How many of these classics have YOU read.

It’s one thing to read Ian Fleming, Louie L’Amour and Robert Ludlum. Dime a dozen. Personally I’m into Robert B. Parker and his Spenser detective novels.

But …

In the top 100 I have read the following (but don’t ask me how many I remember in detail).

4 . Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Image of Moby Dick

First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.” The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh…

Image of The Great Gatsby

The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age”. Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the “roar…

11 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Image of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl…

13 . The Odyssey by Homer

Image of The Odyssey

The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m…

18 . 1984 by George Orwell

Image of 1984

The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur…

23 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Image of Catch-22

Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite…

42 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Image of The Grapes of Wrath

Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a …

49 . To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Image of To Kill a Mockingbird

As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is…

69 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Image of The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea…

72 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Image of Slaughterhouse-Five

An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

76 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Image of The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’…

89 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Image of The Scarlet Letter

Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product …

92 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Image of Brave New World

Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod…

95 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

Image of Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat…

97 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Image of For Whom the Bell Tolls

It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is …

100 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Image of Robinson Crusoe

A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl…
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