10 Books That Best Defined The 20th Century

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The previous century was rich with incredible prose from some of the brightest and most articulate minds the world has ever known. 21st century writers have huge shoes to fill just as their 20th century predecessors did. But if you could list the 10 very best books (works you feel defined their generations and culture) of the past century what might they be?

I’m sure no two lists would look the exactly the same. We all have our unique favorites, ones that perhaps shaped or influenced us the most at various points in our lives, and for any number of reasons.

According to a 2007 consensus by The Guardian the following 10 books racked up the largest number of votes from readers polled. Some may surprise you. Some will not. Note these are listed in the order they were published. Here they are: (note: all links below are rare collectible First Edition, first issue volumes. For further price comparisons or to easily search for later or other editions simply click here.)

Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (First published as a serial in 1899 by Blackwood’s Magazine and then appeared in book form in a 1902 volume titled Youth: a narrative and two other tales, United Kingdom.)

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressel (First published in 1914 posthumously, Grant Richards publisher, United Kingdom.)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (First published in 1925, Charles Scribner’s Sons, United States.)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (First published in 1932, Chatto & Windus, United Kingdom.)

The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck (First published in 1939, Viking Press, United States.)

Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell (First published in 1949, Secker & Warburg, United Kingdom.)

The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank (First published in 1947, Contact Publishing, Netherlands)

The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger (First published in 1951, Little Brown, United States.)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (First published in 1961, Simon & Schuster, United States.)

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (First published in 1996, Picador, United Kingdom.)

Now that you’ve seen the list. How many of these have you read or do you own in your personal collection or library? Which titles do you agree or disagree with being on this list? If you were to make your own list what would it look like? What is your favorite book of the 21st century thus far? Search for your favorite books. Let’s start a discussion. Comments always welcome.






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