Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century by Image Journal

Image is a literary and arts journal (among other things) with a mission to "support and showcase art shaped by the faith traditions of western civilization." A central part of Image's calling is to showcase contemporary writing that "grapples in a serious way with religious faith."

Image compiled its Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century list during the flurry of Top 100 lists made around the turn of the Millennium. The intent was to provide a "resource for those just starting to explore the great tradition and wondering where to begin." (Like so many other book lists created around this time, Image's Top 100 list is no longer available on Image's website. I first created my post back when the list was still available.) 

In selecting books for this list, Image listed an author only once in order to feature 100 different writers. Only "creative writing" was included – fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction. The editors selected works that "manifest a genuine engagement with the Judeo-Christian heritage of faith, rather than merely use religion as background or subject matter."

The idea of this list intrigues me. I don't know if I will ever finish all the books on it because there are a lot of poetry book and I am not a big poetry reader. It also includes some books that are out of print and hard to find, which is too bad. 

The books are listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. I noted if I've read a book, if it is on my TBR shelf, or if it is available as an audiobook from my library.

Collected Poems by W.H. Auden

The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos

Sabbaths by Wendell Berry

77 Dream Songs by John Berryman

Souls Raised from the Dead by Doris Betts

The Woman Who was Poor by Leon Bloy

The Stories of Heinrich Boll by Heinrich Boll

A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt

Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury ON OVERDRIVE

Selected Poems by George Mackay Brown

Godric by Frederic Buechner

Recovered Body by Scott Cairns

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather FINISHED

The Man Who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton FINISHED

The Satin Slipper by Paul Claudel

Many Things have Happened Since He Died by Elizabeth Dewberry

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard FINISHED

Selected Stories by Andre Dubus

Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot FINISHED

The Sin Eater by Alice Thomas Ellis

Silence by Shusaku Endo TBR SHELF

Collected Poems (The Residual Years; The Veritable Years) by William Everson

The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote

The Lady's Not for Burning by Christopher Fry

Saints and Villains by Denise Giardina

The Cypresses Believe in God by Jose Maria Gironella

Diaries by Julien Green

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene FINISHED

Virgin Time by Patricia Hampl

Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen

A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin ON OVERDRIVE

Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos

The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Peguy by Geoffrey Hill

Earthly Measures by Edward Hirsch

Great River by Paul Horgan

The Never-Ending by Andrew Hudgins

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving FINISHED

In the Crevice of Time: New and Selected Poems by Josephine Jacobsen

Questions for Ecclesiastes by Mark Jarman

Collected Poems by Elizabeth Jennings

The Anathemata by David Jones

The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis

Three Cheers for the Paraclete by Thomas Keneally

Ironweed by William Kennedy FINISHED

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb FINISHED

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott FINISHED

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle ON OVERDRIVE

The Stream and the Sapphire by Denise Levertov

The Mercy by Philip Levine

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis FINISHED

Light by Torgny Lindgren

Lord Weary's Castle by Robert Lowell

Salvage Operations by Paul Mariani

Viper's Tangle by Francois Mauriac FINISHED

Charming Billy by Alice McDermott FINISHED

Collected Poems by Thomas Merton

If I Had Wheels or Love: Collected Poems by Vassar Miller

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller FINISHED

Collected Poems by Czeslaw Milosz

Black Robe by Brian Moore

The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan

Chronicles of Wasted Time by Malcolm Muggeridge

Complete Poems by Edwin Muir

Collected Poems by Les Murray

Dakota by Kathleen Norris

The Aubrey/Maturin Novels by Patrick O'Brian ON OVERDRIVE

Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor TBR SHELF

If You do Love Old Men by Virginia Stem Owens

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc by Charles Peguy

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy FINISHED

The Francoeur Trilogy by David Plante

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok 

The Presence of Grace by J.F. Powers

Three Gospels by Reynolds Price

Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone

New and Selected Poems by Louis Simpson

Collected Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ON OVERDRIVE

Memento Mori by Muriel Spark FINISHED

Hapgood by Tom Stoppard

Collected Poems by John Heath Stubbs

Collected Poems by Allen Tate

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien FINISHED

Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler 

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset FINISHED

In the Beauty of the Lillies by John Updike TBR SHELF

The Blood of the Lamb by Peter de Vries

Returning by Dan Wakefield

The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. ON OVERDRIVE

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh FINISHED

Night by Elie Wiesel FINISHED

New and Collected Poems by Richard Wilbur

All Hallows' Eve by Charles Williams

Wise Virgin by A.N. Wilson FINISHED

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

Beyond the Bedroom Wall by Larry Woiwode

In the Garden of the North American Martyrs by Tobias Wolff


October 26. 2023. So far, I've only read 20 of the 100 books. But there are several on my TBR shelf or available as audiobooks, so I will try to pay this list more attention -- even the poetry! 

1 comment :

  1. What an interesting list. There are a lot that I've never heard of. I would probably avoid the poetry too!


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