100 Books to Read in a Lifetime: Readers' Picks

The Amazon books editors got together and chose 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. You can see that list here: http://www.amazon.com/100Books/ref=10...

This list was compiled by Goodreads readers.
1

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4.28 avg rating — 4,492,402 ratings
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2

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4.26 avg rating — 2,991,744 ratings
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3

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4.15 avg rating — 2,735,171 ratings
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4

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4.19 avg rating — 3,132,540 ratings
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5

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4.47 avg rating — 7,028,418 ratings
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6

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4.50 avg rating — 563,530 ratings
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7

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3.92 avg rating — 3,768,841 ratings
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8

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4.27 avg rating — 2,890,478 ratings
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9

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3.95 avg rating — 2,734,643 ratings
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10

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4.17 avg rating — 1,414,424 ratings
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11

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4.13 avg rating — 1,621,834 ratings
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12

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3.99 avg rating — 1,676,314 ratings
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13

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4.09 avg rating — 1,678,642 ratings
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14

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4.37 avg rating — 1,830,692 ratings
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15

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3.81 avg rating — 2,731,784 ratings
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16

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4.30 avg rating — 1,073,263 ratings
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17

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4.33 avg rating — 6,365,802 ratings
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18

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4.22 avg rating — 2,124,182 ratings
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19

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4.47 avg rating — 2,160,039 ratings
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20

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,150,664 ratings
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21

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3.69 avg rating — 2,259,528 ratings
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22

by
4.30 avg rating — 2,420,908 ratings
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23

by
3.97 avg rating — 748,874 ratings
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24

by
4.31 avg rating — 1,358,756 ratings
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25

by
4.34 avg rating — 968,593 ratings
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26

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4.02 avg rating — 728,824 ratings
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27

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,939,129 ratings
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28

by
4.22 avg rating — 1,432,989 ratings
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29

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3.99 avg rating — 1,438,445 ratings
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30

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,049,953 ratings
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31

by
4.13 avg rating — 889,510 ratings
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32

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3.75 avg rating — 2,052,372 ratings
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33

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3.85 avg rating — 808,929 ratings
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34

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4.06 avg rating — 598,760 ratings
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35

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4.13 avg rating — 1,781,324 ratings
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36

by
4.62 avg rating — 2,805,293 ratings
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37

by
4.11 avg rating — 1,455,354 ratings
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38

by
4.21 avg rating — 3,543,267 ratings
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39

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,177,775 ratings
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40

by
3.86 avg rating — 1,340,133 ratings
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41

by
4.26 avg rating — 726,160 ratings
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42

by
3.81 avg rating — 1,159,938 ratings
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43

by
4.14 avg rating — 2,603,889 ratings
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44

by
3.91 avg rating — 756,771 ratings
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45

by
4.25 avg rating — 745,339 ratings
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46

by
3.90 avg rating — 672,432 ratings
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47

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4.57 avg rating — 2,799,803 ratings
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48

by
4.22 avg rating — 520,219 ratings
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49

by
4.41 avg rating — 219,969 ratings
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50

by
4.02 avg rating — 376,277 ratings
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51

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4.38 avg rating — 428,144 ratings
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52

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4.45 avg rating — 1,999,546 ratings
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53

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4.12 avg rating — 1,715,194 ratings
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54

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4.30 avg rating — 1,129,090 ratings
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55

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4.27 avg rating — 387,944 ratings
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56

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3.98 avg rating — 722,118 ratings
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57

by
4.34 avg rating — 614,623 ratings
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58

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4.05 avg rating — 654,592 ratings
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59

by
4.23 avg rating — 821,973 ratings
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60

by
4.07 avg rating — 527,975 ratings
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61

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4.18 avg rating — 681,865 ratings
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62

by
4.23 avg rating — 447,604 ratings
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63

by
4.57 avg rating — 2,432,781 ratings
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64

by
3.78 avg rating — 649,692 ratings
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65

by
3.78 avg rating — 829,455 ratings
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66

by
4.06 avg rating — 433,041 ratings
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67

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3.91 avg rating — 1,337,046 ratings
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68

by
4.30 avg rating — 242,528 ratings
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69

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4.26 avg rating — 516,507 ratings
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70

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 935,328 ratings
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71

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4.14 avg rating — 663,273 ratings
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72

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3.41 avg rating — 705,304 ratings
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73

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4.29 avg rating — 2,508,561 ratings
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74

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4.26 avg rating — 778,292 ratings
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75

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4.32 avg rating — 647,041 ratings
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76

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4.67 avg rating — 1,556 ratings
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77

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4.09 avg rating — 1,377,674 ratings
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78

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4.08 avg rating — 752,059 ratings
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79

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3.77 avg rating — 860,233 ratings
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80

by
4.06 avg rating — 1,115,361 ratings
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81

by
4.29 avg rating — 101,068 ratings
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82

by
3.97 avg rating — 1,571,696 ratings
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83

by
4.06 avg rating — 658,129 ratings
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84

by
4.26 avg rating — 818,925 ratings
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85

by
4.04 avg rating — 2,343,821 ratings
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86

by
4.22 avg rating — 625,419 ratings
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87

by
3.99 avg rating — 222,991 ratings
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88

by
4.23 avg rating — 314,086 ratings
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89

by
4.28 avg rating — 901,736 ratings
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90

by
4.07 avg rating — 585,969 ratings
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91

by
4.23 avg rating — 285,705 ratings
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92

by
3.97 avg rating — 715,018 ratings
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93

by
4.03 avg rating — 581,456 ratings
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94

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,127,230 ratings
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95

by
4.13 avg rating — 250,877 ratings
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96

by
3.87 avg rating — 324,597 ratings
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97

by
4.20 avg rating — 240,908 ratings
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98

by
4.32 avg rating — 242,678 ratings
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99

by
4.29 avg rating — 336,545 ratings
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100

by
4.08 avg rating — 131,692 ratings
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8,105 books · 10,283 voters · list created February 3rd, 2014 by Chris Schluep (votes) .
1729 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Chris 154 books
146 friends
Mari 12 books
110 friends
Sara Nelson 55 books
205 friends
Oma 337 books
4 friends
Joliene 471 books
16 friends
Heath 1091 books
118 friends
Janice 668 books
66 friends
Cyd 996 books
19 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 276 (276 new)


message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane Tiny Sunbirds Far Away


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Zinner Balzac?


message 3: by Donald (new)

Donald Scott Some good ones - but also some truly weird or idiotic choices. Will be VERY interesting to see how this goes ... nice poll!


message 4: by Leanne (last edited Feb 04, 2014 06:53AM) (new)

Leanne Mark Twain???

The Alchemist


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary Leanne wrote: "Mark Twain???

The Alchemist"



I agree -- Mark Twain needs to be on this list.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim very limited and the time frame is quite constricted, basically amateur hour.


message 7: by Jesse (new)

Jesse Rice-Evans James Baldwin


message 8: by Lynette (new)

Lynette Rosenblum Where is 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE??????????????!!!!!!!!!!
Madame Bovary or ANY TWAIN? Not pleased.


message 9: by Lynette (new)

Lynette Rosenblum Lynette wrote: "Where is 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE??????????????!!!!!!!!!!
Madame Bovary or ANY TWAIN? Not pleased."


Wait, I take that back, I see Tom Sawyer. Mi malo.


message 10: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Cook Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Madame Bovary by Flaubert


message 11: by Lynette (new)

Lynette Rosenblum No Hemingway, but a nod to Stieg Larsson? Hmmm... And as a side note: Where the Red Fern Grows, fave as a child. Ok, thanks for the list. Sorry if I come off as a complainer; this stuff just really hits home for me.


message 12: by Chris (last edited Feb 04, 2014 11:57AM) (new)

Chris Schluep The list on Goodreads is a list composed by readers. You can add your favorites and vote.

The Amazon editors' list is here - http://www.amazon.com/100Books

There's some interesting crossover, and many of the books on the readers' list are ones that we struggled over. Alas, we could only pick 100.


message 13: by shelley (new)

shelley Why are there duplicates?


message 14: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Bailey Love In The Time of Cholera


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Bailey Cold Sassy Tree - my favorite all time book


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda I've read 66 of the 100. I think it's lame that 4 Harry Potter books are on the list; I've only read the first one and that should suffice. The same goes for the Hunger Games - I've read all of them, but I think just the first one should be listed.


message 17: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Kramer I agree with Linda, it also seems most of the books were written or made into a movie in the last 10 years, this only has some of the classics, but the ones it does have are really good.


message 18: by Cherri (new)

Cherri Where the Red Fern Grows.


message 19: by Geeta (new)

Geeta Roy - God of Small Things
Seth - A Suitable Boy
Naipaul - A House for Mr. Biswas
Hemmingway - most any of his work
Mantel - Bring Up the Bodies
Rushdie - Midnight's Children
Marquez - 100 Years of Solitude


message 20: by Bookman8 (new)

Bookman8 Moby Dick? One of the, if not the, seminal works of American letters, and it is not here? HMMM?


message 21: by Cyndi (new)

Cyndi The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk


message 22: by Kirk (new)

Kirk Westbeld Theodore Roosevelt's list
http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/02...

Im going for instead of amazon's list its too modern for my tastes and contains too many clunkers


message 23: by Lloyd (new)

Lloyd Pratt Yes, it is.


message 24: by Lisbeth (new)

Lisbeth Solberg Just added 16 unread from this list to my to-read. I've read the rest, excluding the Bible of which I've only read parts.


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn IS on the list. Mark Twain fans can relax.


message 26: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn JAWS by, I think, Peter Benchley. Way scarier than the movie, with an extra romantic duo smartly left out of the movie.


message 27: by Luccia (new)

Luccia Gray Leanne wrote: "Mark Twain???

The Alchemist"

I'm sure I voted for both Huckelberry Finn and Tom Sawyer!


message 28: by Kris (new)

Kris Harriet the Spy. Seminal children's work on what it means to be a writer, and an outsider.


message 29: by Kris (new)

Kris If Lord of the Rings (v. 1-3) is one entry, so should the Hunger Games and Harry Potter series be counted as one entry each.

Was there a goal % to divide between children's books and adult books (what percentage of each on the list)? I think I'd like to see these as two separate top 100 lists, to allow room for both types of reading.


message 30: by Chris (last edited Feb 05, 2014 04:08PM) (new)

Chris Schluep We tried to cover all stages of reading, so children's books and adult books are on the same list. Someday in the future we'll break it down-- 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime, 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime, 100 Biographies, etc. That will hopefully be an easier task.


message 31: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Lynette wrote: "Lynette wrote: "Where is 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE??????????????!!!!!!!!!!
Madame Bovary or ANY TWAIN? Not pleased."

Wait, I take that back, I see Tom Sawyer. Mi malo."


AND Huck Finn..


message 32: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I am sure there are many more wonderful books to be added to this list..but it sure was fun..


message 33: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin This list is completely ridiculous... No Homer, no Plato, no Aristotle, no Dante, no Milton, no Shakespeare, no Augustine, no Virgil, no Descartes, NO DOSTOEVSKY???? Yet harry potter and the hunger games... All faith in society is gone.


message 34: by Bob (new)

Bob Rice How about Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy? Or Zurcher's Buddhist Conquest of China? After reviewing the list of 100 titles, my sense is I've got it wrong... "Must Read" to me means those books which one should read to gain knowledge, perspective and intellectual stimulation about the world around us. Some of the suggested titles on this list are "entertainment" and lack substantive observation / challenging points of view. I've read Water for Elephants and Memoirs of a Geisha and enjoyed the read immensely. But I hardly consider those two titles as "MUST READ" books.


message 35: by Eugene (new)

Eugene Zilberman It was clearly compiled by 20-year old.

Harry Potter, and The Lion, the Witch, and the shitty Wardrobe,
and nothing of Wells or Azimov or Lem?

BOO, goodreads, and goodbye


message 36: by Brahe (new)

Brahe I agree there are many more wonderful books to be added to this list such as: Toad In the Mud ... In 1932 a young black Mobile Alabama woman became part of a secret scientific research project that was funded by the US government. She was put to sleep in a hibernation test as part of the experiment (for 5 weeks). They (the scientists) failed to detect that the young woman was pregnant, prior to the experiment.
The experience was a success from the government’s point of view, the experiment proved that there was a process that would allow a person to be put to sleep for an indefinite period of time without undue hardship on the body. The process was to duplicate the same process that frogs incur when they are buried in the mud during long drought periods. The scientists did not know nor had a way to determine the true effects the experiment would have on the human body for any period of time. Over the months and years the experiment was forgotten until the spring of 1997 when some young medical student happened upon the body of a body they thought was a mummy in an old abandoned research facility somewhere in Los Angeles County.


message 37: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Lovejoy Agreed, list looks like it was written for adolescents. In no world are the Hunger Games a "must read". Not a single non-fiction title to be found and completely skewed to western lit. And Poe's The Raven is a book? Really? How about Tales of Mystery and Imagination instead of listing a poem as a book.


message 38: by Clay (new)

Clay Shannon Chief ones missing that I can think of are Twain's "Roughing It" and "The Innocents Abroad." Also more of Steinbeck and at least one Saroyan.


message 39: by Kerri (new)

Kerri Lynn There are repeats and no mark twain... Insanity.


message 40: by Jbhedgehog (new)

Jbhedgehog Mark Twain...duh.

David Foster Wallace

How about some poetry? Poetry's nice!

I had an entire grad school course on Milton...no Milton?

Burroughs?

Kerouac, Frost, Updike...so many great ones missing.

But whaddya' gonna' do when you only have 100 slots to fill, right? AMIRITE???


message 41: by Clay (last edited Feb 06, 2014 04:58PM) (new)

Clay Shannon Twain is on it with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, but there are others that should arguably be there, too.


message 42: by Alex (new)

Alex Bird Seriously lacking in Lovecraft.


message 43: by John (new)

John Hargrove Diary of a Young Girl by Ann Franks is my favorite.
I find great satisfaction by seeing people share their pain and struggle to be set free.


message 44: by Gullahgal (new)

Gullahgal You all fancy yourselves as readers but many have not even read the top of this page where it indicates that this is the list of "Readers' Picks."

The list above is NOT the Editors' List. The link for that site is also provided at the top of this page.


message 45: by Alanna (new)

Alanna The Hunger Games books are in no way important to read in a lifetime. The writing is not of high enough quality. Gone Girl? That book will not be remembered as a great book in 10 years even.


message 46: by Alison (new)

Alison Brown I know there is only room for 100, but two key ones missing for me are "Cry the Beloved Country" and "The Red Tent". Yes, I think Hunger Games and Gone Girl are there for the sake of "Current" selections...not that I have read them :)


message 47: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Rowe Where are Walt Whitman, Washington Irving, Longfellow, and other classic authors?


message 48: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Rowe Linda wrote: "I've read 66 of the 100. I think it's lame that 4 Harry Potter books are on the list; I've only read the first one and that should suffice. The same goes for the Hunger Games - I've read all of the..."

I agree. Listing several books in a series like Harry Potter rather "weights" the results unjustly.


message 49: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Wernet We're missing some classic sci-fi on the list:
"I Robot" by Isaac Asimov
"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne
"War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells


message 50: by Frank (new)

Frank Garcia No Spanish culture books? no Quijote, Cela(Nobel prize) etc


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