Bookish Topic Tuesday
100 Books to Read Before You Die
So there is a plethora of these lists out there, and they always pop up, saying these are the top 100 books ever, and this is the best book, etc. But that’s such a contestable thing to claim, people all have different opinions, and trying to rank them is just fraught with peril. So how do you know what’s true?
Well let’s look at a few lists first.
On Goodreads users can vote for the best book, which means it’s more of a popularity contest than anything. So the Top 10 contains the Hunger Games, Twilight, and the 2nd-7th Harry Potter books, and Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind.
In Australia, the ABC has created the top 100 most popular books, and that has a more representative collection of books. The Top 10 (I’ve read 7 out of 10 of these!) is as follows:
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. The Bible (Various Contributors)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
6. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (Book 5) by J. K. Rowling
7. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
8. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
9. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
10. A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey
While Modern Library has two lists, one of them was by the public (way too populated by Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard, so I don’t take it to be very representative) and one was by the critics (who only had ONE book on their list in the top 10 of the public!!! Can’t believe they didn’t have Lord of the Rings or To Kill a Mockingbird, what a stupid list! Just saying I only recognise four of their tpp 10, and I don’t agree with Gatsby as number 2!)
|The Board||The Public|
|1. ULYSSES by James Joyce (11th on the Public)||1. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand (not on The Board’s list)|
|2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald (13th)||2. THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand (not on The Board’s list)|
|3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce (57th)||3. BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard (not on The Board’s list)|
|4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov (34th)||4. THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien (not on The Board’s list)|
|5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley (18th)||5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (not on The Board’s list)|
|6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner (33th)||6. 1984 by George Orwell (13th)|
|7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller (12th)||7. ANTHEM by Ayn Rand (not on The Board’s list)|
|8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler (not on public list)||8. WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand (not on The Board’s list)|
|9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence (not on public list)||9. MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard (not on The Board’s list)|
|10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck (22nd)||10. FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard (not on The Board’s list)|
Recently in Australia the News Limited papers published the bucket list of books, 100 books to read before you die. And I think that’s a better way of looking at things. It’s divided into 10 sections, from romantic novels, Australian, fantasy, children’s, war, crime, love, science fiction, etc.
There’s books like Cloudstreet, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Power of One, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, The Road, The Lovely Bones, The Silence of the Lambs, 1984, The Hobbit, The Book Thief, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, The Iliad, even 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight! There’s quite a few books on there that I have read, and even more that are ones I actually want to read, so I like this list a lot, and I hope to read all of them (with at least one exception!) over the next few years, and I’ll keep you posted on what books I do read.
As for my list, that’s another story! But, my question is to you, what’s the one, book everyone just has to read? For me, that gives me great agony to decide, but I will, and I’ll say,
The Great Gatsby (JUST KIDDING), To Kill a Mockingbird (not a full review), really a required read for everyone!