John Cowper Powys, One Hundred Best Books 
In the preface to this book, John Cowper Powys distances his project from the "the selections [of one hundred best books] already in existence. Those apparently are designed to stuff the minds of young persons with an accumulation of 'standard learning' calculated to alarm and discourage the boldest." He adds that he hopes to meet the "need of kindred minds; minds that read purely for the pleasure of reading, and have no sinister wish to transform themselves by that process into what are called 'cultivated persons'." So, by 1922 at the latest, dissent against the idea of "great books" has appeared, though not for the same reasons academics railed against the Western-centric or sexist reading plans of the second half of the century.
In turn, the book's introductory essay, 'Books and Reading', explains the author's distaste for reading plans and "the cult [...] of becoming a superior person by reading the best authors" with greater nuance. In short, he presents not a canon, but a list of his personal favorites, hoping that this "shameless subjectivity [...] will fling [... the] reader back upon his own inveterate prejudices." He hopes to achieve the "subtle fusion desirable between one's natural indestructible prejudices, and a certain high authoritative standard; a standard which we may name, for want of a better word, 'classical taste', and which itself is the resulting amalgam of all the finest personal reactions of all the finest critical senses, winnowed out, as it were, and austerely purged, by the washing of the waves of time." Though perhaps this perspective is a tad vague—his vision of our "natural" and "indestructible" reading habits especially seeming to require further elucidation—we are not surprised that Powys is the only "great books" listmaker who was principally a writer of creative fiction (Rexroth's contribution was not originally a list, but rather a series of essays). Also unsurprisingly, he and Rexroth are the only listmakers who have works of their own included in others' "great books" lists, save for Van Doren including his colleague Adler's Synopticon, which itself began as a guide to reading the Great Books of the Western World.
Each selection, listed in a heading, is followed by some paragraphs or pages in discussion. Powys often lists secondary critical/ biographical/ historical works about the authors or works in question; these have not been included in the list. However, in some instances, we have included other primary literary works discussed in the text but not found in the section headings. As with the Newman, Dirda, Fadiman, Ward, and Van Doren lists, these works are included because the author speaks of them as highly as he does the books that he directly or primarily recommends. The most obvious of these is the Lewis Carroll entry, where Powys states, "Lack of space alone prevents us from including 'Through the Looking Glass' too." But—what lack of space? Several books included are not discussed—or, in the cases of authors with several works listed, each work is not necessarily discussed in particular. So we include Alice's sequel.
Another example: Regarding the Arnold Bennett entry, Powys writes, "Clayhanger with its sequels, Hilda Lessways and These Twain, makes up an imposing and convincing trilogy of middle-class life in the English Pottery Towns," but only Clayhanger is included in the section heading. Or, regarding The Importance of Being Earnest, listed in the section heading, he writes, "[it] is perhaps the gayest, least responsible, and most adorably witty of all English comedies; just as Salomé [not listed in the section heading] is the most richly colored and smoulderingly sensual of all modern tragedies." So why is the latter not listed? It is included here.