#TopTenTuesday – Top Ten Books Published Before I was Born.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment on her weekly post.

This week – February 2, 2021 – the topic is: Top Ten Books From Before I was Born.

This is actually a topic that I suggested. Mind you, the older one is, the harder it will be to find books that fit this list, but I’m sure many of you will be up to the challenge.

I can see that although there are many books on my Goodreads list that I’ve read that were published before I was born, but I have reviews for very few of them. However, I did find some. Interestingly enough, I’ve read and reviewed these books mostly in the last year or two. I guess I really am starting to get into reading classics (or maybe its just that Dean Street Press have been sending me ARCs of several of these books).

So, without any further ado… I’m listing these in descending order from my birth year backwards…

1957 – “A House in the Country” by Ruth Adam – I’m unsure if this was actually published before my actual date of birth, but there’s just over a 50-50 chance that it was, since I was born at the end of June that year!

1936 – “Begin Again” by Ursula Orange. I called the author of this book a 20th Century Jane Austen, and I really think she is. Gotta read more of her books!

1930 – Rhododendron Pie” by Margery Sharp. This was one of the ARCs that Dean Street Press sent me, and I thank them for it, and for introducing me to Sharp!

1928 – “Quicksand & Passing” by Nella Larson. I read this because I wanted to read more works by diverse authors, and it seems many of the authors of color writing today, write books in genres that don’t interest me. This is purely literary fiction, and it really gives people insights into living as a person of color in a white world.

1925 – “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. I should note that of all the books here, this one was my least favorite. But still… it did have some redeeming qualities.

1922 – “The Lark” by E. Nesbit. This is the only YA book here, although I don’t think it was called that when it was published. No matter.

1922 – “The Red House Mystery” by A.A. Milne. What a charming mystery. I can tell that had Milne lived longer, he would have written a whole series of these novels. Sadly, he didn’t, but at least we have this one.

1915 – “Herland and Selected Stories” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I bought this book after having read her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and was so impressed, I knew I needed to read more by her. I’m very glad I did, too!

1900 – “Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde” by Robert Ross. What can you say, right? Wilde? Well, this one has some surprises for you, and not all for the good. But like with the Woolf, it does have many redeeming factors.

1400 – “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer – As mentioned above, I didn’t have 10 books I’ve reviewed to fill out all ten spots, so I went to Goodreads to see what was the oldest published book I’ve read, and this is what I got! I actually remember a great deal about this book, and I recall correctly, I enjoyed it very much (well, I must have, because I gave it 5/5 stars there).

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What about you?

What books have you read that were published before you were born?


38 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday – Top Ten Books Published Before I was Born.

  1. I haven’t ever thought about older books that I’ve read, but now you’ve got me thinking. Fahrenheit 451, Jane Austen, Mark Twain…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember really enjoying The Canterbury Tales when we read it in middle school. I don’t think I’ve read any of the other books, but I have read from Oscar Wilde.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this topic! The only one of these that I’ve read in full is Mrs Dalloway and I guess I liked it more than you, as I read more of her books later on. I’ve just finished Orlando, which isn’t as good, so I don’t suggest that you read it. I enjoyed the Prologue and the Knight’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales years ago, but haven’t read any more since.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an interesting list – ashamed to say I’ve only heard of a few of them!

    I suppose the most obvious choices for me would be Jane Austen, the Brontës and Thomas Hardy. Still books I reread on occasion.

    Childhood favourite books would definitely be from Enid Blyton!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice list and nice topic! I’m hoping to read Passing this month. There’s a book club discussion over it through The New York Times Book Club, T Book Club, on March 9th, if you’re interested. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I don’t either! I guess it’s free or there’s a free level?? I think I do have an account, but I definitely don’t pay for it. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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