Random House Modern Library Readers’ 100 Best Novels

In response to their list of 100 best novels, the Modern library let the readers respond with their favorite books. This list was derived from an online user poll conducted on the Modern Library web site from July 20 to October 20, 1998, during which 217,520 votes were cast.

**Note from Steph: Consider the first ten entries, and ask yourself if the internet culties weren’t overloading the Modern Library online poll with votes. Damned Scientologists! And, really, who the hell is Charles De Lint, the guy with something like twelve books that made this list? After awhile I just stopped linking to his books.

1. Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged

2. Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead

3. Hubbard, L. Ron. Battlefield Earth

4. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord Of The Rings

5. Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird

6. Orwell, George. 1984

7. Rand, Ayn. Anthem

8. Rand, Ayn. We The Living

9. Hubbard, L. Ron. Mission Earth

10. Hubbard, L. Ron. Fear

11. Joyce, James. Ulysses

12. Heller, Joseph. Catch-22

13. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby

14. Herbert, Frank. Dune

15. Heinlein, Robert. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

16. Heinlein, Robert. Stranger In A Strange Land

17. Shute, Nevil. A Town Like Alice

18. Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World

19. Salinger, J. D. The Catcher In The Rye

20. Orwell, George. Animal Farm

21. Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity’s Rainbow

22. Steinbeck, John. The Grapes Of Wrath

23. Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse Five

24. Mitchell, Margaret. Gone With The Wind

25. Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies

26. Schaefer, Jack. Shane

27. Shute, Nevil. Trustee From The Toolroom

28. Irving, John. A Prayer For Owen Meany

29. King, Stephen. The Stand

30. Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant’s Woman

31. Morrison, Toni. Beloved

32. Eddison, E. R. The Worm Ouroboros

33. Faulkner, William. The Sound And The Fury

34. Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita

35. De Lint, Charles. Moonheart

36. Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!

37. Maugham, W. Somerset. Of Human Bondage

38. Flannery O’Connor. Wise Blood

39. Lowry, Malcolm. Under The Volcano

40. Davies, Robertson. Fifth Business

41. De Lint, Charles. Someplace To Be Flying

42. Kerouac, Jack. On The Road

43. Conrad, Joseph. Heart Of Darkness

44. De Lint, Charles. Yarrow

45. Lovecraft, H.P.. At The Mountains Of Madness

46. Spillane, Mickey. One Lonely Night

47. De Lint, Charles. Memory And Dream

48. Woolf, Virginia. To The Lighthouse

49. Percy, Walker. The Moviegoer

50. De Lint, Charles. Trader

51. Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

52. McCullers, Carson. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

53. Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale

54. McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian

55. Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange

56. Shute, Nevil. On The Beach

57. Joyce, James. A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

58. De Lint, Charles. Greenmantle

59. Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game

60. De Lint, Charles. The Little Country

61. Gaddis, William. The Recognitions

62. Heinlein, Robert. Starship Troopers

63. Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises

64. Irving, John. The World According To Garp

65. Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes

66. Jackson, Shirley. The Haunting Of Hill House

67. Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying

68. Miller, Henry. Tropic Of Cancer

69. Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man

70. Windling, Terri. The Wood Wife

71. Fowles, John. The Magus

72. Heinlein, Robert. The Door Into Summer

73. Pirsig, Robert. Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

74. Graves, Robert. I, Claudius

75. London, Jack. The Call Of The Wild

76. Flann O’Brien. At Swim-Two-Birds

77. Bradbury, Ray. Farenheit 451

78. Lewis, Sinclair. Arrowsmith

79. Adams, Richard. Watership Down

80. Burroughs, William S.. Naked Lunch

81. Clancy, Tom. The Hunt For Red October

82. Hamilton, Laurell K.. Guilty Pleasures

83. Heinlein, Robert. The Puppet Masters

84. King, Stephen. It

85. Thomas Pynchon. V.

86. Heinlein, Robert. Double Star

87. Heinlein, Robert. Citizen Of The Galaxy

88. Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited

89. Faulkner, William. Light In August

90. Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

91. Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell To Arms

92. Bowles, Paul. The Sheltering Sky

93. Kesey, Ken. Sometimes A Great Notion

94. Cather, Willa. My Antonia

95. De Lint, Charles. Mulengro

96. McCarthy, Cormac. Suttree

97. Holdstock, Robert. Mythago Wood

98. Bach, Richard. Illusions

99. Davies, Robertson. The Cunning Man

100. Rushdie, Salman. The Satanic Verses

Continue ReadingRandom House Modern Library Readers’ 100 Best Novels

Random House Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

In 1998 the Modern Library, a division of Random House, New York, released this list of ‘the 100 best novels written in the English language and published since 1900.’ The jurors were Daniel J. Boorstin, A.S. Byatt, Christopher Cerf, Shelby Foote, Vartan Gregorian, Edmund Morris, John Richardson, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., William Styron, and Gore Vidal.

Continue ReadingRandom House Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels

Books I Read in 1997 (92 titles)

More or less; I started keeping track diligently in the summer; so there are a few titles missing.


April Lady
Author: Georgette Heyer

As the Crow Flies
Author: Jeffery Archer

Behind the Mask
Author: Kim Larabee

The Book of Ruth
Author: Jane Hamilton

Author: Christa Wolffs

Belgariad Series – Castle of Wizardry
Author: David Eddings

Belgariad Series – Enchanter’s End Game
Author: David Eddings

Belgariad Series – Magician’s Gambit
Author: David Eddings

Belgariad Series – Pawn of Prophecy
Author: David Eddings

Belgariad Series – Queen of Sorcery
Author: David Eddings

A Civil Contract
Author: Georgette Heyer

The Corinthian
Author: Georgette Heyer

Author: Georgette Heyer

The Dreyfus Affair
Author: Peter LefCourt

Ellen Foster
Author: Kay Gibbons

The Chronicles of Narnia – The Magician’s Nephew (Book 1)
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Book 2)
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – The Silver Chair
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Book 5)
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – The Horse and His Boy (Book 6)
Author: C. S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia – The Last Battle (Book 7)
Author: C. S. Lewis

Faro’s Daughter
Author: Georgette Heyer

Earthsea Trilogy – The Farthest Shore
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea Trilogy – Tombs of Atuan
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea Trilogy – A Wizard of Earth Sea
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea Trilogy – Tehanu
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Foucault’s Pendulum
Author: Umberto Eco

Friday’s Child
Author: Georgette Heyer

The Grand Sophy
Author: Georgette Heyer

The Island of the Day Before
Author: Umberto Eco

Author: Sasha Miller

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – The Two Towers
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – The Return of the King
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien

Lord of the Dead
Author: Tom Holland

The Modigliani Scandal
Author: Ken Follett

The Moor’s Last Sigh
Author: Salman Rushdie

The Name of the Rose
Author: Umberto Eco

Never Say Never
Author: Linda Hill

The Nonesuch
Author: Georgette Heyer

Pembroke Park
Author: Michelle Martin

Author: Jane Austen

Primary Colors
Author: Anonymous

The Rapture of Canaan
Author: Sheri Reynolds

Sophie’s World
Author: Jostein Gaardner

Speaking Dreams
Author: Severna Parks

Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle
Author: Georgette Heyer

These Old Shades
Author: Georgette Heyer

A Virtuous Woman
Author: Kay Gibbons

Oathbound – Vows and Honor Series
Author: Mercedes Lackey

Oathbreakers – Vows and Honor Series
Author: Mercedes Lackey

Warrior Woman
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Xena: Warrior Princess – The Empty Throne
Author: Ru Emerson

Xena: Warrior Princess – The Huntress and the Sphinx
Author: Ru Emerson

Xena: Warrior Princess – The Thief of Hermes
Author: Ru Emerson

Xena: Warrior Princess – Prophecy of Darkness
Author: Stella Howard, S. D. Perry


The Age of Chivalry
Author: National Geographic Society

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Author: Anne Frank

The Art of Fiction
Author: John Gardner

The Book of Crests
Author: Mike MacLaren

Author: Eyewitness Books

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating
Author: Judith Kuriansky

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine

A Dictionary of Heraldry
Author: Stephen Friar

Erotic Poems
Editor: Peter Washington

Eve’s Revenge: Sinners and Saints and Stand-Up Sisters on the Ultimate Extinction of Men
Author: Tama Starr

Everyday Life of Medieval Travelers
Author: Marjorie Rowlings

Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths: Selected Aphorisms
Author: Karl Krauss

Author: Norma Jean Goodrich

A History of Erotic Literature
Author: Patrick J. Kearney

I Know You Really Love Me
Author: Dr. Doreen Orion

How to Travel with an Salmon and Other Essays
Author: Umberto Eco

Illustrator Type Magic
Author: Greg Simsic

Journal of a Solitude
Author: May Sarton

Author: Eyewitness Books

Love and Friendship
Author: Allan Bloom

Author: Edith Hamilton

Photoshop 4.0 Classroom in a Book
Author: Adobe Press

Photoshop Type Magic
Author: Greg Simsic

Photoshop Web Magic
Author: Michael Ninness

The Poetry of Byron, Keats and Shelley

The Regency Rakes
Author: E. Beresford Chancellor

The Age of Scandal: An Excursion Through a Minor Period
Author: T. H. White

Sexuality in Western Art
Author: Edward Lucie Smith

The Tao of Pooh
Author: Benjamin Hoff

The Te of Piglet
Author: Benjamin Hoff

Teach Yourself Photoshop in 14 Days
Author: T. Michael Clark

Walden Pond
Author: H. D. Thoreau

Warriors of Medieval Times
Author: John Matthews and Bob Stewart

Wicked German for the Traveler
Author: Harold Tomb

Xenophobe’s Guide to Americans
Author: Stephanie Faul

Xenophobe’s Guide to Germans
Author: Stephan Ziedenitz, Ben Barkow

Continue ReadingBooks I Read in 1997 (92 titles)

Literary Terms I Like

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From Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia
Irony involving insincere modesty
Aesthetic distance
A term that describes the ability to objectify experience in art and present it as independent from its maker.
Jealously watchful
Dante’s symbol of Spiritual inspiration
Bell, book and candle
Used in the ceremony of excommunication.
Wild, warlike being, possesed of supernatural strength.
Social conservatism in thought and didacticism in style, capacity of quiet resignation – a sober, resigned attitude towards the world.
The Rainbow Bridge between Asgard and Midgard
Brocken Mountain
Peak of Harz Mountains, scene of the witches sabbath.
Brocken Specter
Shadows of the spectators projected onto the mists by the mountain
Political Intriguers from the court of Charles II. Any group of friends on an internet newsgroup who are targeted by trolls and other hysterics.
A Break or pause in a line of poetry, for rhetorical effect.
Caledonian boar
A Boar wounded by Atalanta and killed by Meleager
Candlemas Day
Feb. 2nd, blessing of all the candles used in the church for the coming year
A Danish King who rebuked flatters by commanding the waves to stand still–in vain, of course– to show the limits of his power.
Doomed by Apollo to know the fate of Troy, but to have no one believe her.
Literary and Political Group
a literary composition, especially a poem, of lines or parts from the writings of established authors, but with a different meaning
Aphrodite’s girdle
Title of an apprentice knight. Other similar terms include infant, damoysels, valets, bacheliers.
“Cimmerian Darkness” where the sun never penetrates. Homer describes it as beyond Oceanus, in a land of never-ending gloom.
City of Dreadful Night
Long poem by Victorial poet James Thompson. It describes and imaginary city of misery and horror created out of the author’s own sense of despair as, afflicted by insomnia, he walked through the streets of London.
A comic four-line verse made up of two couplets, invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. Often satiric or ridiculous biographies of famous people, the lines being a succession of non-sequiturs.
In classical mythology, an ocean nymph in love with the sun god.
Sui Generis
Being the only example of its kind; unique: “sui generis works like Mary Chesnut’s Civil War diary” (Linda Orr).

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