alexandria paton

Waterstone’s Top 100 Books of the 20th Century

In January 1997, Waterstone’s announced the results of its Books of the Century poll to find out what the public considered to be the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century. Over 25, 000 people took part in the poll and the Book of the Century was revealed as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. All 100 of the books selected by the public are listed below in rank order.

How many have you read?

1. J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
2. George Orwell - 1984
3. George Orwell - Animal Farm

4. James Joyce - Ulysses
5. Joseph Heller - Catch-22
6 J.D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
7. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mocking Bird

8. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude
9. John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
10. Irvine Welsh - Trainspotting
11. Jung Chan - Wild Swans
12. F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
13. William Golding - The Lord of the Flies
14. Jack Kerouac - On the Road
15. Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
16. Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows
17. A.A. Milne - Winnie the Pooh

18. Alice Walker - The Colour Purple
19. J.R.R. Tolkien - The Hobbit
20. Albert Camus - The Outsider
21. C.S. Lewis - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
22. Franz Kafka - The Trial

23. Margaret Mitchell - Gone With the Wind
24. Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
25. Salman Rushdie - Midnight’s Children
26. Anne Frank - The Diary of Anne Frank
27. Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
28. D.H. Lawrence - Sons and Lovers
29. Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
30. Primo Levi - This Is a Man
31. Vladimir Nabokov - Lolita
32. Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory
33. Marcel Proust - Remembrance of Things Past
34. Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
35. John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men

36. Toni Morrison - Beloved
37. A.S. Byatt - Possession
38. Joseph Conrad - The Heart of Darkness
39. E.M. Forster - A Passage to India
40. Richard Adams - Watership Down
41. Jostein Gaarder - Sophie’s World

42. Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose
43. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Love in a Time of Cholera
44. Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca
45. Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day
46. Milan Kundera - The Unbearable Lightness of Being

47. Sebastian Faulks - Birdsong
48. E.M. Forster - Howard’s End
49. Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited

50. Vikram Seth - A Suitable Boy
51. Frank Herbert - Dune
52. John Irvine - A Prayer for Owen Meaney
53. Patrick Süskind - Perfume
54. Boris Pasternak - Doctor Zhivago
55. Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast
56. Laurie Lee - Cider with Rosie
57. Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
58. Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid’s Tale
59. Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth
60. John Fowls - The Magus
61. Graham Greene - Brighton Rock
62. Robert Tressell - The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists
63. Mikhail Bugakov - The Master and Margarita
64. Armistead Maupin - Tales from the City
65. John Fowles - The French Lieutenant’s Woman
66. Louis de Bernières - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
67. Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse Five
68, Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
69. E.M. Forster - A Room with a View
70. Kingsley Amis - Lucky Jim
71. Stephen King - It
72. Graham Greene - The Power and the Glory
73. Stephen King - The Stand
74. Erich Maria Remarque - All Quiet on the Western Front
75. Roddy Doyle - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
76. Roald Dahl - Matilda
77. Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho
78. Hunter S. Thompson - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
79. Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time
80. Roald Dahl - James and the Giant Peach
81. D.H. Lawrence - Lady Chatterley’s Lover

82. Tom Wolfe - The Bonfire of the Vanities
83. Delia Smith - Complete Cookery Course
84. Brian Keenan - An Evil Cradling
85. D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow
86. George Orwell - Down and Out in Paris and London
87. Arthur C. Clarke - 2001: A Space Odyssey
88. Gunter Grass - The Tin Drum
89. Alexander Solzhenitsyn - A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
90. Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom
91. Richard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene
92. Michael Crichton - Jurassic Park
93. Lawrence Durrell - The Alexandria Quartet
94. Alan Paton - Cry the Beloved Country
95. Nick Hornby - High Fidelity
96. Roddy Doyle - The Van
97. Roald Dahl - The BFG
98. Anthony Burgess - Earthly Powers
99. Robert Graves - I, Claudius
100. Nicholas Evans - The Horse Whisperer

Score: 33/100