Image Journal’s Top 100 books list

Image Journal’s 100 Writers of Faith list, which contains only one book per author, only references creative writing, consists of works published in the 20th century, and the works must “manifest a genuine engagement with the Judeo-Christian heritage of faith.”

Here’s the list: (bolding if I’ve read it, italicizing if it’s toward the top of my to-read list; and I put an alternate book by the same author behind (they only allowed one book/author) if I’ve read another book and liked it. I also have *starred the names of those I own. I’m linking to my brief reviews of books as I finish them, as well. Here’s my initial post about the list.

I’ve taken it upon myself to attempt to categorize the list here, as well.

Poetry
W.H. Auden Collected Poems
Wendell Berry Sabbaths
John Berryman 77 Dream Songs
Scott Cairns Recovered Body
*George Mackay Brown Selected Poems
*T.S. Eliot Four Quartets — Wasteland
*William Everson Collected Poems (The Residual Years; The Veritable Years)
Geoffrey Hill The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Peguy
*Edward Hirsch Earthly Measures
Andrew Hudgins The Neverending
Josephine Jacobsen In the Crevice of Time: New and Selected Poems
Mark Jarman Questions for Ecclesiastes
Elizabeth Jennings Collected Poems
David Jones The Anathemata
Denise Levertov The Stream and the Sapphire
Philip Levine The Mercy
Paul Mariani Salvage Operations
Thomas Merton Collected Poems
Vassar Miller If I Had Wheels or Love: Collected Poems
Czeslaw Milosz Collected Poems
Edwin Muir Complete Poems
Les Murray Collected Poems
Louis Simpson New and Selected Poems
John Heath Stubbs Collected Poems
Allen Tate Collected Poems
Richard Wilbur New and Collected Poems

Fiction
Georges Bernanos The Diary of a Country Priest
*Doris Betts Souls Raised from the Dead
Leon Bloy The Woman Who Was Poor
Heinrich Boll The Stories of Heinrich Boll (short stories)
*Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes
*Frederick Buechner Godric
*Willa Cather Death Comes for the Archbishop
*G.K. Chesterton The Man Who Was Thursday
*Elizabeth Dewberry Many Things Have Happened Since He Died
*Andre Dubus Selected Stories (short stories)
*Alice Thomas Ellis The Sin Eater
Shusaku Endo Silence
*Denise Giardina Saints and Villains
Jose Maria Gironella The Cypresses Believe in God
*Graham Greene The Power and the Glory
*Ron Hansen Mariette in Ecstasy
*Mark Helprin A Soldier of the Great War
*Oscar Hijuelos Mr. Ives’ Christmas
John Irving A Prayer for Owen Meany
*Nikos Kazantzakis The Last Temptation of Christ
*Thomas Keneally Three Cheers for the Paraclete
*William Kennedy Ironweed
*Wally Lamb I Know This Much is True
Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle in Time — I’ve read nearly all of her work
C.S. Lewis Till We Have Faces — Narnia series, Space Trilogy among others
*Francois Mauriac Vipers’ Tangle
*Alice McDermott Charming Billy
*Walter Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz
*Brian Moore Black Robe
*Robert Morgan The Truest Pleasure
Patrick O’Brian The Aubrey/Maturin Novels
Flannery O’Connor Short Stories
*Katherine Paterson Jacob Have I Loved
*Walker Percy The Moviegoer
David Plante The Francoeur Trilogy
*Chaim Potok My Name is Asher Lev
J.F. Powers The Presence of Grace Stories
*Ignazio Silone Bread and Wine
*Isaac Bashevis Singer Collected Stories
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
*Muriel Spark Memento Mori
*J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings — The Hobbit
Anne Tyler Saint Maybe
*Sigrid Undset Kristin Lavransdatter Review of Volume II: Mistress of Husaby, Review of Volume III: The Cross
*John Updike In the Beauty of the Lillies
Peter de Vries The Blood of the Lamb
*Dan Wakefield Returning
*Walter Wangerin Jr. The Book of the Dun Cow
*Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited
Charles Williams All Hallows’ Eve
A.N. Wilson Wise Virgin
*Tim Winton Cloudstreet
Larry Woiwode Beyond the Bedroom Wall
*Tobias Wolff In the Garden of the North American Martyrs: Stories

Plays
Robert Bolt A Man for All Seasons
*Paul Claudel The Satin Slipper
*Horton Foote The Trip to Bountiful
Christopher Fry The Lady’s Not for Burning
Torgny Lindgren Light
Robert Lowell Lord Weary’s Castle
Charles Peguy The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc
Tom Stoppard Hapgood

Autobiographical
Julien Green Diaries
*Patricia Hampl Virgin Time
Anne Lamott Traveling Mercies — Bird by Bird, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
*Malcolm Muggeridge Chronicles of Wasted Time
*Kathleen Norris Dakota
*Richard Rodriguez Hunger of Memory
*Elie Wiesel Night

History
Paul Horgan Great River

I don’t know where to put these; I can’t find enough information about them
*Annie Dillard Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (essays)
*Virginia Stem Owens If You Do Love Old Men
*Reynolds Price Three Gospels
*Dorothy Sayers The Mind of the Maker — I’ve read nearly all of the Lord Peter Whimsey mysteries

38 responses to “Image Journal’s Top 100 books list

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  18. Dear Word Lily,

    I agree… some of those books on the Image list are hard to get. I teach at a college with a big library, so I can borrow some of the more elusive books. I’m also helping put together a new “100 best” list of books by writers of all cultures who explore Christianity in their poetry, fiction,
    nonfiction, and drama. Would you be interested in making some suggestions?

    Sincerely,

    Lawrence Smith

    • Lawrence,

      Just curious, why do you think a new “100 best” list is needed? The distinction you seem to be making is that your new list is from writers of all cultures. I’ve not read all that many from the Image list so far, and yet I’ve found books from the UK, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia, USA, and more … granted, this isn’t “all cultures,” but it is much of the English-speaking world, plus some.

  19. Pingback: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson « Word Lily

  20. I am so adopting this list! Thanks for posting it. I will come back and tell you when I get it up on my blog.

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  24. Oooohhhh . . . Thanks for introducing this list to me. I am going to have to add it to my List of Lists on Rose City Reader!

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  35. You need to read my book. “Riggleberry Bloke and other silly whatknots” One reviewer said it was like Jesus and Dr. Seuss confabulating on the road to Damascus. I too am a word lover and a bad speller and a ketchup enthusiast and an avid member of the GoodGrape Society (Prometheam Division)

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