That’s what the title should be. Any list including Ernest Hemingway but not Harper Lee has problems to start with. William Faulkner is there, so tales of Southern life are not excluded. As stated before, weak plotting is not a dismissive factor as F Scott Fitzgerald is on the list, as is JD Salinger.
How did “To Kill a Mockingbird” fail to be listed here?
Everyone has an opinion, so to what value is this list? I’d rather see a list of novels the genius editors at Random House passed on and were published to great acclaim elsewhere.
“Everyone has an opinion, so to what value is this list?”
Isn’t this the point? This is the opinion of some well known and experienced editors, publishers, critics, etc. People who know things about books. Is it a definitive list? No. Are there people missing who probably should be on here? Sure. Is it a list of very good books? Yes.
Oh, and your last sentence seems to imply that these are all Random House books. I’m pretty sure they’re not. Granted, I don’t know all the subsidiaries, but browsing through the 40 or so of these books that I currently own, I’m seeing a lot of Vintage International, Scribner, Norton, Penguin – some of those may belong to Random House, but I’m pretty sure not all of them do.
Not a perfect list, and they probably erred in calling them the “Best Books”, but who’s going to look at a list that says, “Random House’s List of 100 Really Good Books from the 20th Century”?
You want a travesty, check out the “Reader’s List”. You’ve got your Harper Lee, in the top 10, no less, but you’ve also got 7 of the top 10 belonging to Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard.