Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today I saw another “Best Books Ever Written” list. This latest list was from one of the editorialists at NPR. He limited his list to The Best 100 Books of the 20th Century. Embarrassingly, I’ve only read eleven titles on his list. Goodreads, a social networking site for readers also has a list. I’ve read many more of them. Project Gutenberg, a collection of electronic books has several best book lists available, too. You might enjoy some of the lists. Just click to get to them.

I use all these lists to help make purchasing decisions for my library, help recommend books to patrons and to help build my own “need to read” list. Some titles appear on many of the lists, but none of the lists are exactly alike. Literature is, after all, a matter of taste.

Since I know you are all eagerly awaiting my list of favorites, I’ll share it. Tomorrow night my list might be different. These, though, are books that come to mind right now that I enjoyed or that made me think. Some of them even changed my life. Let me hear yours, too.


  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (It's a good thing my children were girls because I would have named boys Augustus and Capt'n Call)
  • Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Students read her The Bean Trees in English class, but I think Poisonwood Bible is her masterpiece)
  • The Believers by Janice Holt Giles (I read it the first time in seventh grade and I love it more every time I read it.)
  • The Good Old Boys by Elmer Kelton (I've known men like the main character. The best and worst of manhood and the American West.)
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (I don't know if I'd feel the same way if I read it today, but it changed the way I looked at the world.)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (A really, really great book about friendship, regret and responsibility.)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey (The movie is good, but the book rocks.)
  • Shane by Jack Schaefer (The ulitimate western novel. Every Hollywood gunfighter owes his existence to Shane.)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (She may have only had one book in her, but it was a great one.)
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (One of the only books I actually got spooky scared as I was reading it.)

1 comment:

Jason said...

Why do you write "Stretch" at the conclusion of your post? What does it mean?

Thanks for the lists. I am not an avid reader of fiction and I guess most if not all of these books on these lists are fiction. It will give me a good starting point. I liked your list, but I have not read a single thing on it. I feel lame becuase my list would be the books would be non-fiction and less story-education.

I am trying to read a book called Cursade in Jeans for a youth discussion lead by Sarah Boyette over the summer. I have had the book for two weeks and am only on page 45. I have no idea if the book is good or not, I just read novels like most people read computer progreamming books - SLOWLY.

My brian is not used to reading this sort of stuff