Friday, July 07, 2006

Books that everyone should read

According to Britain's librarians, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird is the book that everyone should read.

To Kill a Mocking Bird has topped a World Book Day poll conducted by the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), in which librarians around Great Britain were asked the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die?"

The chairman of the MLA, commented, "This goes to show that if you are stuck for something to read, you should ask a librarian."

Well, I'm not sure I agree with that. Librarians in the US, at least, do very little for small publishers such as Southfarm Press. They generally ignore books from small publishers, even if well reviewed, when they order. So there's a huge chunk of books published that they know little about.

The top 30 must read books in Britain (I wonder what the list would be from American librarians?):

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. The Bible
3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
4. 1984 by George Orwell
5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
8. All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
9. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
10. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
11. 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
15. 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
20. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
21. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
22. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
23. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
24. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
25. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
26. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
28. 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

Only number eight on the list is a military book: All Quiet on the Western Front by E. M. Remarque. I wonder what you, reader of this war-books blog, would place in a list of the top 10 military books that we should all read. The list can contain both fiction and nonfiction. Let me know. As the publisher of military history nonfiction, I'm definitely interested. If a Southfarm Press book shows up on your list, I'll know you're sucking up. --Walter Haan,


Anonymous guile said...

the lovely bones.. i love that book :)..

4:13 AM  

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