A new Greatest Books list

More than 6 years ago, I started reading fiction quite earnestly. Specifically, I pulled together several “greatest books” lists and began working my way through them.

However, I kept track of this effort on paper and didn’t collate my lists too well. I’ve resolved the issue, though, and am happy to start working with a refreshed “greatest book” list of my own.

Download the Greatest Books list here.

I pulled together four distinct lists of books to make this happen, including:

Greatest Books: Cities of SaltIncluding the Pulitzer and National Book Award winners was somewhat obvious, for me. Those are respected awards and an easy way to judge quality.

The Modern Library list offers a slightly more populous version of the “greatest” list. I only included the Board list, not their Reader list. I may reconsider that in the future. Learn who determines the Board list.

The books from GreatestBooks.org come from a compilation of 100+ lists. I like how organized and specific it is, as well as how it gives my list 50+ distinct titles, specifically some classics.

Overall, my Greatest Books list has 300 titles on it.

This new list, though, shed 109 titles from my previous, less organized list. I’m curious about the books that were deleted – don’t worry, I’ve saved them on another spreadsheet – and how they got onto my original list. I had also already read 31 of those titles, so I lost some serious ground in my progress on the project.

Greatest Books: OblomovI’m puzzled and a little sad at several losses, including:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Oblomov (a somewhat obscure book that was totally worth it)
  • Hunger
  • Cities of Salt
  • Wild Sheep Chase
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find

But, clearly, there are a lot of good books ahead of me.

With this new, refined list, I’ve read 50 of the 300 books, tipping the 17% mark. Given that I started this project 6 years ago, that makes this whole thing a 42 year project – 36 left to go!

Want to join me? Download the Greatest Books list here.