One Word After Another, and … Repeat!

101 Great Books Series: Part 4 by Umair Mirxa

The 23 years in this list represent a period when J.R.R. Tolkien was at the peak of his powers. Herbert wrote Dune, Heller produced Catch-22, Le Guin treated us to A Wizard of Earthsea, and Nabokov delighted the world with Lolita. Plath, le Carré, King, Dahl, and Asimov all published books during this era. Oh, and there was this little book called To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Click here for the first part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 2100 BCE to 1871 CE

  1. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury – 1953
  2. Go Tell It on the Mountain – James Baldwin – 1953
  3. Casino Royale – Ian Fleming – 1953
  4. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien – 1954
  5. The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien – 1954
  6. Lord of the Flies – William Golding – 1954
  7. Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan – 1954
  8. The Mandarins – Simone de Beauvoir – 1954
  9. The Sound of the Mountain – Yasunari Kawabata – 1954
  10. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – 1955
  11. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien – 1955
  12. The Ginger Man – J.P. Donleavy – 1955
  13. Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade – Patrick Dennis – 1955
  14. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith – 1955
  15. Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh – 1956
  16. Zama – Antonio di Benedetto – 1956
  17. Nedjma – Kateb Yacine – 1956
  18. The Cairo Trilogy – Naguib Mahfouz – 1957
  19. Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak – 1957
  20. On the Road – Jack Kerouac – 1957
  21. The Wapshot Chronicle – John Cheever – 1957
  22. Arturo’s Island – Elsa Morante – 1957
  23. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe – 1958
  24. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote – 1958
  25. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Elizabeth George Speare – 1958

Click here for the second part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1872 to 1916

  1. The Once and Future King – T.H. White – 1958
  2. Khuda Ki Basti – Shaukat Siddiqui – 1958
  3. Aag Ka Darya – Qurratulain Hyder – 1959
  4. The Tin Drum – Günter Grass – 1959
  5. Children of Gebelawi – Naguib Mahfouz – 1959
  6. Billiards at Half-Past Nine – Heinrich Böll – 1959
  7. Fukurō no Shiro – Ryōtarō Shiba – 1959
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – 1960
  9. Butcher’s Crossing – John Williams – 1960
  10. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller – 1961
  11. Where the Red Fern Grows – Wilson Rawls – 1961
  12. Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein – 1961
  13. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark – 1961
  14. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle – 1962
  15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey – 1962
  16. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – 1962
  17. The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick – 1962
  18. Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov – 1962
  19. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – 1963
  20. Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut – 1963
  21. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold – John le Carré – 1963
  22. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea – Yukio Mishima – 1963
  23. A Personal Matter – Kenzaburō Ōe – 1964
  24. Herzog – Saul Bellow – 1964
  25. La Tumba – José Agustín – 1964

Click here for the third part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1917 to 1952

  1. Weep Not Child – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o – 1964
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl – 1964
  3. Dune – Frank Herbert – 1965
  4. Stoner – John Williams – 1965
  5. Garden, Ashes – Danilo Kiš – 1965
  6. The River Between – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o – 1965
  7. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes – 1966
  8. Silence – Shusaku Endo – 1966
  9. Tai-Pan – James Clavell – 1966
  10. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys – 1966
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez – 1967
  12. The Chosen – Chaim Potok – 1967
  13. The Joke – Milan Kundera – 1967
  14. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov – 1967
  15. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1968
  16. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick – 1968
  17. Dragonflight – Anne McCaffrey – 1968
  18. Rite of Passage – Alexei Panshin – 1968
  19. Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth – 1969
  20. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut – 1969
  21. The Edible Woman – Margaret Atwood – 1969
  22. The Godfather – Mario Puzo – 1969
  23. Nightfall – Isaac Asimov – 1970
  24. Nine Princes in Amber – Roger Zelazny – 1970
  25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Dale Wasserman – 1970

Click here for the fifth part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1977 to 1999

  1. The Tombs of Atuan – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1970
  2. Angle of Repose – Wallace Stegner – 1971
  3. DragonQuest – Anne McCaffrey – 1971
  4. The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth – 1971
  5. The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1971
  6. The Scarlatti Inheritance – Robert Ludlum – 1971
  7. Augustus – John Williams – 1972
  8. Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino – 1972
  9. The Farthest Shore – Ursula K. Le Guin – 1972
  10. The Gods Themselves – Isaac Asimov – 1972
  11. Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut – 1973
  12. Child of God – Cormac McCarthy – 1973
  13. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon – 1973
  14. The Princess Bride – William Goldman – 1973
  15. Carrie – Stephen King – 1974
  16. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Patricia A. McKillip – 1974
  17. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John le Carré – 1974
  18. Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein – 1974
  19. Factotum – Charles Bukowski – 1975
  20. Salem’s Lot – Stephen King – 1975
  21. Shōgun – James Clavell – 1975
  22. The Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez – 1975
  23. Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice – 1976
  24. Roots: The Saga of an American Family – Alex Haley – 1976
  25. The Boys from Brazil – Ira Levin – 1976
  26. Too Loud a Solitude – Bohumil Hrabal – 1976

Click here for the sixth part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 2000 to 2017

Have I missed a book which should be on the list? Do you think there is a better option from the time period which deserves to be on this list?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.


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