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My favourite 100 novels - 2021

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

It's been over three years now since I listed my favourite 100 books and it's time for a review. I've read about 300 books in that time, so some of those have slid in here. I've also changed my opinion on some of the books on my 2018 list.

My rules for this list are simple. Maximum one book per author. Fiction only. My favourite books I define as... books I love, which I reread regularly, which I want to reread again, and which I'd recommend. This is the order I would save them in a fire, heaven forbid!

Let me know what you think of my list and do comment your own personal top three.

1. Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien

2. The Three Musketeers, by Alexander Dumas

3. Cider House Rules, by John Irving

4. Crime and Punishment, Fyedor Dostoyevsky

5. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

6. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte

7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

8. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

9. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

10. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

11. A Song of Ice and Fire, by GRR Martin

12. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel

13. A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz

14. Kim, by Rudyard Kipling

15. Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake

16. Matilda, by Roald Dahl

17. Jacob’s Room, by Virginia Woolf

18. A Secret History, Donna Tartt

19. Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger

20. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston

21. Anne of Green Gables, by LM Montgomery

22. O Pioneers, by Willa Cather

23. Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

24. The Honey Siege, by Gil Buhet

25. The 39 Steps, by John Buchan

26. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

27. Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons

28. All Quiet on the Western Front, by E.M. Remarque

29. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

30. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

31. The Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier

32. Sunset Song, by Lewis Grassic Gibbons

33. The Scarlet and the Black, by Stendhal

34. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett

35. Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges

36. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

37. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

38. Miss Wyoming, by Douglas Coupland

39. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

40. Leave it to Psmith, by P.G. Wodehouse

41. As I walked out one Midsummer morning, by Laurie Lee

42. Zigzag Street, by Nick Earls

43. We have always lived in the castle, by Shirley Jackson

44. Silas Marner, by George Eliot

45. Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson

46. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

47. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller

48. Bonjour Tristesse, by Francoise Sagan

49. Pollyanna, by Eleanor Porter

50. Room with a view, by EM Forster

51. We, Yevgeny Zamyatin

52. Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier

53. Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk

54. Restoration, by Rose Tremain

55. Stoneheart, by Charlie Fletcher

56. Girl with the Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier

57. A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle

58. Perfume, by Patrick Suskind

59. White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

60. Vernon God Little, by DBC Pierre

61. Native son, by Richard Wright

62. Emma, by Jane Austen

63. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

64. Espedair Street, by Iain Banks

65. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway

66. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, by Kiran Desai

67. Little Women, by Louisa M. Alcott

68. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khalid Hosseini

69. The Beach, by Alex Garland

70. The Prisoner of Azkaban, by J K Rowling

71. By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept, by Elizabeth Smart

72. North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell

73. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

74. Petronille, by Amelie Nothomb

75. Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafön

76. Treasure Island, by RL Stevenson

77. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

78. The Heart of a Dog, by Mikael Bulgakov

79. The Wall and the Wing, by Laura Ruby

80. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

81. The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope

82. Therese Raquin, by Emile Zola

83. The Buddha of Suburbia, by Hanif Kureshi

84. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

85. The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenberger

86. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey

87. Any Human Heart, by William Boyd

88. Eugenie Grandet, by Honore de Balzac

89. Kristin Lavrensdatter, by Sigrid Undset

90. Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy

91. The Grass Harp, by Truman Capote

92. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers

93. Manon Lescaut, by Abbe Prévost

94. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte

95. Under the Net, by Iris Murdoch

96. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

97. Madonna in a Fur Coat, by Sabahattin Ali

98. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

99. The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley

100. The History of Mr Polly, by H.G. Wells

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