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message 1: by Charity (last edited May 25, 2009 01:14PM) (new)

Charity (charityross) When I was searching through lists a while back, I came across these two little gems put out by the Madison Public Library (Wisconsin, I assume?). I promptly added them to my lists and have since considered them two of the best lists I have worked on.

I will include the links to lists of bests for those who would like to add them.

Madison Public Library - 100 Best Novels: Readers' Choice

(20th Century)

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
9. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
11. Animal Farm by George Orwell
12. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
13. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
14. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
16. Ulysses by James Joyce
17. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
18. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
19. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
20. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
21. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
22. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
23. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
24. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
25. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
26. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
27. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
28. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
29. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
30. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
31. Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
32. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
33. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
36. Deliverance by James Dickey
37. Howard's End by E.M. Forster
38. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
39. Dune by Frank Herbert
40. The World According to Garp by John Irving
41. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
42. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
43. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
44. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
45. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
46. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
48. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
49. Native Son by Richard Wright
50. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
51. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
52. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
53. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
54. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
55. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
56. From Here to Eternity by James Jones
57. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
58. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
59. Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
60. Being There by Jerzy Kosinski
61. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
62. Martha Quest by Doris Lessing
63. The Four-Gated City by Doris Lessing
64. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
65. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
66. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
67. Hawaii by James A. Michener
68. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
69. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
70. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
71. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
72. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
73. Trinity by Leon Uris
74. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
75. The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker
76. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
77. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
78. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
79. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
80. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
81. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
82. Firth Business by Roberston Davies
83. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
84. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
85. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
86. Ironweed by William Kennedy
87. The Stand by Stephen King
88. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
89. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
90. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
91. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
92. The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul
93. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
94. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
95. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
96. My Life as a Man by Philip Roth
97. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
98. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
99. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
100. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison



message 2: by Charity (last edited May 25, 2009 01:15PM) (new)

Charity (charityross) Madison Public Library - Readable Fiction Classics

(in alphabetical order)

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
5. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
8. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
9. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
10. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
11. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
12. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
13. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
14. Select Tales of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
15. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
16. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
17. Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig
18. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
19. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
20. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
21. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
22. Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
23. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
24. The Reivers by William Faulkner
25. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
26. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
27. Howard's End by E.M. Forster
28. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
29. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
30. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
31. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
32. A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
33. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
34. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
35. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
36. The Best Short Stories of O. Henry by O. Henry
37. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
38. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
39. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
40. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
41. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
42. The World According to Garp by John Irving
43. The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
44. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
45. The Best Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett by Sarah Orne Jewett
46. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
47. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
48. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
49. The Best Short Stories of Rudyard Kipling by Rudyard Kipling
50. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
51. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
52. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
53. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
54. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
55. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
56. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
57. The Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield by Katherine Mansfield
58. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
59. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
60. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
61. Atonement by Ian McEwan
62. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
63. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
64. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
65. Beloved by Toni Morrison
66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
67. In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien
68. Animal Farm by George Orwell
69. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
70. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
71. The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
72. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
73. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
74. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
75. Giants in the Earth by Ole Edvart Rølvaag
76. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
77. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
78. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
79. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
80. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
81. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
82. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
83. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
84. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
85. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
86. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
87. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
88. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
90. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
91. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
92. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
93. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
94. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
95. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
96. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
97. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
98. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
99. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
100. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder
101. Native Son by Richard Wright
102. Germinal by Emile Zola



**Perhaps Lori can create a Listmania Folder for all the lists we are discussing (and attempting??). Thanks in advance, Lori.**


message 3: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
This is quickly becoming an obsession.. Isnt it?
I think ..uhoh.. I think I need to... yes, I must.. cant fight it.. I need to create a new lists folder to file these threads into .. OCD pull is too strong to fight.... Cant help... Must do it...

Hee hee



message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine (airportsox) | 37 comments These are wonderful Charity, thanks! And I've bookmarked the Madison library site. ;o)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

You are truly an enabler, Charity.


message 6: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
Charity, you know me too well apparently! Hee hee.... So this list looks more my style. SOoo many classics on them both....(yes i realise one is FOR classics, but still, the lists look like heaven!)


message 7: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I have watched the Lord of the Rings, but have never read the books, my question is when you see the title in one of these lists is it the first book they are talking about or the whole series?


message 8: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments It's the whole series, as far as I can tell. They really don't stand alone very well but with their powers combined they become Captain Planet! ummm... super-books?


message 9: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) Well, with my obssession about books after reading the first installment chances are I won't be able to stop myself and continue with the series ... and that's exactly what I don't want to do now, get sucked into a series when I have like 1000 other books I want to read ... he he he


message 10: by Christine (new)

Christine (airportsox) | 37 comments I agree Lorena! I unsuspectingly picked up a book off the "New Releases" table at the library a week or two ago. When I started it last night it sucked me right in... little did I know its book #8 of a series! Darn it!!! Oh well, I guess I'll just add the other 7 to my TBR list. LOL! :oP


message 11: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) Lord of the Rings was originally written as one book in 3 parts/books, but then cut up by the publisher, so most people refer to all three parts/books as one title.

Lord of the Rings is now sold both as one book and in 3 smaller books (Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King), but it is one continuous story...not really a series.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Good lists. It's the first time I've noticed Michener on a list and I was wondering why he was always being bypassed.


message 13: by Val (new)

Val Nichols | 159 comments Charity, those are my kind of lists, especially the "readable fiction" one (since I've read most of them and now don't feel like such a loser). Thanks for sharing!


message 14: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) I'm all for approachable lists! These have become my new faves.

Here is the quote I often use as inspiration when beginning a list (especially something as daunting as the 1001 Books List):

"A man should begin with his own times. He should become acquainted first of all with the world in which he is living and participating. He should not be afraid of reading too much or too little. He should take his reading as he does his food or his exercise. The good reader will gravitate to the good books. He will discover from his contemporaries what is inspiring or fecundating, or merely enjoyable, in past literature. He should have the pleasure of making these discoveries on his own, in his own way. What has worth, charm, beauty, wisdom, cannot be lost or forgotten. But things can lose all value, all charm and appeal, if one is dragged to them by the scalp."
- Henry Miller


message 15: by Siobian (new)

Siobian Awesome lists Charity! Both lists have some really great books on them. Thanks for listing them!


message 16: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10095 comments Mod
This is from my sister in law Beth, who is having posting problems tonite and sent me dire email stressing out, God love her!!

She has read 32 of the best 100 and there are 10 to 15 of them on her to read list!


message 17: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Excellent quote from Henry Miller Charity.

Reading these lists I realize how much I still have to read before I can ever consider myself even almost well read!


message 18: by Emma (last edited Jul 29, 2008 08:43PM) (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments That's a beautiful quote. I'm always worried I'll never remember my favorite books, the way she looked, his name, what the magic was like, which quotes were the best, and that reassures me that I can't. I can't forget.


message 19: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) thanks Charity, that is great information I love knowing a little back story on the books and authors. Awesome!


message 20: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) My husband's favorite book is LOTR and he has made me watching countless biopics on Tolkien. :-)


message 21: by Irene (new)

Irene Hollimon | 92 comments ooh Goody! I got seven!
Funny thing, I've been going through these list seeing how many I've read. And I see A Prayer for Owen Meany come out on several lists.
This is great for me because I've read it.
I read it when it came out. I remember I liked the book. But I didn't read it thinking- "Now there's a classic"
It was good. I don't know if it was "that" good. I can't remember it that well.



message 22: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) *nit pick, nit pick*

72. Rabbit, Run by John Steinbeck

psst.... it's John Updike!


message 23: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) D'oh! I knew that, I just typed it up too fast. Thanks, Hayes! I fixed it. :-)


message 24: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments 33 on the first list/29 on the second list, and I notice a ton of those books are on my TBR. Thanks for the lists!


message 25: by El (new)

El 57 on the first list and 59 on the second.

Man, I love lists. They put order to the chaos of my mind. :)



message 26: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) They are good lists (obviously, as I've read so many of the books LOL) More varied than usual.

Were these the books that were checked out most often from the library in Madison? or was a survey done of library users? (I could probably go to the link and find out... ) I think maybe I should move to Madison - great library!!





message 27: by Charity (last edited May 26, 2009 06:51AM) (new)

Charity (charityross) Hayes,

The 'Reader's Choice' list was from a survey given to the patrons in response to the (Random House) Modern Library's '100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the 20th Century' list that was compiled in 1998 (ML 100 list). There was a lot of controversy about the Modern Library list (in the media), so the Madison Public Library decided to have the patrons vote and compile their own list.
(* Radcliffe Publishing Course did something similar: The Rival 100)

The 'Readable Classics' list was compiled by the MPL librarians. They define 'classic' as a work of enduring interest and appeal in which successive generations can find truths that will not age. 'Readable' includes those classics whose appeal is immediately apparent and continues throughout. (MPL Readable Classics)


message 28: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) I agree with you, Hayes. Much more varied lists than many of the usual lists out there. :-)


message 29: by Hayes (last edited May 26, 2009 06:58AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Thanks Charity. I didn't like the Random house list much... all these lists tend to be too skewed to white anglo saxon classics. I'm discovering a whole world of European lit (modern and classics) that I never knew existed before. And I certainly know nothing at all about middle eastern and asian writers.


message 30: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) Agreed. I'm actually going to be working on my own little challenge this summer that I've dubbed 'My Indian Summer Challenge'. I will be reading books that relate to India/Indians in the hopes of fleshing out my understanding of Indian culture. (I've been rather obsessed lately...) If this works out, I might be tempted to do more seasonal challenges based on other countries/cultures that I haven't had much experience with. Maybe 'My French Fall' or 'My Russian Winter' or 'My Hispanic Spring'...or something to that effect. I've been branching out a lot more recently (from the typical American and British standards) and it has been a very pleasant and interesting experience.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments 24 on both lists. And I'm currently reading one on the second (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay).


message 32: by El (new)

El Charity wrote: "Agreed. I'm actually going to be working on my own little challenge this summer that I've dubbed 'My Indian Summer Challenge'. I will be reading books that relate to India/Indians in the hopes of f..."

I love your challenge ideas! I try to visit a wide variety of countries/cultures while I read as I feel the "dead white guys" can only take me so far in the literary world.


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