A Unified List of the Best 100 Novels

This list was generated by merging 10 different ‘top 100’ lists from the UK, US, Australia and Canada, to see if the cream floated to the top. The lists are a mixture of public popularity and literary merit. Interestingly, only one book appeared on every list: it’s in first place here.

Note that I merged lists from English-speaking countries, so there is undoubtedly a bias towards books originally written in English. I’ve written a separate post on generating a list of best 100 novels, which describes the method, and the specific lists I included.

Where possible, book titles are linked through to the Project Gutenberg free ebook.

Rank Book Author
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
2. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. The Grapes Of Wrath John Steinbeck
4. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
5. Catch-22 Joseph Heller
6. One Hundred Years Of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
7. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
8. Ulysses James Joyce
9. On The Road Jack Kerouac
10. The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
11. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
12. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
13. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
15. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
16. War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
17. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
18. Animal Farm George Orwell
19. Crime And Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
21. Lord Of The Flies William Golding
22. Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
23. Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
24. Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
26. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
27. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien
28. To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
29. Middlemarch George Eliot
30. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
31. Dune Frank Herbert
32. Brave New World Aldous Huxley
33. A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving
34. Watership Down Richard Adams
35. The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
36. Little Women Louisa May Alcott
37. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
38. Anne Of Green Gables LM Montgomery
39. Emma Jane Austen
40. Memoirs Of A Geisha Arthur Golden
41. Beloved Toni Morrison
42. Of Mice And Men John Steinbeck
43. The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
44. Les Miserables Victor Hugo
45. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
46. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
47. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
48. Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
49. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
50. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres
51. Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
52. Life of Pi Yann Martel
53. A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
54. The Count Of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
55. A Passage to India E.M. Forster
56. Moby Dick Herman Melville
57. A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth
58. The Stand Stephen King
59. Possession A.S. Byatt
60. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
61. A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens
62. The Trial Franz Kafka
63. I, Claudius Robert Graves
64. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
65. The Secret History Donna Tartt
66. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
67. The Harry Potter Series J.K. Rowling
68. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky
69. Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
70. Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
71. The Pillars Of The Earth Ken Follett
72. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
73. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
74. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
75. An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
76. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
77. Bleak House Charles Dickens
78. The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
79. A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
80. The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemmingway
81. Nostromo Joseph Conrad
82. Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry
83. The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
84. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
85. The Stranger Albert Camus
86. Native Son Richard Wright
87. Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
88. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
89. Perfume Patrick Süskind
90. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
91. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
92. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
93. Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov
94. Persuasion Jane Austen
95. Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
96. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
97. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
98. Atonement Ian McEwan
99. Light in August William Faulkner
100. The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett

When the BBC ran The Big Read, I set myself a goal of reading all of the Big Read Top 100. As I’ve been working through the list it has been clear that some books are there due to their popularity at the time of the poll, and others are more enduring.

An online search for other lists quickly revealed that certain books appear near the top of most lists (Great Expectations, for example), others vary widely (for example Ulysses), and some books only appear on one list (national favourites, such as Tim Winton’s excellent Cloudstreet, from Australia). All of the books in this merged 100 appear on at least three lists, the top 10 are in 7 or more lists.

The only editing of the list I’ve done is to collapse series down to a single entry, where appropriate. Some lists have the Harry Potter books listed separately, other as a single entry.

This entry was posted in Books, Fiction, Lists, Literature, Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to A Unified List of the Best 100 Novels

  1. Cliff Burns says:

    That’s a helluva list and I haven’t read nearly enough of the books on it. Surprising to see Kerouac still riding with the big boys–I think his star is in rapid decline; to me, William Burroughs was a far better writer and intellect. Thanks for this…

  2. neilbowers says:

    I guess it’s all a matter of the half-life of books. In a few years The DaVinci Code won’t be appearing on lists, but Great Expectations still will.

    I’m currently reading David Copperfield, which will be my 51st entry off this list, and 80th off the Big Read.

  3. A.E. says:

    The whole thing seems a bit skewed in favour of the last 150 years. Grass and not Goethe? Dumas and not Moliere? Pullman and not Shakespeare???

  4. ering1 says:

    I quite like this list, it gives a broader list to choose from. I’m happy to say I’ve read quite a few books on this list, but not enough!

    I think I’ll print it out and tape it to the side of my bookcase…

  5. Emily says:

    The only one I object to is The DaVinci Code. Sure, it was an entertaining read, but one of the best? Highly unlikely. Another contemporary novel on the list, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is very deserving, and should at least appear higher than The DaVinci Code.

  6. stan says:

    I’m guessing that the list is an attempt at comedy.[?]
    NOTHING by Graham Greene?
    Surely, the list jests.
    “Greene is the best writer in the English language – or ANY language.” – Faulkner

  7. Pseron Wyrd says:

    To A.E. – There’s a good reason why Dumas beat out Moliere and Pullman beat out Shakespeare. Moliere and Shakespeare didn’t write novels.

  8. Brandon says:

    Interesting to see only a few books in translation on this list. Did the original lists uniformly allow translated books, or did some only allow books originally written in English in their rankings?

  9. Sean says:

    The book I never see on these lists (I’ve read about 80% of any Great Books list I’ve seen) is Infinite Jest — my candidate for the best American Novel Ever. The thing is so vast, complex, and funny that after three reads I’m still hooked and looking forward to my next time through. David Foster Wallace is to literature as Richard Feynman was to physics. And (while I’m in a metaphor mood)The Da Vinci Code is to literature what pop tarts are to cuisine. Somebody must have been kidding around with that one.

  10. Rob Anderson says:

    Toni Morrison?! It was enough of an abomination that she won the Nobel Prize!

  11. neilbowers says:

    The first Graham Greene in the list is The Heart of the Matter, at number 134.
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is at 274. I’ll do another article soon on what the lists were, and how I merged them.

    The thing with lists like this is that people will never agree. But it’s certainly been interesting using this to guide my reading.

  12. David Bartlett says:

    Out of the 100 great novels only 15 or so are not originally in English. That’s very curious. Has anyone else noticed this?

  13. Lex Pk says:

    Only 12 of the 100 are non-English ans except for Don Quixote, all are very recent, very male and very European.

  14. Lex Pk says:

    Include: Satyricon, The Golden Ass, Band of Brothers, the Dream of the Red Chamber,Gargantua and Pantagruel, Pilgrims’ Progress, the Princess of Cleves, Gulliver’s Travels.
    Also, at least one work from the following:
    Dafoe, Rousseau, Diderot,Stendahl, Goethe, Balzac, Turgenev, Colette.

  15. downcastmysoul says:

    I got 24 out of 100, guess I need to read more! Make the eye doctors of the world richer by needing bifocals prematurely! Have to check out this author named David Foster Wallace..he wrote the “great American novel”???? Did not see Joyce Carol Oates…

  16. Sister Wolf says:

    Lord of the Rings rates higher than War and Peace? Tragic.

  17. Kirk says:

    Lonesome Dove was just as good as any book on that list I have read. And Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is much better than most books on this list.

  18. Haymoon says:

    Disappointing not to see Herman Wouk’s excellent novel “the Caine Mutiny” on the list

  19. jjlocant says:

    While of course I don’t agree with all the entries or their order, this is a very insightful list. I would agree with another commenter that it is representative of only the last 150 years of the american/english lit.

  20. kopywright says:

    Ayn Rand? Dan Brown? Do they really belong with Tolstoy, Márquez and Dickens? Then there are a couple who wrote ‘smart’ books, like Joseph Heller. Are they really timeless, classic writers? And Hardy deserves more than one mention. Vikram Seth and J.K. Rowling seem to be sentimental inclusions.

  21. jameswharris says:

    I’ve been using the wisdom of the masses to create cross-tab lists for awhile. I have two you might like to look at.

    One for general lit:


    And one for science fiction:


  22. This is a great list. though i’ve not been through a novel for quite some time. I’ve had the opportunity to go through some of these.

  23. Miande says:

    Perhaps the method is the cause of the ridiculousness of the list. Look at just the top 10: only two novels belong there.

  24. downcastmysoul says:

    I looked up Mr. Wallace and it seems as if he would fit into the category of the “artists” that Ellsworth Toohey was trying to mentor in the Fountainhead…artists that had no merit but were only worthy in that their works were non-art, therefore, suitable for society today in which there are no morals nor standards. From the little I read of him it seems he uses odd little gimmicks to set his “writing” off from his peers such as using very rare archaic old words and footnoting his fiction…

    The list above forgot to mention any work by Thomas Wolfe, Jack London, Taylor Caldwell, Susan Warner, Salman Rushdie, the Pilgrim’s Progress or the Bible.

  25. batguano101 says:

    My end score missed 39 of 100.

    I was a voracious fiction reader for three decades or more. No more.

    The reason is simple:
    some of those 39 I did not read are not worthy of reading, even from a book bag traveling by ship, train, and bus around the world- meaning they should not be read.

    There is too much excellent history, science, medicine, computing, and first person accounts of two wars to put time in on fiction any longer.

    That is an English major’s take on it, and I stand by my remarks.

  26. Sean says:

    Wallace does use a lot of gimmicks, and the first time I looked at something of his, a short story, I thought the same thing as castdownmysoul. I don’t enjoy his short stories, though the stuff he’s done for magazines (collected in “Another Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” and “Consider the Lobster”) are as funny as anything I’ve read, as well as cringingly honest. He’s like Pynchon, but unlike Gravity’s Rainbow and V — which are clearly brilliant — no part of I.J. reads as if you are slogging through it just to get to the next interesting part. And there is also no part of IJ that is not in some way joking. Sometimes slapstick, sometimes cynical, usually tongue-in-cheek. Even the sometimes obscure (and even made-up) vocabulary almost always serves a double purpose of being a joke. And I agree that a good part of this list belongs nowhere near a great books list, but that’s half the fun — giving yourself a high five for the selections you’ve read and agree with, carping about the injustice of exclusions and the insult of inclusions you don’t agree with.

  27. Pingback: Best 100 Novels Lists Unified « Moue Magazine

  28. …a reasonable list of good reads, everyone has their prejudices but Jayne Anne Phillips “Machine Dreams” and Lionel Shriver’s “We have to talk About Kevin” should be there. Agree re “Lonesome Dove” !

  29. Tim C says:

    The Da Vinci Code is in front of Madame Bovary. The list is immediately discredited.

  30. Luke Lea says:

    Thank God, no Phillip Roth

  31. lifecreativitycoach says:

    I like this list and have read many of them. Thanks for putting the list all together.


  32. Toryhere says:

    Too much American tat in the top ten.

  33. earl of sidcup says:

    Hard to take seriously a list that doesn’t include Proust– In Search of Lost Time would certainly be top of my list. And nothing by Henry James??

  34. Theresa K says:

    Actually, it strikes me as a fairly mediocre list.
    Almost all of the novels are high-school curriculum material, and probably chosen because most of the respondents never read anything afterwards.

    The rest are larely current best-sellers (Da Vinci Code, Atonement, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) or popular sci-fi/fantasy with cult followings (Dune, LOTR, Harry Potter).

    Plus a few other books and authors with cult followings (Kerouac, King, Atwood, Vonnegut).

  35. LJW says:

    Well I’ve got through 49 on the list. I do agree that the top 10 is US and male-heavy – having read both Fitzgerald and Tolstoy, how The Great Gatsby can come before Anna Karenina confounds me!

    My personal recommendation would be The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Seidensticker’s translation): simply beautiful. And The Da Vinci Code’s place would surely be better taken by Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose…

  36. Si says:

    I got 25 out of 100, I have discounted those partially read (still need to get through The Sound and the Fury and Don Quixote).

    These lists are all good fun, but utterly meaningless. What the devil are The Da Vinci Code and Memoirs of a Geisha doing on the list?

    Anyway, I agree with the chap who said that Blood Meridian is better than most of the books on the list. I’d also stick books such as The Master and Margarita, The Stars My Destination and Silence on there.

  37. Mark says:

    Not to be nigly, but the Potter series is not a novel.
    LoTR is not a novel, per se, but a set of three novels, none of which alone make a top-100 list.
    Same to be said of Pullman.

    With appreciation for what you’ve attempted here, all lists such as this (and the ones from which this was generated) are doomed to fail due to about a gabillion factors, most importantly because they are generated through the vehicle of subjectivity. As there is no objective way to ‘rank’ a novel’s worth.

    That being said:
    No Gaddis. No Sterne. And Life of Pi higher than Moby Dick.

  38. chirax says:

    Shucks I’ve only read 11, of them is that bad?

  39. batguano101 says:


    Not really.

    When I discovered reading books as a child the idea leaped to mind: Whoa! I have access to all the great minds and thoughts of man recorded. If I read these great writers I will harvest all their thoughts, experiences, and skip on to greater understanding of life, the universe, and avoid pitfalls, learn every known aspect of “truth” that has been found so far.

    So I read night and day for many years.

    Here is the conclusion: I came the full circle and stopped reading fiction, did not avoid any of the pitfalls of man, and was better served to read the Bible regarding truth.

    Diving into literature as an obsession is a good pastime, does broaden you views of life and give you pegs to hang observations and experiences on, but we learn by doing even if we have read various views on any topic.

    Travel beats literature, wars beat travel, raising children beat both.

  40. Frank says:

    “was better served to read the Bible regarding truth”

    He, he, he.

  41. Rainbow Warrior says:

    While the bible isn’t a novel, it contains a lot of fiction, some of it well translated and deserves to be read for the existential truths about the human condition. But don’t take the fairy stories too seriously.

  42. thesouz77 says:

    I would have included Tim Gautereaux The Clearing or Richard Russo Empire Falls in this list. All in all though, a good list.

  43. KDJ14 says:

    Good overall list….Native Son and Brave New World need to be at least in the top 10. And where is Jean Genet????

  44. noncroyant says:

    “LoTR is not a novel, per se, but a set of three novels, none of which alone make a top-100 list.”

    The Lord of the Rings was written as a novel. It was broken down into three books by the original publisher.

  45. Rick Hawkins says:

    Lists are always ridiculous! I can give you 100 reasons why lists are irrelevant. This one gets some right but there are many ghastly anomalies. Gone With the Wind at number 7? Margaret Mitchell pipping all of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Austen, Eliot and the Brontes? A greater novel than Ulysses? This is probably beyond silly except that the lists are a combination of popular choices as well as critics’ choices. Do you know anyone who’s read Ulysses? I’ve read it but I’m one of those chardonnay-sipping (except I rarely drink alcohol), latte-quaffing (except I don’t drink coffee), elitists (though I live in a very unfashionable part of Sydney) so what would I know.

  46. Pottering says:

    A good list to brush up on what you should give a look. The book that is totally undeserving IMHO is Memoirs of a Geisha, still can’t fathom how a book so ordinary was so praised.

  47. donstuff says:

    Thanks for the compilation. The comments were fun to read as well. It’s enjoyable to see so much passion for (or in some cases, against) good literature. It was also wonderful to see A Prayer for Owen Meany on the list.

  48. Michael says:

    So very glad to see this on the list:

    Perfume – Patrick Süskind

    One of my favorites (long before there was any movie)

  49. Alex says:

    Unfortunately the scum floats to the top as well as the cream. Personally I would rate the total omission of any Thomas Mann as the greatest surprise. Some of the books included are beyond ridiculous – Winnie the Pooh indeed! That is NOT a novel. At most, about 30 of this list actually deserve to be in the top 100.

  50. Ok, so I have read most of these books during my university life. It’s the idea that bugs me. Why should any list, 100 or 1000 represent fine literature or ‘must read’ books? What seems critical to me is this; did a particular novel advance the novel as a literary form? William Faulkner, D.H.Laurence are two that come to mind. For sure that list isn’t a long one.

  51. Phillip Roth says:

    Where is Twilight?

  52. batguano101 says:

    Rainbow Warrior-

    Your name sounds like an allusion to homosexuals, which would explain why you discount the Bible.

    The Bible condemns homosexuals soundly, notes cities destroyed with fire and brimstone for that, and states those who practice it will not enter into the Kingdom of God.

    Even if you are fighting God on that matter, you might still hone your reading skills. I stopped reading fiction in any search for wisdom or truth, which is better served by reading the Bible. Careful reading would have understood that from the prior remark.

  53. neilbowers says:

    Phillip Roth, do you mean Twilight by Stephenie Meyer? That didn’t make it onto any of the lists that I merged to create this list.

  54. FlyingSpaghettiMonster says:


    I believe that the Bible definitely should be in the ‘fiction’ category, but wouldn’t make my top 100 I’m afraid.

    I prefer my fiction to be entertaining and thought-provoking, and my non-fiction to be, well, non-fictional.

  55. Cap'n Dan says:

    I read The DaVinci Code, and found it entertaining, but not enlightening in the way a great novel is. My vote? “Sometimes a Great Notion” by Ken Kesey.

  56. Hal Booker says:

    I looked over your list. What a load of crap. Nobody in their right mind would read Moby Dick, for instance.

  57. Kas says:

    Don Quixote at #69? This is the first, great western novel! Any novelist of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries worth their salt will have read it and responds to it in some way. I quote Caroll Johnson: “Don Quixote resumes the existing theories of literature and anticipates all the theories and strategies of literary criticism that have come along since 1605.” It’s the earliest and the greatest, and continues to amaze every time I read it.

  58. Kim says:

    I love your list! I don’t necessarily agree with everything on it, but I like it. I am going to start a reading project to make my way through all of them no matter how much I don’t want to read Gone with the Wind!!! Wish me luck! Thanks for the list!

  59. drj11 says:

    Atlas Shrugged. Ouch.

  60. pooja says:

    You could have considered books by Arthur Hailey/ Man Woman and Child / Lee Iacocca/ You seem to have an inclination towards classics.Not everybodies cuppa tea.

  61. downcastmysoul says:

    No no!!!!

    David Foster Wallace is dead!!! Now I feel BAD for dissing his book w/o even reading it! I looked for Infinite Jest at our local library system and it’s only at 2 small branches. Guess I should have checked it out when I had the chance. It will have a huge waiting list now! I was going to read it (maybe) after I finally got Ayn Rand out of my system as my “next” big book to read.

  62. weave77 says:

    I, for one, am completely dumbfounded why “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is ranked so low. In my (lowly) personal opinion it should at least be in the top ten. It is the first great American novel (those who say it’s Moby Dick have no clue what they’re talking about). Mark Twain basically summarized entire cultures of an American Era (uncomfortably accurately too, I might add) with a single sequel to a “children’s book”. I would love to see Dan Brown try to match that.

  63. jackie says:

    Does anyone happen to know the name of the website where you can type in an author and then it will show a graphic with your author in the center and then other authors you are likely to enjoy will appear closer or futher away from the center? I can’t remember and i would like to find it again. Thank you!

  64. Twill says:

    Not sure I agree with the “didn’t make top 100 list is minus 500”.

    How similar is the list if you just do the obvious? I.E., give 100 points to the top slot, 99 to the second and so on down to 1 for the last slot, then sum the numbers?

    I would think that any book that made number one on any list should have a strong chance to appear on the final list, wouldn’t you say?

  65. neilbowers says:

    [In response to Twill]

    With your scoring scheme, the top half of the list doesn’t change much, there’s just a bit of shuffling. For example 8 of the top 10 are the same, and 1984 is still number one. The two lists overlap by 90 books.

    Some of the books added to the list are The Woman in White; Dracula; Frankenstein; East of Eden.

    A book that’s number 1 on an individual list should probably appear on a unified list (they all do appear on my list), but if such a book didn’t appear on any other list, then I wouldn’t feel too bad if it didn’t make the final list.

  66. michael mcdowall says:

    i realy cant believe that the counte of monte cristo is only at no.54 on this list as this book touched me in a way i never thought a book could,i read 1984 and catcher in the rye and found them terribly boring. an awesome book that i feel sad is not on the list is kane and abel by jeffery archer which reminded me in parts by the writing of the count. i still have a long way go before i read all of these classics but when i do i will be able to compile my own list and merit them as they deserve in my eye

  67. downcastmysoul says:

    Guess what I’m reading now?

  68. mick dole says:

    No way, go on tell us

  69. Ann Ominous says:

    Thanks for the list. I’m not here to offer an opinion, I read non fiction for so long i got sick of reading and didn’t know what to read next, found this on the net and i look to it sometimes for suggestion. The arguing in here was hilarious, too bad it’s dropped off.. and I think Phillip Roth was pulling your leg with ‘twilight’ I never thought i’d read 1984. loved it. same for war and peace.

    • neilbowers says:

      I re-read 1984 (decades after the first read), and enjoyed it more than I expected. War and Peace has been one of the surprises for me: I almost dreaded it, given the size and the comments I got from others. But it is one of my favourites from the list. I’m currently reading Crime and Punishment, and enjoying that as well — obviously got a Russian thing going on.

  70. amber says:

    I have made a link to this in my blog. Hope you don’t mind.

  71. Pingback: A Consolidated List of 100 Novels « A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook

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  73. Pingback: The Best 100 Novels – The Ultimate List « Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  74. jay says:

    Another great list-good idea to unify other lists. I’ve been looking through this and others to get new reading material over the past year and a half and haven’t been disappointed yet.
    I do wonder why I rarely see Knut Hamsun on these lists. Does anyone have an opinion why? Is it due to his dubious political affiliations or do people not enjoy his writing anymore? He is a nobel laureate and at least some critics considered him father of modern literature. My favorites are Hunger, Pan and Growth of the Soil.

  75. Chris says:

    Thanks for the list, I appreciate the effort, but the list by Daniel Burt, that he made into a book, seems far superior. Gone with the Wind ahead of Joyce, Tolstoy, Dostoyevski, Nabokov, Dickens, Austen? I think that’s absolutely ludicrous. For people who want readability, easy pleasure, and don’t want to take the time to concentrate on more difficult, artful, profound books, Mitchell may seem the 7th greatest. How many people who devote themselves to serious study of literature conclude that Mitchell and Jack Kerouac deserve to be top ten of all time? None I can think of. The list by Modern Library, of the 100 best novels of the 20th century, is also much more vigorous, I think.

  76. Jess says:

    I have read a few of those books ing my english class including the no. 1. I will have to read a few more of these.

  77. Krys says:

    I compiled a list of my top 100 reads, but did not rank them, just listed the titles as they came to mind, with brief notes on each. My criterion was whether a book remained in my thoughts for a long time (over 4 decades in some cases) after I read it.

    My 100 includes 8 titles from your unified list. If you are interested, the list is on my blog.

  78. C. J. Alroe says:

    What a nerve! You leave out The Leopard, Auto De Fe and you include a list of kid’s books and Ayn Rand, you’re kidding.

    • neilbowers says:

      Re-read the first paragraph: this list was generated, not selected by me. There are plenty of books I’d like out of an edited list, but that’s not what this is.

  79. Say says:

    I see you don’t have any Jorge Luis Borges in your list. “The Aleph” or “Fictions” would do it.

  80. cricketmuse says:

    This is exactly what I needed for my AP class. Many thank!

  81. Richard says:

    Hello Neil,
    Have you considered republishing your unified list?
    Like you, I have been working my way through the BBC top 100 to fill in gaps in my literary experience.
    I notice that a previous commenter bemoaned the lack of Dickens (and I can add the Brontes and Jane Austin to that). I believe that in taking from lists that only include 20th century authors, you have skewed the overall results. This also applies to The Novel 100 which claims to exclude fantasy but somehow includes; Frankenstein, 1984 and 100 years of Solitude.
    Have you thought of applying a different weighting to lists that are not all-inclusive?
    A great idea all the same! And thanks for putting it together.

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