In Search of a Good Book - Book Lists

I'm an avid reader and in times past I would often just select a book randomly to read.  I still do but I also am making a concerted effort to read books that others have read and found to be excellent.  Here are some of the book lists you can use to find a good book:  For learners of English as a second langauge, the Newbery Award books are an excellent choice once you are past basic English.  I love to read Newbery Award Books and my English level is advanced.


Caldecott Awards - The Randolph Caldecott Medal, frequently shortened to just the Caldecott, annually recognizes the preceding year's "most distinguished American picture book for children".

Newbery Award - The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year.  or you can download a list from

National Book Award (USA) -  from 1950.  Categories vary by year but include both fiction and nonfiction.

The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine, online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917.


The UK:

Booker Prize (Formerly Man Booker) -   Annual Award since 1969 for Best book published in the UK.  November 3, 2021 will be this year's award announcement.

IMPAC Dublin Literary Award -  Books are nominated  for the Award by invited public libraries in cities throughout the world – making the Award unique in its coverage of international fiction.

BBC Big Read -   At the end of the 20th Century, the BBC conducted a poll of its readers to create a book list of the TOP 100 books of all time.  The BBC actually compiled a list of the TOP 200 so gives 101-200.  I am currently trying to finish the Top 100.  I have read I think 93 of the 100 but the 7 left will be slow reading. 



Nobel Prize for Literature -   The Nobel Prize in Literature is a Swedish literature prize that is awarded annually, since 1901, to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, "in the field of literature, produced the most outstanding work in an idealistic direction"

GoodReads Reader’s Choice Awards -    Every year Goodreads conducts a “Vote” among members to determine the best book by genre published that year.  You can see the best books as voted by members for last year 2020 and the years before back to 2011.   Goodreads has both a website and an App.  It does NOT have books to read.  But it does provide a way to find out what others like and also to keep track of your own reading.  You can add book titles to your shelves - books read, books you want to read and you can set reading goals.  My annual goal is 52 books - one book a week.  So far this year I have completed 102 books.  Last year I read 100.  in 2019 I finished 110.  



Stairs of Knowledge - This staircase near the library at Lebanon’s University of Balamand is painted to resemble a stack of classic texts.  The books are arranged roughly from oldest to newest and feature a lot of philosophy books.

Stories that Shaped the World:  So far I have read at least 46 of the top 100.  I’m not sure which of Shakespeare’s I have actually read versus just know about so I will read ALL of Shakespeare again.

Reading the World -   one person decided to read 1 book from an Author from each of the “recognized” world countries.  I think the idea is great and I’ve sought to expand the list to included disputed jurisdictions.  

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