What’s the best book you ever read? Can you answer in 5 seconds? 60 seconds? 60 years? I’m not sure I can. I love books. Let me repeat that. I LOVE books. When I’m not doing other things, I can read a dozen books a week, well–depending on how long and how complicated they are.
I don’t think I’m a particularly sophisticated reader. I love mystery and suspense. I love science fiction. I do not generally love a lot of what is called literary fiction. I want to escape when I read and often, great literary books are not easy to read.
J. Peder Zane, in The Top 10 (Norton) asked 125 writers to give him their list of the top 10 greatest books of all time. He compiled the top ten list for his book from the answers provided by those 125 writers. And here they are. How many have you read? How many would be on your favorites list?
1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov