Best 60 Books from Last 60 Years

The Times team has compiled its favourites to celebrate the Cheltenham Literary Festival anniversary. Do you agree?

1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
1950 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis
1951 The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

1952 Pigs Have Wings P. G. Wodehouse
1953 Casino Royale Ian Fleming
1954 Lord of the Flies William Golding
1955 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
1956 The Hundred and One Dalmatians Dodie Smith
1957 Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak
1958 Our Man in Havana Graham Greene
1959 The Leopard Giuseppe di Lampedusa
1960 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
1961 Catch 22 Joseph Heller
1962 The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
1963 The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath
1964 Funeral in Berlin Len Deighton
1965 Dune Frank Herbert
1966 Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys
1967 Towards the End of the Morning Michael Frayn
1968 2001 Arthur C. Clarke
1969 The French Lieutenant’s Woman John Fowles
1970 Play it as it Lays Joan Didion
1971 Americana Don DeLillo
1972 Watership Down Richard Adams
1973 Crash J. G. Ballard
1974 Fear of Flying Erica Jong
1975 Salem’s Lot Stephen King
1976 Even Cowgirls get the Blues Tom Robbins
1977 A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick
1978 The World According to Garp John Irving
1979 Smiley’s People John le Carré
1980 Earthly Powers Anthony Burgess
1981 Lanark Alasdair Gray
1982 The House of the Spirits Isabel Allende
1983 Waterland Graham Swift
1984 Money Martin Amis
1985 Love in The Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1986 Tourist Season Carl Hiaasen
1987 More Die of Heartbreak Saul Bellow
1988 Mother London Michael Moorcock
1989 Sexing the Cherry Jeannette Winterson
1990 Get Shorty Elmore Leonard
1991 The Famished Road Ben Okri
1992 The Secret History Donna Tartt
1993 Trainspotting Irvine Welsh
1994 How Late it Was, How Late James Kelman
1995 Northern Lights Philip Pullman
1996 Angela’s AshesFrank McCourt
1997 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling
1998 The Wind-up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
1999 Disgrace J. M. Coetzee
2000 The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
2001 The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
2002 Atonement Ian McEwan
2003 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
2004 The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst
2005 Twilight Stephenie Meyer
2006 The Road Cormac McCarthy
2007 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
2008 Netherland Joseph O’Neill
2009 The Little Stranger Sarah Waters

Do I agree? I’m not sure Twilight is the best book of 2005 though it wasn’t a bad book for me… I read 10 books out of the 60 listed. Do I want to read the others? Hmm, not really!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lovelyloey
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 10:46:05

    TWILIGHT? TWILIGHT?!?!
    WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!!?
    THAT INFERNAL BOOK IS DEFINITELY NOT THE SAME LEAGUE AS THESE OTHER GREAT LITERATURE!!!!

    nylusmilk: okay, one big non-twilight fan here.😀 but i agree lah, very weird choice for best book of 2005.

    Reply

  2. Cat
    Aug 16, 2009 @ 11:43:40

    13 for me.

    You need to read 1984 which is about the only one out of the list I’d consider essential reading. I know that’s off putting, but it really is just one of those books that shapes society and shows what can happen even though you will feel depressed the entire time you’re reading it.

    nylusmilk: wow, you must read a lot! i liked animal farm but i’m scared to read that one… i will try if i have the opportunity to borrow it.🙂

    Reply

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