4 April

The "great books" list created by the Toronto daily, the Globe and Mail, is better than the Guardian's. Unfortunately it is no longer online, though a discussion about the list is (Martin Levin on the Greatest Books Series). Levin edited the list in collaboration with Charlotte Gray, André Alexis, A L Kennedy, and Alberto Manguel. Besides Manguel, quite a few acclaimed writers contributed articles, including Mary Beard, Colm Tóibín, and Jane Smiley. Access to an academic database provided me with .pdf copies of most of the articles, the two that were mysteriously missing from what's supposed to be a complete archive thankfully turning up at the Internet Archive, but only after I had found broken links to the old pages. As this project took the form of a series of short articles, they are not ranked. Note that the list as shown here has 53 entries (not 50) because the Odyssey and the Iliad were discussed together, in a single article, as were the three "Theban plays."

The two entries that seem to have incomplete titles came from the Internet Archive. I can only surmise that the online versions of the articles didn't include the complete titles as seen here for the other 48 items.

The Globe and Mail: 50 Greatest Books of All Time [2008]

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain: In This First Entry of Our New Series, Mark Levin Goes Rafting Down the Mississippi With Huck and Jim
In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust: André Alexis Remembers Things Past
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: Michael Ruse Takes a Short Trip Through Our Long Evolution
The Divine Comedy, by Dante: It May Begin in Hell, Alberto Manguel Says, but Dante's Masterpiece Is Finally Entirely Heavenly

Strictly Platonic: The Republic, by Plato: Simon Blackburn Makes the Case

Knightly Virtue: Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes: Edith Grossman Makes the Case

ReJoyce: Ulysses, by James Joyce: Michael Groden Makes the Case

Kapital Crimes: Francis Wheen Makes the Case

Still Good for the Soul: The Confessions of St. Augustine: Randy Boyagoda Makes the Case

Prince Among Men: The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli: Michael Ignatieff Makes the Case

Gatsby? It Really Is Great: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: William Kowalski Makes the Case

Beneath the Surface: Middlemarch, by George Eliot: Keith Oatley Makes the Case

Health, Wealth and Wisdom: The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith: James Buchan Makes the Case

Perchance to Dream...: The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud: Jeffrey Moussaieff Makes the Case

Swift's Satyricon: Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift: Victoria Glendinning Makes the Case

Macondo Magic: One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Máarquez: Ilan Stavans Makes the Cazes

Madness and Insight: King Lear, by William Shakespeare: A. L. Kennedy Makes the Case

Can and Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant: Susan Neiman Makes the Case

We're Persuaded: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen: Joan Thomas Makes the Case

Homer, Sweet Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey by 'Homer': Mary Beard Makes the Case

Grand and Inquisitive: The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Joseph Frank Makes the Case

Time Never Wasted: T. S. Eliot's Collected Poems,1909-1962: Fraser Sutherland Makes the Case

Unsweet and Lo: Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov: Laura Penny Makes the Case

Words Beyond Worth: The Koran: Mona Siddiqui Makes the Case

In Darkest Dickens: Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens: John Sutherland Makes the Case

The Subject Is Itself: Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges: Dennis Duffy Makes the Case  

History's Father: The Histories, by Herodotus: Tom Holland Makes the Case

Tale of a Whale Is a Whale of a Tale: Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville: Adam Sol Makes the Case

Madame Bovary, C'Est Tout le Monde: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: Mark Frutkin Makes the Case

A Modernist for the Ages: The Complete Stories, by Franz Kafka: Sam Solecki Makes the Case

A (Very) Good Book: The King James Bible: Donald Harman Akenson Makes the Case.

Principia Mathematica [Dan Falk]

The Collected Poems of W B Yeats [Rex Murphy]

And the World Goes 'Round: Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, by Galileo Galilei: Dava Sobel Makes the Case

When Thebans Fall Out: The Theban Trilogy by Sophocles [Peter Stothard]

India's Epic: The Mahabharata, Attributed to Vyasa: Wendy Doniger Makes the Case

Go Read Alice, I Think She'll Know: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll: Ian Stewart Makes the Case

On Human (De)nature: The Social Contract, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Clifford Orwin Makes the Case

What Did He Know? Plenty: Essays, by Michel de Montaigne: Philippe Desan Makes the Case

A Devil of a Book: Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: James M. Skidmore Makes the Case

Outspoken Silence: Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson: Tim Flannery Makes the Case

A Man for All Reasons: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: Chris Scott Makes the Case

The Story-Master: Stories of Anton Chekhov: Claire Berlinski Makes the Case

Epic of Epics: War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy: Donna Tussing Orwin Makes the Case

Feminism's First Manifesto: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft: Charlotte Gray Makes the Case

Sexy, Salty, Sometimes Sad: The Decameron: Konrad Eisenbichler Makes the Case

Great Play Here: No Waiting: Waiting for Godot,by Samuel Beckett: Keith Garebian Makes the Case

A Japanese Dickens: The Tale of Genji, by Lady Murasaki: Jane Smiley Makes the Case

Most Enlightening: L'Encyclopédie, edited by Denis Diderot and Jean d'Alembert: André Alexis Makes the Case

A Lady for All Seasons: The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James: Colm Tóibín Makes the Case