Another excellent guide to a world of excellent novels with a number of selections not found on the Modern Library's list of the same name.
"The Board's List", Modern Library (July 20, 1998).
Since the "100 Best" story first broke in The New York Times on Monday, July 20, 1998, all kinds of opinions about the list — and theories about the Modern Library's purpose in concocting such a contest of sorts — emerged. The goal of the "100 Best" project was to get people talking about great books. We succeeded beyond our wildest imaginings... On July 21, 1998, the Radcliffe Publishing Course compiled and released its own list of the century's top 100 novels, at the request of the Modern Library editorial board. ~ Modern Library
Read here for an excellent classical education in the most influential works of philosophy through the ages. The list includes classic texts from ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy. The list links to Amazon.com as well as GoogleBooks, when available.
"Atheism Libray" at Nowscape.com, originally accessed on December 15, 2004.
The following is a mirror of the reading list found at Nowscape. It is a diverse collection, recommended by critics of religion and of Christianity in particular. Short reviews or annotations for each selection are available at Nowscape, though obstructed by at least 101 advertisements. While the original list has no explicit structure, the books listed fall into several roughly grouped categories: the reliablity and moral acceptability of the Bible, histories of transgressions committed in the name of religion, philosophical critiques of theism, stories of loss of faith, exposés on theocratic aspirations (especially the religious right in the United States), and psychological reductions of religious belief. The list includes some authors with impeccable scholarly credentials, like Bertrand Russell, and many other lesser knowns. Now several years old, the list lacks some of the most notable and recent contributions to the case for atheism. For a more current list, see The Secular Web's "Featured Books". ~ Afterall
An unavoidably controversial list of the last century's best novels and an excellent reference to lots of good reading.
"World Magazine's Top 40 Books of 20th Century" in World (July 3, 1999).
World Magazine describes their list as "the best titles proclaiming or applying a biblical worldview in a hostile 20th century". World is a distinctly Christian publication: "We stand for factual accuracy and biblical objectivity, trying to see the world as best we can the way the Bible depicts it. Journalistic humility for us means trying to give God's perspective. We distinguish between issues on which the Bible is clear and those on which it isn't. We also distinguish between journalism and propaganda: We're not willing to lie because someone thinks it will help God's cause." Accordingly, the list emphasizes works amenable to Christian theism, though also with a notable presence of Communist critique.
"Books of the Century" at ChristianityToday.com (April 24, 2000).
Of the millions of books published this century, only a few hundred have shaped people in extraordinary ways. Here are some of those — 100 books that had a significant effect on Christians this century. Christianity Today asked more than 100 of its contributors and church leaders to nominate the ten best religious books of the twentieth century. By best books, we meant those that not only were important when first published, but also have enduring significance for the Christian faith and church. We have included books which do not always prompt agreement, but which are important for evangelical Christians to read and contend with. A few "period" pieces also made the list of 90. ~ Christianity Today
Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion (2000).
In selecting books for this list, Image Journal decided to list an author only once to end up with 100 different writers. Moreover, only creative writing was considered: fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction. The works selected manifest a genuine engagement with the Judeo-Christian heritage of faith, rather than merely using religion as background or subject matter. Authors featured on the list include notables like G.K. Chesterton, Ray Bradbury, Annie Dillard, T.S. Eliot, Madeleine L'Engle, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, and many more. The list is orgnaized alphabetically by last name. "We hope that the following list offers but a glimpse of that wealth of talent this past century has seen — talent exhibited both by those who laid the groundwork for the great works now being written and by those whose compelling narratives and lyrics are helping to bring us into the twenty-first century with a renewed hope in the marriage of religion and art." ~ Image
Mitchell Stephens and Others, for New York University (Mar 1999).
Sometime, somewhere, some anthropologist must have explored that tribal ritual: the greatest-hits list. These lists date back at least to the seven wonders of the ancient world. They reflect the importance of some area of tribal endeavor — monumental architecture, say, or rock-and-roll. And they establish hierarchies; how better to show your pre-eminence in the pecking order than to rank everyone else? Journalists, trained to make their value judgments in neat pyramid style, most important facts first, could hardly be expected to resist the millennial listing urge. If Modern Library can cause a stir with its list of 100 best novels and the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame can take abuse for its top 500, why shouldn't journalists share in the fun? ~ Felicity Barringer in the New York Times