Warren Farha's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century

Feast of St Eutyches the Hieromartyr & Disciple of St. John the Theologian

21_years_and_scotts_books_square.jpegSOMETIME back in 2000, Image Journal put together a list of their top 100 picks of books written in the twentieth century. They limited their list to creative writing and only allowed an author to appear once.

Image also invited others to submit their own lists. They eventually published links to lists by Scott Cairns, William Coleman (an early Eighth Day Books employee who resides in Wichita, KS where he teaches at Northfield School of the Liberal Arts), Alfred Uhury, and Gregory Wolfe (editor of Image Journal). But they also included a list from our very own Warren Farha.

None of those lists can be found any longer on the Image website. So, since we will be honoring Warren this weekend with the inaugural St. John of Damascus Award, it seems fitting to offer you his picks.

Since Warren has explicitly stated that he heartily endorses a customer's summation of the gathering of Eighth Day books as “eclectic”, it is only fitting that Warren didn't limit his list to creative writing. Nor did he restrict an author to a single appearance. Moreover, and not insignificantly, I think, C. S. Lewis appears on the list six times, more than any other single author. If the other Inklings and Friends are included, the list comes to a total of eleven, which puts the Inklings at slightly over 10% of Warren’s entire list. (T. S. Elliot and Flannery O'Connor tie for second place with three picks each.)

If you are needing a new book to read, pick one from the list below and purchase it from Warren himself at Eighth Day Books!

And if you live close enough to Wichita to make a trip out this weekend, join us at the inaugural St. John of Damascus Award where we will be honoring Warren as an exemplary model of our mission to renew culture through faith and learning. Info & Tickets are available here.

Now, for the list. See below or CLICK HERE for a printable PDF version.

Warren Farha’s Eighth Day Books Top 100 of the Century: An Alphabetical Collection
*Originally published on the website of Image Journal

Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St. Denis, Erwin Panofsky

Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis

After Virtue, Alisdair MacIntyre

Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman

Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Apostolic Preaching and Its Development, C. H. Dodd

Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, C. G. Jung

Art and Scholasticism, Jacques Maritain

Art of Fiction, John Gardner

Ash Wednesday, T. S. Eliot

Bible and the Liturgy, Jean Daniélou

Cantos, Ezra Pound

Christianity and Culture, T. S. Eliot

Chronicles of Narnia (7 vols.), C. S. Lewis

Church Dogmatics, Karl Barth

Classic, Romantic, and Modern, Jacques Barzun

Classical Tradition, Gilbert Highet

Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Culture We Deserve, Jacques Barzun

Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather

Degrees of Knowledge, Jacques Maritain

Diary of a Country Priest, Georges Bernanos

Discarded Image, C. S. Lewis

Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

Education of Henry Adams, Henry Adams

Epistle to the Romans, Karl Barth

Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton

Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor

Figure of Beatrice, Charles Williams

For the Life of the World, Alexander Schmemann

Glory of the Lord (7 vols.), Hans Urs von Balthasar

Good Man Is Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor

Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism, Erwin Panofsky

Gothic Cathedral, Otto von Simpson

Great Code, Northrop Frye

Greeks and the Irrational, E. R. Dodds

Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien

Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard

Homo Ludens, Johann Huizinga

How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler

I and Thou, Martin Buber

Idea of the Holy, Rudolph Otto

Ideas and Opinions, Albert Einstein

Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver

In Bluebeard’s Castle, George Steiner

Jesus Christ and Mythology, Rudolph Bultmann

Joseph and His Brothers, Thomas Mann

Kristin Lavransdatter (trilogy), Sigrid Undset

Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper

Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lord of the Rings (trilogy), J. R. R. Tolkien

Love in the Western World, Denis de Rougemont

Making of the Modern Mind, John H. Randall, Jr.

Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl

Meaning, Michael Polanyi

Meaning of Icons, Leonid Ouspensky and Vladimir Lossky

Memories, Dreams and Reflections, C. G. Jung

Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality, Eric Auerbarch

Mirror and the Lamp, Meyer Abrams

Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent, Wayne Booth

Mysticism, Evelyn Underhill

Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell

On Moral Fiction, John Gardner

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Orality and Literacy, Walter Ong

Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton

Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley

Personal Knowledge, Michael Polanyi

Personalism, Emmanuel Mournier

Philokalia (4 vols.), St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, tr. G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, et al.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard

Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Pavel Florensky

Poetic Diction, Owen Barfield

Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer

Real Presences, George Steiner

Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, René Guénon

Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust

Revolt of the Masses, José Ortega y Gasset

Road of Science and the Ways to God, Stanley Jaki

Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade

Saving the Appearances, Owen Barfield

Scapegoat, René Girard

Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis

Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton

Shape of the Liturgy, Gregory Dix

Spirit of Medieval Philosophy, Étienne Gilson

Stranger, Albert Camus

Studies in Iconology, Erin Panofsky

Surprised by Joy, C. S. Lewis

Technological Society, Jacques Ellul

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, George Steiner

Triumph of the Therapeutic, Philip Rieff

Varieties of Religious Experience, William James

Violence and the Sacred, René Girard

Violent Bear it Away, Flannery O’Connor

Wasteland, T. S. Eliot

Way of a Pilgrim, Anonymous, tr. R. M. French


 Erin Doom is the founder and director of Eighth Day Institute. He lives in Wichita, KS with his wife Christiane and their four children, Caleb Michael, Hannah Elizabeth, Elijah Blaise, and Esther Ruth.

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