100 Best Novels

While researching good book challenges for 2017 I stumbled upon the Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels list. The list isn't new, in fact it's from 1998, the Radcliffe Publishing Course compiled and released its own list of the 20th century’s top 100 novels, at the request of the Modern Library editorial board. They had started a discussion on the topic when they had released their own list which was discussed and rivalled by a readers' list soon after. Actually, I like the Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels list, I have already read a few, some are on my to-read-list and others are probably a good challenge or a good way to broaden my literary horizon. I will ignore the fact that there are mostly North American and British authors on the list, also that there are insufficient female authors.

I marked read and reviewed books green and added the month and year. There are more I have read but I want to re-read most of those because I don't remember much.

So here's to another on-going-challenge not limited to 2017, of course, but I hope to read a few in the coming months!

17.8.2019    278/100

Portrait of a Lady (1881) by Henry James
The Bostonians (1886) by Henry James
The War of the Worlds (1898) by H.G. Wells
The Awakening (1899) by Kate Chopin
Lord Jim (1900) by Joseph Conrad
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum - October 2014

Kim (1901) by Rudyard Kipling
The Wings of the Dove (1902) by Henry James
Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad - July 2009
The Call of the Wild (1903) by Jack London - July 2015
The Jungle (1904) by Upton Sinclair
Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) by E.M. Forster
A Room with a View (1908) by E.M. Forster
The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame - December 2010
Howards End (1910) by E.M. Forster

Ethan Frome (1911) by Edith Wharton
O Pioneers! (1913) by Willa Cather
Sons and Lovers (1913) by D.H. Lawrence
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) by James Joyce
My Antonia (1918) by Willa Cather
The Age of Innocence (1920) by Edith Wharton
Women in Love (1920) by D.H. Lawrence
This Side of Paradise (1920) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Main Street (1920) by Sinclair Lewis

Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce
Babbitt (1922) by Sinclair Lewis
The Beautiful and the Damned (1922) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Passage to India (1924) by E.M. Forster
An American Tragedy (1925) by Theodore Dreiser
The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald - July 2005
Mrs. Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf
In Our Time (1925) by Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway
Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) by A.A. Milne
To the Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) by Willa Cather
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) by D.H. Lawrence
Orlando (1928) by Virginia Woolf
A Farewell to Arms (1929) by Ernest Hemingway
The Sound and the Fury (1929) by William Faulkner
Look Homeward, Angel (1929) by Thomas Wolfe
As I Lay Dying (1930) by William Faulkner
The Maltese Falcon (1930) by Dashiell Hammett


Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley - March 2017
Light in August (1932) by William Faulkner
The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias (1933) by Gertrude Stein
Tender Is the Night (1934) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tropic of Cancer (1934) by Henry Miller
Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
Absalom, Absalom! (1936) by William Faulkner
Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinbeck - July 2016
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
Rebecca (1938) by Daphne du Maurier - February 2017
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
Finnegans Wake (1939) by James Joyce
Native Son (1940) by Richard Wright
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) by Ernest Hemingway

The Fountainhead (1943) by Ayn Rand
Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell
Brideshead Revisited (1945) by Evelyn Waugh
All the King’s Men (1946) by Robert Penn Warren
The Naked and the Dead (1948) by Norman Mailer
1984 (1949) by George Orwell

The Old Man and the Sea (1951) by Ernest Hemingway - December 2016
The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison
Charlotte’s Web (1952) by E.B. White - June 2018
A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1953) by Flannery O’Connor
Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953) by James Baldwin
The Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding
The Lord of the Rings (1954) by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lolita (1955) by Vladmir Nabokov
On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac
Atlas Shrugged (1957) by Ayn Rand
Things Fall Apart (1958) by Chinua Achebe
A Separate Peace (1959) by John Knowles
Naked Lunch (1959) by William S. Burroughs
Rabbit, Run (1960) by John Updike
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee - May 2016

Catch-22 (1961) by Joseph Heller
Franny and Zooey (1961) by J.D. Salinger
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess
Cat’s Cradle (1963) by Kurt Vonnegut
Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) by Jean Rhys
In Cold Blood (1966) by Truman Capote - August 2016
Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) by John Fowles

Song of Solomon (1977) by Toni Morrison
The World According to Garp (1978) by John Irving
Sophie’s Choice (1979) by William Styron
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams - October 2015

Midnight’s Children (1981) by Salman Rushdie
The Color Purple (1982) by Alice Walker - June 2016
Schindler’s List (1982) by Thomas Keneally
White Noise (1985) by Don DeLillo
Beloved (1987) by Toni Morrison
Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) by Tom Wolfe
The Satanic Verses (1988) by Salman Rushdie
Jazz (1992) by Toni Morrison


In 2004/2005 the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" published a collection of 50 novels and novellas from the 20th century to a very reasonable price. I bought several of them then but haven't read them all yet. This edition/list includes more German speaking authors - so it's a good complement to the Radcliffe list.

12.2.2017   21/50

    Milan Kundera: Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins
    Umberto Eco: Der Name der Rose
Günter Grass: Katz und Maus - July 2019
Francis Scott Fitzgerald: Der große Gatsby - July 2005
    Thomas Bernhard: Der Untergeher
Paul Auster: Stadt aus Glas - Februar 2005
    Elias Canetti: Die Stimmen von Marrakesch
    Edward M. Forster: Wiedersehen in Howards End
    Martin Walser: Ehen in Philippsburg
    John Irving: Das Hotel New Hampshire
    Juan Carlos Onetti: Das kurze Leben
    Arthur Schnitzler: Traumnovelle
    Peter Handke: Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter
    James Joyce: Ein Porträt des Künstlers als junger Mann [Dubliner]
    Marguerite Yourcenar: Der Fangschuss
Patricia Highsmith: Der talentierte Mr Ripley - Februar 2005
    Jorge Semprún: Was für ein schöner Sonntag!
    Uwe Johnson: Mutmaßungen über Jakob
    Harry Mulisch: Das Attentat
Joseph Conrad: Herz der Finsternis - July 2009
    Julio Cortázar: Der Verfolger
    Claude Simon: Die Akazie
    Michael Ondaatje: Der englische Patient
    Georges Simenon: Der Mann, der den Zügen nachsah
    William Faulkner: Die Freistatt
    Rainer Maria Rilke: Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge
    Wolfgang Koeppen: Das Treibhaus
    Siegfried Lenz: Deutschstunde
Graham Greene: Der dritte Mann - August 2013
    Eduard von Keyserling: Wellen
Max Frisch: Mein Name sei Gantenbein - July 2005
    Cees Nooteboom: Allerseelen
    William Somerset Maugham: Der Magier
    Carson McCullers: Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger
    Franz Kafka: Amerika
    Bruce Chatwin: Traumpfade
    Botho Strauß: Paare, Passanten
    Marcel Proust: Eine Liebe Swanns
John Steinbeck: Tortilla Flat - April 2013
    Andrzej Szczypiorski: Die schöne Frau Seidenman
    Julien Green: Leviathan
Oscar Wilde: Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray - Februar 2016
    Jurek Becker: Bronsteins Kinder
    Hermann Hesse: Unterm Rad
    Peter Høeg: Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee
    Primo Levi: Das periodische System
    Marguerite Duras: Der Liebhaber
Italo Calvino: Wenn ein Reisender in einer Winternacht - August 2014

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