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Best books of the 20th century - a challenge ...

(67 Posts)
tinto Thu 28-Aug-08 11:44:56

Hi,
A couple of years ago my sister and I compiled the following list with the aim to read all the books on it by the time we dropped dead.
The list was compiled from a couple of different sources, so no - we didn't actually do the research ourselves!
So, here is the challenge - read all of these books! There are 176 of them.
In the meantime;
1. How many have you read?
2. What is missing and should be on this list?
3. What is on the list and shouldn't be? (I know, I don't get the Delia Smith cookbook either)
4. What are your favourites/what did you hate?

Disclaimer: The sources of this list are American and British, so you will find that reflected in the choices. Oh - and don't forget its only 20th century

Title
1984. George Orwell
2001 - a space odyssey. Arthur C. Clarke
A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
A brief history of time. Stephen Hawking
A clockwork orange. Anthony Burgess
A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. Alexander Solzhenitsyn
A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
A la recherche du temps perdu. Marcel Proust
A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
A prayer for Owen Meany. John Irvine
A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
A suitable boy. Vikram Seth
All quiet on the western front. Erich Maria Remarque
ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
American psycho. Bret Easton Ellis
AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
An evil cradling. Brian Keenan
ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara
AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
Beloved. Toni Morrison
Birdsong. Sebastian Faulks
BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
Brighton Rock. Graham Greene
Captain Corelli´s Mandolin. Louis de Bernières
CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
Charlie and the chocolate factory. Roald Dahl
Cider with Rosie. Laurie Lee
Complete cookery course. Delia Smith
Cry the beloved country. Alan Paton
DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather
DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
Doctor Zhivago. Boris Pasternak
Down and out in Paris and London. George Orwell
Dune. Frank Herbert
Earthly powers. Anthony Burgess
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. Hunter S. Thompson
FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
Gone with the wind. Margaret Mitchell
Gormenghast. Mervyn Peake
HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
High fidelity. Nick Hornby
HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
If this is a man. Primo Levi
INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
IRONWEED by William Kennedy
It. Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl
Jurassic Park. Michael Crichton
KIM by Rudyard Kipling
Lady Chatterley´s Lover. D.H. Lawrence
LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
Long walk to freedom. Nelson Mandela
LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
Love in a time of cholera. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
LOVING by Henry Green
Lucky Jim. Kingsley Amis
MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
Matilda. Roald Dahl
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
Of mice and men. John Steinbeck
ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
One hundred years of solitude. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Paddy Clarke ha ha ha. Roddy Doyle
PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
Perfume. Patrick Süskind
POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
Possession. A.S. Byatt
RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
Rebecca. Daphne du Maurier
SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
Sophie´s world. Jostein Gaarder
SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
Tales from the city. Armistead Maupin
TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Testament of youth. Vera Brittain
THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
The bell jar. Sylvia Plath
The BFG. Roald Dahl
The bonfire of the vanities. Tom Wolfe
THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
The colour purple. Alice Walker
THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
The diary of Anne Frank. Anne Frank
The French Lieutenant´s woman. John Fowles
THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The handmaid´s tale. Margaret Atwood
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
The heart of darkness. Joseph Conrad
THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
The hitchhiker´s guide to the galaxy. Douglas Adams
The hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien
The horse whisperer. Nicholas Ev
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. C.S. Lewis
The lord of the rings. J.R.R. Tolkien
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
THE MAGUS by John Fowles
THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
The master and Margarita. Mikhail Bulgakov
THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
The name of the rose. Umberto Eco
THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
The outsider. Albert Camus
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain
The power and the glory. Graham Greene
THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark
THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
The ragged-trousered philanthropists. Robert Tressell
The remains of the day. Kazuo Ishiguro
THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
The selfish gene. Richard Dawkins
THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
The stand. Stephen King
THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
The tin drum. Günter Grass
The trial. Franz Kafka
The unbearable lightness of being. Milan Kundera
The van. Roddy Doyle
THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
The wasp factory. Iain Banks
THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
The wind in the willows. Kenneth Grahame
THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
To kill a mockingbird. Harper Lee
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
Trainspotting. Irvine Welsh
TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
ULYSSES by James Joyce
UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
Watership down. Richard Adams
WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
Wild swans. Jung Chang
WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne
WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Robert Pirsig
ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm

cheesychips Thu 28-Aug-08 11:59:52

Only 32 for me.
Good luck - perhaps you could write a synopsis/review of each as you read them so that I can feel as though I had read them all too ;-)

tinto Thu 28-Aug-08 12:07:18

32 for me too Cheesy. I intend to read about one a year (on holiday), so wait with baited breath for my reviews!

suzywong Thu 28-Aug-08 12:08:08

30

I cant say I fully endorse your choices, but I am always greatly cheered to see Wide Sargasso Sea on a list. smile

saltire Thu 28-Aug-08 12:14:02

4 of them blush

VintageGardenia Thu 28-Aug-08 12:17:59

59 but it's a bit skewed by having the complete works of Roald Dahl on there! Plus while I use Delia I've never read the book through cover to cover...

bozza Thu 28-Aug-08 12:20:44

26 (inc Delia!). I am currently working my way through the BBC's top 100. I may move onto the list (which has a number of overlaps) subsequently. ie in about 5 years.

Seeline Thu 28-Aug-08 12:23:11

9 - shows what rubbish I must be reading, because I have always read. At least Winnie the Pooh was there... Maybe that tells me something blush

suzywong Thu 28-Aug-08 12:23:11

link to bbc top 100 please bozza

Aniyan Thu 28-Aug-08 12:23:45

45 for me - Gormenghast's there - yay grin
Glad to see a Margaret Atwood on there as I think she's a genius.

orangina Thu 28-Aug-08 12:29:04

61.... but that includes winnie the pooh and all the roald dahl, plus delia (why is that there?!?!)

Not sure I agree with all of them, will think about what I think is missing....

Wheelybug Thu 28-Aug-08 12:30:51

35. A good list....

TheOldestCat Thu 28-Aug-08 12:34:46

56. Reading is the one thing in life I'm good at!

Thanks for the list - will give me some inspiration next time I'm in the library (this afternoon to pay my fine) blush

TheOldestCat Thu 28-Aug-08 12:36:05

What's missing?

Anything by Alice Munro; she's a genius.

bozza Thu 28-Aug-08 12:37:30

bbc top 100

It is voted for by viewers though and so a bit stuffed with Harry Potters and Tracy Beakers. Have read HP but not TB. Currently have Catcher in the Rye out of the library but still on with my chick lit book.

bozza Thu 28-Aug-08 12:38:25

Did read the Count of Monte Cristo on holiday though so that was a biggie ticked off.....

claudiaschiffer Thu 28-Aug-08 12:52:11

48 for me - feel quite smug about that to be honest grin. I always think that I just read a load of crap, but i've actaully read some really good books. >Pats self on back<

Oh and I TOTALLY rated The Master and Margarita.

grouchomarx Thu 28-Aug-08 13:05:48

about 30 and have started and not managed to finish another 5 or so.

I'll deal with your other questions when I finish working through the pile of books I've got beside my bed!

MuffinMclay Thu 28-Aug-08 13:21:25

68.

Wouldn't include The Horsewhisperer myself.

My favourite would be Remains of the Day. Least favourite (of those I've read) is Prayer for Owen Meany.

MuffinMclay Thu 28-Aug-08 13:22:39

Should have something by Anne Tyler - Accidental Tourist imo.

janeite Thu 28-Aug-08 13:31:51

54 - but mainly because I've read all of those by Conrad (crap!), Waugh, Nabakov and Roald Dahl!

roseability Thu 28-Aug-08 13:32:39

Tolstoy's War & Peace and Anna Karenina

Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Lucifera Thu 28-Aug-08 13:48:59

31 or 32 I think - but have to say think it's a strange list. The Horse Whisperer???
Think Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy should be in there. It's quite a male list, isn't it? No disrespect to OP as I understand you compiled it from various existing lists.

bozza Thu 28-Aug-08 13:57:33

roseability it is supposed to be 20th Century only.

BeachBunni Thu 28-Aug-08 14:16:28

Only 20 blush

What's missing? I was going to say the same as roseability;
Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights
Crime and Punishment

Hmm 20th century:
Can think of far better Steven King books than the ones listed
Arthur C Clarke
The Hobbit

I'll get back to you once I have a think and the baby stopped whining

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