Sunday, 15 March 2015

Top 10 favourite novels [updated]

Anna Karenina (Lev Tolstoy)
War and Peace (Lev Tolstoy)
Pnin (Vladimir Nabokov)
Notes from Underground (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
A Hero of Our Time (Mikhail Lermontov)
Dead Souls (Nikolai Gogol)
Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
Sentimental Education (Gustave Flaubert)
The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner)


  1. Oh, since you have 2 Tolstoys I don't feel guilty for putting Charlotte Bronte twice, and Diana Wynne Jones twice after all. Saw your George Eliot question. Will try to answer it, but have 2 urgent assignments I am struggling with. Plus lab reports *Groan* Why did I ever think that doing science would be a good career move?

    1. OK, let's place your list here for comparison:
      1. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
      2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
      3. Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
      4. Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones
      5. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
      6. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
      7. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
      8. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
      9. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
      10. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy

      Ha, as you can see, I'm biased towards 19th century Russian novelists.
      I haven't read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell and Thomas Hardy. Horrible.
      About the George Eliot question, if you don't mind, I think it's better if you post your answer here:
      Because it includes some other quotes about her as well. I sent you the question before writing this post.

      Good luck with the assignments and the lab reports. Don't worry about this. I'm busy too.

  2. Oh - it's been such a long time since I tried this! It's hard enough choosing a Top ten, but placing them in order is impossible. And I have restricted myself to not more than one novel per author. So here they are, in chronological order:

    Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
    Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
    Bleak House - Charles Dickens
    L'Education Sentimentale - Gustave Flaubert
    Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
    The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
    Ulysses - James Joyce
    The Castle - Franz Kafka
    Light in August - William Faulkner

    1. Oh my... 4 books in common, but you place Mansfield Park in your top 10? That's wonderful.
      I thought you preferred War and Peace to Anna Karenina.
      I have to read Bleak House and The Brothers Karamazov. Ulysses, some day, it's intimidating. Light in August isn't exactly in my TBR list, but I'll have to read other books by Faulkner soon or later.

    2. I never could decide between War & Peace and Anna Karenina.

      You're right about Mansfied Park. I think I was trying to make a point about how radically one's tastes and perceptions may change over time. OK, scrub Mansfield Park, and replace withWonen in Love by DH Lawrence.

    3. Now I'm disappointed!
      Well... up to you then. I haven't read that one. I think o at Behold the Stars calls it the worst classic she's read, though she speaks highly of another novel by Lawrence.
      I know I prefer Anna Karenina but would rather have 2 books by the same author in a list than make a choice between them. It's just not fair.

  3. Oh, Mansfield Park is a wonderful novel, fully deserving of being in anyone's Top Ten. But when we're restricting our choices to only ten, there's bound to be a lot of subjectivity here.

    1. OK that's true. That's why I replaced Lolita with Pnin.