The best book of the past 125 years, according to New York Times Book Review readers

This year marked the 125th anniversary of the New York Times Book Review. To celebrate, the editors asked readers to nominate “the best book published” in those 125 years. They culled 200,000 ballots down to the top 25 most-nominated titles and called for a vote. The winner? Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are the four runners-up:

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

5 Beloved by Toni Morrison

Three writers — John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner — received nominations for seven of their books.

Other popular authors included James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf, who each had five books nominated.

And readers nominated four of Joan Didion’s books: The Year of Magical Thinking, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album and Play It as It Lays.



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