Best books of the last 125 years – my list

See the previous entry for the New York Times list.  In no particular order (fiction only):

  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  • Goodnight Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • Heidi by Johanna Sypri
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • Suite Francaise by Irene Nerimovsky
  • Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
  • We Are All Completely Beside Oursevles by Karen Joy Fowler
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Of these, my top few would be:

  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • Euphoria by Lily King

And if I had to pick just one, I think I’d go for Cloud Atlas.  So there you have it – the best fiction book of the last 125 years.

What are your picks?

5 thoughts on “Best books of the last 125 years – my list

  1. becca

    I guess I would toss out all of these lists and put the “best 5 books for me”

    1. Foundation (which isn’t on the NYT list, but its #1 for me)
    And then from the Times’ list
    2. Grapes of Wrath
    3. To Kill a Mockingbird

    If I am picking best children’s book, I would pick Wrinkle in Time first, but it would be followed by Harry Potter. But that list is very long for me (Anne of Green Gables, His Dark Materials, Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, The Giver, Where the Red Fern Grows … so many good choices.)

    … then its tied for so many more?

  2. Jennifer

    Yeah, I don’t claim to truly choose “the best book.” It’s really the one I liked best and was most meaningful to me.

  3. Rosa

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, I agree with your list more than the NYT! I am with Becca on her list of Best Children’s Books – the Wrinkle in Time series, Ender’s Game and His Dark Materials are still my favorites.

    I would add for myself the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons.

  4. Jennifer

    Becca – I added Foundation to my holds at the library. I don’t think I’ve read it!

    Rosa – I think it’s interesting that you’re aligned with Becca. Becca is kind of a space nut, and her list definitely reflects that. I agree that Ender’s Game is an awesome book. It should be on my list.

  5. becca

    I hope you enjoy it. It was originally short stories published in magazines. For me its such a seminal work of science fiction. Isaac Asimov’s universe is all human, no aliens. His characters are flat (to say the least), but his ideas are magnificent especially when you consider it was written in 1950 before any modern science fiction. Its a toss up for me, Foundation v. Robot series. But I think Foundation is the best sort of scifi — it explores what human societies look like when you take them out of the present and put them somewhere else in space and time.

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