The Hundred Best Books Ever

(More or Less)

NOTE:  To see a composite listing of best books ever & submit your favorite 25 books to this list, click here!

Disclaimer...

This list was compiled on 12 August 1998.  That was a while ago.  I forgot The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, which is one of my all-time favorites & slipped my mind.  I also hadn't yet read Ray Bradbury's Death is a Lonely Business, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five & Mother Night, Joseph Heller's Catch-22, John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, & Aldous Huxley's Time Must Have a Stop.  All these books either would've made this list or come close.  So now they get the credit they deserve here.  I'm sure that in 20 years, this list will have completely changed, excpet maybe the top ten.  But that's what makes life fun!  Yes, this was inspired by the Modern Library's compilation of their favorite 100 English-language novels since 1900.  This is a much broader list.  By the way, I hold myself & my dedicated constant voting personally responsible for getting Watership Down & Fahrenheit 451 in the top eighty of the readers' poll.  It has been observed by many that this list is filled with a good number of "children's" books... but I must admit that most of my life has been spent in childhood & as yet, the following works have had the greatest impact on me.

-SWC, 22 February 1999, Waltham, Massachusetts

THE TOP TEN
#1
#2
#3
#4

#5
(#30 pictured;
same author)

#6
#7
#8

#9
(#37 in
same volume)

#10


The 100 Best Books I’ve Read So Far
1.  Watership Down, Richard Adams
2.  Brave New World, Aldous Huxley*
3.  1984, George Orwell*
4.  Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
5.  Non-Violent Resistance: Satyagraha, Mohandas K. Gandhi
6.  The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
7.  Island, Aldous Huxley
8.  Green Shadows, White Whale, Ray Bradbury
9.  In the Penal Colony, Franz Kafka
10.  The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger*
11.  The Last Battle, C. S. Lewis
12.  Borderliners, Peter Hoeg
13.  Animal Farm, George Orwell*
14.  Our Town, Thornton Wilder
15.  Beware the Fish!, Gordon Korman
16.  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
17.  The Mouse That Roared (series), Leonard Wibberly
18.  Night, Elie Wiesel
19.  Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
20.  The Short Stories, Ernest Hemingway
21.  The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald*
22.  Antigone, Sophocles
23.  I Sing the Body Electric!, Ray Bradbury
24.  Trout Fishing in America, Richard Brautigan
25.  All Creatures Great and Small (series), James Herriot
26.  Babar’s Anniversary Book, Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff
27.  Pigs Might Fly, Dick King-Smith
28.  James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
29.  The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
30.  Gandhi on Non-Violence, Mohandas K. Gandhi
31.  The Little History of the Wide World, Mable Pyne
32.  The Magus, John Fowles*
33.  The Silver Chair, C. S. Lewis
34.  Hamlet, William Shakespeare
35.  Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
36.  A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines
37.  The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
38.  The Zucchini Warriors, Gordon Korman
39.  The Celery Stalks at Midnight, James Howe
40.  Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction, J. D. Salinger
41.  Beloved, Toni Morrison
42.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
43.  The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
44.  Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare
45.  Danny, Champion of the World, Roald Dahl
46.  The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury
47.  The Time Garden, Edward Eager
48.  The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne
49.  A Medicine for Melancholy, Ray Bradbury
50.  40 Stories, Donald Barthelme
51.  Matilda, Roald Dahl
52.  The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
53.  Losing Joe’s Place, Gordon Korman
54.  Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book, Howard R. Garis
55.  Nine Stories, J. D. Salinger
56.  The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot
57.  The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
58.  No Coins, Please, Gordon Korman
59.  The Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
60.  The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader", C. S. Lewis
61.  Franny and Zooey, J. D. Salinger
62.  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
63.  The Peace Book, Bernard Benson
64.  The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe
65.  Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
66.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
67.  Boy, Roald Dahl
68.  Nothing But the Truth, Avi
69.  Little House on the Prarie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
70.  The Toynbee Convector, Ray Bradbury
71.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Eleanor Coerr
72.  The October Country, Ray Bradbury
73.  Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Roald Dahl
74.  The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
75.  Bunnicula, Deborah and James Howe
76.  Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
77.  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
78.  A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag, Gordon Korman
79.  The Haunted Bookshop, Christopher Morley
80.  We, Yevgeny Zamyatin
81.  Magic or Not?, Edward Eager
82.  The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (series), Hugh Lofting
83.  A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
84.  Driving Blind, Ray Bradbury
85.  Long After Midnight, Ray Bradbury
86.  Early Stories, Anton Chekov
87.  Marcovaldo, Italo Calvino
88.  Dubliners, James Joyce
89.  Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
90.  Quicker Than the Eye, Ray Bradbury
91.  Miracle on 34th Street, Valentine Davies
92.  A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
93.  How to Play Better Baseball, C. Paul Jackson
94.  Dear Mr. Henshaw, Beverly Cleary
95.  The Golden Apples of the Sun, Ray Bradbury
96.  Frog and Toad are Friends (series), Arnold Lobel
97.  I Will Adventure, Elizabeth Janet Gray
98.  The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
99.  Mossflower, Brian Jacques
100.  Who is Bugs Potter?, Gordon Korman
*-indicates actual presence on the Modern Library list

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