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Top 100 Books of All Time

October 7, 2008

Just a quick and rather uninteresting one from me today. The Sydney Morning Herald published a list of the top 100 books ever written.
It’s bullshit in my eyes, how can the Harry Potter serious (which is just the same story repeated for however many books there are in the series) beat fucking Fight Club, Wuthering Heights (which has transcended multiples of multiples of generations since it was first published in 1847!) or Nineteen Eighty Four???
Of course Harry Potter has clear place within the list, but number one??
And Twilight at number two?
These list-compilers are fucked!
Any list of ‘best books’ that doesn’t contain Trainspotting can seriously go jump off a massive one.
*EDIT!* Lovely reader Kaitlyn did some research on this seemingly dodgy list and discovered it is actully a list compiled by Angus & Robertson Books, and is a list on the Top SELLING books of all time, not actully the BEST books as the Sydney Morning Herald assumed it to be.
What a bunch of motherwackers! As if a list of ‘Bests’ wouldn’t have Catch 22.
Sydney Morning Herald should stick to what they know, which is nothing, really.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 100 Books of all time!
1 Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling
2 Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
3 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
4 The Obernewtyn Chronicles – Isobelle Carmody
5 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
6 To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
7 The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
8 Breath – Tim Winton
9 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
10 Break No Bones – Kathy Reichs
11 The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay
12 Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
13 Magician – Raymond E. Feist
14 The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons
15 Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
16 Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden
17 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
18 Cross – James Patterson
19 Persuasion – Jane Austen
20 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
21 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
22 The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
23 Marley and Me – John Grogan
24 Antony and Cleopatra – Colleen McCullough
25 April Fools Day – Bryce Courtney
26 North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell
27 In My Skin – Kate Holden
28 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
29 A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
30 The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory
31 Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
32 Atonement – Ian McEwan
33 Shantaram Gregory – David Roberts
34 Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett
35 The Pact – Jodi Picoult
36 Ice Station – Matthew Reilly
37 Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
38 Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
39 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
40 The Princess Bride – William Goldman
41 Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
42 Anybody Out There? – Marian Keyes
43 Life Of Pi – Yann Martel
44 Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
45 People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks
46 Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly
47 Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
48 Brother Odd – Dean Koontz
49 Tully – Paullina Simons
50 Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
51 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger
52 Eragon – Christopher Paolini
53 Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
54 It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong
55 A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
56 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
57 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
58 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
59 A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey
60 The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
61 The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks
62 Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen
63 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
64 The Host – Stephenie Meyer
65 Dirt Music – Tim Winton
66 Eldest – Christopher Paolini
67 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
68 It – Stephen King
69 World Without End – Ken Follett
70 Emma – Jane Austen
71 Temple – Matthew Reilly
72 Little Women – Alcott Louisa May
73 Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich
74 Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly
75 American Gods – Neil Gaiman
76 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
77 P.S, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern
78 All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell
79 The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
80 Past Secrets – Cathy Kelly
81 The Persimmon Tree – Bryce Courtenay
82 Husband – Dean Koontz
83 Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
84 Wicked – Gregory Maguire
85 Spot Of Bother – Mark Haddon
86 Always And Forever – Cathy Kelly
87 The Road – Cormac McCarthy
88 Cents & Sensibility – Maggie Alderson
89 Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
90 The Shifting Fog – Kate Morton
91 We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
92 Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger
93 Hour Game – David Baldacci
94 Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay
95 The Woods – Harlan Coben
96 Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
97 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
98 Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis
99 Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali
100 Birdsong – Sebastian FaulksSource: The Sun-Herald
15 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    October 7, 2008 2:12 am

    Twilight?? Must read!

  2. Nick permalink
    October 7, 2008 2:13 am

    Oh yeah I forgot, Harry Potter rules but this list doesn’t have Catch 22 so I don’t like it.

  3. James permalink
    October 7, 2008 3:15 am

    Yeah, the omission of Catch 22 does it for me. And what about Watchmen?


  4. Anonymous permalink
    October 7, 2008 4:49 am

    This list is quite fucky, mainly because of Twilight’s inclusion. Also, too much Picoult. Sooo Herald.

  5. Nick permalink
    October 7, 2008 5:42 am

    Yeah every list needs more Watchmen. But I don’t think it counts as a proper book.

  6. Mollie permalink
    October 7, 2008 9:42 am

    Admit it Sarah, you love Twilight! I know you do. Of course Harry Potter should be number 1. Wuthering Heights is pretty good, but there are no wizards. And where is Gatsby?

  7. Philippe permalink
    October 7, 2008 10:11 am

    Does Zoo Mag count? :P

    *Of course* i read it for the articles *ahem*

  8. Kaitlyn permalink
    October 8, 2008 8:48 am

    Aha, just what I expected. Angus and Robertson have a list of Top 100 books in their stores…and this happens to be an Angus and Robertson list…of the all best or top selling books. NOT the ‘best’ books of all time- the SMH has been caught out. Nice pick up on it Alexandra.

    There is no Catch 22 or Di Morrissey (The Queen of Australian fiction) because they’ve been knocked off the perch by people purchasing the Harry Potter and Twilight series. There is however Bryce Courtenay, the King of Australian fiction.

    Sorry to go on, I just find this stuff fascinating. Also Sarah, you love Twilight, you wouldn’t stop talking about it the last time I saw you.

  9. Kaitlyn permalink
    October 8, 2008 11:36 am

    Assuming that this is Sarah C who posted above and not Nick’s sister btw.

  10. Alexandra permalink
    October 8, 2008 9:51 pm

    Kaitlyn! Thanks man. I’m gonna edit it in now!

  11. Philippe permalink
    October 8, 2008 10:44 pm

    you should seriously send this finding through to Media watch Kaitlyn / Alex.

  12. Kaitlyn permalink
    October 9, 2008 5:48 am

    Yes, probably should Philippe. Actually, it's not even the top selling book list of 'all time'- the headline is misleading. If you read the SMH's intro to the piece, it just says:

    "Below is the 2008 Angus & Robertson Top 100 Book List."

    And then goes on to discuss that the list is the result of a poll.

    We've all been duped.

  13. Kaitlyn permalink
    October 9, 2008 6:11 am

    An email has been sent to Media Watch. We shall see what we shall see.

  14. Anonymous permalink
    October 9, 2008 10:01 am

    Also Kaitlyn, I’m pretty sure I don’t love Twilight. I mean, I don’t hate it like how I hate John Mayer, but I’m about as equally disdainful of it as politicians who kiss babies. And like politicians who kiss babies, you can’t tear your eyes away from it.

  15. Kaitlyn permalink
    October 9, 2008 12:11 pm


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