Top Ten Books of the 20th Century - Irina's List

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Books linked to more information have at one time been, or are currently, in the top ten.

Irina's List in No Particular Order

  1. Ulysses, James Joyce, 1935
  2. English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992
  3. Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1971
  4. Book of Common Prayer, Joan Didion, 1978
  5. The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler, 1955
  6. Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, 1953
  7. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1940
  8. Howard's End, E. M. Forster, 1925
  9. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce, 1929
  10. A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf, 1929

Special Mentions For

I really wanted to vote for "Something Happened" for Joseph Heller, but since Catch 22 is already on the list, and he belongs on the list, I will go with it, a close second in my opinion. Joyce deserves the top spots, my list is not in order. Didion is routinely neglected. Chandler is dismissed as "unimportant" because of the genre. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey" is a better book than "Catcher," but again, I want him to make the list and liked it nearly as much, Forster needs to be on the list, he was a humanist and a real communicator of the first water, Woolf's book revolutionized women writers' opinions of themselves. And Ondaatje changed the face of literature in the twentieth century, but making poetry move like a novel. I, would make him second behind Joyce's Ulysses.

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Top Ten Books of the 20th Century

December 1999