Well-Stocked Bookcase
(Book-of-the-Month Club)

How/Why this list was created:

"Last year, during the celebration of the Book-of-the-Month Club's 60th anniversary, and in anticipation of the Year of the Reader being sponsored in 1987 by The Library of Congress, we six members of the Club's Editorial Board [Clifton Fadiman, John K. Hutchens, David Willis McCullough, Gloria Norris, Mordecai Richler, and Wilfred Sheed] decided to sort through our own mental bookcases and select 60 novels, published between 1926 and 1986, whose impact still endures — novels that have changed how we Americans talk, think, write, feel and see ourselves. We gathered for an informal dinner and compared lists."
— From the introduction by Gloria Norris

Additional Rules:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who wrote this list?

See the heading above and the credit below to find out who wrote this list. If you don't like the selections in this list or the arrangement, take it up with the author(s).

Why isn't my favorite author listed here?

This list may not include your favorite author, but he or she may be on other Great Books lists. Check the author index to see.

See the Great Books FAQ for more about the Great Books and these lists of them.

Book-of-the-Month Club's Well-Stocked Bookcase
Title Author Date
The Accidental TouristAnne Tyler 1985
All the King's MenRobert Penn Warren1946
Angle of Repose Wallace Stegner 1971
Appointment in SamarraJohn O'Hara 1934
The Assistant Bernard Malamud 1957
The Bell JarSylvia Plath1963
BurrGore Vidal 1973
Catch-22 Joseph Heller 1961
The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger1951
The Day of the Locust Nathanael West1939
Death Comes for the ArchbishopWilla Cather1927
Delta Wedding Eudora Welty1946
A Fan's Notes Frederick Exley 1968
A Farewell to ArmsErnest Hemingway 1929
A Flag for SunriseRobert Stone1981
From Here to Eternity James Jones 1951
Gone with the WindMargaret Mitchell 1936
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck1939
Guard of HonorJames Gould Cozzens1948
The Heart is a Lonely HunterCarson McCullers 1940
Heaven's My Destination Thornton Wilder 1935
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison 1952
The Last Hurrah Edwin O'Connor1956
The Late George Apley John P. Marquand 1937
Lie Down in Darkness William Styron1952
Light in August William Faulkner 1932
Little Big Man Thomas Berger 1964
LolitaVladimir Nabokov 1958
The Lonely Passion of Judith HearneBrian Moore 1956
Look Homeward, Angel Thomas Wolfe1929
The Magic Christian Terry Southern1960
The Maltese FalconDashiell Hammett 1930
The Man with the Golden Arm Nelson Algren 1949
The Mountain Lion Jean Stafford 1947
The Moviegoer Walker Percy1961
The Naked and the DeadNorman Mailer 1948
Nickel Mountain John Gardner1973
Other Voices, Other Rooms Truman Capote 1948
The Postman Always Rings TwiceJames M. Cain 1934
Rabbit, Run John Updike 1960
Ragtime E.L. Doctorow 1975
The RecognitionsWilliam Gaddis1955
Seize the Day Saul Bellow 1956
The Sheltering SkyPaul Bowles 1949
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut, Jr1969
Song of Solomon Toni Morrison 1977
The Sound and the FuryWilliam Faulkner 1929
Studs Lonigan James T. Farrell 1932,4,5
The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingway 1926
Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald1934
ThemJoyce Carol Oates 1969
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 1960
The Transit of Venus Shirley Hazzard1980
The Trees/The Fields/The TownConrad Richter1940,6,50
U.S.A. (The 42nd Parallel, 1919, The Big Money)John Dos Passos1930,3,6
Vein of IronEllen Glasgow 1935
The Wall John Hersey 1950
The Wapshot ChroniclesJohn Cheever1957
What Makes Sammy Run? Budd Schulberg1941
The World According to Garp John Irving 1978

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First posted: December 2002