Musing Mondays – Borders’ 100 Favorites


This past week, Borders re-released it’s 100 Favourite Books of All Times. Do you vote in these kinds of polls when they arise? Do you look through the list, or seek out books featured?

I do, if I come across the polls. However, I didn’t see this poll, hence, nope to this one!

I try and look through the list, and see which ones I’d like to seek out, and which ones I’ve already read. So, highlighted in blue are the ones I’ve read, and in red, the ones I intend to seek out:

  1. Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice
  2. Harper Lee – To Kill A Mockingbird
  3. JRR Tolkien – Lord Of The Rings
  4. Jodi Picoult – My Sister’s Keeper
  5. Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga
  6. JK Rowling – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
  7. Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife
  8. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
  9. George Orwell – 1984
  10. Raymond E. Feist – Magician
  11. Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
  12. Paullina Simons – Bronze Horsemen
  13. Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram
  14. Margaret Mitchell – Gone With The Wind
  15. Bryce Courtenay – Power of One
  16. Dan Brown – The Da Vinci Code
  17. Dan Brown – Angels & Demons
  18. Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
  19. Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
  20. Tim Winton – Cloud Street
  21. Khaled Hosseini – The Kite Runner
  22. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
  23. Arthur Golden – Memoirs of Geisha
  24. LM Montgomery – Anne Of Green Gables
  25. Joseph Heller – Catch-22
  26. Elizabeth Gilbert – Eat Pray Love
  27. Niv Mass Market Bible With Bible Guide – International Bible Society Staff and International Bible Society
  28. JRR Tolkien – The Hobbit
  29. Yann Martel – Life of Pi
  30. AB Facey – Fortunate Life
  31. Douglas Adams – The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
  32. Lewis Carroll – Alice In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass
  33. Diana Gabaldon – Cross Stich
  34. Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance
  35. David Pelzar – A Child Called It
  36. Li Cunxin – Mao’s Last Dancer
  37. John Marsden – Tomorrow, When The War Began
  38. Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes
  39. Frank Herbert – Dune
  40. JD Salinger – A Catcher In The Rye
  41. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  42. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years Of Solitude
  43. Bryce Courtenay – April Fool’s Day
  44. Ken Follet – Pillars Of The Earth
  45. Patrick Suskind – Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer
  46. Matthew Reilly – Ice Station
  47. Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow Of The Wind
  48. Stephen Hawking – A Brief History Of Time
  49. Christopher Paolini – Eragon
  50. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
  51. Mitch Albom – Tuesdays With Morrie
  52. Jane Austen – Persuasion
  53. Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
  54. Ian McEwan – Atonement
  55. Leo Tolstory – Anna Karenina
  56. George Orwell – Animal Farm
  57. Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange
  58. Antoine de Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince
  59. Roald Dahl – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
  60. CS Lewis – The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
  61. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love In The Time Of Cholera
  62. Bill Bryson – A Short History Of Nearly Everything
  63. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime And Punishment
  64. Anthony Bourke – Lion Called Christian
  65. Arundhati Roy – The God Of Small Things
  66. Paullina Simons – Tully
  67. John Grisham – A Time To Kill
  68. John Grogan – Marley & Me
  69. Vikram Seth – A Suitable Boy
  70. Alexandre Dumas – Count Of Monte Cristo
  71. Neil Gaiman – American Gods
  72. Cormac McCarthy – The Road
  73. Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
  74. Brendan Shanahan – In Turkey I Am Beautiful: Between Chaos And Madness In A Strange Land
  75. Tim Winton – Breath
  76. Bryce Courtenay – Jessica
  77. Graeme Base – Animalia
  78. Donna Tartt – The Secret History
  79. Mario Puzo – The Godfather
  80. Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire
  81. Steig Larrson – The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo
  82. Stephen King – Stand
  83. Helen Fielding – Bridget Jones’ Diary
  84. Eckhart Tolle – New Earth
  85. Matthew Reilly – Seven Ancient Wonders
  86. Jung Chang – Wild Swans
  87. Nicholas Sparks – The Notebook
  88. Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho
  89. David Eddings – Belgariad Vol. 1: Pawn Of Prophecy; Queen Of Sorcery; Magician’s Gambit
  90. Louis De Bernieres – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
  91. Melina Marchetta – Looking For Alibrandi
  92. Celia Ahern – PS I Love You
  93. John Irving – A Prayer For Owen Meany
  94. Colleen McCullough – The Thorn Birds
  95. John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy Of Dunces
  96. Terry Pratchett – Good Omens
  97. Hunter S. Thompson – Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
  98. Joanne Harris – Chocolat
  99. William Goldman – Princess Bride
  100. Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

So, I’ve read 39 of the 100. That’s not too bad… What concerns me is, there’s a lot of “new” fiction on here, which probably wouldn’t be on the list, if the list was created say, ten years later. For instance, I am not convinced that The Twilight Saga, the Steig Larrson, both the Khaled Hosseinis, and the Jodi Picoult would make it to the list.

On the other hand, I’m quite surprised that books like Rebecca {Daphne du Maurier}, The Fountainhead {Ayn Rand}, The Handmaid’s Tale {Margaret Atwood}, Midnight’s Children {Salman Rushdie}, Disgrace {JM Coetzee}, Schindler’s Ark {Thomas Keneally}, and Anne Frank’s Diary didn’t make it to the list – and that’s just from the top of my head.

Do you think these lists are accurate? Are you surprised to see any of the books here? Which books would you add on?

39 Responses to “Musing Mondays – Borders’ 100 Favorites”

  1. I think lists like this are fun.I don’t know if they mean anything but they are fun to look at and play with. :-)

  2. I agree they are fun to look at, but not sure how much they mean, especially ones like this which are a bit more of a popularity contest than a really well thought out ‘best’ list.
    39 is very good though!

    • True – it’s not really the thought-out “best” list. Guess as its a list decided by readers, it’s more prone to focus on new(er) books, compared to some of the classics out there.

      I haven’t read 39, but I’ll try finding it. They do have some good stuff out there, to be fair…

  3. I like looking at these lists, but so many of them, like this one, seem to be a “what’s hot now” list. I might get a few reading ideas from them, but I don’t consider them a reliable source. As you say, they lean too heavily to the new to really be the best “of all time.”

    I think I’ve read 41 of these, so we’re at about the same place. There are several others I intend to read as well.

    • Yeah, I agree with you – reason why the whole list isn’t splattered with red. Would be more interesting if it was a true reflection of the all-time favourites.

      Best of luck reading the ones you want to… 41 > 39 :)

  4. I’m going to have to look at this look. I like this one. Here is mine

  5. I do read the bestselling lists, though I don’t rely on them as much as recommendations from fellow bookbloggers. :)

  6. Not surprised, because this should be a mainstream/bestselling list. It drives me mad that such list always includes Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper (always near the top too) as I was sorely disappointed by it.

  7. I agree with you that many of those new titles wouldn’t be on the list if the poll were taken 10 years from now. We do have to accept that the results of poll is also largely influenced by what’s popular these days. I mean I really enjoyed reading the Twilight Saga for what it is, but I certainly don’t think it should be on a “best of all time” list. If Dickens and Fitzgerald had Amazon, FedEx, and the World Wide Web back in their days, their works would have probably had enormous weekly sales as well :)

    Like you I’ve also read The Alchemist and it was one of the books that I took delight in reviewing because I felt like I had much to say about it. I’m also interested in reading The Godfather, Anna Karenina, and Wuthering Heights. Did you enjoy The Great Gatsby and Great Expectations? I promised myself I’ll read them next year :)

    I’ve got Dune in my shelf, but I haven’t read it yet. I bought it because I felt like I needed to try some classic sci-fi before I even try the contemporary ones, and the copy I found was also this nice hardcover edition from the SF MasterWorks series. I’ve both started reading Love In The Time of Cholera and American Gods earlier in the year but haven’t gotten back to them because I got stuck in other readings. But I will get back to them soon, especially Cholera which is written in such really beautiful prose.

    Li Cunxin’s Mao’s Last Dancer and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time sound like titles I’ll be interested in reading as well. Thanks for this post! :)

    • I loved Gatsby. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. Read Great Expectations about seven years back, and really enjoyed it back then. It wasn’t the easiest read, but, one doesn’t expect that from Dickens anyway.

      I really didn’t enjoy The Alchemist though. Not a big fan of Paulo Coelho.

      I love Marquez’s style of writing – 100 Years Of Solitude is one of my all time favourites… I really should get down to Love In The Time Of Cholera soon.

      I look forward to seeing your reviews on the above, as most of them are on my TBR as well. Hope you enjoy the “favourites”.

      • I haven’t read Solitude as well, but I found a genuine Spanish edition at the bookstore the other day and I almost wish I could speak the language so I can pick it up and enjoy Marquez in his own voice… ah perhaps a big goal I can add for next year :)

  8. I see some great books highlighted in red! ;o) I was surprised at some of the books on this list as well.

  9. I see certain boooks which ought not be here!

    Mondays: Mused/Amused etc etc

  10. 20 Pam

    What? No Twilight saga? How can this be possible!? …I thought we had something special Cookie…

    *More to the point HOW did that make it onto a FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME list!?

    • Aww Pam! Sorry! It’s too commercial and mainstream for me!!! I will probably read it someday! Bah – might just end up picking it up for a long haul flight today! Just to not disappoint you…. then I get another cookie from you :D

      I don’t know… Maybe I can read it and tell you?! To be honest, with the hype it’s gotten, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was actually there ten years later… similar to Harry Potter.

      • 22 Pam

        Wizard romance I seem to be able to tolerate, vampire romance not so much…
        Or maybe I’m just bitter as Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, Muse and Death Cab sold out and added their tunes to the new Twilight movie soundtrack *sniff sniff*

  11. I love lists like this! I guess so much of the choosing is subjective that we’d never agree with all the choices on any given list… I for one think that the Khaled Hosseinis will indeed be on the list in 10 years’ time, but agree with your other comments… And I’d take Dan Brown off too. :-) Off I go to figure out how many I’ve read! :-)

    • I hope the Hosseinis aren’t :) I didn’t enjoy Kite Runner at all, so… :)

      Dan Brown – unfortunately, maybe, Da Vinci Code will be on the list ten years later. Sucks that things have come to this, but, basing it on the sales and the hype, it wouldn’t surprise me. Even The Lost Symbol has had a record first week, which disgusts me no end, but… there you have it!

  12. I think Steig Larsson will still deserve a spot in 10 years, but it’s possible people will forget about him because there’s no chance of any new books after 2010.

    • lol, I haven’t read Steig Larsson yet. Waiting for the paperback of the third book to come out, so that I can do a marathon!

      No more books after 2010? That’s depressing…

  13. Hi!
    I have read several books on this list. I think I would have to add The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, The Poisonwood Bible, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and numerous others. Have a great day!


    P.S. Thanks for sharing this list, I couldn’t find it when I went to Borders.

    • I’d love to see The Boy In Striped Pyjamas on this. Haven’t read the other two, but do have Poisonwood Bible on my to-read list.

      PS : I ended up typing it out, as the website helpfully had images and links and things, but no list!

  14. Interesting list: I think these lists would work better as retrospectives, allowing nothing which has been published in the last ten years.

    That said, your reds and blues make an impressive showing. (But please include Dune!)

    • I agree… maybe nothing that’s been published in the last three would do the trick as well!

      I hadn’t even heard of Dune before this list, but am quite surprised to see how high most of you guys rate it. Will definitely seek it out.

  15. I’ve read 14 out of 100 and I guess that is not really good ;) My 14 includes stuff like Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and I cannot really see why on earth they are on this list. I agree with so many of you in that this is more of a “what is hot now” list and many of the books on it will not be on a similar list in 10 years time.

    • I know what you mean – am not a fan of Dan Brown at any level!

      I’d be curious to see this list from ten years ago, and do a direct comparison. Let me see how easy it is to find……

  16. I’m inclined to believe that these are better lists (in terms of literary achievement, that is):

  17. 35 Ellie

    I’ve read 27 on the list, but I think the list is kind of crappy.

    I just had to comment on a few- you must read “Shantaram”! I was so delighted to see it on this list that I was able to look past a lot of the other cheesy selections! That- “Confederacy of Dunces”, “Anna Karenina”, and “Crime and Punishment” are on my top favorite book list of all time.

    • I agree – not too impressed with the list.

      I want to read Shantaram. I’ve been meaning to read it for so long now… also been planning on reading Confederacy of Dunces, Anna Karenina and Crime & Punishment. Need to bump them all up…

  18. I usually love lists like this, but I really think this one is lacking. It just doesn’t feel right. Two Dan Brown books? Really?

  19. @Mark David : Best of luck with that. It would be amazing to read Marquez in his own language, but then, I think about it, and realise I’d want to to do Kundera in his native language as well…..

    @Pam : Oooh, I didn’t even know Muse/Bon Iver/DCC had songs in the Twilight movie. I really like Muse’s new album… I enjoyed Harry Potter to be honest (first four books, anyway), but, somehow, can’t get myself excited about Twilight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: