The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors
by Maria Popova Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare. “Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point. In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness: If you’re putting together a list of ‘the greatest books,’ you’ll want to do two things: (1) out of kindness, avoid anyone working on a novel; and (2) decide what the word ‘great’ means. From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. The book concludes with an appendix of “literary number games” summing up some patterns and constructing several overall rankings based on the totality of the different authors’ picks. Lolita by Vladimir NabokovThe Great Gatsby by F. Donating = Loving
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