Top 100 Fiction

q8~After being drawn in, as a child, by The Secret Garden written by  Frances Hodgson Burnett and the Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene, the cozy mystery is my go-to read. By the time I was in high school, I’d read all of Agatha Christies’ novel published to date. What can I say? I’m a sucker for cozy. This doesn’t mean that I don’t read or haven’t read other books classified as “literature”. Through Janet of Pixelknit’s Ponderings I was introduce to Goodreads, my user name is Slgennut. I’m ahead of my reading goal for the year due to the fact that I decided to re-read the Agatha Raisin Mysteries by M. C. Beaton. Quick, fun, cozy mysteries, reads. Anyway…. While reading one of the free Kindle cozy mysteries, one of the main protagonists mentioned that he was reading his way through  a list of 100 Literature-Books-Which-Everyone-Should-Read. I decided to do an online search to see what books would be on that list. Of course, there are at least 5 different lists which I found, however Times 100 was compliled by two people – crossed off, both of Modern Library’s lists were post 1900 – crossed off.  I’ve decided to go with the Goodreads list and the BBC list, I like how some books are on both lists . I could not find in an entire easily copied list for Goodreads or BBC, so I had to copy and paste each individual book. I’ll cross out the books I’ve read, even if I read them back in the dark ages when I was in school. Can you figure out which ones were required reading in school?

The only reading list with both Ulysses and Twilight! The Goodreads staff pored over the most-read and most highly rated books added by our membership to create the Goodreads 100 for Fiction. Reflecting the amazing diversity of the Goodreads community, this list blends highbrow literature and mainstream fiction, stretching from historic greats like Homer and Shakespeare to modern favorites like Cormac McCarthy and J.K. Rowling. You’ll find classics, contemporary novels, and plenty of genre representation, including historical fiction, science fiction, romance, and fantasy. Any reader who has read all 100 can claim mastery of the Western canon as well as 21st century pop culture.
How many have you read?

List Challenge
The average Goodreads member has read 26 out of 100 books on this list — how many have you read? (Q – 42)
  1. Too Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)  by J.R.R. Tolkien (saw the movie does that count?)
  3. Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (Hated the book, had to read for school. So not my type)
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling
  6. 1984 by George Orwell (He was right, big brother is watching us)
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  8. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (saw the movie)
  11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  12. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  13. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  15. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) by C.S. Lewis (I bought it for my kids to read, but I never read it.)
  16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (I remember my older brother falling asleep trying to read this book, when I was assigned it I loved it and went through it in a weekend.)
  17. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Really?)
  18. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  19. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  20. Little Women (Little Women #1) by Louisa May Alcott
  21. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Still one of my favs)
  22. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I didn’t like it, my son’s favorite book)
  23. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Super yuck, Hubs and son love it)
  24. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams
  25. Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) by Frank Herbert (Read the first 3 chronicles)
  26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  27. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson (Read all three)
  28. A Wrinkle in Time (Time, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle
  29. The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) by Dan Brown
  30. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl
  31. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  32. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Hubs just bought this. Guess I should read it too.)
  33. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  34. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (My kids and grandkids love this battered old book)
  35. Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer
  36. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery
  37. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  38. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman
  39. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  40. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
  41. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  42. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  43. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  44. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  45. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  46. The Odyssey by Homer (Paired with the Illiad)
  47. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  48. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  49. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  50. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  51. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  52. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  53. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  54. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  55. Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Read the series)
  56. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  57. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3) by Arthur Conan Doyle
  58. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1) by Orson Scott Card
  59. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (Had to read the book after I saw the movie)
  60. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  61. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Went on a Russian author kick in the 1970’s. Found I was depressed an quite reading them)
  62. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  63. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (String me up, I don’t like Steinbeck)
  64. Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice
  65. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  66. The Stand by Stephen King (Ok daughters, don’t be shocked, I haven’t read any Stephen King)
  67. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  68. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Started, couldn’t finish)
  69. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (The Hubs favorite author)
  70. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  71. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Really???)
  72. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Sitting on bookshelf)
  73. The Pillars of the Earth (The Pillars of the Earth, #1) by Ken Follett
  74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  75. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  76. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  77. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  78. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (LOVED this book, read all of her books)
  79. Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon (Just ok)
  80. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  81. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  82. Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove, #1) by Larry McMurtry
  83. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  84. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  85. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (On bookshelf)
  86. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  87. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  90. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (On bookshelf)
  91. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  93. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  94. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  95. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (Read all her books)
  97. Ulysses by James Joyce
  98. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  99. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  100. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahirwhic


I’m surprised that none of the books by Thomas Hardy made the Goodreads list. I’ve read all of his, very good glimpse into the English countryside in the 1800’s – Far From The Madding Crowd (Note: not Maddening), Mayor of Casterbridge, etc. Also, where is a book by Flaubert or Zola? Which author are you surprised by the lack of?

The Big Read by the BBC in April 2003, they asked people to nominate their favorite books. According to the BBC, most people have only read six (Q -= 41). An interesting fact, I have found this list elsewhere on the web and credited as the BBC Top 100, but the list does not match what’s on BBC’s The Big Read site, so more individual copy paste. The results are in numerical order, The Lord of the Rings is the #1 most loved book in Britian:

  1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
  8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
  9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
  10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
  13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
  14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
  16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
  20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
  23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
  24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
  25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
  26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
  27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
  29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
  32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
  33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
  34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
  37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
  38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  39. Dune, Frank Herbert
  40. Emma, Jane Austen
  41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
  42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
  44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
  50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
  51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
  53. The Stand, Stephen King
  54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
  56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
  57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
  60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
  62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
  63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
  65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
  66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
  67. The Magus, John Fowles
  68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
  70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
  71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
  72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
  73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
  74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
  75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
  76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
  78. Ulysses, James Joyce
  79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
  81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
  82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
  83. Holes, Louis Sachar
  84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
  85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
  87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
  89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
  90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
  91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
  92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
  93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  95. Katherine, Anya Seton
  96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
  97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
  98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
  99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
  100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Challenge. Read every book on one of the lists. I think I’m leaning more towards the BBC list. I like the wider variety of books. If I find I really cannot read one of the books, I may substitute one of the books on the Goodreads list. Is that cheating? I’m going to see what’s available to download from the library. “Summertime and the living is easy” – time to read some books! Get outside to read an make some Vitamin D! BTW: Who else missed the news that Amazon purchased Goodreads?

9 thoughts on “Top 100 Fiction

  1. 30 and 21 !! Wow! And I have some of those books on my shelf and the Kindle! You don’t realize how much you’ve read until you see a list like this. I have a similar list somewhere, but I know I have limited hours of reading these days. When I was in sixth grade, I used to keep index cards of the books I’d read, with the basic info. Time to start reading again!


  2. Q – OMG! The index cards sounds like me! Then by high school I switched to a very small ringed notebook with alphabetical dividers so I could carry it in my purse. LOL! I always carry my Kindle or a book with me. I never know when I’ll have to wait. It’s easier to pull these out than knitting. LOL!


  3. Watership Down and Matilda are both just magical! I know they’re technically kids books, but I’ve reread both recently and I still love them. I think the BBC list is superior, but that’s just my personal taste.


    • Q – The Hubs read Watership Down when it first came out and loved it. I’m not sure why I didn’t read it then?Um, I re-read The Secret Garden and that’s a kids book. LOL.

      I agree that the BBC list is superior. I’ve checked out Lord of the Rings ebook from the library and will be able to check off #1.


  4. I’ve read 84 from the first list and 67 from the second. My daughter and I just watched Watership Down, the movie, last evening. I read the book, Watership Down, in my early twenties. So many great books, one of my favorites is Lord of the Rings, I read that yearly. I actually read the book before watching the movie series. I love to read.

    You might like reading Lisa Unger’s books, she writes mysteries. She’s close to my age. I think she’s 42.


    • Q – Good job! I’ll have to check out Lisa Unger. I’ve seen her books, but don’t think I’ve read any. I read so much that sometimes I forget which books I’ve read. LOL!


  5. I have another list I shall give to you. it is The World Book Night U.S. for 2013. The A;chemist by Paul Eoelho! Best book I havve read this year. Reading No.1 Ladies’ Detective agency–it has been arlund for a few years I thin, but I find it interesting. See www.


  6. erm, romeo and juliet and hamlet aren’t actaully books, and you aren’t meant to read them but to see them, so I find that first lsit somewhat silly. (Also, I ahve a deep hatred of romeo and juliet on so many levels, terrible plot and I’ve seen soooo many bad productions – I walked out of one, then two months later was forced to endure a performance with three juliets and three romeos) I loved the bbc list when it was on tv because of katherine, I loved that book since my history teacher made me read it when I was 16 – she was wise enoguh to realise teenage girls who had just finished 0 levels werent about to read textbooks over summer, so set well researched historical novels as pre a level homework instead.

    pullmans dark materials books are superb, very complex although they’re theoretically for teens


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