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The New York Times Announces Their Readers’ Pick for Best Book of the Past 125 Years

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Always books. Never boring.

The New York Times Book Review marked their 125 year anniversary by asking readers to nominate the best book of the past 125 years. Those submissions were narrowed down to a list of 25, which were voted on by more than 200,000 readers. The list included classics like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as more recent publications like A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

The winner was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A NYT critic says of the choice, “As an adult, I can perceive why the novel might hold enduring appeal for many and enduring repulsion to perhaps just as many. I cannot fathom the complexities of teaching it to elementary school students in 2021, especially after reading online accounts from teachers on both the ‘pro’ and ‘against’ sides.”

The runners up were:

2) The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
3) 1984 by George Orwell
4) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
5) Beloved by Toni Morrison

You can read more about why these books were voted for as well as more nominations at The New York Times.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.