of Kay Ryan, current poet laureate of the United States; a fun feature on book covers; and several other book related articles.

The on-line edition of the magazine has the requisite Top 100 Books.*** Can you guess which books made it into the top 10? Which title is Number 1? We’d love to keep you in suspense, but for those of you who want to know, keep reading:

1. War and Peace
2. 1984
3. Ulysses
4. Lolita
5. The Sound and the Fury
6. Invisible Man
7. To the Lighthouse
8. The Iliad and The Odyssey
9. Pride and Prejudice
10. Divine Comedy

Two of my favorites are all the way down at nos. 19 and 21 respectively (Catch 22 and Grapes of Wrath ), and Lord of the Rings doesn’t show up until number 35.

Do you agree with the list? Want to see any titles added? Please add a comment below and let us know what you think.

***The complete list of 10 previously published lists that Newsweek drew upon included The Telegraph’s 110 best books/The Perfect Library, The Guardian’s top 100 books, Oprah’s Book Club, the St. John’s College reading list, Wikipedia’s list of all-time bestsellers, the New York Public Library’s books of the century, the Radcliffe Publishing Course’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, The Modern Library’s 100 best novels and 100 best works of nonfiction, Time’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present, and NEWSWEEK’s own list of current top 50 choices. For links to the individual lists, please click on “10 previously published lists” in this paragraph.


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