The Top Top Ten List
THE TOP TOP TEN LIST
1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.
9. The stories of Anton Chekhov.
10. Middlemarch by George Eliot.
I have tried to read all of these. I found these four hard going and retreated to try another day: Madame Bovary, Middlemarch, Chekhov. I am in the process of reading the Proust, obviously enough.
Which ones haven't you read yet?
This list comes from a wonderful and amusing book which asks hundreds of writers to list their top ten books, then counted recommendations as if they were votes to create the above list.
What is most striking but not at all apparent about the top top ten list is that they are all canonical classic works. The reason a classic is a classic is because it is universally recognised as being excellent, not simply because of the social conditions or such rubbish. This list re-validates the reality of the core of classic Wetern civilization.