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First of all, before I'm criticized for anything on this list, I didn't make it, Time magazine did! It would be awesome if we could read at least some of these together; at least, I think so :)

The Adventures of Augie March (1953), by Saul Bellow

All the King's Men (1946), by Robert Penn Warren

American Pastoral (1997), by Philip Roth

An American Tragedy (1925), by Theodore Dreiser

Animal Farm (1946), by George Orwell

Appointment in Samarra (1934), by John O'Hara

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970), by Judy Blume

The Assistant (1957), by Bernard Malamud

At Swim-Two-Birds (1938), by Flann O'Brien

Atonement (2002), by Ian McEwan

Beloved (1987), by Toni Morrison

The Berlin Stories (1946), by Christopher Isherwood

The Big Sleep (1939), by Raymond Chandler

The Blind Assassin (2000), by Margaret Atwood

Blood Meridian (1986), by Cormac McCarthy

Brideshead Revisited (1946), by Evelyn Waugh

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), by Thornton Wilder

Call It Sleep (1935), by Henry Roth

Catch-22 (1961), by Joseph Heller

The Catcher in the Rye (1951), by J.D. Salinger

A Clockwork Orange (1963), by Anthony Burgess

The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), by William Styron

The Corrections (2001), by Jonathan Franzen

The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), by Thomas Pynchon

A Dance to the Music of Time (1951), by Anthony Powell

The Day of the Locust (1939), by Nathanael West

Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), by Willa Cathe

rA Death in the Family (1958), by James Agee

The Death of the Heart (1958), by Elizabeth Bowen

Deliverance (1970), by James Dickey

Dog Soldiers (1974), by Robert Stone

Falconer (1977), by John Cheever

The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969), by John Fowles

The Golden Notebook (1962), by Doris Lessing

Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953), by James Baldwin

Gone With the Wind (1936), by Margaret Mitchell

The Grapes of Wrath (1939), by John Steinbeck

Gravity's Rainbow (1973), by Thomas Pynchon

The Great Gatsby (1925), by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Handful of Dust (1934), by Evelyn Waugh

The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (1940), by Carson McCullers

The Heart of the Matter (1948), by Graham Greene

Herzog (1964), by Saul Bellow

Housekeeping (1981), by Marilynne Robinson

A House for Mr. Biswas (1962), by V.S. Naipau

lI, Claudius (1934), by Robert Graves

Infinite Jest (1996), by David Foster Wallace

Invisible Man (1952), by Ralph Ellison

Light in August (1932), by William Faulkner

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), by C.S. Lewis

Lolita (1955), by Vladimir Nabokov

Lord of the Flies (1955), by William Golding

The Lord of the Rings (1954), by J.R.R. Tolkien

Loving (1945), by Henry Green

Lucky Jim (1954), by Kingsley Amis

The Man Who Loved Children (1940), by Christina Stead

Midnight's Children (1981), by Salman Rushdie

Money (1984), by Martin Amis

The Moviegoer (1961), by Walker Percy

Mrs. Dalloway (1925), by Virginia Woolf

N*** Lunch (1959), by William Burroughs

Native Son (1940), by Richard Wright

Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson

Never Let Me Go (2005), by Kazuo Ishiguro

1984 (1948), by George Orwell

On the Road (1957), by Jack Kerouac

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), by Ken Kesey

The Painted Bird (1965), by Jerzy Kosinski

Pale Fire (1962), by Vladimir Nabokov

A Passage to India (1924), by E.M. Forster

Play It As It Lays (1970), by Joan Didion

Portnoy's Complaint (1969), by Philip Roth

Possession (1990), by A.S. Byatt

The Power and the Glory (1939), by Graham Greene

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), by Muriel Spark

Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike

Ragtime (1975), by E.L. Doctorow

The Recognitions (1955), by William Gaddis

Red Harvest (1929), by Dashiell Hammett

Revolutionary Road (1961), by Richard Yates

The Sheltering Sky (1949), by Paul Bowles

Slaughterhouse Five (1969), by Kurt Vonnegut

Snow Crash (1992), by Neal Stephenson

The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), by John Barth

The Sound and the Fury (1929), by William Faulkne

rThe Sportswriter (1986), by Richard Ford

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1964), by John le Carre

The Sun Also Rises (1926), by Ernest Hemingway

Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), by Zora Neale Hurston

Things Fall Apart (1959), by Chinua Achebe

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), by Harper Lee

To the Lighthouse (1927), by Virginia Woolf

Tropic of Cancer (1934), by Henry Miller

Ubik (1969), by Philip K. D***

Under the Net (1954), by Iris Murdoch

Under the Volcano (1947), by Malcolm Lowry

Addenda by yours truly :) :

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Battle Cry by Leon Uris

The N*** and the Dead by Norman Mailer

Any short story collection by O. Henry or Raymond Carver

Addenda by Tegh:

A Thousand and One Nights


The Iliad

The Odyssey


3/23/2011 . Edited 3/26/2011 #1

Already read to kill a mockingbird, it was okay...but other ones I may be up for.

3/23/2011 #2

Cool beans :) Never read the book, saw the movie :) It was good :)

3/23/2011 #3

I've actually read about 45% of that list. Though I disagree with a few of those and know of a few that need to be added. For example, anything printed after 1960 or so, shouldn't even be considered since it's an "all time" list. 50 years isn't enough to prove that. Plus, you would think the best examples would be things that have been around for freakn ever. One Thousand and One Nights (AKA Arabian Nights), The Iliad, the Odyssey, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, etc. Books that are still read today that were written centuries ago, should definately top out some of the BS on here. lol

3/24/2011 #4

It's all policital like evrything else *coughs*

3/24/2011 #5

@Tegh - By all means add them.

If you have already read the book then list the ones you have and we can work from there, or we can pick one and got to somewhere - Hint, Hint, and discuss said book.

And let's make sure we discuss something within like Character Development, Imagery, Tone, Pace, Use of Historical facts, Etc....

You know things that broaden our examination of the piece. Just to say "IT WAS EPIC!" Isn't enough for me. Why is it epic, so forth and so on.

3/24/2011 #6

Actually, a majority of those works are so old, politics no longer play into it. The newer ones sure, but the older ones are there due to the concepts or writing for the time period. Many of them are very solid books...maybe a bit dry, but incredibly well written and they created or changed entire genres after their publications. (Something many politicos ate the time, didn't agree with at all.) lol

3/24/2011 #7

A book discussion sounds nice, I think I had the wrong idea? But if a magazine choses something isnt based off personal opinion on some level?

3/24/2011 #8

@Frap: I'm all for that idea. Though I won't list those I've would take too long lol. If you guys pick one I've read, my memory is such that I can jion the conversation on the pros and cons of said book and it's writing style. I highly suggest 1984 to start.

3/24/2011 #9

I have nvr read 1984, I somehow avoided it, I think it was purposely, I know why I didn't like Animal Farm.

3/24/2011 #10

So would it be fair that we pick possibly four books or less, and choose a time that said material will be discussed? For example. The Catcher and the Rye seems to be on the table just for quick discussion, and though I've read it, I just can't find it at the moment but I can join into conversation when possible.

How does that sound? Or we can break it down to say, a couple of chapters a week and discuss on weekends etc.... I have to plan my life, tis a mother thing, so I work best when I know how to manage my time....


3/24/2011 #11

I get what ur saying, we could start with catcher in the rye and decide on three other books. , ooh this is like my first book club (nerd moment over) .

3/24/2011 #12

Two legs baaaaaaaaaaaad

Four legs ggooooooooooooood....

Sorry Rose, but I liked that book, and I liked the old film that went with it. I know it was for political reasonings that it was written and there is so much more to it, but I would love to just read it again. Like Lord of The Flies, and anything from Poe.... (:

3/24/2011 #13

We all have diff. taste, I read it my freshman year of hs...with an odd english teacher that told me wierd stories.

3/24/2011 #14

I hated Beuwolf when I first read it in my Freshman class in HS, but I read it again for fun later and it wasn't all that bad. I saw the movie and well I loved it....Yeah, just the computer animation things was awesome. Especially the genius behind making their hair look real, and fire also look real.

But you can actually tell us why you don't like something. It's cool. I didn't want to read the Grapes of Wrath. At the time I read it, my dad was laid off so all of it was depressing.

I remember Of Mice and Men, and I want to re-read that also, because I forgot all the logistics surrounding the girl. I knew what happened to her, just that's all I remember.

3/24/2011 #15

,haha frap that happenst to me too, I dont like of mice and men ( I read it twice) .

3/24/2011 #16

I failed to mention (and didn't realize it at first) that this is a list of the 50 best modern English-language novels. That may explain why things like Beowulf and the Odyssey and the Iliad aren't on the list :)

I personally LOVE Of Mice and Men, but I love all John Steinbeck; he writes about my home (California) in such beautiful, poetic terms. However, for me, Of Mice and Men stands even above all his other works, including The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.

I'd personally like to re-read The Big Sleep (haven't read it in forever) and I've been wanting to read On The Road for forever (never read it before). I'd also like to read Gravity's Rainbow (the concept just sounds so amusing), but I think I'll read that one on my own, unless anybody else wants to :)

And I think adding to the list is certainly in order! Here's a couple of books that I think were sadly overlooked (or weren't eligible):

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

And there's NO collection of O.Henry stories on the list! What a travesty!

3/25/2011 #17

Lenny annoys me, I know its mean to say.

3/25/2011 #18

Eh, it's not mean :) I mean, it's not everybody's cup of tea :) I'm sure Lennie and George don't mind :), and I'm sure Mr. Steinbeck doesn't mind, since he's dead :)

3/25/2011 #19

Haha yeah, poor girls dress that he took a peek under.

3/25/2011 #20

Whenever I think of Lennie, I always think of the rabbits :) and the poor puppy :(

Yeah, personally, I love Mr. Steinbeck, and like I said, Of Mice and Men is my favorite of all his books, so I'm biased :)

3/25/2011 #21

I think the habits of the men got to me, I found it diguisting, I was a fun 14 yr old. I think I noticed they didnt put cleanlyness next to godlyness lol.

3/25/2011 #22

Haha! Very true! I think something that really helped me to get into Steinbeck was actually visiting his stomping grounds: Salinas, Big Sur, and the Central Valley of California. I've never lived there (always southern or northern CA for me), but it's a BEAUTIFUL place to visit (everybody should visit Big Sur at least once; it's a beautiful place).

So what are your favorite "classic" novels?

3/25/2011 #23

The Bucaneers, I loved the pbs miniseries too, I was speaking whimiscall for a few I really liked the shakespeare play taming of the shrew, its not a classic novel, but I still liked it lol.

3/25/2011 #24

I haven't read The Buccaneers. I'm really not very well-read!

And Shakespeare definitely counts :) Which reminds me, I was going to add Death of a Salesman to the list :) I'll do that now :)

3/25/2011 #25

The Buccaneers is by Edith Wharton, she writes some good books, I wanted to read another one, but i have seen the movie too many times, it was a tragic tale (The House of Mirth).

3/25/2011 #26

Ah :) See, you taught me something about her! Yeah, I've really only heard her name :)

We should (as a forum) make a sub-list of the best short stories of all time! :) Random, but not :)

3/25/2011 #27

For one of my writing characters, I use her novels as an influence on the character, Kate Chopin is another interesting author, she wrote The Awakening, which is a feminist novel in the 1890's, its the book that Aidelaide reads and it changes her life.

3/25/2011 #28

The Awakening is an interesting book that agrees with my views; another book that I really like that I find very feminist is James M. Cain's Mildred Pierce. They're making it into a TV movie that I am excited for :) Cain also wrote two of my favorite thrillers: The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity.

3/25/2011 #29

I can't wait for Mildred Pierce, Kate Winslet! , ok moment ovr, im afraid that if I read a thriller , I would have to put the book down time to time from being scared or anxious lol.

3/25/2011 #30
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