Thursday, August 19, 2010

100 Greatest Books Ever Written (Easton Press)

I love lists of all sorts.  I love countdowns, top 10's and the movie "High Fidelity" because it has tons of lists.  Something about them makes me want to critique and analyze and create my own lists.  In the literature world, the Modern Library gets all the press.  In a past blog post I have given some credence to the list by TIME Magazine and now I thought I would post a list that gets very little attention at all... the one from Easton Press.  Here is their list of the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (READ)
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift (READ)
Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway (READ)
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
The Odyssey by Homer
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Tales From The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Candide by Voltaire (READ)
Oedipus The King by Sophocles
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame [Notre-Dame De Paris] by Victor Hugo
The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Sea Wolf by Jack London
Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmund Rostand
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Collected Poems by Robert Browning
The Essays Of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (READ)
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Collected Poems by John Keats
On The Origin Of Species by Charles Darwin
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Collected Poems by Robert Frost
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving
Animal Farm by George Orwell (READ)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (READ)
She Stoops To Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck (READ)
Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen (READ)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (READ)
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
The Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (READ)
Politics And The Poetics by Aristotle
The Aeneid by Virgil
Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (READ)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (READ)
Pygmalion And Candida by George Bernard Shaw
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare (READ)
The Cherry Orchard And The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Analects of Confucius by Confucius
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
Collected Poems by William Butler Yeats
The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (READ)
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (READ)
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Neclace And Other Tales by Guy de Maupassant
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Fathers And Sons by Ivan Turgenev (READ)
Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (READ)
War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The History of Early Rome by Livy
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott
Tess Of The D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (READ)
Alice's Adventure In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (READ)
Dracula by Bram Stoker (READ... but so long ago)
The Rubáiyát Of Omar Khayyám by Omar Khayyám
The Red And The Black by Stendhal (READ)
A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (READ)
The Republic by Plato
Collected Poems by Emily Dickinson
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Billy Budd by Herman Melville
The Confessions by St. Augustine
Tales of Mystery And Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (READ)
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler (READ)
The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner (READ)
Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (READ)
Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (READ)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (READ)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Oh, now I get why this list is never mentioned.  Look how much Shakespeare is on it!  People hate that!
I've read over a quarter (28*) of these books [which is more than any other list] so I'm feeling pretty good.  Since most of the works were published in the late 70's, the list must represent popular sentiment from the time.  I wonder how they came up with it... anyone know?

*Updated December 2010..


Isaac7985 said...

I'm not sure why more people don't give this list credence, but I know why I don't: No "Lord of the Rings" and no "Ulysses." You might not like these books, but just for the sheer achievement of their writing I'd say they definitely belong on any "greatest books ever written" list. Also, I'm not sure about Easton Press's decision to lump fiction and non-fiction books together. "The Republic" and "The History of Early Rome" may be great books, but they're in a much different field than the creative works. I don't think this is an awful list, but some of the additions and omissions do leave a bad taste in my mouth.

SocrMom78 said...

The fact that they left "Ulysses" off this list totally recommends it. And I love Shakespeare and am not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.

Toni Wi said...

Hemmingway FTW!

I like these kinds of lists. This one has a ton of old books, which is different to the Times list I'm familiar with which is only early 20th C onwards, I think. Something like that.

Anyway, I'm a new follower. Hi :)