Nov. 24, 2021
In October, editors at the Book Review asked you to help us choose the best book of the past 125 years. We received thousands of nominations — including novels, memoirs and poetry collections — from readers across the world.
We narrowed those submissions down to a shortlist of 25 finalists. And now we’re ready to choose the winner.
That’s where you come in. Scroll through the list to learn more about each title, including why readers suggested it and how The Times covered it in the past. You can choose up to three, and we’ll crown a winning book in December.
This dystopian tale, an indictment of censorship, government overreach and civilian complicity, is just as searing and powerful today as it was when it was published.
The novel earned a rave in the Book Review: “No other work … has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness.”
When Orwell died the year after “1984” was published, V.S. Pritchett, in an appreciation for the Book Review, called him “the conscience of his generation.”
Cover image via Bauman Rare Books
“It is a timely and still potent book. … ‘1984’ speaks of authoritarian nationalism, disinformation that still resonates with contemporary politics.”
Mary Rose Kaczorowski, 67, Fort Bragg, Calif.
“The novel depicts the quest for freedom and fulfillment amid the cruelty and oppression of the modern state in an elegantly nuanced way. If the quest can find no external completion, it bursts inward, illuminating self-reflection and consolation.”
Michael Gentry, 59, Columbus, Ohio