Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, May 8, 2017

The best 100 novels challenge!


Can you do it? Can you name your the 100 novels you think are the best of them all??

If you post this on your own blog or social media feed, link to it in the comments section and I'll include a link to it in the main post!

A few caveats about my own list:
  • This is limited to books I have actually read.
  • I'm 125% sure there are deserving books I loved that I am forgetting. I may revise through time.
  • OMG did I mention this was hard? We did this a few years back with movies and it was way easier.
  1. Moby-Dick
  2. The Great Gatsby
  3. Frankenstein
  4. The Sound and the Fury
  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  6. Sense and Sensibility
  7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  8. A Tale of Two Cities
  9. Beloved
  10. The BFG
  11. Absalom, Absalom!
  12. Atonement
  13. The Big Sleep
  14. Gilead
  15. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  16. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  17. The Secret History
  18. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  19. The Wife of Martin Guerre
  20. Island of the Blue Dolphins
  21. Mrs. Dalloway
  22. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
  23. After Midnight
  24. Matilda
  25. Cannery Row
  26. White Noise
  27. The Passion
  28. The Sun Also Rises
  29. All the Pretty Horses
  30. The Bluest Eye
  31. Swann's Way
  32. The Moviegoer
  33. Neuromancer
  34. Never Let Me Go
  35. 1984
  36. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  37. Slaughterhouse-Five
  38. The Octopus
  39. The Twenty-one Balloons
  40. The City and the City
  41. The Day of the Locust
  42. Tender is the Night
  43. The Little Prince
  44. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  45. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  46. In Cold Blood
  47. VALIS
  48. Enduring Love
  49. The Confidence Man
  50. Number the Stars
  51. Pride and Prejudice
  52. The Phantom Tollbooth
  53. Child 44
  54. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  55. Motherless Brooklyn
  56. Brave New World
  57. Charlotte's Web
  58. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  59. The Commissariat of Enlightenment
  60. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  61. Oliver Twist
  62. McTeague
  63. The Sky is Everywhere
  64. Treasure Island
  65. The Outsiders
  66. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  67. A Confederacy of Dunces
  68. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
  69. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
  70. A Clockwork Orange
  71. Spin
  72. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  73. East of Eden
  74. Fahrenheit 451
  75. Wild at Heart
  76. Nowhere Man
  77. The Corrections
  78. A Wrinkle in Time
  79. War of the Worlds
  80. The Grapes of Wrath
  81. Heart of Darkness
  82. Station Eleven
  83. The Book Thief
  84. Oryx and Crake
  85. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  86. Through the Looking Glass
  87. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
  88. Thérèse Raquin
  89. The Pearl
  90. Catch-22
  91. The Giver
  92. Crytopnomicon
  93. My Side of the Mountain
  94. Fight Club
  95. Tuck Everlasting
  96. Gone Girl
  97. Sphere
  98. The Stranger
  99. The Fellowship of the Ring
  100. Then We Came to the End (Couldn't resist)
I’m available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and consultations! And if you like this post, check out my guide to writing a novel.

Art: Job Lot Cheap by William Harnett


Kia Abdullah said...

1. I'm off to buy them all!

2. What the deuce, Nathan? You must read/add The Time Traveler's Wife!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We share a few. Sense and Sensibility is better than Pride and Prejudice in my opinion so I agree with that inclusion. You have some I haven't read but should because you shouldn't judge a book by its movie.

abc said...

My 100 fave books or the books I think are the 100 best? I don't think I can do the latter. Does this question make sense? I am stressed.

Nathan Bransford said...

I had intended the books you have read that you think are the best, but whatever you can manage -- it's hard either way.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I always get hung up on that--favorite vs. best. There are books I admire but don't love, books I love but know are not great literature. I suppose the "best" are those that hit the sweet spot by being well done and enjoyable.

Another hesitation is that I have great gaps in my reading, not having read a lot of the "classics" but having read many obscure titles found in used bookstores. I've only read a quarter of the books on this list.

Hmmm ...

JOHN T. SHEA said...

An impressive list, Nathan! I've read a lot of them but by no means all. So my TBR pile grows again.

abc said...

Welp, I tried and quickly gave up. Mostly because I started to feel gross about all the books I haven't read. I now have a mission, though.

Sarah Hina said...

I did it!

I don't know why I did it, but I did it.

Cristen Bopp said...

Here you go!

I enjoyed thinking about all of these books and how old I was when I read them and what was happening in my life at the time. Though, I agree, coming up with the list wasn't easy. And, you are really opening up a bit with this list? Intimidating!?!

jenn said...


Amy Eyles said...

I am accepting the challenge!

Top 100 novels

1. The Art Of Racing In the Rain
2. Black Beauty
3. Wuthering Heights
4. Gulliver's Travels
5. Pride And Prejudice
6. Great Expectations
7. Sons and Lovers
8. The Last Of The Really Great Wangdoodles
9. National Velvet
10. Misty Of Chincoteague
11. The Black Stallion
12. Charlotte's Web
13. The Trumpet Of The Swan
14. Danny, The Champion Of The World
15. The Count Of Monte Cristo
16. Tom Jones
17. A Boy Called It
18. Jane Eyre
19. The Island Of The Blue Dolphins
20. The Secret Garden
21. Little Women
22. The Wizard Of Oz
23. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
24. Huckleberry Finn
25. The Call Of The Wild
26. The Wind In The Willows
27. To The Lighthouse
28. The Great Gatsby
29. Fahrenheit 451
30. Catcher In The Rye
31. The Lord Of The Flies
32. To Kill A Mockingbird
33. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
34. The Canterbury Tales
35. The Bell Jar
36. Intensity
37. Love Story
38. The Doctors
39. Of Mice And Men
40. old Yeller
41. The Outsiders
42. Gone With The Wind
43. Where The Red Fern Grows
44. The Hound Of The Baskerville
45. Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry
46. Treasure Island
47. The Mayor Of Casterbridge
48. Anne of Green Gables
49. Heidi
50. Paradise Lost
51. The Life Of Pi
53. Black and Blue
54. My Sister's Keeper
55. The Light Between Oceans
56. The Promise Of Stardust
57. We Need To Talk About Kevin
58. Nineteen Minutes
59. The Pact
60. Plain Truth
61. Change Of Heart
62. Cutout
63. Carrie
64. The Historian
65. Drowning Ruth
66. The Lovely Bones
67. The Book Of Ruth
68. Where The Heart Is
69. The Phantom Tollbooth
70. Being There
71. White Fang
72. The Incredible Journey
73. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
74. The Hobbit
75. Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing
76. Outbreak
77. Naked Lunch
78. My Brother Sam Is Dead
79. Ramona The Brave
80. The Enchanted Life Of Adam Hope
81. Secretariat
82. Seabiscuit
83. The War Horse
84. Hemlock Grove
85. The Clan Of The Cave Bear
86. The Beans Of Egypt Maine
87. Secretariat Reborn
88. A Dog's Purpose
89. Angels and Demons
90. The Da Vinci Code
91. Animal Husbandry
92. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm
93. Little House In The Big Woods
94. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
95. Dicey's Song
96. Inkheart
97. My Side Of The Mountain
98. The Book Of Three
99. Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
100. The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

Cristen said...

Gentlemen, where are you? Your turn! 😉

Kate Williams said...

This is our composite list (YES! we cheated, but still). The challenge garnered lots of in-fighting, face-palms, and mostly scratching and biting. But here's what we landed on. We feel (mostly) good about it.
Best 100 novels from the peeps over @BloomsdayWriter

Anonymous said...

I DID IT!!!!!! These are all books I have referenced back too or read more than once because of such compelling text..Gosh I could have done more. lol
1. Song of Solomon
2. House of Spirits
3. In Living Blood
4. The Good House
5. Temple of My Familiar
6. Tale of the Body Thief
7. Carthage
8. Grandma Upstairs, Grandma Downstairs
9. The Accursed
10. Big Mouth Ugly Girl
11. The Fat Artist
12. Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart
13. The Corn Maiden
14. Zombies
15. Daddy Love
16. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
17. Queen of the Damned
18. The Wretched of the Earth
19. Tigers are Better Looking
20. Good Morning Midnight
21. House of Spirits
22. Ripper
23. Maya’s Notebook
24. Aphrodite: The Memoir of the Senses
25. By the Light of My Father’s Smile
26. The Joys of Motherhood
27. Kindred
28. Blackwater
29. To Kill a Mockingbird
30. Strega Nona
31. The Count of Monte Cristo
32. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe
33. The Alchemist
34. Warriors of Light
35. The Devil and Miss Prym
36. Aleph
37. Giovanni’s Room
38. My Lives and How I Lost Them
39. Pedagogy of the Oppressed
40. River’s End
41. A Choice of Weapons
42. Eyes With Winged Thoughts
43. Inferno (Dante)
44. The Book of Imaginary Beings
45. Labyrinths
46. The Water Cure
47. You Alone Are Real to Me
48. Rilke and Andreas Salome: A Love Story in Letters
49. Duino Elegies
50. Sonnets to Orpheus
51. The Book of Hours
52. Totem and Taboo
53. Thoughts in Solitude
54. Entering the Silence
55. Memories Dreams Reflections
56. The House of Dies Drear
57. Her Stories
58. Beasts
59. Man Crazy
60. Blasphemy
61. The Outsiders
62. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital
63. Servant of Bones
64. Violin
65. Couples
66. Home Burial
67. Their Eyes Were Watching God
68. The Prophet
69. The Wandering of Oisin
70. Zami:A New Spelling of My Name
71. Sonny’s Blues
72. A Lesson Before Dying
73. As I Lay Dying
74. Miss Jane Pittman
75. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
76. Things Fall Apart
77. The Community of Self
78. Mary Celeste
79. Anything We Love Can Be Saved
80. Of Mice and Men
81. The Glass Menagerie
82. Native Son
83. God is in the Mountain
84. Good Night Moon
85. When You Are Old
86. Captain Underpants
87. All About Love: New Visions
88. Isis Papers
89. The House of the Dead
90. Portrait in Sepia
91. The Spook Who Sat By the Door
92. Catcher In The Rye
93. Doctor Sleep
94. Bag of Bones
95. Hearts In Atlantis
96. Ramona’s World
97. Of Time and River
98. The Accidental Santera
99. Atonement
100. Persepolis

JOHN T. SHEA said...

A big 'Bravo!' to Nathan and all who rose to the challenge!

Julie said...

Thanks for the challenge, Nathan! It took me a few days to get everything up on my website, but here is my list:

Anonymous said...

I am totally enjoying everyone's list of books read!!!!That one was creative with the book covers!!!! Gosh, I guess Nathan will be the only male of the species too list? Come on Guys!!!!!

Taffy said...

Holy guacamole, Batman! That was time consuming! But fun too. Now I'm off to nap, I mean, read.

Here's the link to my list:

Backfence said...

Here are mine. Good thing I keep a reading list of what I've read! It made it a lot easier.

100 Best Novels:
1. The Book Thief
2. The Winds of War
3. War and Remembrance
4. The Goldfinch
5. The Caine Mutiny
6. Outlander
7. Voyager
8. Tuesdays with Morrie
9. Follow the River
10. Undaunted Courage
11. Backstairs at the Whitehouse
12. The Indian in the Cupboard
13. Johnny Tremain
14. Cold Sassy Tree
15. Ordinary Heroes
16. The Secret Garden
17. Confederates in the Attic
18. The Secret History
19. A Wrinkle in Time
20. Alice in Wonderland
21. Through the Looking Glass
22. The Last Lecture
23. My Side of the Mountain
24. Gone Girl
25. Always Watching
26. Missing You
27. My Name Is Malala
28. Beach Music
29. South of Broad
30. Timeline
31. The Gift of Fear
32. Mayday
33. Night Fall
34. The March
35. Room
36. Ragtime
37. Into the Wilderness
38. Kaffir Boy
39. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
40. The Frontiersman
41. Rebecca
42. The Odessa File
43. 11/22/63
44. Team of Rivals
45. Christy
46. The Accidental Tourist
47. Saint Nobody
48. The Immigrants
49. Jackdaws
50. Fall of Giants
51. World Without End
52. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
53. The Exile
54. Exile
55. Night Over Water
56. The Art of Racing in the Rain
57. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
58. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
59. The Ransom of Red Chief
60. Ordinary People
61. Black and Blue
62. Angela’s Ashes
63. Dr. Zhivago
64. The Shell Seeker
65. Black Like Me
66. The Rainmaker
67. The Client
68. Water for Elephants
69. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
70. Snow Falling on Cedars
71. The Evening News
72. Roots
73. The Scarlett Letter
74. The Crucible
75. The Thornbirds
76. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
77. Small Great Things
78. The Notebook
79. A Prayer for Owen Meany
80. Unbroken
81. All Creatures Great and Small
82. North and South Trilogy
83. Caribbean
84. Chesapeake
85. Mudbound
86. Flowers or Algernon
87. Missoula
88. The Hour I First Believed
89. I Know This Much Is True
90. To Kill a Mockingbird
91. Where the Heart Is
92. Not Without My Daughter
93. Reading Lolita in Tehran
94. Gone with the Wind
95. The Time Traveler’s Wife
96. A Man Called Ove
97. The Gift of Fear
98. Inheriting the Trade
99. Heartburn
100. On the Border of Time (Shameless Plug – I know the author well)

Kourtney Heintz said...

I'm thinking this challenge will be my next blog post. Definitely loved The LIttle Prince. That will be on my list too. 99 more to go!

Sharon Reamer said...

Sorry, I'm so late to the challenge because I've been on the road (field trip to Sicily - yeah, I know, life is tough) and have just got my sh*t together after getting home yesterday.

Thank you for the challenge!

Kourtney Heintz said...

This was really hard, but I did it! Here's the link to my list:

Becky said...

Your list is so different than I think mine would be. I'm going to post one on my blog, after I work on it for a few days. Thanks for the fun idea. :)

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