M.R.'s Personal Top 100

In case it wasn't already extremely obvious, I am a woman who loves lists. First and foremost, here on the blog, is The List. But I also have a giant master to do list in an app that I consult pretty much all day every day, and I track all kinds of other things with lists, too.

For a while, I've been thinking about reorganizing The List at the end of this project, taking out the books that I really despised and replacing them with books from the Random/Romance side of things. But sometime last year, I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer. Also the Random/Romance books are a little too random.

I decided that I wanted to put together my own personal Top 100 list.

There are a few things you should know before you look at this list. First of all, I culled it from the master list of books I've read that is over seven hundred items long. I made a lot of hard choices, many of which I'm not at all sure of, given how many of the books I haven't read for over a dozen years. The difficulty I had made me feel pretty good about my reading, though: it's a good sign that I wanted to include so many books on my personal Top 100 that there wasn't enough room for all of them. Second, this list includes novels only (although I use The List's cheat of including entire series as single entries). I suspect that a list that included the non-fiction I've read would be somewhat different. Third, I must admit that there's a fair bit of nostalgia at work here.

Now that I've created this list, I'm going to update it every year.

Take a look:
  1. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
  3. Little Women and Little Men - Louisa May Alcott
  4. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
  5. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  6. The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
  7. Silence - Shusaku Endo
  8. The Long Walk - Richard Bachman
  9. The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
  10. As for Me and My House - Sinclair Ross
  11. The Discworld series (too many to list, including Small Gods) - Terry Pratchett
  12. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  13. His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) - Philip Pullman
  14. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  15. The House on the Strand - Daphne du Maurier
  16. Bird Box - Josh Malerman
  17. Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
  18. Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie
  19. A Room with a View - E. M. Forster
  20. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
  21. The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle
  22. One Hand Clapping - Anthony Burgess
  23. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  24. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
  25. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
  26. Watership Down - Richard Adams
  27. The Anne books (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) - Lucy Maud Montgomery
  28. The Harry Potter series (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) - J. K. Rowling
  29. Where Nests the Water Hen - Gabrielle Roy
  30. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
  31. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
  32. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett
  33. The Earth’s Children series (The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, The Shelters of Stone, The Land of Painted Caves) - Jean M. Auel
  34. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
  35. Angle of Repose - Wallace Stegner
  36. The Running Man - Richard Bachman
  37. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
  38. The Postman Always Rings Twice - James M. Cain
  39. Jamaica Inn - Daphne du Maurier
  40. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  41. Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  42. The Stone Angel - Margaret Laurence
  43. A Passage to India - E. M. Forster
  44. The Foundation series (Prelude to Foundation, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation) - Isaac Asimov
  45. The Orenda - Joseph Boyden
  46. 1984 - George Orwell
  47. My Ántonia - Willa Cather
  48. Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
  49. Catherine, Called Birdy - Karen Cushman
  50. The Cat Who Went to Heaven - Elizabeth Coatsworth
  51. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
  52. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  53. Plowing the Dark - Richard Powers
  54. Calculating God - Robert J. Sawyer
  55. Summer Sisters - Judy Blume
  56. Kane and Abel - Jeffrey Archer
  57. Nightfall - Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg
  58. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
  59. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
  60. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  61. The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
  62. House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
  63. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  64. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  65. The Crimson Petal and the White - Michel Faber
  66. The Dream Where the Losers Go - Beth Goobie
  67. A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes
  68. Main Street - Sinclair Lewis
  69. The Dark Tower series (The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, The Dark Tower) - Stephen King
  70. Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  71. The Call of the Wild - Jack London
  72. The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
  73. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
  74. The Emily books (Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Emily’s Quest) - Lucy Maud Montgomery
  75. The Once and Future King - T. H. White
  76. The Pendragon series (The Merchant of Death, The Lost City of Faar, The Never War, The Reality Bug, Black Water, The Rivers of Zadaa, The Quillan Games, The Pilgrims of Rayne, Raven Rise, The Soldiers of Halla) - D. J. MacHale
  77. City of Stairs - Robert Jackson Bennett
  78. The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde
  79. The Little House series (Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, Little Town on the Prairie, The Long Winter, These Happy Golden Years, The First Four Years) - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  80. The Chronicles of Narnia (The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’; The Silver Chair; The Last Battle) - C. S. Lewis
  81. Olympiad - Tom Holt
  82. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
  83. Carrie - Stephen King
  84. The Sarantine Mosaic (Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors) - Guy Gavriel Kay
  85. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke
  86. Eifelheim - Michael Flynn
  87. Master and Commander - Patrick O’Brian
  88. Shogun - James Clavell
  89. Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
  90. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
  91. Battle Royale - Koushun Takami
  92. The Troop - Nick Cutter
  93. The Dune series (Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse: Dune) - Frank Herbert
  94. The Magnificent Ambersons - Booth Tarkington
  95. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
  96. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  97. The Road - Cormac McCarthy
  98. The Bostonians - Henry James
  99. Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
  100. The Talisman and The Black House - Stephen King and Peter Straub

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