Good Books vs. Read Books

I’ve previously posted my survey of the 100 best writers of all time, so I thought this was an interesting follow-up.  The website List Challenges has posted a number of writing-related lists, but there are two I found interesting.

The first is Modern Library’s list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century. The second is a list of the 101 best-selling books of all time (includes non-fiction) from Quite a different set of lists. For the record, I’ve read few of the “great” novels. I prefer the movie versions. 🙂 On the other hand, I’ve seen 66 of AFI’s Top 100 films (not counting the ones I turned off after 15 minutes because I hated them (Godawful, Godawful 2, Goodfellows, aka Son of Godawful).

Obviously, these lists are subjective. The list NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books have zero by my favorite Sci-Fi author, Robert Silverberg, and include selections culled by high school English teachers that I found horribly boring (*cough The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress).

Still fun, however.


  1. Yeah, I know it’s Goodfellas. I didn’t want anyone finding my post for searching on that movie.

  2. Hanno Phenn says:

    I am so glad theft you just posted Two Books in Picture I like Ulysses as the still figuring out what is all really behind it and the Tale of two Cities a Book I would allways take with me on a Journey among some other two or three Books.

    1. I think most people are still trying to figure out Ulysses.

      1. Hanno Phenn says:

        Isn’t nice to know that you are not alone with this Book.

  3. Kira says:

    I’m with you in the movie part :). I often don’t agree with “top” lists. I never read movie reviews either – I normally hate what they love and love what they hate!

  4. EagleAye says:

    I notice in the NPR 100 they didn’t mention a bunch of my faves. Nothing from Gordon R. Dickson (Tactics of Mistake – Dorsai series) one of the best military scifi books ever and author of Hoka and Dragon and the George. Nothing from the genius, Keith Laumer (Bolo and the Retief series), nor Fred Saberhagen (Berserker series and Book of Swords), and shockingly nothing from David Weber (Honor Harrington series – best space opera ever) or John Ringo (When the Devil Dances). I think the list wasn’t put together by primary readers of Science Fiction. Only those who read it as an occasional aside. Disappointing.

    1. It really is. Most of these lists I feel are compiled by people who read what was already on high school or college reading lists. None of the books I like show up, and the ones that I’ve read on the list I found tedious.

      1. EagleAye says:

        Yeah, I find it annoying when people build lists without really knowing the subject. Another thing that bothers me in mixing Fantasy with Science Fiction. I guess I’m a purist, but to me, Elves and Dwarves have little to do with Starhips and first contact with an alien species. And writers like Bradbury belong in a category all their own. To me, the difference is that stark.

        1. Yeah, I don’t related Sci Fi to Fantasy. I’ve always been a sci fi fan, and though I’ve written (atypical) fantasy, I’m not really a big fan. Frankly, I think the two genres have little in common.

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