Lists normally annoy me, but….

I came across this piece in the Guardian in which the people behind the women- only Orange prize (which is announced tonight by the way) discover what are the British public’s most favorite books. Every year, people come out with these lists of ‘essential reads’ or ‘things you should have on your bookcase or your an idiot’ type things. Usually I just scan the list, say ‘Huh.’ and move on to the next web page. This one however actually is a good list. Granted they only surveyed 500 people, but they came up with some really good titles:
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Being Dead by Jim Crace
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Faith Singer by Rosie Scott
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
Hotel World by Ali Smith
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Misery by Stephen King
Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
Money by Martin Amis
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Riders by Jilly Cooper
Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Rabbit Books by John Updike
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Women’s Room by Marilyn French
Tracey Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Unless by Carol Shields
What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

See? Good stuff on this list—Murakami, Welsh, Pullman. I love the His Dark Materials trilogy. Its much better than Harry Potter, though I did enjoy the Potter books as well. Anyway, maybe I will have to read some of the ones on this list I have not gotten to yet, such as Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty (never heard of this actually).

2 thoughts on “Lists normally annoy me, but….

  1. V-bunny

    Can I borrow you brain to catch up on some of my reading? I read devastatingly slow for someone constantly surrounded by books. It’s agonizing to stare at the pile of books by my bed that I want to read but have no time to. Sigh. This is a good list and I LOVE Philip Pullman. Did you know they’re going (or have already started?) to make a movie out of it? I hope it’s good, better than even the new Harry Potter movie, which is quite good.


  2. bookdwarf

    I love Philip Pullman and the His Dark Materials trilogy. There was a good article about them in the Globe Ideas section this week. I dread what they are going to do to the series in the movies they are planning. I hear the play is not all that bad.


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