Besides being a very English list, the books on McCrum's list tend to be "insider's" books. In order to make sense out of them, you have to learn about very specific cultural and intellectual environments, i.e. you have study literature. I've read 18 of his 100 best. You?
The 100 best novels written in English: the full list
Here are McCrum's top ten:
Do you have your own "Top 10" (or Top 100) list? Want to share it with this little bit of the world? Send it to me. I'll work on getting it posted, while I procrastinate about posting my own reading and non-reading.
- The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678)
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)
- Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1748)
- Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)
- The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (1759)
- Emma by Jane Austen (1816)
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
- Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock (1818)
- The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)...