Friday, 21 May 2010

501 Must-Read Books

In a bizarre transaction of gifts and money I ended up in the possession of '501 Must-Read Books'. As usual with any of these lists, it's going to have some controversy. Here are my issues of contention:
  1. To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf. What? To the Lighthouse is barely penetrable, it is verbose and unrefined. Mrs Dalloway would be a far better example of Woolf's skill for narrative.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. It doesn't even get a mention. I think that this is ridiculous. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone gets in (albeit in the children's stories section), and this one doesn't.
  3. Aphra Behn. I'm surprised that one of the first female professional authors, playwrights and poet is not mentioned in this list. Although I've not read Oroonoko, it probably deserves to be in there somewhere. Mind you, I might save that verdict until I've actually read it.
Okay, so that is my rant over.

If you're interested to see which books feature in the list visit here. Here is how I scored.
  1. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnet
  2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  4. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
  6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
  8. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
  9. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  10. Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
  12. The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
  13. Charlotte's Webb, E.B. White
  14. The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
  15. The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer (not all of it)
  16. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  17. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
  18. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Frankenstein, Mary Shlley
  20. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  21. The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  22. The Book of Margery Kempe, Margery Kempe
  23. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
  24. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Noel Adams
  26. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  27. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
27. Not bad. I'd just like to say that often I have read other books by the authors featured in the list (e.g. Dickens, Austen, Lessing, Christie)

Currently Reading: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
Page: 173 of 493
Bookmark: Bus ticket from January

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