New York Times readers name the five best books of the last 125 years

Daria DurovaLife
The best books of the last 125 years are named
The best books of the last 125 years are named. Source: Photo by Ylanite Koppens: Pexels

The New York Times has identified the five best books written over the past 125 years. The first place in the top was taken by the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

The rating was compiled based on the votes of 200 thousand netizens from all 50 US states and 67 other countries. According to the New York Times article, the list of the 25 most popular titles, from which readers chose the most significant book, was compiled in November 2021 in honor of the anniversary of Book Review, the newspaper's book supplement.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee

This bestseller is considered a classic. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

The plot of the book reveals the life of the fictional town of Maycomb in the southern United States in the years after the Great Depression, where lawyer Atticus Finch takes on the defense of an African-American man, Tom Robinson, in court. He is accused of raping a young white woman, although all the facts show that the man is innocent.

Corina Jensen, a 52-year-old reader from New Jersey, admitted in a review of the book that she grew up in a social home in very difficult circumstances, and the positive characters in To Kill a Mockingbird taught her everything she needed to know "about life, love, friendship, and honor". "These lessons have shaped my life, and I truly believe that my path would have looked very different without them," she wrote.

To Kill a Mockingbird

2. The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J.R.R. Tolkien

This novel opens the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is considered the first and exemplary work in the epic fantasy genre.

The author tells the story of Frodo, the nephew of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, who received the Ring of Power from his uncle. This is an ancient powerful artifact that can make the wearer invisible. It also has its own will and can conquer all other magic rings. Frodo embarks on a long and dangerous journey to destroy the dangerous jewel.

Reader Owen Clarke from Utah emphasized that Tolkien set a very high bar for other writers and few creators can reach it. "The depth of the universe of this book, the world the author invented and the story of friendship that unfolds in it, laid the foundation for the entire fantasy genre," the fan is sure.

The Lord of the Rings

3. 1984 (1949) by George Orwell

This is one of the most famous dystopian novels, if not the most famous. It has been translated into dozens of languages and has received many film and theater adaptations.

1984 tells the story of a world that was supposed to be perfect but is in fact cruel and surreal. The government controls almost every aspect of every person's life to make it conform to the official ideology, which is in direct contradiction to the objective reality.

"This book resonates with me to this day, 70 years after it was written. It's a warning about human pride and thirst for power," said Kathlynn Rebonquin, a reader from the Philippines.


4. One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is a large and complex book of 20 untitled chapters that describe the story of a small village looped in time.

Throughout the novel, the main characters suffer from loneliness in its various manifestations. The main reason for this is the inability to love.

Rizowana Hussaini, a fan from India, said that the book was like an earthquake because it destroyed the expectations that are usually placed on stories in the genre of realism. "No work that has appeared in the last 125 years has caused such a wave or change in the literary landscape as this one," she said.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

5. Beloved (1987) by Toni Morrison

This is the first novel by the American writer Morrison that became a bestseller. It is based on real events: the life of slave Margaret Garner, who escaped from her slave owner in Kentucky and crossed to the free state of Ohio.

In the book, the main character's name is Sethe. She kills her daughter to save her from slavery. And years later, a ghost appears in the house where the woman and her other child live.

Brontë Mansfield, an American from Illinois, admitted that the scenes from Beloved have remained in her mind forever. "It's loud and painful. This ghostly story told me more about the legacy of slavery than historical books," she shared her impressions.


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