Readers share their favorite books from the last 100 years

December 09, 1999

Books have been around for more than 5,000 years - if you count the earliest versions on clay tablets or strips of wood.

Do you remember the excitement you felt when you first realized you could read words printed on a page?

cont. from lifestyle

People read for information, inspiration and for pleasure. It seems that all three criteria were covered in the favorite books of this century sent in by our readers.

Not all entries made the cut:

Although the Bible tied with "To Kill a Mockingbird" as the favorite book mentioned by at least three people, and although it's timeless, it was written before this century began.

Others bumped because of advanced age were the works of William Shakespeare, as well as "Little Women," "Jane Eyre" and "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." The books that gave us the adventures of Pinocchio Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, also were written too long ago to qualify.


Picky, picky, picky.

Those old chestnuts didn't make our 100 favorite books of the century list, but their mention points out one of the best things about books: Once we read them, books become a part of us. If we like the book, if it touches or teaches us, we never forget.

Thanks to our readers who submitted their favorite books of this century. We didn't get quite 100, so Herald-Mail staffers helped us out.

- Kate Coleman, Staff Writer

The Readers

1. Bob Poole

2. Dolores Rickerds

3. James Schlimgen

4. Alicia Krawczak, 11

5. Mary Grove

6. Marcy Stallings

7. Gary Stallings

8. Naomi Heinrich

9. Paula Crebbs

10. Jennifer Scarberry

11. Elizabeth Reilly Weaver, 2

12. Benjamin Taylor Burker, 4

13. William Brady Burker, 5

14. Allen Burch

15. Sandy Krieger

16. Sandra Warfield

17. Bob Hornbecker

18. Roberta J. Chromey

19. Mariana Krawczak, 8

20. George Turner Jr.

21. Dolores Chepiga

22. Ellen Murphy

23. Angela Shafer

24. Vickie Layton

1. Travels With Charley; in search of America - John Steinbeck

2. Roots - Alex Haley

3. Studs Lonigan: a trilogy - James T. Farrell

4. Kak Drenner -Howard Smead

5. Helter Skelter: the true story of the Manson Murders - Vincent A. Bugliosi

6. God's Little Acre - Erskine Caldwell

7. Tobacco Road - Erskine Caldwell

8. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

9. Forever Amber - Kathleen Winsor

10. Winds of War - Herman Wouk

11. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

12. Foxes of Harrow - Frank Yerby

13. Riders of the Purple Sage - Zane Grey

14. And the Sea Will Tell - Vincent A. Bugliosi

15. Recondo: LRRPs in the 101st - Larry Chambers

16. Captain from Castile - Samuel Shellabarger

17. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo - Ted W. Lawson

18. Misery - Stephen King

19. Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

20. Evergreen: a novel - Belva Plain

21. Johnny Got His Gun - Dalton Trumbo

22. Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

23. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant - Anne Tyler

24. Sophie's Choice - William Styron

25. My Utmost For His Highest - Oswald Chambers

26. Love You Forever - Robert N. Munsch

27. The Verdict - Barry Reed

28. The Stand - Stephen King

29. The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

30. The Firm - John Grisham

31. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown

32. Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

33. Lonesome Dove: a novel - Larry McMurtry

34. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

35. Rebecca - Daphne DuMaurier

36. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg

37. Hawaii - James A. Michener

38. Centennial - James A. Michener

39. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

40. Seven Days in May - Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II

41. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

42. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: a practical guide for improving communication and getting what you want in your relationships - John Gray

43. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life - Richard Carlson

44. Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter, Rennard Strickland

45. The Elves and the Shoemaker

46. Whose Hat is That?

47. Naked Lunch - William Burroughs

48. Catch-22- Joseph Heller

49. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

50. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

51. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis

52. Gift From the Sea - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

53. My Antonia - Willa Cather

54. Angela's Ashes: a memoir - Frank McCourt

55. Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer

56. Beloved - Toni Morrison

57. Gung Ho - Ken Blanchard

58. Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney

59. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume

60. Curious George - H.A. Rey

61. The Cat Who Came for Christmas - Cleveland Amory

62. The Silent Miaow: A Manual for Kittens, Strays and Homeless Cats - Translated from the Feline by Paul W. Gallico

63. Barney's Color Surprise

64. All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty - P.J. O'Rourke

65. Parliament of Whores - P.J. O'Rourke

66. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

67. Animal Farm - George Orwell

68. The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court - Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong

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