Best Books of the 20th Century
201 Native Son
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 52,082 ratings
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202 Sophie's World
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 100,476 ratings
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203 Into the Wild
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 444,349 ratings
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204 Fried Green Tomatoes at the...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 154,469 ratings
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205 Ficciones
by
4.48 of 5 stars 4.48 avg rating — 21,817 ratings
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206 Exodus
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 59,277 ratings
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207 The Cat in the Hat
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 261,096 ratings
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208 Absalom, Absalom!
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 24,948 ratings
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209 Bridge to Terabithia
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 258,225 ratings
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210 Nine Stories
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 95,501 ratings
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211 Girl With a Pearl Earring
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 344,180 ratings
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212 2001: A Space Odyssey (Spac...
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 118,053 ratings
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213 The Virgin Suicides
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 129,172 ratings
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214 Revolutionary Road
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 49,710 ratings
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215 The Tin Drum (The Danzig Tr...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 21,864 ratings
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216 All the King's Men
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 36,551 ratings
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217 The Magus
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 27,223 ratings
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218 The Reader
by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 107,223 ratings
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219 The Hours
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 81,246 ratings
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220 American Psycho
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 124,149 ratings
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221 Norwegian Wood
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 128,241 ratings
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222 Foucault's Pendulum
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 36,719 ratings
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223 A Time to Kill (Jake Brigan...
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 474,743 ratings
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224 The Power of One (The Power...
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 42,330 ratings
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225 Oh, The Places You'll Go!
by
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 179,618 ratings
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226 The Hound of the Baskervill...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 109,760 ratings
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227 Little House in the Big Woo...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 119,993 ratings
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228 Rosencrantz and Guildenster...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 53,785 ratings
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229 I, Claudius (Claudius, #1)
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 29,433 ratings
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230 The Glass Menagerie
by
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 68,444 ratings
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231 The BFG
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 163,883 ratings
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232 The Neverending Story
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 87,728 ratings
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233 The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 207,139 ratings
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234 The Bluest Eye
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 92,762 ratings
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235 Foundation / Foundation and...
by
4.32 of 5 stars 4.32 avg rating — 2,631 ratings
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236 Cold Mountain
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 142,868 ratings
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237 Island of the Blue Dolphins...
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 190,936 ratings
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238 The Witching Hour (Lives of...
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 69,764 ratings
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239 Bury My Heart at Wounded Kn...
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 32,697 ratings
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240 A Good Man is Hard to Find ...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 21,080 ratings
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241 The Bean Trees (Greer Famil...
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 84,725 ratings
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242 The Chosen
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 57,377 ratings
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243 Silent Spring
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 18,730 ratings
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244 The Firm
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 364,977 ratings
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245 Neverwhere
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 189,858 ratings
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246 A Heartbreaking Work of Sta...
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 125,221 ratings
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247 Breakfast at Tiffany's
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 106,067 ratings
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248 The Razor's Edge
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 20,559 ratings
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249 The Last Battle (Chronicles...
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 120,854 ratings
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250 Snow Falling on Cedars
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 99,146 ratings
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251 The Crying of Lot 49
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 39,165 ratings
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252 A Passage to India
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 35,658 ratings
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253 I, Robot (Robot, #0.1)
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 136,980 ratings
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254 Light in August
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 33,569 ratings
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255 Holes (Holes, #1)
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 516,092 ratings
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256 White Noise
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 50,146 ratings
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257 The Hunt for Red October (J...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 220,862 ratings
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258 The Killer Angels
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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 46,566 ratings
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259 Cry, the Beloved Country
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 40,522 ratings
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260 The Left Hand of Darkness (...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 44,154 ratings
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261 Speak
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 257,183 ratings
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262 Tropic of Cancer
by
3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 36,819 ratings
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263 Go Ask Alice
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 159,385 ratings
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264 The Maltese Falcon
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 49,480 ratings
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265 Different Seasons featuring...
by
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 105,333 ratings
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266 Heart of Darkness and The S...
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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48 avg rating — 12,855 ratings
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267 The House at Pooh Corner (W...
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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 56,850 ratings
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268 The Witches
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 160,900 ratings
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269 Something Wicked This Way C...
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 51,179 ratings
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270 The Blind Assassin
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 84,578 ratings
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271 Song of Solomon
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 44,811 ratings
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272 The Shipping News
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 81,055 ratings
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273 The Complete Stories
by
4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 15,935 ratings
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274 The Second Sex
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 14,354 ratings
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275 Labyrinths:  Selected Stori...
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4.47 of 5 stars 4.47 avg rating — 17,083 ratings
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276 The Pearl
by
3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 104,889 ratings
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277 The Gunslinger (The Dark To...
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 232,420 ratings
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278 The Bonfire of the Vanities
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 42,623 ratings
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279 The Satanic Verses
by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 31,362 ratings
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280 Sometimes a Great Notion
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 12,715 ratings
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281 Are You There God? It's Me,...
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 127,729 ratings
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282 Sons and Lovers
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 26,259 ratings
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283 Out of Africa
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 16,304 ratings
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284 Schindler's List
by
4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 89,685 ratings
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285 Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 206,439 ratings
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286 White Fang
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 76,533 ratings
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287 Wild Swans: Three Daughters...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 44,130 ratings
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288 Bridget Jones's Diary (Brid...
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 554,663 ratings
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289 Rabbit, Run (Rabbit Angstro...
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 30,669 ratings
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290 Nausea
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 42,827 ratings
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291 The Alexandria Quartet  (Th...
by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18 avg rating — 7,183 ratings
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292 The Phantom of the Opera
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 112,274 ratings
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293 The Polar Express
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 109,523 ratings
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294 The Vampire Lestat (The Vam...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 118,831 ratings
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295 The Hero With a Thousand Faces
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 14,731 ratings
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296 Anthem
by
3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 78,673 ratings
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297 The Bone People
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 12,309 ratings
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298 Angle of Repose
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 31,121 ratings
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299 Howl and Other Poems
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 54,683 ratings
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300 An American Tragedy
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 20,546 ratings
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6,001 books · 39,747 voters · list created May 29th, 2008 by deleted user.
2787 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


The Crimson Fucker
The Crimson Fucker
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Joro
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3210 books
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Jessica
Jessica
2122 books
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MBP
MBP
4070 books
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Ruth
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2382 books
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1165 books
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Maria M.
2537 books
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 370) (370 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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