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J. Peder Zane is the book-review editor of the Raleigh News & Observer and the editor of Norton’s Remarkable Reads. His syndicated column received the ASNE Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary.
Operating on the theory that no one knows more about great books than great writers, J. Peder Zane, book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 British and American writers (Andrea Barrett, Edwidge Danticat, Ha Jin, Reynolds Price and Tom Wolfe, among them) to "provide a list, ranked, in order, of what you consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time." Zane suggests that these lists (and reconfigurations of the most often cited titles into various categories -- top ten works of the 19th century, living writers, comic works and so on) are "detailed road maps to the land of literary possibilities": "Part Rand-McNally, part Zagat's . . . it takes the anxiety out of bibliophilia by offering a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the world's best books."
This is a readers' service of the first order, a guidebook to the resulting 544 titles for those tortured by too much choice and looking for what to read next. Each of the 125 responses appears in Zane's book -- some in short answer form, some just titles, some annotated -- along with a few essays, helping steer you through what Zane calls the "yin and yang of the modern reader: opportunity and befuddlement."
To get you started, here's "The Top Top Ten":
1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
9. The stories of Anton Chekhov
10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
Copyright 2007, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved.
Really enjoy reading what authors think about other works of literature.Published 27 days ago by chrisanne mcgraw
J. Peder Zane asked 125 British and American authors to "provide a list, ranked, in order, of what you consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time--novels, story... Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. M. Peterson
Wonderful insight into more than 125 writers' judgments of the best fiction ever written. It is an invaluable guide for those who wonder what truly great literature is and what... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gordon Cohn
Please send iphone kindle
version, I do not have a kindle
Machine to use this kind of version.
This is a very interesting book about top ten best books by several dozens of living writers (125 to be exact). Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Benjamin
My first question about this book, that I do not believe the editor J. Peder Zane answers anywhere, is how did he select the 125 writers who submitted their favorite books. Read morePublished on November 17, 2012 by Foster Corbin
I browsed through this book a few weeks back during a bookstore visit and put it back on the shelf. My quick assessment found it tediously monotonous, with all the writers picking... Read morePublished on January 1, 2012 by Debnance at Readerbuzz
The favorite books of these 125 "leading writers" are populated by adulterers and adulteresses, nihlists, existentialists, pedophiles, and atheists. You can't fault J. Read morePublished on October 11, 2007 by Christy