Top 100 Classic Novels Of All Time – The magazine released its list of the 100 best young adult books in history, featuring time-tested classics and critically acclaimed recent works.
The books were selected by a JA author panel consisting of Elizabeth Acevedo, Kacen Callender, Jenny Han, Jason Reynolds, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon. The list replaces one from the magazine published in 2015, which had been criticized for its lack of diversity.
Top 100 Classic Novels Of All Time
“What we didn’t know then was how dramatically the category—what it represents, who it serves, and whose voices it centers on—was about to change,” the magazine wrote, pointing to recent books that address social justice issues.
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, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, but also more recent books like Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, and Traci Chee’s We Are Not Free.
Erika L. Sanchez, whose I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter made the list, tweeted: “Omg!! Is Julia now in the literary ‘CANON’?” (Julia is the name of the protagonist of the novel.)
I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: The 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time | TIME https://t.co/oqK2qkwgWO — Erika L. Sanchez (@ErikaLSanchez) August 11, 2021
And Akwaeke Emezi wrote: “Anyway, @TIME just listed PET as one of the 100 best YA books of all time, so here’s to Jam, a black trans girl loved by her community, and a future where prisons and the police are abolished.”
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Anyway, @TIME just listed PET as one of the 100 best young adult books of all time, so here’s to Jam, a black trans girl loved by her community, and to a future where prisons and the police are abolished 🍾🥂🙌🏾https://t.co/9h4THTtB0t pic.twitter.com/zIt0FOocwS — akwaeke emezi (them/them) (@azemezi) August 11, 2021
With 321 industry-leading reviews of fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult books; also in this special issue of Pride: Tegan and Sara Quin, Tillie Walden, Federico Erebia, Wesley G. Phelps, Johanna Hedva and Norman Erikson Pasaribu; and much more After two years of careful reading, going back in time, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 best non-fiction books. Take a quick look at five centuries of great writing
2. Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking (2005) This steely and devastating examination of the author’s grief after the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of grief writing.
Naomi Klein’s timely anti-branding bible combined a fresh approach to corporate hegemony with powerful reporting on the dark side of capitalism.
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These passionate and bold poems addressed to Hughes’ late wife, Sylvia Plath, contribute to the couple’s mythology and are a landmark in English poetry.
This remarkably candid memoir revealed not just a literary talent, but a force that would change the face of American politics forever.
The theoretical physicist’s bestseller on the origins of the universe is a masterpiece of scientific research that has influenced the minds of a generation.
Tom Wolfe took reporting to dazzling new levels in his quest to discover what makes a man fly to the moon.
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This controversial masterpiece that challenges Western attitudes towards the East is as current as it was when it was published.
A compelling sense of urgency and a unique voice make Herr’s Vietnam memoir the definitive account of war in our time.
A heady revamp of the theory of evolution that coined the idea of the meme and paved the way for Professor Dawkins’ later, more controversial work.
This raw, tender and unguarded collection transcends politics, reflecting Heaney’s desire to move “like a double agent between big concepts”.
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12. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (1973) Sacks’ thrilling account of how, as a doctor in the late 1960s, he revived patients who had been neurologically “frozen” by sleeping sickness resonates to this day.
The Australian feminist’s famous polemic remains a masterpiece of impassioned free speech in which she challenges the role of women in society.
This passionate account of how rock’n’roll changed the world was written with the wild energy of its subject.
A surprisingly personal and accessible account of how Cambridge scientists Watson and Francis Crick discovered the secrets of DNA and transformed our understanding of life.
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The groundbreaking collection, which revolves around the poet’s fascination with her own death, established Plath as one of the most original and gifted poets of the last century.
The book that ignited second-wave feminism captured the frustration of a generation of middle-class American housewives by daring to ask, “Is this all?”
19. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson (1963) This influential and carefully compiled masterpiece reads like an anatomy of pre-industrial Britain and a description of the lost experience of the common man.
This American advocacy classic sparked a nationwide outcry against the use of pesticides, inspired legislation that would strive to control pollution, and launched the modern environmental movement in the US.
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The American physicist and philosopher of science coined the phrase “paradigm shift” in a book that is seen as a milestone in scientific theory.
This powerful study of loss asks, “Where is God?” and explores the sense of loneliness and betrayal that even non-believers will recognize.
Dorothy Parker and Stephen King have encouraged aspiring writers in this crisp guide to the English language where brevity is key.
25. The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart (1957) This influential cultural study of postwar Britain offers pertinent truths about mass communication and the interaction between ordinary people and elites.
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Baldwin’s landmark collection of essays explores, in explanatory language, what it means to be a black man in modern America.
27. The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art by Kenneth Clark (1956) Clark’s survey of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso foreshadows the critic’s towering claims on humanity in his later seminal work, Civilization.
28. The Hedgehog and the Fox by Isaiah Berlin (1953) The great historian of ideas begins with an animal parable and ends, through a dissection of Tolstoy’s work, in a system of existential thought.
A bleakly hilarious and enigmatic split that changed the language of theater and still generates debate six decades later. An absurd masterpiece.
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This landmark cookbook, a horrified reaction to post-war rationing, introduced cooks to the food of southern Europe and readers to the art of food writing.
American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin in 1979. Photograph: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images
The critic’s controversial statement on English literature is an entertaining, often shocking dissection of the novel, the effects of which are still felt to this day.
The historian’s vivid and terrifying account of the Führer’s demise, based on his post-war work for British intelligence, remains unsurpassed.
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33. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946) The ground-breaking manual urged parents to rely on themselves, but was also accused of being the source of post-war “permissiveness”.
Hersey’s extraordinary and gripping book tells the personal stories of six people who endured the 1945 atomic bomb attack.
This influential memoir of a rebellious Southern childhood vividly evokes the struggle for African American identity in the decades before civil rights.
37. How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (1942) The American culinary icon was one of the first writers to use food as a cultural metaphor, describing the sensual pleasures of the table with elegance and passion.
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38. Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (1938) Connolly’s dissection of the art of writing and the dangers of the literary life transformed the contemporary English scene.
39. George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) Orwell’s unflinchingly honest account of three northern towns during the Great Depression was a milestone in the writer’s political development.
Much admired by Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, Byron’s dazzling and timeless account of a journey to Afghanistan is perhaps the greatest travel book of the 20th century.
The original self-help manual on American life, with its influence stretching from the Great Depression to Donald Trump, has a lot to answer for.
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Brittain’s study of her First World War experience as a nurse and then a casualty remains a powerful anti-war and feminist statement.
Churchill revels in candid childhood stories and the boy’s own adventures in the Boer War that made him a sensational hero.
44. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929) Graves’ account of his experiences in the trenches of World War I is a subversive tour de force.
46. The Waste Land by TS Eliot (1922) Eliot’s long poem, written in extremis, came to embody the spirit of the years following the First World War.
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The great economist’s account of what went wrong at the Versailles conference after the First World War was controversial, passionate and prescient.
49. The American Language by HL Mencken (1919) This declaration of linguistic independence by the renowned American journalist and commentator marked a crucial new chapter in American prose
50. Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians (1918) Strachey’s partisan, often inaccurate but brilliant demolitions of four great 19th-century Britons illustrate life in the Victorian period from different perspectives.
The great social activist’s collection of essays on the African American experience became a foundational text of the civil rights movement.
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There is a thrilling majesty to Oscar Wilde’s tormented tour de force written as he prepared to break free from Reading Prison.
This revolutionary work written by Henry James’s less famous brother brought a democratizing impulse to the kingdom.
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