I doubt Burt really believes in his list as a whole. I doubt he esteems Gone With the Wind so much. The farther down the list you go, the more questionable inclusions are. There are still many that probably belong. Like Steven, I've never heard of Cities of Salt outside of this list. I do plan to read it though.
I prefer lists to rankings. I don't know how you decide between War and Peace and Don Quixote. I guess that seems to me like a matter of taste. I think it is less a matter of taste to say they are first rate or second rate. I've probably said before that what I would really like to see is a list of all first rate books, and then all second rate ones, and probably even third.
I agree that best or greatest and most important can be different even if we mean by most important, most influential within the realm of literature.
I also agree that Treasure Island rather than Jeckyl and Hyde is a strange inclusion. I happen to have reread Treasure Island a few months ago. I had read it when I was ten, my first 'classic', I guess.
The lists for men and women are kind of interesting. Do you buy into the difference? I suppose it would be silly to dismiss it completely, but I would rather read Jane Austen than anything, and I love Wuthering Heights. What's the most masculine book I love? I love, or at least did for a while, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. I like Catch-22 very much.
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