100 Greatest books of all time

According to an Angus & Robertson poll of 26,000 people, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

As with all these things, this poll is tempered by the times. Recent works ride higher on the list as they’re fresh in people’s minds, while certain classics persist regardless of time. For example, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series is very much the flavour of the moment and comes in at number 2. Second only to Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Much as these might be good reads, they’re hardly the two greatest books of all time. Though it is very pleasing to see fantasy works so highly regarded again.

There are highly deserving classics on there, like Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (number 4), Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye (number 51), Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four (number 58) and, more contemporary, Gaiman’s American Gods (number 75).

Being an Angus & Robertson poll, there is a distinct Australian bias, with over a fifth (22 out of 100) being Australian books, but there’s no such thing as an unbiased poll. Regardless, it’s an interesting mix:

1 Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

2 Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

3 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

4 The Obernewtyn Chronicles – Isobelle Carmody

5 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

6 To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

7 The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

8 Breath – Tim Winton

9 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

10 Break No Bones – Kathy Reichs

11 The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

12 Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

13 Magician – Raymond E. Feist

14 The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

15 Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin

16 Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden

17 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

18 Cross – James Patterson

19 Persuasion – Jane Austen

20 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

21 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

22 The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

23 Marley and Me – John Grogan

24 Antony and Cleopatra – Colleen McCullough

25 April Fools Day – Bryce Courtney

26 North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell

27 In My Skin – Kate Holden

28 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

29 A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

30 The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory

31 Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

32 Atonement – Ian McEwan

33 Shantaram Gregory – David Roberts

34 Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett

35 The Pact – Jodi Picoult

36 Ice Station – Matthew Reilly

37 Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

38 Jessica – Bryce Courtenay

39 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle

40 The Princess Bride – William Goldman

41 Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

42 Anybody Out There? – Marian Keyes

43 Life Of Pi – Yann Martel

44 Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly

45 People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks

46 Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly

47 Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards

48 Brother Odd – Dean Koontz

49 Tully – Paullina Simons

50 Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

51 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

52 Eragon – Christopher Paolini

53 Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

54 It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong

55 A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

56 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

57 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

58 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

59 A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey

60 The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

61 The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks

62 Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen

63 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

64 The Host – Stephenie Meyer

65 Dirt Music – Tim Winton

66 Eldest – Christopher Paolini

67 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

68 It – Stephen King

69 World Without End – Ken Follett

70 Emma – Jane Austen

71 Temple – Matthew Reilly

72 Little Women – Alcott Louisa May

73 Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich

74 Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly

75 American Gods – Neil Gaiman

76 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

77 P.S, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern

78 All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell

79 The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

80 Past Secrets – Cathy Kelly

81 The Persimmon Tree – Bryce Courtenay

82 Husband – Dean Koontz

83 Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult

84 Wicked – Gregory Maguire

85 Spot Of Bother – Mark Haddon

86 Always And Forever – Cathy Kelly

87 The Road – Cormac McCarthy

88 Cents & Sensibility – Maggie Alderson

89 Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

90 The Shifting Fog – Kate Morton

91 We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

92 Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger

93 Hour Game – David Baldacci

94 Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

95 The Woods – Harlan Coben

96 Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

97 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

98 Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis

99 Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

100 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

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