The 150 Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century

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   Several sources have compiled lists of what they consider to be the best novels of this century.  As you might expect, these lists have varied greatly, sparking controversy and dissension from almost everyone.
    The Friendswood library has consolidated four sources' lists: Harvard Bookstore's Top 100 Recommended Titles, Modern Library's 100 Best Novels, Koen Book Distributors' Top 100 Books of the Past Century, and Library Journal's 150 20th-century Most Influential Fiction.  Our list includes only English-language books written in the 1900's.
    We welcome your questions, comments, or response to this list, Please send any messages about this list to the
Web Master.  Be sure and put "Top 150" in the subject field.
1.The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald 2.1984, George Orwell
2.Catch-22, Joseph Heller 4.The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
5.Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov 6.Animal Farm, George Orwell
6.Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 8.Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
9.Ulysses, James Joyce 10.The Lord of the Flies, William Golding 
11.Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger 12.Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
13.The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner 14.Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
15.To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee 16.The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
17.Native Son, Richard Wright 18.Beloved, Toni Morrison
19.Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell 19.To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
21.The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien 22.The Color Purple, Alice Walker
23.On the Road, Jack Kerouac 24.The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
25.The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck 26.Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
26.The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien 28.Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
29.Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier 30.The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood 
31.A Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein 32.My Antonia, Willa Cather
33.A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway 34.A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
35.I,  Claudius, Robert Graves 36.Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton 
36.The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemmingway 36.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
39.Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson 40.Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora N. Hurston
41.The Call of the Wild, Jack London 42.The World According to Garp, John Irving
43.A Passage to India, E. M. Forster 43.The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
45.The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford 46.The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
47.Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry 48.One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
49.Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser 50.U. S. A.(trilogy), John Dos Passos
51.Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner 52.Sophie's Choice, William Styron
53.Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence 54.Exodus, Leon Uris
55.All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren 55.Rabbit Run, John Updike
57.The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing 57.The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
57.Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth 60.The Ambassadors, Henry James
60.From Here to Eternity, James Jones 60.Little House on the Prarie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
63.The Golden Bowl, Henry James 64.Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne
65.The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver 66.2001 : A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
67.Possession, A. S. Byatt 67.Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
69.All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria ReMarque 69.Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
69.Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence 72.The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
73.Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison 74.Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
75.Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck 75.Roots, Alex Haley
77.Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe 78.Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter
79.Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad 79.The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
79.Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham 82.The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
83.Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler 84.Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
85.The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer 86.Dune, Frank Herbert
86.A Room with a View, E. M. Forster 86.The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler
86.The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum 90.The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
91.The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle 92.The Burger's Daughter, Nadine Gordimer
92.A Confederacy of Dunces, John K. Toole 94.An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
95.The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley 96.East of Eden, John Steinbeck
96.Henderson the Rain King, Saul Bellow 96.Howards End, E. M. Forster
99.Appointment in Samarra, John O'Hara 99.Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
101.Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton 102.Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow
103.The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton 103.The Wings of a Dove, Henry James
105.Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather 106.The Studs Lonigan Trilogy, James T. Farrell
107.Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison 107.Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
109.The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath 110.As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
111.The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder 111.A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh
113.A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor 113.The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
115.Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin 115.The Shipping News,  Annie Proulx
117.White Noise, Don DeLillo 118.Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
118.The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene 120.Deliverance, James Dickey
120.The Wapshot Chronicles, John Cheever 122.A Dance to the Music of Time, Anthony Powell
122.Snow Falling Cedars, David Guterson 124.Point Counter Point, Aldous Huxley
124.Watership Down, Richard Adams 126.The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
126.The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Cran 128.The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad
129.A Death in the Family, James Agee 129.Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
131.Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh 131.The Rainbow, Pearl S. Buck
133.A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving 134.Pale Fire, Vladimir Nobokov
135.Ironweed, William P. Kennedy 135.Light in August, William Faulkner
137.Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak 138.Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford
139.Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer 139.Zuleika Dobson, Max Beerbohm
141.Main Street, Sinclair Lewis 142.Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
143.Call it Sleep, Henry Roth 144.For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
145.Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons 146.The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell
146.Cold Sassy Tree, Olive Ann Burns 148.A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes
148.The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro 150.The Godfather, Mario Puzo

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last updated 2/15/2007