So, there is a note travelling through Facebook claiming that the BBC believes that the average person will only have read 6 books off a list of 100 very important books. Most of my friends and I scored at least 15, so I guess we’re doubly as well-read as the BBC claims we should be.
However, I have to say, I was very confused by some of the books on the list. Now, I am not doubting the merit of any of the books, particularly given that most of those that I raised an eyebrow to were among the nearly 70 I hadn’t read, but still…. I am uncomfortable with Bridget Jones’ Diary following the Color Purple.
Thus, since you all know how I love to solicit feedback and talk about the great books, I want to collaborate with you all on our own list of the 100 most important or relevant or exciting books/short stories/plays of all time.
Now, since this is my blog, I am going to be a tyrant and contribute heavily to the start of this endeavor—but please add as you see fit! Here we go, in no particular order. I am trying to restrict it to one book per author for the sake of fairness. Three or four millennia is a lot of fodder for picking a list!
- King Lear—William Shakespeare
- A Prayer for Owen Meany—John Irving
- To Kill a Mockingbird—Harper Lee
- The Dead—James Joyce
- Native Son—Richard Wright
- Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card
- The Hobbit—JRR Tolkein
- Dune- Frank Herbert
- Roots—Alex Haley
- 1984- George Orwell
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame—Victor Hugo
- Indian Killer—Sherman Alexie
- The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood
- It- Stephen King
- The Turn of the Screw—Henry James
- A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
- The Once and Future King—TH White
- Emma—Jane Austen
- Little Women—Louisa May Alcott
- All the Kings Men—Robert Penn Warren
- Cry the Beloved Country—Alan Patton
- Love in the Time of Cholera—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Odyssey—Homer
- Catcher in the Rye—JD Salinger
- The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—CS Lewis
- The Lovely Bones—Alice Seabold
- The Glass Castle—Jeanette Walls
- Lord of the Flies—William Golding
- On the Road—Jack Kerouac
- One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest—Ken Kesey
- The Aeneid—Virgil
- Dracula—Bram Stoker
- The Color Purple—Alice Walker
- Beloved—Toni Morrison
- Ceremony—Leslie Marmon Silko
- Of Mice and Men—John Steinback
- Fahrenheit 451—Ray Bradbury
- Things Fall Apart-- Chinua Achebe
So what else shall I add?
Think about it, and think about trying the lamb, eggplant skins at Joe Squared this week. That place is truly my muse!