Your top 5 favorite books of all time

  1. Crime and Punishment
  2. The Brothers Karamazov
  3. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
  4. The Man Who Was Thursday
  5. Catch-22
  1. The Bone People, by Keri Hulme
  2. Night Watch, by Terry Pratchett
  3. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
  5. Watership Down, by Richard Adams.

(Honorable Mention to the “Twilight” series, which for some reason I’ve been reading over and over and over, compulsively, for about two weeks now. I wish there was some medication I could take that would make it stop.)

  1. The Crow Road by Iain Banks.
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan.
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
  4. At Swim Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill.

5th place has to be a tie, because I really can’t choose between them:
Watership Down by Richard Adams.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

  1. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison.
  2. Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets - David Simon.
  3. American Pastoral - Philip Roth.
  4. Time’s Arrow - Martin Amis.
  5. A Confederacy Of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole.

Honourable mention: It - Stephen King.

Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Uplift War - David Brin
Working - Studs Terkel
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

  1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  2. Lords And Ladies by Terry Pratchett
  3. From Hell by Alan Moore
  4. Valley Of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  5. Watchmen by Alan Moore

[li]For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway[/li][li]To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee[/li][li]A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving[/li][li]Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry[/li][li]Tales from Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett[/li][/ol]

Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen

The Lord of the Rings: J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit: J.R.R. Tolkien
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Robert Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land: Robert Heinlein
To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee

This is very difficult. I’ll list the first 5 I thought of, although there are others I love.

  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
  2. Araminta Station - Jack Vance
  3. Otherland - Tad Williams
  4. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L’Engle
  5. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

Mine has mostly changed the same over the years, only English Passengers has broken through to the top 5 in the last couple of years.

  1. Lonesome Dove- Larry McMurtry (I’m going to let it share with Dead Man’s Walk- since it’s
    part of the same story and almost as great IMHO).
  2. English Passengers- Matthew Kneale
  3. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte
  4. Gone With The Wind- Margaret Mitchell
  5. Trainspotting- Irvine Welsh

Actually, now that I list them out, I’m surprised that there is no Jane Austen there, but she’d be hovering in the 6-10th spots. I tried to pick out the books that really affected me the most, and those are it.

To Kill A Mockingbird
Dr Zhivago
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Sister Carrie
The World According to Garp

Wow - I could never really narrow it down, but here is an attempt:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (with Cannery Row and The Great Gatsby not far behind)
  • Dune (with countless sci-fi behind it and including Watchmen)
  • Guns, Germs and Steel (with plenty of other science-for-the-masses books right behind it)
  • The Masters of Rome series by McCullough (with other historical accounts, fiction or non, behind it)
  • Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Aw man, I don’t even have room for Lolita, Hemingway’s Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Catch-22, Ball Four, any Robertson Davies and so, so, so much more…

I would be very curious to know people’s ages on these. A given list would be one thing from a 24-year-old, another from a 54-year-old, who has a few more years’ reading time in.

Not in order:

  1. The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
  2. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
  3. The English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
  4. The Sacred Canopy by Peter Berger (a bit of a nod to my previous incarnation as an academic)
  5. I’ll have to give to a childhood favorite, if I could pick just one – but two books I read over and over and over were Arm of the Starfish by Madeline L’Engle and Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

1 Ada by Nabokov, Like it Better then Lolita
2 Love in a time of Cholera by Marquez, love really can be evelasting
3 Ana Karenina by Tolstoj, only for the last 70 pages which are pretty much the best thing ever written
4 His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, I know, it’s a children’s book but it is just briljant
5 Lolita by Nabokov, if nothing else for introducing me to Nabokov

I can’t believe that I didn’t include Martha Grimes’ “Richard Jury” series.

I love so many of the characters - Richard, Melrose, Diane, Alfred, CarolAnne, The Cripses, Macalvie… there are too many to name.

Nausea - JP Sartre
Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Climbing Mount Improbable - Richard Dawkins

In no particular order:

The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolken
The Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
The Sum of All Fears - Tom Clancy
The Three Musketeers - Alexander Dumas
Legacy - R. A. Salvatore (What can I say it was the frist book I ever owned)

  1. Ulysses - James Joyce
  2. Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
  3. The Sandman - Neil Gaiman (does this count as a “book”?)
  4. Little, Big - John Crowley
  5. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

The top two are the easiest - those are the books I dive into again and again. #4 is a book I tried to read 25 years ago, bogged down halfway through, and didn’t finish. I finally returned to it a few months ago and was absolutely enraptured. Go figure. Choosing #5 was very difficult, bit of a coin flip there. Pace Brunner, Pynchon, Tolkien, Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien, Alan Moore, Gene Wolfe, etc., and I’m disqualifying stuff like complete works of Shakespeare or Blake from being “a book.”