Best Books of the Decade: 1980's

1

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2

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4.30 avg rating — 1,064,543 ratings
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3

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4.20 avg rating — 483,207 ratings
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4

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4.31 avg rating — 572,729 ratings
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5

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4.10 avg rating — 312,581 ratings
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6

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4.36 avg rating — 469,826 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 279,693 ratings
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8

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3.83 avg rating — 299,430 ratings
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9

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4.02 avg rating — 294,549 ratings
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10

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4.24 avg rating — 734,050 ratings
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11

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3.92 avg rating — 579,511 ratings
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12

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4.12 avg rating — 183,375 ratings
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13

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4.31 avg rating — 611,023 ratings
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14

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3.91 avg rating — 381,078 ratings
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15

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4.12 avg rating — 185,909 ratings
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16

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3.86 avg rating — 1,906,388 ratings
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17

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4.22 avg rating — 215,485 ratings
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18

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4.28 avg rating — 255,711 ratings
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19

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4.23 avg rating — 277,731 ratings
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20

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4.05 avg rating — 218,071 ratings
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21

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4.34 avg rating — 237,057 ratings
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22

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4.46 avg rating — 19,030 ratings
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23

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4.16 avg rating — 457,836 ratings
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24

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4.49 avg rating — 138,260 ratings
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25

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4.19 avg rating — 431,732 ratings
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26

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3.72 avg rating — 283,958 ratings
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27

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4.14 avg rating — 414,733 ratings
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28

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3.89 avg rating — 220,119 ratings
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29

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4.34 avg rating — 356,141 ratings
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30

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4.18 avg rating — 287,597 ratings
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31

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4.25 avg rating — 247,932 ratings
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32

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4.13 avg rating — 154,926 ratings
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33

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3.98 avg rating — 99,522 ratings
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34

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4.07 avg rating — 168,054 ratings
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35

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4.17 avg rating — 100,783 ratings
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36

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4.20 avg rating — 185,783 ratings
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37

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4.29 avg rating — 188,376 ratings
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38

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3.98 avg rating — 389,483 ratings
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39

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4.07 avg rating — 678,062 ratings
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40

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3.96 avg rating — 484,706 ratings
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41

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4.64 avg rating — 109,067 ratings
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42

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4.03 avg rating — 307,262 ratings
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43

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4.23 avg rating — 173,922 ratings
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44

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4.35 avg rating — 164,527 ratings
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45

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3.49 avg rating — 11,354 ratings
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46

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3.85 avg rating — 65,671 ratings
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47

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4.24 avg rating — 186,358 ratings
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48

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4.23 avg rating — 336,835 ratings
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49

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4.10 avg rating — 102,721 ratings
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50

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4.09 avg rating — 135,790 ratings
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51

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3.87 avg rating — 82,592 ratings
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52

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4.06 avg rating — 321,828 ratings
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53

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 292,128 ratings
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54

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3.97 avg rating — 131,027 ratings
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55

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4.24 avg rating — 170,184 ratings
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56

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4.24 avg rating — 180,617 ratings
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57

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4.12 avg rating — 86,589 ratings
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58

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3.90 avg rating — 56,196 ratings
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59

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3.89 avg rating — 57,388 ratings
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60

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4.08 avg rating — 174,234 ratings
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61

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3.91 avg rating — 92,612 ratings
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62

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3.77 avg rating — 187,737 ratings
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63

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4.14 avg rating — 114,636 ratings
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64

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4.02 avg rating — 380,902 ratings
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65

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4.06 avg rating — 51,307 ratings
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66

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4.07 avg rating — 212,873 ratings
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67

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3.77 avg rating — 70,664 ratings
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68

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3.98 avg rating — 112,817 ratings
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69

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4.33 avg rating — 151,214 ratings
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70

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4.23 avg rating — 202,173 ratings
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71

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4.26 avg rating — 109,335 ratings
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72

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3.63 avg rating — 114,703 ratings
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73

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4.12 avg rating — 98,442 ratings
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74

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3.71 avg rating — 50,895 ratings
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75

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3.75 avg rating — 33,127 ratings
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76

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4.13 avg rating — 103,566 ratings
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77

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3.97 avg rating — 110,802 ratings
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78

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3.90 avg rating — 59,176 ratings
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79

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4.17 avg rating — 268,234 ratings
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80

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 70,785 ratings
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81

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3.58 avg rating — 62,954 ratings
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82

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3.93 avg rating — 98,027 ratings
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83

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4.37 avg rating — 158,312 ratings
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84

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3.82 avg rating — 37,991 ratings
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85

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4.14 avg rating — 64,350 ratings
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86

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3.99 avg rating — 20,499 ratings
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87

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4.02 avg rating — 201,206 ratings
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88

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4.01 avg rating — 96,480 ratings
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89

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4.15 avg rating — 91,114 ratings
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90

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4.04 avg rating — 56,024 ratings
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91

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4.14 avg rating — 177,340 ratings
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92

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4.17 avg rating — 43,456 ratings
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93

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4.30 avg rating — 203,550 ratings
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94

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4.06 avg rating — 152,099 ratings
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95

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4.22 avg rating — 54,045 ratings
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96

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3.99 avg rating — 41,363 ratings
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97

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3.50 avg rating — 25,729 ratings
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98

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3.88 avg rating — 63,225 ratings
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99

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3.77 avg rating — 27,642 ratings
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100

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4.09 avg rating — 66,380 ratings
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1,961 books · 2,255 voters · list created June 6th, 2008 by deleted user.
231 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Allison 1518 books
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Margaret 1201 books
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More voters…


Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)

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message 1: by John (new)

John Burns It wouldn't let me vote for Bukowski's Ham on rye which was published in 1982.


message 2: by John (new)

John Burns Ah, fixed it now. Good old librarian status.


message 3: by Jan C (new)

Jan C Why is John Steinbeck's The Pearl on this list? I read it in the '60s so how can it be on a best list of the '80s?


message 4: by John (new)

John Burns Just removed it. The first date of publication was set at 1945 so it must have been an error that someone had already corrected but not noticed that it appeared on this list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, certainly does not belong on this list - it was first published in 1933.


message 6: by John (new)

John Burns Susanna wrote: "Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, certainly does not belong on this list - it was first published in 1933."

done.


message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn I have NO idea when the 80's occurred, wasn't it some time ago ? I know it was after the 60s but other than that I have no clue. I have, it seems, a kind of Billy Pilgrim past, just a big lake of s-- stuff in which we are all just paddling around.
Am surprised they had books then, and good books too judging from this list. I voted for a bunch of them.....What about Ellis Peters' "A Morbid Taste for Bones" Tell the truth when I hear her name I just think of Derek Jacobi in his Benedictine pharmacy (apothecary ?).


message 8: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 09, 2009 11:54AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Why not A Morbid Taste for Bones? Because it was first published in 1977. It would be eligible for the 1970s list. Where I just added it, actually.


message 9: by John (new)

John Burns Thom wrote: "I have NO idea when the 80's occurred, wasn't it some time ago ? I know it was after the 60s but other than that I have no clue. I have, it seems, a kind of Billy Pilgrim past, just a big lake of..."

Well don't you have a bizzarre sense of humour(?)


message 10: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Killthepopular wrote: "Thom wrote: "I have NO idea when the 80's occurred, wasn't it some time ago ? I know it was after the 60s but other than that I have no clue. I have, it seems, a kind of Billy Pilgrim past, just ..."

Dear Kill, I am 68. My kids (kids no longer) talk about "80s music" and I have small notion of what they mean by it, or when they say "Oh that's so 80's !" Am afraid I will embarrass them (prob. have) by acting "80s" without even knowing it. Assume you are British because you spell the word "humoUr". Yeah....You probably put petrol in the lorry and take the lift to the underground. Don't mind me---am about to be consigned to the dustbin of history. PeaceOut, Thom D.


message 11: by John (new)

John Burns Never before has someone so conclusively put me in my place for belonging to a country that has a marginally different dialect from the bastard state that it fathered.

Sir, i am humbled.


message 12: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn You should not be. I am always impressed when I hear English. As Professor Henry Higgins said, and quite rightly, "In America they haven't spoken it for years". Better a lorry than "Maa rig". Good Thoughts, Thom


message 13: by John (new)

John Burns porno for marx wrote: "wanted to get serpent & the rainbow by wade davis up here but it told me it wasn't published in the 80s. wrong again, goodreads!"

I've edited the publication date to 1985. You can add it now.


message 14: by Anita (new)

Anita Larry McMurtrys' novel Lonesome Dove won the Pulitzer in 1986 so it had to be published that year or the one before. It should be included on this list. Where else can one find such a sweeping, boldly honest epic of the old west?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yeah, I agree, 1920 as an Original Publication Date for Lonesome Dove is fairly ridiculous.

Fixed.


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson Watchmen's the best piece of art the 80's saw, but when it comes to NOVELS, "Beloved" or "Blood Meridian" ahhhhhhhhhh my gosh! Can go back and forth on which one is the best of the decade.


message 17: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson more people need to vote on this 80's list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed:

Snow in April, by Rosamund Pilcher (1972)


message 19: by Callum (new)

Callum fantastic site


message 20: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Man I love this site I found so many I wanted to read. I could be in paradise for along time just reading. I can't wait.


message 21: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian I thought the eighties were pretty cool. Good movies, comics were well written, and music was better. I'm not sure if you were talking about the 80s being a giant river of shit people were paddling around or if you were referring to you your own life (I'm not trying to be rude, I literally think that's what your figuratively talking about).


message 22: by Victor (new)

Victor Antonov The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was published on Oct 12, 1979 and it should be removed from this list (#11 as of Nov 23, 2012). It is already #1 in 1970s :)


message 23: by Donna (last edited Nov 05, 2013 02:09PM) (new)

Donna Davis I am amazed at how many outstanding books came out during this time period. I voted for the two more recent decades, which were good, and then I clicked on this one. Bonanza!


message 24: by Zoe's Human (new)

Zoe's Human The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy removed. Published in 1979.


message 25: by Julian (new)

Julian Meynell The King James Version of The Bible is #100 on this list. I think it might have been written earlier than the 1980s. Perhaps the 40s? Should be removed.


message 26: by Zoe's Human (new)

Zoe's Human Julian wrote: "The King James Version of The Bible is #100 on this list. I think it might have been written earlier than the 1980s. Perhaps the 40s? Should be removed."

*snort*


message 27: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Ran check for duplicates: none found.

Removed: King James' Bible (published 1611); Renault's Funeral Games (pub. 1958); Vaniegem's Revolution (pub. 1967); Jeffers' Collected Poetry 1920-28 (pub. in separate volumes 1920-28).


message 28: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Removed: Sheridan, School for Scandal etc. (pub. 1777);
Mahfouz, Children of the Alley (pub. 1959); Ionesco, The Lesson (pub. 1951).


message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 31: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 5 books removed.


message 32: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 8 books removed.


message 33: by Justin (new)

Justin Goodrich Where is "SWAN SONG" by Robert McCammon? Best Post Apocalyptic Novel EVER WRITTEN.


message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 19 books removed.


message 35: by Ericka (new)

Ericka Clouther Like Water for Chocolate/Como Agua Para Chocolate is 1992.


message 36: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Russo Katherine Graham’s Personal History was published in 1998.


message 37: by Rachel Adiyah (new)

Rachel Adiyah The Hobbit should be removed from this list; it was published in 1937.


message 38: by Pat (new)

Pat Rachel Adiyah wrote: "The Hobbit should be removed from this list; it was published in 1937."
Done.


message 39: by Dan (new)

Dan Martinez Pat wrote: "Rachel Adiyah wrote: "The Hobbit should be removed from this list; it was published in 1937."
Done."


Also, Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell came out in 1990, and thus is not from the 1980s.


message 40: by John (new)

John The Book of Disquiet was written in the 1930s.


The rockabilly werewolf from Mars If you're like me and judge books primarily on how scary they are, the 80s were the golden age of literature. And I wasn't even alive then.


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