Saturday, January 24, 2009

Best Books of the 20th Century

I'm tired of everything on my bookshelf and was in search of something different. I happened upon the GoodReads poll "100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century." There has been some confusion about Neither Pride and Prejudice nor Twilight belong on the list - both good fiction, but not 20th century. 

I added my own vote to the list. Here are my top 45. 

Oh, and a few caveats:
I can't justify why a book is number 28 instead of 41, but I do think everything I have on my list deserves to be included. 
I only have 45 because I know there is a lot of good stuff that I haven't thought of yet.
These are all over the map - every possible genre - but I have read every book that I listed.
  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  3. Object Lessons - Anna Quindlen
  4. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  5. The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  7.  Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
  8. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  10. Exodus - Leon Uris
  11. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
  12. The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton
  13. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
  14. Roots - Alex Haley
  15. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  16. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  17. Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
  18. Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence
  19. A Suitable Boy  - Vikram Seth
  20. The Far Pavilions - M. M. Kaye
  21. Anthem - Ayn Rand
  22. Johnny Got His Gun - Dalton Trumbo
  23. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  24. Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  25. The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
  26. The Collected Stories of Colette - Colette
  27. Sarum - Edward Rutherfurd
  28. The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey
  29. The Lover  - Margureite Duras
  30. Welcome to the World Baby Girl! - Fannie Flagg
  31. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaimen
  32. The Giver - Lois Lowry
  33. Black Skin, White Masks - Frantz Fanon
  34. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues - Tom Robbins
  35. The House at Pooh Corner - A. A. Milne
  36. The Portable Dorothy Parker - Dorothy Parker
  37. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
  38. A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin
  39. The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
  40. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  41. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  42. 1984 - George Orwell
  43. Orientalism - Edward Said
  44. Otherland 1: City of Golden Shadow - Tad Williams
  45. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison


cathy said...

Love a good book list! I've read many of the books on your list, but I see many that I haven't - and many that will be going on my "to read" list for the future!

A Gwen Nelson said...

I hope you find a new favorite. My taste can be somewhat eclectic.