My Top 10 Novels

Nightly reading before I turn out the light has been a ritual for me as long as I can remember.  For the first 60 years of my life, the vast majority of books I read were novels.  In recent years, I have been reading far more non-fiction books, most in a spiritual vein.

On Wednesday, I will be moderating the novel Silence by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo at our Seeds of the Word book club.  It is as good a novel as I have read in my life and could have easily snuck into my Top 10 list.  I will let it ‘age’ before I do.  Someone once said, “If it’s the best book you ever read, why did you only read it once?”  Interesting observation.  The fact is, I am completing my second read of Silence in 60 days, and I find it even better the second time through.  You may note that I have read three of the books more than once.

spartacusI decided to share my Top 10 fiction books.  I list them in no particular order by title, author, publication date, and date/s that I read the book.  There is something very special about each of the books that sticks with me and frequently comes to mind year after year.

How often to you read books?  Do we share any favorites?  Here are what I consider the 10 best novels I have read in my lifetime.

E.S. Kraay’s 10 best novels

The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis, 1953 … read 1973

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, 1983 … read 1984, 2000 and 2012

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, 1998 … read 1999

The Stand by Stephen King, 1978 … read 1978

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, 1862 … read 1994

Spartacus by Howard Fast, 1951 … read 1963 and 2001

Memory of Running by Ron McLarty, 2004 … read 2004

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, 2001 … read 2005

Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist, 1950 … read 1962 and 2013

The Crusader by Michael Alexander Eisner, 2001 … read 2001


2 responses to “My Top 10 Novels”

  1. Great list. Very eclectic. My personal Helprin favorite is Memoirs from Antproof Case. He’s a great writer and I loved Winter’s Tale.

    Blessings my friend.

    1. Years ago, I had a business associate in Mexico City who wanted to learned to speak better English. I loaned him my copy of Memoirs from Antproof Case. I still have it on my book shelf wrapped in the brown cover he make to protect it. I wonder if the original book jacket is still under there?

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