Featured List

Ron Rash

   Top Ten contributor Ron Rash has received many glowing reviews. But it would be hard to top the mash note he received from Janet Maslin last week for Something Rich and Strange, “a major short-story anthology that can introduce new readers to this author’s haunting talents and reaffirm what his established following already knows.”

   Maslin continued: “Ron Rash occupies an odd place in the pantheon of great American writers, and you’d better believe he belongs there. He gets rapturous

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The Book: The Top Ten

Welcome

his is the best of times and the worst of times for passionate readers. We are living in a Golden Age, as online retailers make millions of books just a click away. Never before have so many works been within such easy reach. But when anything is possible, choice becomes torture. What to pick? Where to start? This one? That one? How about this—and that? What will I like? What's worth my time?

To answer these questions, we turned to the experts, asking 125 top American and British authors to list their 10 favorite works of fiction of all time. The results were published in "The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books." Edited by J. Peder Zane, "The Top Ten" is the ultimate guide to the world's greatest books. As Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, Margaret Drabble, Michael Chabon, Peter Carey and others celebrate the books that have meant the most to them, you'll be reminded of books you love and introduced to works awaiting your discovery.

This Website is expanding the book. In addition to posting annotated versions of all 125 lists from "The Top Ten," we are gathering new lists from prominent authors. We are highlighting lists submitted by our readers — maybe even yours! And our blog will include updates on the wrld of classic books. Through it all we will help you answer that most pressing literary question: What should I read next?

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Ron Rash

   Top Ten contributor Ron Rash has received many glowing reviews. But it would be hard to top the mash note he received from Janet Maslin last week for Something Rich and Strange, “a major short-story anthology that can introduce new readers to this author’s haunting talents and reaffirm what his established following already knows.”

Laila Lalami

   Please help us welcome our newest memoir of Top Ten Land, Laila Lalami. She arrives on a high note, as her second novel, The Moor’s Account, is receiving warm reviews.

Ha Jin

Putting aside small matters such as remembering to eat or pick-up their dry cleaning, great writers never forget anything. Experience to them is pieces of string they gather and save, some of which proves useful someday. So it is with Ha Jin, who already has a National Book Award, two PEN/Faulkners and a Pulitzer nomination under his belt.

 

Stephen King

Among Stephen King’s gifts is the ability to see horror in the everyday; to imagine unimaginable terrors that could happen tomorrow. Or today (already in Africa), in the ongoing Ebola scare.

As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat noted on Sunday, King’s 1978 novel The Stand, almost seems like it was ripped from the headlines:

Francine Prose

Top Ten contributor Francine Prose is not only a wonderful fiction writer, she is also a superb critic and essayist. All of her skills are on display in her review of Paul Theroux’s new story collection, Mr Bones, in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review.

David Mitchell

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence; a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq; a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list; a teenage runaway who is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena; a cabal of dangerous mystics and their enemies – these are some of the characters in David Mitchell’s acclaimed new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Mary Gordon

“Ever since her stunning debut novel Final Payments in 1978,” Fran Hawthorne writes in The National Journal, “Mary Gordon has been one of the premier fiction writers in the US, although too often pigeonholed as an “Irish Catholic” author.

Lev Grossman

It seems fitting that Lev Grossman would receive a dream review in the New York Times Book Review for the final volume of his fantasy trilogy:

Amy Bloom

Please help us welcome Amy Bloom to Top Ten Land. The celebrated novelist and short story writer is joining us at a high point: She is receiving warm reviews for her second novel, Lucky Us.

 

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New Author List

Michael Chabon's Top Ten List

1. Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1964).

2. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (1962).

3. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (1921).

4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813). 

6. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe (1836–47).

7. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27). 

8. Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667).

9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (1985).

10. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (1953)

Classic List

Margot Livesey

 

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847).
2. Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (1932).
3. Parade’s End by Ford Madox Ford (1928).
4. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (1956). (See below).
5. Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972).
6. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (1951).
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955).
8. A Simple Heart by Gustave Flaubert (1877).
9. The stories of Mavis Gallant (1922– ).
10. The stories of William Trevor (1928– ).

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