Epic of Gilgamesh
to be honest only the Illiad and Odyssey were entertaining reads to me, altho if i remember right Metamorpheses was a book containing stories and poems of classical literature? i could be getting it confused with something else but i know i had a really thick green paper back book that i think was called Metamporpheses that had Canterbury Tales, The Prince, The Plague, Don Quixote, and a lot of other stories in it. i had to read most of this garbage for some college english classes, if not HS... not voluntarily
the only book i put above all others in terms of being blown away by it was the Prince by Machiavelli. i loved the politically incorrect cold and calculated logic he used in how to rule people, and the why. it all just made a lot of sense to me.
i also was bored to tears by Huckleberry Fin, in fact its the most overrated book i've ever read.
and i'd rather read something like Game of Thrones above all of this crap. Best books is very subjective especially when it comes from decades upon decades of opinions where they don't know better.
ive read about 30-35 of them (coutning things like leaves of grass where I have read dozens of poems out of it, but not all of it). Overall, a very solid list with many of the western canonical classics. Pretty sparse on late 20th century lit though.
What exactly is the criteria for choosing these "best" books. If you're going to do it based on surveying people, you need to survey WAY more people than that.
I believe all those people are published authors?
I would argue that the list on facebook (I guess there are several of them), are more in tune with what people are looking for. This list is more like the type of books that pretentious writers strive to emulate and learn from.
6 for me. Most of them are so old and wordy, I probably will never read them. War and Peace.... c'mon!
I would bet that if you started it, it would keep your interest.
I think people are overlooking how this was selected
The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by 100 writers from 54 different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavours to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods. Eleven of the books included on the list are written by women, eighty-five are written by men and four have no known author.
Each writer had to select his or her own list of ten books.
The 100 books selected by this process and listed here are not ranked or categorized in any way; the organizers have stated that "they are all on an equal footing", with the exception of Don Quixote which was given the distinction "best literary work ever written". The following list organizes the works alphabetically by author.
and the list of authors they asked is pretty impressive. Frank McCourt, Ben Okri, V.S. Naipaul, Robert Bly, John Fosse, etc. Basically, some of the best authors of the time (early 90s).
The best thing about these lists is arguing about them.
For example, I don't care how many English scholars try to convince me otherwise...Things Fall Apart was a piece of shit. Same with Sons and Lovers. Fvck those books.
They're seriously going to include the Book of Job yet omit the Bhagavad Gita because they've already included the Mahabharata? In that case, why not ditch the Book of Job and just include the entire Holy Bible?
No, Beckett's "trilogy" doesn't belong on the list. Those are three completely different books with different characters. They are not "one" book.
Flaubert's A Sentimental Education has no business whatsoever being on this list if they're going to leave off Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Dostoyevsky gets four books, and Hemingway gets one, and not even his best book?
ONE Charles Dickens book? Are you shitting me?
The list includes fairy tales, poems, plays, short stories, and essays, but they leave out graphic novels. Sorry, at this point in history, there are many legitimate classics in that genre, such as Maus and The Watchmen, and to ignore that is the height of academic arrogance.
So Pippi Longstocking is worthy enough for inclusion, but not The Lord of the Rings, which helped mold and influence an entire genre? The lack of genre fiction in this list is ridiculous. Where the fvck is Frankenstein and War of the Worlds?