100 Novels List

This regularly-updated list is part of a reading project begun in 2006, a project inspired by Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. I plan to read, and sometimes write about, 100 novels. Some of the novels I’m selecting come from various reading lists, including the list in Smiley’s book. Others are novels I’ve wanted to read, or new books coming out that I’ve bought. I also welcome any suggestions.

1. Atonement by Ian McEwan
2. The Bone People by Keri Hulme
3. The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
4. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
5. The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
6. Windfall by James Magnuson
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
9. Good Faith by Jane Smiley
10. Moo! by Jane Smiley
11. Possession by A.S. Byatt
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
13. The Borderland by Edwin Shrake
14. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
15. Guided Tours of Hell by Francine Prose
16. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
17. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
18. How to be Good by Nick Hornby
19. The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
20. Girls in Peril by Karen Lee Boren
21. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
22. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
23. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
24. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
25. A Changed Man by Francine Prose
26. Modern Baptists by James Wilcox
27. Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
28. Angels by Denis Johnson
29. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
30. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
31. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
32. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
33. Blindness by Jose Saramago
34. The New City by Stephen Amidon
35. A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
36. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
37. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
38. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
39. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
40. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
41. Hound-dog Man by Fred Gipson
42. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
43. Dracula by Bram Stoker
44. The Beautiful Room Is Empty by Edmund White
45. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
46. Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
47. Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
48. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
49. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
51. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
52. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
53. Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry
54. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
55. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
56. The Wave by Walter Mosley
57. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
58. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
59. Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
60. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
61. Nevermore by William Hjortsberg
62. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
63. Janeology by Karen Harrington
64. Evacuation Plan by Joe O’Connell
65. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
66. Gray Matters by William Hjortsberg
67. July, July by Tim O’Brien
68. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
69. Bigfoot Dreams by Francine Prose
70. There Will Never Be Another You by Carolyn See
71. Beautiful Children by Charles Bock
72. Alp by William Hjortsberg
73. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
74. Grendel by John Gardner
75. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
76. Returning to Earth by Jim Harrison
77. Vox by Nicholson Baker
78. WLT: A Radio Romance by Garrison Keillor
79. The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
80. Fearless Jones by Walter Mosley
81. The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling
82. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
83. Careless in Red by Elizabeth George
84. The English Major by Jim Harrison
85. Sideways by Rex Pickett
86. The Scar Lover by Harry Crews
87. The Roaches Have No King by Daniel Evan Weiss
88. The Yokota Officers Club by Sarah Bird
89. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and EverythingSo Long, and Thanks for all the Fish; and Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
90. The Children of Men by P.D. James
91.  Solar by Ian McEwan
92. Ringworld by Larry Niven
93. The Shining by Stephen King
94. The Voyage of the Star Wolf by David Gerrold
95. Peep Show by Joshua Braff
96. Starfarers by Vonda N. McInTyre
97. 1984 by George Orwell
98. Layover in Dubai by Dan Fesperman
99. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
100. The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale


12 thoughts on “100 Novels List

  1. The Information – the essential writers’ novel by Martin Amis

    The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

    At least something by Dickens.

    Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy.

  2. I’ve read 34 of these and you’re in for some real treats! What a fascinating mix of new and old, renowned and obscure.

    It’s hard to recommend further books to you without knowing what you’ve already read. Do you perhaps use LibraryThing, Goodreads, or Shelfari to track your reading?

    If I were to pick only one title off your list and tell you it’s the one you should read next, I’d choose “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

  3. Hey this is a great idea. Some of my favorites:
    The Yacoubian Building (amazing)–Alaa Al Aswany
    The Madonna of Excelsior –Zakes Mda
    The Bhagavad Gita
    The Epic of Gilgamesh
    The Awakening –kate chopin
    Richard III–really anything by shakespeare

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