500 Best Books (Classic) Tentative List

This is a tentative list of “The best Classic books” for my book
“500 best books written in English. 

One of the definitions of “Classics”is “The books which survived the test of time”, but that time itself is hard to define. Therefore, as a matter of convenience, I choose the books which were published before 1960.

Again, this tentative list is made for Japanese audience. I have lists for fiction books, nonfiction
books
,and children’s books separately.

This list is
not completed and I would like your input.

The following are the criteria I used for the tentative list.  

1)   Relatively easy to read.

2)   Enjoyable, fun, or satisfying.

3)   Still in print and available in Japan.

 

クラシックの定義としては「Survive the test of time」が重要な条件ですが、この「time」が何年かを決めるのが悩ましいところです。通常は、第二次世界大戦後の作品がContemporary literature(現代文学)と見なされていますので、便宜上、現代文学ではないものを「クラシック文学」とすることにしました。

知名度が高くても、読みにくい作品など「おすすめ度」が低い作品は外しました。

作品が多い作家では、代表作を1作か2作のみご紹介します。

おすすめ作品には*、特におすすめ作品には**をつけます。

個人的には好みではなくてもクラシックとして価値がある作品は含んでいます。

このリストは、最終候補を選ぶ前の段階のリストです。これから加わる作品もあれば、リストから外れる作品もあります。

ご意見をいただければ、なるべくそれを反映させていただきますが、最終的には私の個人的な決断になりますので、よろしくご了承くださいませ。

推薦された作品、あるいは考慮したけれどもリストには入れなかった作品も下記に載せています。

全部で100冊を選ぶつもりです。

*** *** *** ***

絵本/幼児、小学校低学年対象の本(Picture Books and books for young children)

 

The Night Before Christmas
(1869)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902)

The Wind in the Willows (1908)

The Velveteen Rabbit (1922)

Winnie-the-Pooh  (1926)

The Little Engine That Could (1930) by Plat & Munck

Curious George (1941)

Runaway Bunny (1942) by Margaret Wise
Brown

児童書
(Children’s books)

 

A Christmas Carol* (1843)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

Little Women* (1868)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer * (1876)

Black Beauty (1877)

The Happy Prince **(1892)

The Jungle Books* (1894)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Five Children and It (1902), The Railway Children (1906) by
Nesbit

Peter Pan (1904)

Anne of Green Gables** (1908)

A Little Princess**(1888) & The Secret Garden** (1911)

Daddy-Long-Legs (1912)

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922)

Swallows and Amazons (1930)

Mary Poppins (1934)

The Hobbit**  (1937)

The Black Stallion (1941)

The Chronicles of Narnia** (1948)

Charlotte’s Web (1952)

Eloise

Old Yeller (1956)

My Side of the Mountain (1959)

Where the Red Fern Grows (1961)

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

A Wrinkle in Time (1962)

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (1962)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)

The Last Unicorn(1968)

Little House Books (1971) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The
Dark Is Rising (1973)

 

大人向け(For adult readers)

 

1600s’

 

Hamlet (1601)

 & Macbeth, Romeo
and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream*, King Lear, and others by William
Shakespeare

 

 

1700s’

 

Robinson Crusoe (1719)

Gulliver’s Travels (1726)

The Monk (1796)

 

1800s’

 

Pride and Prejudice **(1813)

 & Masfield Park**,
Sense and Sensibility*, Emma, and others by Jane Austen

Frankenstein* *(1818)

The Last of the Mohicans(1826)

David Copperfield , Little Dorrit, A
Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations (1860) by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre* *(1847)

Wuthering Heights (1847)

Vanity Fair (1848)

Nature
(1849) by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Scarlet Letter (1850)

Moby Dick (1851)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

Walden (1854)

North and South (1855)

Leaves of Grass* (1855) poems

Middlemarch (1871)

The Way We Live Now (1875)

Treasure Island (1883)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

A Study in Scarlet** (1887), &  other Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan
Doyle

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James(1881)

The Picture of Dorian Gray** (1890),  The Importance of Being Earnest** (1895) by
Oscar Wilde

The Time Machine (1895)

Dracula (1897)

The Awakening (1899)

 

1900s’

Lord Jim (1900) & Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories by Jack
London (1906)

A Room with a View (1908)

 

 

1910s’

 

Daddy-Long-Legs (1912)

Pygmalion (1913)
The Moon And Sixpence (1919)

Very Good, Jeeves(1919)

 

 

1920s’

 

Make Way For Lucia 
(1920)

The Age of Innocence (1920)

Ulysses(1922)

A Passage to India (1924)

The Great Gatsby
(1925)

Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

These Old Shades
(1926) by Georgette Heyer

The Sun Also Rises
(1926)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd* (1926), Murder on the Orient
Express

(1934),  And Then
There Were None (1939), and other mysteries by Agatha Christie

Death Comes for the Archbishop
(1927)

 

1930’s

 

Brave New World (1932)

Cold Comfort Farm (1932)

Gone with the Wind* (1936)

Their Eyes Were Watching God(1937)

Rebecca* (1938)

The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales by Edgar
Allan Poe*

 (1839)

The Grapes of Wrath (1939) & Of Mice and Men

Death of a Salesman (1940)

The Catcher in the Rye  (1951)

The Old Man and the Sea (1952),

Lord of the Flies* (1954)

A Fable by William Faulkner (1954)

Lolita (1955)

Seize the Day
(Penguin Classics)
(1956)

Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Goodbye, Columbus (1958)

***** The classics that are suggested, but didn’t make a
list.*****

A Death in the Family
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Death Comes for the Archbishop
The Canterbury Tales
The Red Badge of Courage
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
An American Tragedy
The Mill on the Floss

Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I Lay Dying

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The 39 Steps

The Innocent
Voyage (a High Wind in Jamaica)
by Richard Hughes (Not available)

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Sound and the Fury
Tom Jones
The Good Soldier
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Woman Warrior
Babbitt
The Crucible
A Good Man is Hard to Find
Long Day’s Journey into Night
The Crying of Lot 49
All Quiet on the Western Front
Call It Sleep
Ceremony

The Wind Boy

 

Things Fall Apart

 

My Family and Other Animals(1956)

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渡辺由佳里 Yukari Watanabe Scott についてhttp://youshofanclub.comエッセイスト、洋書レビュアー、翻訳家、マーケティング・ストラテジー会社共同経営者。兵庫県生まれ。 助産師としてキャリアをスタート。日本語学校のコーディネーター、外資系企業のプロダクトマネージャーなどを経て、 1995年よりアメリカに移住。 2001年に小説『ノーティアーズ』で小説新潮長篇新人賞受賞。翌年『神たちの誤算』(共に 新潮社刊)を発表。他の著書に『ゆるく、自由に、そして有意義に』(朝日出版社)、 『ジャンル別 洋書ベスト500』(コスモピア)、『どうせなら、楽しく生きよう』(飛鳥新社)など。 最新刊『トランプがはじめた21世紀の南北戦争』(晶文社) ニューズウィーク日本版とケイクスで連載。 翻訳には、糸井重里氏監修の訳書『グレイトフル・デッドにマーケティングを学ぶ』(日経BP社)、『毒見師イレーナ』(ハーパーコリンズ)など。 連載 Cakes(ケイクス)|ニューズウィーク 日本版 洋書を紹介するブログ『洋書ファンクラブ』主催者 Author, translator, and English book reviewer for Japan Market. Author of "500 best books written in English" for the Japanese market. English book reviewer for Newsweek Japan. Amazon.co.jp Top 500 reviewer.