Corey’s Top 100 Books

COREY’S TOP 100 BOOKS

In 1998, in honor of my 25th year of reading (I started late, at 18) I decided to make a list of the 100 books most dear to me, and even, boldly, foolishly, to rank them. Once committed to paper I wanted to change it a couple dozen more times, but, brave compilers must at some point call it accompli, and, voila, my top 100.  You have to take my word for it that I did this BEFORE Modern Library put out their controversial list; I did it for a lark.  Honest.  It’s an idiosyncratic list, admittedly, more passion, more personal preference than an attempt to cover books of historical significance.  It’s one man’s favorite book, and, it goes without saying, a good place to start an argument.  For instance, do I really think that William Steig’s Dominic is a better book than, say, Catcher in the Rye?  Yes, I do.

  1. ULYSSES  James Joyce
  2. LITTLE, BIG  John Crowley
  3. LOLITA   Vladimir Nabokov
  4. THE TRIAL  Franz Kafka
  5. EDWIN MULLHOUSE  Steven Millhauser
  6. DARCONVILLE’S CAT  Alexander Theroux
  7. HOUSEKEEPING   Marilynne Robinson
  8. THE GORMENGHAST TRILOGY  Mervyn Peake
  9. THE PHILOSOPHER’S PUPIL  Iris Murdoch
  10. SONG OF SOLOMON  Toni Morrison
  11. THE MOVIEGOER  Walker Percy
  12.  CHILD OF GOD Cormac McCarthy
  13. SOMETHING HAPPENED  Joseph Heller
  14. SEVENTH HEAVEN  Alice Hoffman
  15.  THE SOTWEED FACTOR  John Barth
  16.  MY LIFE AS A MAN  Philip Roth
  17.  WHITE NOISE   Don DeLillo
  18.  PICTURES FROM AN INSTITUTION  Randall Jarrell
  19.  DANIEL MARTIN  John Fowles
  20.   BEEN DOWN SO LONG IT LOOKS LIKE UP TO ME  Richard Farina
  21.  INVISIBLE MAN  Ralph Ellison
  22.  THE BOOK OF DANIEL  E.L. Doctorow
  23.  TRISTRAM SHANDY  Lawrence Sterne
  24.  WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?  Edward Albee
  25.  JAMES JOYCE  Richard Ellmann
  26.  THE BROTHERS KARAZAMOV  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  27.  THE DAY OF THE LOCUST  Nathanael West
  28.  OBLOMOV  Ivan Goncharov
  29. THE DEPTFORD TRILOGY  Robertson Davies
  30.  THE FAVORITE GAME  Leonard Cohen
  31.  BECH: A BOOK  John Updike
  32. THE HORSE’S MOUTH  Joyce Cary
  33.  THE KILLER INSIDE ME  Jim Thompson
  34.  THE OUTER DARK  Cormac McCarthy
  35.  MASON AND DIXON  Thomas Pynchon
  36.  CALL IT SLEEP  Henry Roth
  37.  THE HONORARY CONSUL  Graham Greene
  38.  IN OUR TIME  Ernest Hemingway
  39.  SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE  Kurt Vonnegut
  40.  THE MAN WHO LOVED CHILDREN  Christina Stead
  41.  THE STRANGER  Albert Camus
  42.  LAZAR MALKIN ENTERS HEAVEN  Steve Stern
  43.  CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER  Ann Beattie
  44.  THE QUIET AMERICAN  Graham Greene
  45.  PALE FIRE  Vladimir Nabokov
  46.  THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE  James Cain
  47.  HUMBOLDT’S GIFT  Saul Bellow
  48.  ON THE BLACK HILL  Bruce Chatwin
  49.   GREAT DAYS  Donald Barthelme
  50.  THE CRYING OF LOT 49  Thomas Pynchon
  51.  DUBLINERS  James Joyce
  52.  SABBATH’S THEATER  Philip Roth
  53.  TO THE LIGHTHOUSE  Virginia Woolf
  54.   NUNS AND SOLDIERS  Iris Murdoch
  55.  THE TIN DRUM  Gunter Grass
  56.  UNDERWORLD  Don DeLillo
  57.  THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER  Davis Grubb
  58.  A CLOCKWORK ORANGE  Anthony Burgess
  59.  THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCH  Leo Tolstoy
  60.  AEGYPT  John Crowley
  61.  COMPLETE PLAYS  William Shakespeare
  62.  THE ECSTASY OF OWEN MUIR  Ring Lardner, Jr.
  63.  THE MAGUS  John Fowles
  64.  WISE BLOOD  Flannery O’Connor
  65.  WIND IN THE WILLOWS  Kenneth Grahame
  66.  CRIME AND PUNISHMENT  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  67.  ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE  Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68.  THE FATE OF THE EARTH  Jonathon Schell
  69.  WIDE SARGASSO SEA  Jean Rhys
  70.  WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS  J.M. Coetzee
  71.  THE ILLUSTRATED WOODY ALLEN READER  Woody Allen
  72.  TALES  Edgar Allan Poe
  73.  DYLAN  Anthony Scaduto
  74.  AMERIKA  Franz Kafka
  75.  THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER  Joan Didion
  76.  GARGANTUA AND PANTAGRUEL  Rabelais.
  77.  DANCING WITH MERMAIDS  Miles Gibson
  78.  ALICE IN WONDERLAND  Lewis Carroll
  79.  WAITING FOR GODOT  Samuel Beckett
  80.  MINOTAUR  Benjamin Tammuz
  81.  THE GOLDBUG VARIATIONS  Richard Powers
  82.  1984  George Orwell
  83.  IN HIS OWN WRITE AND A SPANIARD IN HIS WORKS  John Lennon
  84.  TENDER IS THE NIGHT  F. Scott Fitzgerald
  85.  THE PLAGUE  Albert Camus
  86.  THE END OF THE ROAD  John Barth
  87.  PORTONY’S COMPLAINT   Philip Roth
  88.  THE HEART OF THE MATTER  Graham Greene
  89.  CAT’S CRADLE  Kurt Vonnegut
  90.  THE SOUND AND THE FURY  William Faulkner
  91.  THE BLACK PRINCE  Iris Murdoch
  92.  THE SECOND COMING  Walker Percy
  93.  THE SUN ALSO RISES   Ernest Hemingway
  94.  THE DAY  Douglas Hobbie
  95.  DOMINIC  William Steig
  96.  LIVES OF THE POETS  E. L. Doctorow
  97.  ON THE ROAD  Jack Kerouac
  98.  THE BOOK OF EBENEZER LE PAGE  G.B. Edwards
  99.  A FINE MADNESS  Eliot Baker
  100. VERY GOOD, JEEVES  P.G. Wodehouse
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