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Most Acclaimed Novels and Literary Nonfiction

There's acclaimedmusic.net for music and theyshootpictures.com for film, but where is a site for books?

Re: Most Acclaimed Novels and Literary Nonfiction

I don't know of a site. Perhaps you could start one :-)

One list that should definitely go into it is this: http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,711520,00.html

It was originally done by a Norwegian book club who asked a large number of acclaimed (!) authors to name their favorite books. It's in alphabetical order, but they did reveal that the no. 1 hit was Cervantes' "Don Quixote" -- but don't be misled into thinking that means, it's only 500 year old books. There are quite a few modern cclassics in there too.

Re: Most Acclaimed Novels and Literary Nonfiction

This one is in my area, so let me weigh in.

Maybe I'm just a literary snob, but I don't think the "consensus list" format would have much meaning for literature. Here's why:

AM and TSPDT deal with art forms which are only a little over a century old (AM's oldest song and TSPDT's oldest movie are both from 1902). For that reason, there's a lot less consensus about them, so it makes sense for sites like this to exist.

Literature, however, is about forty centuries old, give or take, and, especially prior to 1900 or so, consensus is pretty well established. Goethe's been on the list for 200 years, Shakespeare for 350, Dante for 650, Homer for over 2000. That's a very different prospect from Citizen Kane (66 years) or the Beatles (about 40).

It would make more sense, I think, to limit an "acclaimed literature" project to the 20th and 21st centuries--say, from Henry James and H.G. Wells to the present (to be needlessly Anglophone). (BTW, the list to which Snusmumrik points is pretty good--and most of the potentially controversial picks, it seems to me, are in the 20th century.)

There's also the fact that popular music and film are both mass media, whereas literature is usually treated more as a fine art, like classical music. I don't believe that either one (popular art or fine art) is necessarily "better" than the other, but I do think that listmania seems to fit better with popular art.