The mysterious Top 100 lists. From where do they come? Who creates these supposedly iron-clad lists detailing what foods, movies and music we should enjoy? Is there a special college with a secret class in becoming a grand list maker? I am always curious about these ideas when I read a list that is the Top whatever number of whatever significant thing it happens to be measuring. This curiosity, along with a desire to expand beyond my comfort zone of dark mystery novels and fluffy 19th Century love stories, created the experiment you see before you. Why do some novels stay at the forefront of every mind while others fade after the adaptation starring the latest heartthrob leaves the theater?
As an avid reader who simply loves books and a good story, I have decided to test out the supposed 100 best novels and try to get into the minds of these talented list writers. Reading every book on every list would be tiring and possibly repetitive, so I have devised an experiment to narrow my own list down to 100 novels. Using 5 lists of the top 100 novels (in English): Random House Publishers Board, Random House Readers, The Best 100 Blog, Time Magazine’s Top 100, and the BBC Big Read, I have complied a list of the top 100 (well 105) novels that appear on at least two of these lists.
Random House Publishers Board list & Reader list: http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/
The Best 100 Blog list: http://www.thebest100lists.com/best100novels/index.html
Time Magazine’s Top 100: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1951793,00.html
The BBC Big Read list: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml