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About the Editor

J. Peder Zane is writer and editor who has worked at The New York Times and The News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina. His work has won several national awards including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He is a former member of the Board of the National Book Critics Circle. He has contributed to and edited two books published by W.W. Norton, "The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books" (2007) and "Remarkable Reads: Writers and Their Adventures in Reading" (2004). His new book, written with Professor Adrian Bejan of Duke University, is titled "Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organization" (Doubleday). Peder teaches Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh. He is a graduate of the Collegiate School, Wesleyan University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Read his blog here.

New List

Cathleen Schine

1. Emma by Jane Austen (1816).
2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855–91).
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
4. Phineas Finn: The Irish Member by Anthony Trollope (1869).
5. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1864–65).
6. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (1977).
7. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
8. The stories of  Alice Munro (1931– ).
9. The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943–48).
10. Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell (1954).

Classic List

George Saunders

1. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842).
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884).
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869).
4. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759–67).
5. Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1600).
6. The stories of Isaac Babel (1894–1940).
7. The stories of Anton Chekhov (1860–1904).
8. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969).
9. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (1953).
10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957).