December 29, 2007

Keepin' on with the book readin' thang...

They did so over a year ago, but hey, I've never claimed to be on top of things. The UK's Association of Librarians & Museum-ians who put it together. Each person was asked, "What is one book every adult should read before they die?" These were the 30 top vote-getters (in order, apparently).

Lists are predictably controversial. As this is a British poll, it's unsurprising that The Bible's represented but (apart from the very preachy Life of Pi) there are exactly zero alternative religious texts -- but as a Greek classics hobbyist, it's disappointing that Austen & Bronte have shown up Homer & Virgil. And hey, Dickens and Golding I get, Steinbeck even -- but how does the lone Canadian entry end up being Kenneth Graham??!?!? No Atwood? No Ondaatje? No Leacock? Apologies to Mr Hardy, but Tess of the D'urbervilles does NOT outrank Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Oscar Wilde's exclusion is criminal; equally sad is their naming Winnie the Pooh over, say, Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Richard Adams' outstanding Watership Down.

All complaints aside, there's not a volume here I'd turn away out of spite. Turns out I'm 33% finished my pre-death reading assignments. I've read 10 of these, and marked them with asterisks.

1. *To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

2. The Bible
3. *The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
4. *
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

5. *A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
6. *
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
7. *
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque

9. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman

10. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

12. *The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

14. *Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne

16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

17. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

18. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
19. *
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

21. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

22. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

24. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

25. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel

27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

29. *A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

30. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn

1 comment:

cher said...

i really wish i learned how to read.