my “50” favorite fiction books

I’m no book critic, but I’ve got my favorites. Here are my 46 favorite fiction books, in the order in which I remembered/thought of them. (I tried to think of 50, but I couldn’t, not in one sitting). These are not the “best novels” of all time, as I have yet to read many of those purported books. What are your favorites? (If you want to read my running log of books I’ve been reading it’s here).

1. Murakami Wind Up Bird Chronicle (also like his Norwegian Wood, Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, and After the Quake)
2. F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby **favorite of all time
3. The Plague (also, The Stranger) by Camus
4. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
5. Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex
6. Victor Hugo Les Miserables
7. Madame Bovary Gustav Flaubert
8. Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis
9. John Steinbeck East of Eden
10. World According to Garp (and A Prayer for Owen Meany) by John Irving
11. Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway
12. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
13. Lord of the Flies William Golding
14. Brave New World Aldous Huxley
15. Roots Alex Haley
16. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
17. The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
18. A Room With a View E.M. Forster
19. Watership Down by Richard Adams
20. The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
21. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
22. Great Expectations (A Tale of Two Cities, too) Charles Dickens
23. Yasunari Kawabata’s Snow Country
24. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
25. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
26. A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee
27. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
28. Wonderboys by Michael Chabon
29. Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
30. The RedTent Anita Diamant
31. Winesberg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
32. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
33. Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
34. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
35. Nick Hornby’s About a Boy
36. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
37. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
38. Native Son Richard Wright
39. The Twits by Roald Dahl
40. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
41. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
42. The Curious of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
43. Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
44. All the James Herriot books about being a vet in Sakatchewan
45. The Roald Dahl kid books
56. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster



Filed under Reading

11 responses to “my “50” favorite fiction books

  1. i like 8, 13, 21 ,35, 42 & 45, though i wouldn’t necessarily put them in my list of best 50.

    that link is my in-progress top 200 books, but even i don’t have 50 yet. the books listed are by no means permanent; once i filled up my quota of 200 i’ll probably delete in my opinion the lesser-calibre ones.

  2. dude, you’ve been reading too many food books. go to the fridge and get a snack. but if you lke japanese stuf so much, you might like Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai. i loved it. (btw, did you know i published murakami’s first story in english?)

  3. Now I feel guilty for reading so many magazines.

  4. Leonessa

    This is lovely. I’m printing it out for my own reading list. What a diverse bunch of books, too…

    If I were to publish my own list, just compiling it would take me all week. Do I put on my favorite books from ten years ago? twenty? Lifetime favorites? Childhood favorites? Delicious task but it has to wait until next week…

  5. I don’t have time to make a list either. After NaNoWriMo is over! But I love your list and I can’t wait to make mine.

    Food books? What food books?

  6. howard: thanks for the recommendation. i know you published murakami’s first story in english–another big thumbs up for you and ZYZZYVA! btw, i wasn’t sure this was really howard junker because, well….dude? (don’t get me wrong, i’m a fan of saying “dude”–i was just surprised you use it too).

    susan: i think howard is referring to all the food books in my book log. i really do read way too many food books. but if you must read one food book this year, i recommend “heat” by bill buford!

  7. Is your book log different than your book list?

  8. mel

    Great list!

    I think I don’t read enough!

  9. book log=book list
    but book list does not equal this “50” favorite list

  10. Pingback: My 50 Favorite Books of all time « Swimming Upstream

  11. hear hear for the V Hugo! Thats my favorite book ever

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