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Modern Library: The Radcliffe Response


In addition to the selections of the Modern Library's board and the readers that were polled, a list was commissioned from the Radcliffe Publishing Course.

This list is generally accepted as being closer to the preferences of the common reader. I've certainly read more from this list than the other.

But you decide.

(As always, the * denotes books I have read.)


1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison*
8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding*
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
13.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White*
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner*
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad*
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey*
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut*
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway*
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London*
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving*
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
39. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
40. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
41. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence*
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess*
50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin*
51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
52. Howards End by E.M. Forster*
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote*
54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
56. Jazz by Toni Morrison*
57. Sophie's Choice by William Styron
58. Absalom!, Absalom! by William Faulkner
59. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
64. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe*
66. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut*
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles*
68. Light in August by William Faulkner
69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier*
72. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams*
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett*
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
85. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells*
86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
87. The Bostonians by Henry James
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
93. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike*
98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie


The following year, the Publishing Course selected their top 10 favorite books, which, oddly enough, does not differ much from the above list. It appears that the members of the Course enjoy reading "good" books--which is a good thing, I suppose.

  1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
  3. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
  5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein*
  8. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Beloved by Toni Morrison*
  10. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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