Earlier this week Dan in Kentucky asked me for lists of best books, the kind of books that were important and should be read. I answered with the fiction and nonfiction lists from Modern Library, the Radcliff list, the Observer list, and the librarians' list. Dan pressed a little more and asked for my own list, possibly ten titles.
Here is my list of eleven and a challenge.
I am fudging in that I am combining books with series of books. The order of the books in the list does not matter.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Children of Violence series by Doris Lessing
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
October Light by John Gardner
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
Middlemarch and Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Campion mysteries by Margery Allingham
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
I think these are the finest books that I have read. They describe the human condition and call for kindness, honesty, loyalty, and tolerance. Every library should have them.
My challenge is for other librarians to make their lists of the best books ever. Post them on your blogs and in the Recommending Books page of the Reader's Advisory section of the Library Success wiki. You can post them at the wiki even if you do not have a blog. Help other librarians with book recommendations and collection development.
I would call out names of librarians right here, except I am afraid I might leave someone out. If you know I have read your blog or I see you at suburban meetings or national conferences, know that I am interested in your list. Others will be, too. If I do not know you, introduce yourself with a bold person statement of your reading.
Gather at the wiki.