50 Greatest Books

July 19, 2008

The Globe And Mail is a Toronto-based Canadian newspaper which is running a series of articles in their Books section called 50 Greatest Books. Each week one of the 50 books selected is reviewed and dissected for its greatness; their aim–generally successful, is to make you want to read the book. Read Books Editor Martin Levin’s full introduction to the series here.

“A great book is adjudged a great book over time by virtue of offering things — astonishing ideas, unforgettable characters, imaginative sublimity, glorious prose — that cannot be got elsewhere, and that tell us something new about the human (or other) condition.

“The 50 will not be ranked in order,” he wrote. “We figure just choosing them is adventurous enough. The entries will be derived from discussions among members of our panel of experts (as if anyone’s really expert). Their carefully guarded identities will be revealed only at the end of the series, when readers will be invited to engage with them more directly. Each entry will be written by someone with knowledge, usually extensive knowledge, of the book in question.”

You can select from the 27 essays published so far on the update page of the series here.