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TNBBC's Lists > Top 5 All Time - No Classics Allowed

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I'm curious what your Top 5 reads of all time are...with one caveat - no classics allowed. (As much as I love them, I'm looking to add top quality books to my TBR, and I thought eliminating classics would bring more variety.)

Here's to all of us adding the best of the best to our TBR! (yeah, like we really need more, but there's always room for that Next Best Book!)

I'll start with mine, in no particular order:

1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

2. Prodigal Summer: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

3. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

4. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

message 2: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Oooo, only fiction? I'll pick my YA favorites:

1. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (no surprise)

2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

4. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

5. Oooo only five? Hmmm....

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Can be anything, GEmma, fiction, non-, whatever!

message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Hmm alright then!

1. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

2. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

3. Diet for a New America

4. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

5. How could I forget: Abundance of Katherines by John Green

message 5: by Jen B (new)

Jen B (jennybee618) It's harder than I thought without the classics! :)

In no particular order:

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!: A Novel by Fannie Flagg

Prep: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

They're not all great literature, but there's something I loved about each one of them that has made me think of them long after I finished.

message 6: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 423 comments The Kite Runned by Khaled Hosseini
Private Series by Kate Brian
Someone like You by Sarah Dessen
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowlings

That was tough!

message 7: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Great call on The Constant Gardener! That's one of my favorite reads ever.

Okay, so top 5 Contemporary Favs (of today)(in no particular order):

1. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
2. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
3. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
4. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
5. Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) | 509 comments (G)Emma....I am reading Just Listen right now. i just finished the first chapter so I will have some more done tonight.

Now. I only have two...because I only have a top four favorite book list, and two are classics.

1. Eye Contact by Cammie McGoven...My all time favorite book. It is about a boy who has autism, but he is also the only witness in a a murder case, and it is really good.

2. Wicked Lovely by Mellisa Marr...yet another young adult novel...but still an outstanding one.

message 9: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Awesome Andrew! I hope you like it!

message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 1000 comments Hmm, without classics? Let's see...

1) Harry Potter series
2) The Pact-Jodi Picoult (actually anything by her could really make the list
3) Goodnight Nobody-Jennifer Weiner
4) Time for Andrew-Mary Downing Hahn (YA or younger, but I've loved it since I was 10)
5) The DaVinci Code-Dan Brown

message 11: by Emma (new)

Emma  Blue (litlover) | 2389 comments Hey Jessica, are you feeling better?

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments hmm very hard.

3--Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
4-- The Things They Carried--Tim O'Brien
5--The Giver by Lois Lowry

message 13: by LeAnne (new)

LeAnne (early-riser) The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
Enders Game - Orson Scott Card
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry
The Thornbirds - Colleen McCullough
East of Eden - John Steinbeck

message 14: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 423 comments Call me stupid, but what is EC&IL?

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments ooh i accidentally switched the letters around..i meant extremely loud and incredibly close!

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1736 comments No classics, eh?


Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) OOh, A Great Deliverance, that's a great one, Susanna. I love Eliz. George!

Many of these are new titles for me. Looking good!

message 18: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Harry Potter
Queen by Alex Haley
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

message 19: by Atishay (new)

Atishay | 1451 comments Its virtually impossible to list, but here goes my sincere try:

Simple Truth by David Baldacci
Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Day of The Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

However, I've many great reads waiting in my tbr shelf. So, this list is totally dynamic.

message 21: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments It will be the top five that comes in my mind now, so tomorrow I can even be thinking about a different top five.

The Loop by Nicholas Evans

A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani

Prodigal Summer: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver

The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do to Care for The Animals We Love by Jane Goodall

Tre metri sopra il cielo. by Federico Moccia

But I can make so many top five lists.

message 22: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10123 comments Mod
Sorry, had to resave this under the TNBBC Top Lists folder.....

As far as mine:
1-Blindness -Saramago
2-Death of an Ordinary Man - Duncan
3-Dexter series- Lindsay
4-Gil's All Fright Diner - Martinez
5-The Stupidest Angel - Moore
6- Odd Thomas series - Kootnz

Sorry tryed to limit it to 5....
A good mix of the serious, the funny, and the best series out there IMO.

message 23: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) FICTION

1. The World According to Garp by John Irving

2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

3. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

4. Blindness by José Saramago

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

2. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

3. School of Dreams by Edward Humes

4. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

message 24: by Cheri Howard (new)

Cheri Howard Everything is Illuminated
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
A Prayer for Owen Meany
The World According to Garp

message 25: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Sorry, Lori, I meant to put it there and forgot. Bah. Thanks for moving it.

I've not read many of these, so it's just like one giant TBR list. Great to have the non-fiction titles as well, thanks!

I see lots of Irving. I have picked up many of his and never finished one. Has anyone else had this issue come up with his stuff?

message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (goosers34) 1: The Road Cormac McCarthy
2: A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
3: White Noise Don Delillo
4: Zombie Joyce Carol Oates
5: Life of Pi Yann Martel

Laura, I had the same issue with World According to Garp. I forced myself to finish and suffered for it. A Prayer is better, I think. Although it is hard to get into. and a bit slow at time through-out, the pay off at the end is so well worth it!

message 27: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Thanks, Sarah! That's the one I most recently put down. It was interesting, but it just wasn't moving fast enough. Sometimes in these situations, I find audio works better. Maybe I'll try that.

message 28: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Ouch, I put World according to Garp betwee my almsot worst books....
It was jsut realllyyyy long, most of it was boring, but I did like some aprts. But was wondering why it is concidered a really good book!

message 29: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) Wow! The World According to Garp is one of my favorite books of all time and I never found a boring moment in it. In fact, I always thought that it had a ton of events that take place and the characters were fabulous.

But, everyone has there faves and least faves. I was just listing mine.

message 30: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Charity, especially big part of the beginning for me was soooooo don't even know what it was. I dragged myself through that part. I think maybe I disliked most what was written or told by the mother.

message 31: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I guess. Jenny's story at the beginning was one of my faves.

message 32: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments Oh great Charity, I seem to dislike the parts you liked!!! :-))))

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Forgive me for being a HUGE Irving fan but I get especially alarmed when someone makes a blanket statement that he is boring or wonders why others consider it a great book. Anyone that I know that hasn't liked Irving can't stand the way that he constantly goes into back details instead of staying with his main story. For those of us that do like him it is what makes him a great author. If you don't want to wade through those sub stories of sub stories, well, you won't like him, but I think there is substantial evidence, based on his vast readership that his work is good. So wouldn't it make more sense to just say he doesn't work for you? And maybe someday you will pick it back up and actually like it. I've said it before but I have put three, yes three, Irving books on hold to finish them years later and liked them all.

I guess I am generally more forgiving of books than others. I can usually find a redeeming quality of something that has made it to the publishing stage. Take Memory Keepers Daughter as an example. The book drove me nuts at times but I could understand that others liked it and I could see why. It just didn't work for me.

End of rant.

message 34: by Sherry (last edited Nov 12, 2008 01:19PM) (new)

Sherry Good choice Charity! Reading Cider House Rules definitely pushed World According to Garp and all things Irving at the very top of my wishlist for Christmas.

My top 5 would be
1. The Road Cormac McCarthy
2. Blindness(thank you Lori) :) Saramago
3. Cider House Rules John Irving
4. Music of Razors Cameron Rogers
5. City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin

message 35: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Thanks, Sherry, I was curious about yours. Between #4 and #5, which is the best (they are the 2 I don't know)?

message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Hi Jeremy - I like Irving enough to have picked up several of his books. I think it's been a "right book, wrong time" thing for me. I'm gonna keep trying him, because I like the all over the place stuff, and because he's one of the greats so. You just have to. That's how I see it.

message 37: by Sherry (new)

Sherry Laura,it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges I'm afraid. I think that City of Angels is probably more mainstream,a mystery spanning 2 turbulent decades of pre-war Germany. Music of Razors is unusual,involving Angels and closet monsters and a little boy and girl battling some overwhelming terrors. It was one of my favorite reads,but definitely not easily defined.

message 38: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Thanks Sherry. Yeah the Road is on your list, and I don't know if I would ever even attempt that one, so...I'm sure it's good but the subject matter just keeps me away I think.

message 39: by Fiona (Titch) (new)

Fiona (Titch) Hunt (titch) Here are mine:






message 40: by Sherry (new)

Sherry The Road was a beautiful book for me. I have never been as affected by the ending of a book like I was this one.

message 41: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (mcd724) | 117 comments Beach Music-Pat Conroy
Blindness-Jose Saramago
Pillars of the Earth-Ken Follett
The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd
Timequake-Kurt Vonnegut

message 42: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10123 comments Mod
Damn, I forgot all about The Road when I was making my list. That is def one of them!!!!!!

Charity and Jeremy, and Sherry, I have A Prayer For Owen Meany but havent gotten to reading it yet. Depending on how I feel about that one, I want to read Garp as well....

JG (Introverted Reader) I have 17 books on my "favorites" shelf and I think only two of them are classics. Hmmm...

Fair and Tender Ladies
Peace Like a River
Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel
Someplace to Be Flying
Ursula, Under

Ask me again tomorrow! :-)

message 44: by Mandy (new)

Mandy The Kite Runner
Year of Wonders
For One More Day
Marley & Me: Love and Life with the World's Worst Dog
The Stand

Very very tough, these are what they are at the moment, please note these may change daily, weekly, monthly, yearly :)

message 45: by Maurean (new)

Maurean (moreads) | 19 comments Like so many of you, my list could change at a moments notice, but for now, in this moment, my five favorite contemporary fictions (in no particular order):

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Micheal Dorris
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe

message 46: by Jeane (new)

Jeane | 4891 comments The mists of Avalonwas the frs tbook I wrote in my first TBR list and that was about six years ago, still didn't read it...

message 47: by Sherry (new)

Sherry I loved Alias Grace! I read it years ago and still remember it vividly...

message 48: by Cheri Howard (new)

Cheri Howard I'm with Jeremy on the Irving issue, he is one of my top 5 favorite authors! I also agree with him on The Memory Keeper's Daughter. In fact, I think I change my rating of that book every couple of weeks, back and forth between 2 and 3 stars. I kinda liked it, but only a little. I wish Goodreads would add 1/2 stars to their rating system!

message 49: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I do too, I was just thinking about that yesterday. It would be a good thing!

message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes on 1/2 stars. But what a slippery slope. Then we'll want 1/4 stars, 1/8 stars...we're so greedy. We can't be satisfied with 5 blades on our razors, we want 6. A phone that can play music? Nice, but wouldn't it better if it played movies, full internet access, ebooks and transformed into a robot servant when necessary? :0) Seriously, what's wrong with me?

Cheri, you just might be my reading twin!

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