Time’s 100 Best Books List

As my follow-up to the BBC 100 Book list, here is a list created by two of the creative and well read minds of Time Magazine, Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo.  Criteria used for selection was that they had to be written in the English language and published after 1923, the year Time magazine began circulation.  This means none of my French or 19th century favorites made it.  Without further ado, the list:

A – B

C – D

F – G

H – I

L – N

O – R

S – T

U – W

Graphic Novels

Compared to the number of books read from the BBC list, I’ve barely read a handful of these. I’m too ashamed to admit just how many that is.  Notable best sellers like Agatha Christie and Stephen King didn’t make the list, making me wonder if these critics had a prejudice against more popular fiction.  Another missing title of note was John Irving’s  “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”

Needless to say, I will grab a number of these titles to add to my ever-growing list of books to read.


About Jodi

I'm an aspiring novelist working in fantasy and suspense, for now. I also have two pretty awesome blogs! https://myliteraryquest.wordpress.com and http://jodilmilnerauthor.wordpress.com
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22 Responses to Time’s 100 Best Books List

  1. Great list – and my confession echoes yours. I guess my e-reader is going to be downloading a lot! I think that I will read them alphabetically. Perhaps we can create a one-year challenge: how many can we read (and re-read) in one year? I do believe I will do that! I’ll put this up in my blog and issue the challenge, keeping track of my progress as I go along, adding it to my new feature, “What am I reading now? Thank for instigating the idea. Blogs have been great this morning! What a great way to start my day!

    • tsuchigari says:

      Not sure if I’ll try for all of these, most are a bit too literary for my taste. But, it got me thinking that I should have a tab of what books are on my fabled reading list and which I’ve conquered so far.

  2. nrhatch says:

    I’m going to scroll through each of these. Thanks, Jo.

    But first ~ I just saw something this morning which ties in with #6:

    The Appointment in Samarra by W. Somerset Maugham

    Death speaks:

    There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”

    The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?”

    That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

    Chilly, eh?

    • tsuchigari says:

      What a classic! I remember reading it in an English class somewhere along the way and always thought it was a great example of irony. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Michael Knudsen says:

    At first I thought they were only considering American fiction, but then I saw C.S. Lewis. What, Narnia but no Middle-Earth? Blasphemy!

    • tsuchigari says:

      Nope, it’s there listed as “The Lord of the Rings.” At least they got that covered! That would be a true shame if they skipped out on it.

  4. Lisa Asanuma says:

    Oh, interesting… I wonder how many I’ve read of both lists. I might steal these and make posts out of them! 🙂

  5. Yipes! I’ve read at least one or two of each of the alpha breakdowns, and seen films of a great many, but what an embarrassment all in all.

  6. aardvarkian says:

    Delighted that Watchmen, the graphic novel, made it into the list. I’d say I’ve read a dozen of these books.

  7. nrhatch says:

    I just scrolled through all 100 synopses and am delighted to say that there is only ONE book that I want to read that I haven’t already read:

    The French Lieutenant’s Woman

    The rest of the books, I’ve either read or couldn’t be paid to read. 🙂

    • tsuchigari says:

      And I don’t blame you! Out of curiosity, how long did it take to read through them all?

    • nrhatch says:

      Probably about an hour ~ give or take. I’m not sure exactly because my sister called mid-way through the list.

      My favorite on the list: To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee. It portrays lawyers as I would like them to be . . . concerned with JUSTICE. 🙂

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  9. MPax says:

    What a list! Will have to add some to my reading list, too.

  10. oldancestor says:


    Another flameout.

    Maybe I’ll make a list of 100 books I’ve read and ask the guys from Time magazine and BBC how they measure up. I’ll be sure to pick as many obscure titles as I can think of.

    Victory will be mine!

  11. tsuchigari says:

    I don’t know they might surprise you! But if you do make a list, I’ll repost it here!

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