Wednesday 24 November 2010

Melina's favourite novels

Based on the BBC recent list of "100 Best Books", I've made my own catalogue of 60 favourites. Some of them match, but I've especially added various important works, that weren't on the english-biased compilation. I furthermore concentrate on novels and erased all plays (Shakespeare), poems (Dante) and religious writings (Bible) off the list.

So, these are the novels, that I enjoyed most or find recommendable as being important in the history of literature:

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
Alexandre Dumas - La reine Margot
Alice Walker - The Color Purple
Anne Rice - Interview with a Vampire
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
Edward Rutherfurd - Sarum
Elisabeth Gaskell - North and South
Emile Zola - Germinal
Emile Zola - Nana
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
F Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment (Преступление и наказание)
Fyodor Dostoyevski - The Idiot (Идиот)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Cien años de soledad
George Eliot - Middlemarch
George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty Four
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa - Il Gattopardo
Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary
Heinrich Mann - Der Untertan
Henry James - Washington Square
Hermann Hesse - Demian
Isabel Allende - La casa de los espiritus
Jacqueline Susan - Valley of the dolls
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
John Steinbeck - Grapes of Wrath
Joyce Carol Oates - A garden of earthly delights
Joyce Carol Oates - Them
JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
Ken Follett - The pillars of the earth
Klaus Mann - Mephisto
Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace (Война и мир)
Leon Uris - Exodus
Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland
Lion Feuchtwanger - Josephus Trilogie
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The Wind
Marilyn French - The women‘s room
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The scarlet letter
Neil Gaiman - American Gods
Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Grey
Patrick Süsskind - Das Parfüm
Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials
Rebecca Skloot - The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks
Sandor Marai - Wandlungen einer Ehe (Az igazi / Judit ...é az utóhang)
Simone de Beauvoir - Memoirs d‘une jeune fille rangée
Stephen King - It
Steven King - The stand
Theordor Fontane - Effie Briest
Thomas Hardy - Far From The Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy - Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Thomas Mann - Die Buddenbrooks
Thornton Wilder - Theophilus North
Umberto Eco - Il nome della rosa
Umberto Eco - Il pendolo di Foucault
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
William Makepeace Thackeray - Vanity Fair 

Yes, and I know, that there are some easy-reading-novels on the list, like Anne Rices, Steven Kings or Ken Folletts... but I liked them so much and as so many people around the world loved them as well, they are worth mentioning. Plus, not to forget: some of these were highly influential on certain genres of literature or even changed them totally. "The interview with the Vampire" changed the whole perception of Vampires. And, as you know, I'm a fan of Vampires... ;-)

Looking forward to other lists and comments.


Francesca Bertelli said...

Excellent Melina! I so agree with your choice of Gattopardo, one of my absolute favorites, and T.Mann and Eco of course!!

Melina Sedo said...

@ Francesca: almost nobody reads Tommasi di Lampedusa nowadays. So sad. And of course Eco is the most intelligent man alive, as you know,. Envy you still, for having met him!!!

msHedgehog said...

I was slightly surprised to find I did better on the BBC's list - in the twenties rather than the teens - probably because there's a lot there that's routinely taught in schools. But I still prefer yours.

I might add Camus' L'Etranger, and I'd like to pick a Patrick O'Brian. If I'm not allowed to treat all 20½ books as one novel, which they essentially are, then perhaps Desolation Island for the unforgettable scenes with the Waakzaamheid.

La Reine Margot is pretty good, and I enjoyed the movie ;)

Melina Sedo said...

@ MHH:
Well, I read only very few of those books in school. Although I did english as a main class, most of these books weren't on the reading list. Some of the german books of my list, were school literature though.
But since then, I've read hundreds of english books and almost no german ones...
L'eranger could of course be on the list as well, but I am not a great fan on french modern literature. I prefer the 19th century. Total anachronist... ;-)

Tina said...

Oh dear, I think I have some reading to do! ;-) I'm embarrassed to say I'm not as literary as I'd like to be. But, it's never too late to start!

Melina Sedo said...

It's never too late! ;-)

msHedgehog said...

As a creative anachronist you might well love Patrick O'Brian, honestly. A wonderful writer - great language, great rhythm, and a brilliant sense of dialogue and the absurd.

Fausta said...

I love Anthony Trollope's novels, particularly The Last Chronicle of Barset.
Warning: Trollope's work is totally addictive.