The 800s are a great place to look for little known resources for selecting books for reading groups. My most recent discovery is The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time by Daniel S. Burt.
Of course, it’s a gargantuan task whittling such a list down to 100 titles. Burt points out that he’s leaving off short novels and sticking to books that withstand the test of time. He also admits to personal favorites.
For each title Burt has included a quote or excerpt from a critical review, background on the author, and concise analysis of the author’s body of work, with insightful commentary about the chosen novel. Book group leaders who like to select classics for their readers will find solid supporting material in Burt’s book.
The majority of selections are British or American classics, from the Janes (Austen and Eyre) to the Nates (Hawthorne and Bumppo), but there are international titles, as well.
For the book group that likes weightier reads, flip through this collection that will spark conversation about literary values.