Best Books of the 20th Century
501 The Selfish Gene
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 52,376 ratings
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502 House of Sand and Fog
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 72,947 ratings
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503 A Lesson Before Dying
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 29,123 ratings
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504 Voyager (Outlander, #3)
by
4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 88,736 ratings
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505 Lord Jim
by
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 15,803 ratings
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506 God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 31,709 ratings
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507 The Thin Man
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 15,052 ratings
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508 The Celestine Prophecy (Cel...
by
3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 60,789 ratings
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509 The Tao of Pooh
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 54,722 ratings
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510 Waiting for the Barbarians
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 11,706 ratings
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511 The Executioner's Song
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 10,607 ratings
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512 The Gift of the Magi
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 51,160 ratings
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513 Our Town
by
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 24,129 ratings
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514 Ubik
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 31,998 ratings
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515 The Gospel According to Jes...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 9,951 ratings
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516 Cosmos
by
4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 42,115 ratings
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517 The Long Walk
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 51,956 ratings
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518 The Color of Water: A Black...
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 60,736 ratings
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519 The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2)
by
4.49 of 5 stars 4.49 avg rating — 43,591 ratings
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520 Flowers in the Attic (Dolla...
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 85,843 ratings
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521 A Death in the Family
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 8,158 ratings
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522 The Portable Dorothy Parker
by
4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 7,447 ratings
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523 Post Office
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 42,524 ratings
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524 The Rainmaker
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 103,871 ratings
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525 Beach Music
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 24,576 ratings
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526 Doomsday Book (Oxford Time ...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 22,016 ratings
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527 Grendel
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 20,016 ratings
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528 Fall on Your Knees
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 39,177 ratings
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529 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 29,428 ratings
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530 Dragonflight (Pern, #1)
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 66,894 ratings
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531 Wise Blood
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 13,358 ratings
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532 Look Homeward, Angel
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 7,229 ratings
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533 This Side of Paradise
by
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 30,688 ratings
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534 Remembrance of Things Past:...
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 2,181 ratings
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534 Love Story (Love Story, #1)
by
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 32,137 ratings
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536 The Age of Reason
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 5,902 ratings
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537 Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 26,127 ratings
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538 Tortilla Flat
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 24,119 ratings
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539 White Oleander
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 182,649 ratings
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540 Daughter of Fortune
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 74,686 ratings
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541 Animal Farm / 1984
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 61,983 ratings
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542 The Lathe of Heaven
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 19,753 ratings
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543 Tales of Ordinary Madness
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 11,146 ratings
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544 Cryptonomicon (Cryptonomico...
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 55,033 ratings
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545 Skinny Legs and All
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 29,290 ratings
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546 Harriet the Spy (Harriet th...
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 53,424 ratings
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547 Raise High the Roof Beam, C...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 30,303 ratings
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548 Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan,...
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 19,985 ratings
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549 The Threepenny Opera
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 5,088 ratings
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550 At the Mountains of Madness...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 16,201 ratings
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551 On the Banks of Plum Creek ...
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 61,553 ratings
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552 Miss Lonelyhearts/The Day o...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 5,801 ratings
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552 The Right Stuff
by
4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 23,482 ratings
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554 A Soldier of the Great War
by
4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 3,980 ratings
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555 Suttree
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 9,315 ratings
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556 Tai-Pan (Asian Saga, #2)
by
4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 24,489 ratings
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557 The Queen of the Damned (Th...
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 90,074 ratings
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557 The Dead Zone
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 100,362 ratings
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559 Babbit
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 11,435 ratings
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560 Ramona the Pest (Ramona, #2)
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 38,815 ratings
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561 Needful Things
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 117,328 ratings
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562 Main Street
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 14,575 ratings
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563 The Moviegoer
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 13,407 ratings
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564 Welcome to the Monkey House
by
4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 31,632 ratings
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565 The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 80,024 ratings
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566 Guards! Guards! (Discworld,...
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 72,052 ratings
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567 The Day of the Triffids
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 42,717 ratings
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568 Women in Love (Brangwen Fam...
by
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 18,051 ratings
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569 Kim
by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 16,898 ratings
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570 How Green Was My Valley
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 8,059 ratings
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571 The Jewel in the Crown (The...
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 2,507 ratings
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572 The Chronicles of Thomas Co...
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 8,760 ratings
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573 Empire of the Sun
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 8,514 ratings
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574 Dandelion Wine (Green Town,...
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 27,115 ratings
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575 Trinity
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 12,080 ratings
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576 The Electric Kool-Aid Acid ...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 43,928 ratings
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577 The Good Soldier Švejk
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 5,661 ratings
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577 The Sheltering Sky
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 13,170 ratings
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579 We Were the Mulvaneys
by
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 58,889 ratings
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580 Digital Fortress
by
3.51 of 5 stars 3.51 avg rating — 277,119 ratings
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581 Thoughts from Walden Pond
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,610 ratings
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582 Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)
by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 166,315 ratings
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583 Crossing to Safety
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 18,627 ratings
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584 Patriot Games (Jack Ryan, #1)
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 87,147 ratings
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585 We
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 28,746 ratings
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586 A Year in Provence
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 34,737 ratings
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587 Love Medicine
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 11,822 ratings
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588 Independent People
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 3,454 ratings
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589 Illusions: The Adventures o...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 33,826 ratings
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590 Last Exit To Brooklyn
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 11,523 ratings
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591 A Man for All Seasons
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 6,235 ratings
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592 Generation X: Tales for an ...
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 17,346 ratings
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592 Wind, Sand and Stars
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 5,014 ratings
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594 Where the Heart Is
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 162,294 ratings
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595 The Winter of Our Discontent
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 22,773 ratings
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596 Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sara...
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 44,225 ratings
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597 Kristin Lavransdatter (Kris...
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 3,635 ratings
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598 The Haunting of Hill House
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 33,923 ratings
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598 The Black Stallion (The Bla...
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 48,591 ratings
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600 Smiley's People
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 16,178 ratings
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5,738 books · 38,468 voters · list created May 29th, 2008 by deleted user.
2404 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


The Crimson Fucker
The Crimson Fucker
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 360) (360 new)


message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary Jane Austen? Oscar Wilde? Louisa May Alcott? Charles Dickens? William Shakespeare? Alexandre Dumas? Bram Stoker's Dracula?

None of those are 20th century.


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Uh, yeah, what Gary said. Hello?


message 3: by Dottie (last edited Jun 20, 2008 08:13PM) (new)

Dottie Picture of Dorian Gray first published 1891 doesn't belong in 20th century books. 19th century

Oops -- you guys already caught these. Another one -- Bronte.


message 4: by Mark (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:38AM) (new)

Mark Desrosiers Similarly, Three Cups of Tea was published in 2006... is there an easy way to delete these? Or should this list take a Braudelian view of the "long 20th century"? ;)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Some of those definitely aren't 20th century


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley There are a lot of those 19th century books, but now there are also many that are 21st century as well i.e. The Host and the most recent Harry Potter books. Is there any way to delete them?


message 7: by Snorkle (new)

Snorkle I was getting all annoyed because they had a couple books that were published after 2000, but then I realized that I had just voted for Pride and Prejudice....I wish that there was a way to delete books that didn't fit the critieria...or maybe if the list was programmed to automatically check the publication date and tell you whether or not you could add it to the list...


message 8: by Wifey (last edited Jun 25, 2008 08:48AM) (new)

Wifey Why isn't Celine or Saint Exupéry or Borges on this list? I call bullshit. Or i don't know... Vonnegut?


message 9: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Um, people? Jane Austen novels and/or Jane Eyre are in NO WAY 20th century novels, whatever thousandth reprinting that they're on right now that happens to have taken place in that century.


message 10: by bryan (new)

bryan It's called the "best books" of the 20th century, so why does everyone seem to be restricting themselves to novels?


message 11: by jessica juniper (new)

jessica juniper There are several books on here that are not from the 20th Century...Jane Austen, The Brontes, and Joyce plus many more...can someone fix this please!


message 12: by Bebe (new)

Bebe Parsons Um, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre are not 20th c reads. Come on guys!


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Dracula was written on 1897, not in 20th century for sure.


message 14: by Lisa/Bluestem (new)

Lisa/Bluestem Cafeohlai Could we move Time Traveler's Wife to the 21st Century list?


message 15: by bup (new)

bup THE KING JAMES BIBLE!?

THE BOOK OF MORMON!?

And it's amazing how many votes Pride and Prejudice has gotten - 30!


message 16: by Lexi (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:51AM) (new)

Lexi Several books not written in the 20th century:

Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (I think)

Don't get me wrong, these are all great books but they don't belong on this list! Please check dates (or at least use common sense) before adding books to a date-specific list!


message 17: by Matthew (new)

Matthew you couldn't be more right, throw in Kafka, as well. then the non-20th century books, along with the pop fiction books on the list?


message 18: by Megan (new)

Megan Vonnegut should definetly be on this list.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura If you think so, why not add Vonnegut to the list? Seems simpler than complaining about it.


message 20: by Stacy (new)

Stacy The 20th century seems to have lasted for more than two hundred years. I have to agree with the poster who commented on the lack of nonfiction. What about Backlash by Susan Faludi? Something by John Krakauer or David Sedaris?


message 21: by Laura (new)

Laura Guys. You are aware that you can, you know, add any book you want to this list, right? If you think something belongs on the list yet is not there, ADD IT YOURSELF.


message 22: by Todd (new)

Todd Johnson This list appears to be restricting books based on the "published" date for some random (default?) edition, rather than the often-available "first published" date. This would explain why Pride & Prejudice (1813) can make the list, but it doesn't want me to add To the Lighthouse (1927).


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Null Gah!! The books on this list that were not written in the 20th century are hurting my OCD. Is there any way to edit? To remove books from the list that others have added?


message 24: by Mommy (new)

Mommy where is THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving?


message 25: by Ashley (new)

Ashley It's there (page 2), but if there's anything you think should be on any list, add it yourself.


message 26: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth oh boy some real chestnuts. C'mon Where's your Henry Miller. He is only the greatest American author of that century. and seriously, what's up with the book of Mormon?


message 27: by Nathanimal (new)

Nathanimal The Book of Mormon? #4? Really guys?

It's not even very well written! Despite being published in 1830 (and written, allegedly, mosty in the B.C.E)


message 28: by Sunil (last edited Jul 29, 2008 11:11AM) (new)

Sunil Hmmm,,,, No Bellow in first hundred. And you have Harry Potter.Shame.


message 29: by Matt (new)

Matt Ok, this is nuts. There are 19th century books appearing here, and there are 20th century books I can't add because there isn't a 20th century edition in the database.


message 30: by Alex (last edited Jul 29, 2008 11:55AM) (new)

Alex Though it's a disputed point, the Book of Mormon was written sometime between 2,000 B.C. and 1830 A.D. As beloved and influential as it may be, one thing it isn't is a book of the 20th Century. Putting it on this list just makes you look dumb.

Also: Holy Bible.


message 31: by Matt (new)

Matt And another thing, the Lord of the Ring's score is getting killed by the fact that two different versions of the book (as a single epic, and as a trilogy) are appearing on the list.


message 32: by Donitello (new)

Donitello I presume we're supposed to vote ONLY for the book that we think should occupy #1 spot?

That'll be easy, of course -- it's The Book of Mormon. (JOKING!!!!)


message 33: by Emily (new)

Emily I cannot believe Sometimes A Great Notion, Ken Kesey, is not in the top 100. I didnt even see it in the top 200.


message 34: by Giovany (last edited Jul 29, 2008 08:44PM) (new)

Giovany apoyen a Proust!!!!!!
lets stand for proust!!!!
aller Marcel, il est fantastique


message 35: by Layce (new)

Layce Parkinson An interesting assortment of books. One I could refer to for future reference.


message 36: by Jane (new)

Jane Henry James is missing, sorely. Too much JK Rowling and CS Lewis.


message 37: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bethany The Tin Drum must be among the top 100...BB


message 38: by Michael (new)

Michael Kucharski It speaks to my heart and soul. It reaffirms that good can win out over evils. I have read it over 120 times since Thanksgiving, 1970.
And people... please remember, it is actually one book, not three, an a trilogy; that aspect was a business/publishing choice not a creative (the author's) choice.


message 39: by David (last edited Jul 30, 2008 06:17PM) (new)

David Young Sometimes a Great Notion is a Masterpiece.

The Harry Potter books are entertaining enough, but hardly in the same league.


message 40: by David (new)

David Young That's what I get for being a bookworm, I guess. Zero friends! Maybe I should wash more often.


message 41: by Paula (new)

Paula I'm not really thrilled that the Harry Potter books made this list....they really don't belong here !

What about : The Red Tent by Diamont ??

: The Celestine Prophies ??

: The Kite Runner ??

: A Thousand Splendid Suns ??

?????????????????????





message 42: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Seems like the Lord of the Rings series shouldn't be listed as a separate option with each of the 3 books also on the list.


message 43: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Did I miss something? I didn't see Le Miserables on the list???


message 44: by Ashley (new)

Ashley If something isn't on the list anywhere that you think should be, add it. That's the point.


message 45: by Gary (new)

Gary
_Les misérables_ was published in the 19th Century.


message 46: by Laura (new)

Laura Les Miserables was on the list, and was removed for the reason Gary states. If it's put back on, it will be removed again.


message 47: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth I saw so many of my all time favorites! Mists of Avelon, Rebecca, Diary of Anne Frank, James and the Giant Peach even The Witching Hour! WOW! I guess as much as I read I consider something really great if after a couple of years and thousands of books later I still remember it then its pretty good.


message 48: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Did I miss Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture?

Pretty big book of the 90's...it, ya know, coined the name ofr an entire generation...

There's a lot of books on this list, I could have missed it.


message 49: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Pierce The Harry Potter books enticed countless numbers of kids, who would never normally pick up a book when they could be playing a video game, to read. In my opinion, any book or series of books, that can do this deserves to be this list.


message 50: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 06, 2008 12:57PM) (new)

Paula, it's the 21st century. The Kite Runner and it's sequel were released in THIS century, not eight years ago. I AM annoyed by The Pillars of the Earth, though.


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