Norwegian Book Club Top 100 List

Bokklubben World Library is a list of classical books, mostly novels, that was compiled by the Norwegian Book Club in 2002. They asked one hundred writers from fifty-four different countries to each suggest 10 books, from which they selected the top 100. They tried to reflect world literature, with books from around the world and from different cultures and time periods. The books are not ranked, but the organizers regard Don Quixote as the "best literary work ever written."

Author

Works

Year

Country

Language

Read?

Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

1958

Nigeria

English

Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy

1308–21

Italy

Italian

Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy tales

1835–37

Denmark

Danish

Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

1813

United Kingdom

English

Samuel Beckett

Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, a trilogy

1951–53

Republic of Ireland

French, English

Giovanni Boccaccio

The Decameron

1349–53

Italy

Italian

Jorge Luis Borges

Ficciones

1944–86

Argentina

Spanish

Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

1847

United Kingdom

English

Albert Camus

The Stranger

1942

Algeria, French Empire

French

Paul Celan

Poems

1952

Romania, USSR, France

German

Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote

1605 (part 1), 1615 (part 2)

Spain

Spanish

Geoffrey Chaucer

The Canterbury Tales

1380s–1400

England

English

Anton Chekhov

Stories

1886

Russia

Russian

Joseph Conrad

Nostromo

1904

United Kingdom

English

Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Journey to the End of the Night

1932

France

French

Honoré de Balzac

Le Père Goriot

1835

France

French

Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

1861

United Kingdom

English

Denis Diderot

Jacques the Fatalist

1796

France

French

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment

1866

Russia

Russian

The Brothers Karamazov

1880

Russia

Russian

The Idiot

1869

Russia

Russian

The Possessed

1872

Russia

Russian

Alfred Döblin

Berlin Alexanderplatz

1929

Germany

German

George Eliot

Middlemarch

1871

United Kingdom

English

Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man

1952

United States

English

Euripides

Medea

431 BCE

Greece

Greek

William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom!

1936

United States

English

The Sound and the Fury

1929

United States

English

Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary

1857

France

French

Sentimental Education

1869

France

French

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Faust

1832

Saxe-Weimar

German

Nikolai Gogol

Dead Souls

1842

Russia

Russian

Günter Grass

The Tin Drum

1959

Germany

German

João Guimarães Rosa

The Devil to Pay in the Backlands

1956

Brazil

Portuguese

Knut Hamsun

Hunger

1890

Norway

Norwegian

Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea

1952

United States

English

Homer

Iliad

760–710 BCE

Greece

Greek

Odyssey

8th century BCE

Greece

Greek

Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House

1879

Norway

Norwegian

James Joyce

Ulysses

1922

Irish Free State

English

Franz Kafka

Stories

1924

Czechoslovakia

German

The Castle

1926

Czechoslovakia

German

The Trial

1925

Czechoslovakia

German

Yasunari Kawabata

The Sound of the Mountain

1954

Japan

Japanese

Nikos Kazantzakis

Zorba the Greek

1946

Greece

Greek

Kalidasa

Shakuntala

1st century BCE – 4th century CE

India

Sanskrit

D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

1913

United Kingdom

English

Halldór Laxness

Independent People

1934–35

Iceland

Icelandic

Giacomo Leopardi

Poems

1818

Italy

Italian

Doris Lessing

The Golden Notebook

1962

United Kingdom

English

Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking

1945

Sweden

Swedish

Federico García Lorca

Gypsy Ballads

1928

Spain

Spanish

Naguib Mahfouz

Children of Gebelawi

1959

Egypt

Arabic

Thomas Mann

Buddenbrooks

1901

Germany

German

The Magic Mountain

1924

Germany

German

Herman Melville

Moby-Dick

1851

United States

English

Michel de Montaigne

Essays

1595

France

French

Elsa Morante

History

1974

Italy

Italian

Toni Morrison

Beloved

1987

United States

English

Murasaki Shikibu

The Tale of Genji

1000–12

Japan

Japanese

Robert Musil

The Man Without Qualities

1930–32

Austria

German

Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera

1985

Colombia

Spanish

One Hundred Years of Solitude

1967

Colombia

Spanish

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita

1955

Russia/United States

English

George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four

1949

United Kingdom

English

Ovid

Metamorphoses

1st century CE

Roman Empire

Classical Latin

Fernando Pessoa

The Book of Disquiet

1928

Portugal

Portuguese

Edgar Allan Poe

Tales

1832–49

United States

English

Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time

1913–27

France

French

François Rabelais

Gargantua and Pantagruel

1532–34

France

French

Juan Rulfo

Pedro Páramo

1955

Mexico

Spanish

Rumi

Masnavi

1258–73

Sultanate of Rum

Persian

Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children

1981

United Kingdom, India

English

Saadi

Bostan

1257

Persia, Persian Empire

Persian

Tayeb Salih

Season of Migration to the North

1966

Sudan

Arabic

José Saramago

Blindness

1995

Portugal

Portuguese

William Shakespeare

Hamlet

1603

England

English

King Lear

1608

England

English

Othello

1609

England

English

Sophocles

Oedipus the King

430 BCE

Greece

Greek

Stendhal

The Red and the Black

1830

France

French

Laurence Sterne

Tristram Shandy

1760

England

English

Italo Svevo

Confessions of Zeno

1923

Italy

Italian

Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels

1726

Ireland

English

Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

1877

Russia

Russian

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

1886

Russia

Russian

War and Peace

1865–69

Russia

Russian

Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1884

United States

English

Unknown

Book of Job

7th – 4th century BCE

Achaemenid Empire

Hebrew

Unknown

Epic of Gilgamesh

18th – 17th century BCE

Sumer and Akkadian Empire

Akkadian

Unknown

Njál's Saga

13th century

Iceland

Old Norse

Unknown

One Thousand and One Nights

700–1500

India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt/Tajikistan

Arabic

Valmiki

Ramayana

5th – 4th century BCE

India

Sanskrit

Virgil

Aeneid

29–19 BCE

Roman Empire

Classical Latin

Vyasa

Mahabharata

9th – 5th century BCE

India

Sanskrit

Walt Whitman

Leaves of Grass

1855

United States

English

Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway

1925

United Kingdom

English

To the Lighthouse

1927

United Kingdom

English

Lu Xun

A Madman's Diary

1918

China

Chinese

Marguerite Yourcenar

Memoirs of Hadrian

1951

France/Belgium

French


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