Do you think The Road by Cormac McCarthy is the best book of the last 25 years? Where do you think Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes ranks? Or The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown? According to Entertainment Weekly magazine, they rank No. 1, 36 and 96, respectively.
For the magazine's 1000th issue, the folks at EW came out with a bunch of lists they're calling "The New Classics," broken down into the 100 best movies, TV shows, albums and books, among other things.
I would argue that the books list would have been the most difficult to compile as many, many more new books come out in a given month than movies, TV shows and albums. And given that such lists are heavily subject to the tastes of those making the list, don't be surprised if your favorite from the last quarter-century didn't make it. That said, it's fun to read.
This is what EW's had to say about its No. 1 selection, the barely 2-year-old The Road: "We don't need writers of Cormac McCarthy's caliber to inform us of looming planetary catastrophes; we can read the newspaper for that. We need McCarthy to imaging the fate of the human sould if the worst really does come to pass."
No. 1: The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
No. 100: America (The Book) presented by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Interspersed throughout the list are little breakouts, such as "The 10 Longest Books," "Oprah Blessed Titles" and "Five Memoir Shockers," to name a few. EW.com's poll to elicit readers' favorite authors of the last 25 years ended up with:
1. (surprise!) J.K. Rowling (46 percent)
2. Stephen King (30 percent)
3. John Grisham (10 percent)
4. Cormac McCarthy (8 percent)
5. Toni Morrison (6 percent)
Here is my own Top 5 culled from EW's Top 100 (EW's ranking in parentheses):
1. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (No. 73)
2. Cathedral by Raymond Carver (No. 75)
3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (No. 15)
4. Possession by A.S. Byatt (No. 27)
5. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (No. 11)
Read the entire list of 100 Best Books of the Last 25 Years.