book list

World Book Night 2012 Longlist

The book titles for World Book Night 2012 longlist are out and there aren’t many surprises on the list. Many of it are stock-standard but I was so pleased some classics made it too. I was a bit surprised Middlemarch made it over The Mill on the Floss though since I have always had the impression that that was the more popular and accessible title. Great Expectations rather than Oliver Twist or A Tale of Two Cities is the only Dickens but I’m glad Wilkie Collins made the list with The Woman in White. I’m quite ecstatic Jasper Fforde made it too! I’m a bit muffled as to the double listing of Harry Potter – once as the box set and the other as only the Philosopher’s Stone – while only the the first Stieg Larsson book is included.

I’m not quite sure why I’m analysing this list anyway. I don’t live in the U.K. where this event is held! Having ‘world’ in the event name is quite misleading but who can go past a booklist?

Those in bold are the ones I’ve read and it equate to forty out of the hundred!

1 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

2 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

3 The Book Thief Markus Zusak

4 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte

5 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger

6 The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

7 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

8 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte

9 Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier

10 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

11 American Gods Neil Gaiman

12 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini

13 Harry Potter Adult Hardback Boxed Set J. K. Rowling

14 The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon

15 The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

16 One Day David Nicholls

17 Birdsong Sebastian Faulks

18 The Help Kathryn Stockett

19 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

20 Good Omens Terry Pratchett

21 The Notebook Nicholas Sparks

22 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson

23 The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

24 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

25 Little Women Louisa M. Alcott

26 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden

27 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold

28 Atonement Ian McEwan

29 Room Emma Donoghue

30 Catch-22 Joseph Heller

31 We Need to Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver

32 His Dark Materials Philip Pullman

33 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis De Bernieres

34 The Island Victoria Hislop

35 Neverwhere Neil Gaiman

36 The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

37 The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

38 Chocolat Joanne Harris

39 Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

40 The Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom

41 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

42 Animal Farm George Orwell

43 The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett

44 The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde

45 Tess of the D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

46 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl

47 I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith

48 The Wasp Factory Iain Banks

49 Life of Pi Yann Martel

50 The Road Cormac McCarthy

51 Great Expectations Charles Dickens

52 Dracula Bram Stoker

53 The Secret History Donna Tartt

54 Small Island Andrea Levy

55 The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett

56 Lord of the Flies William Golding

57 Persuasion Jane Austen

58 A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving

59 Notes from a Small Island Bill Bryson

60 Watership Down Richard Adams

61 Night Watch Terry Pratchett

62 Brave New World Aldous Huxley

63 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon

64 Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell Susanna Clarke

65 The Color Purple Alice Walker

66 My Sister’s Keeper Jodi Picoult

67 The Stand Stephen King

68 Cloud Atlas David Mitchell

69 The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov

70 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

71 Cold Comfort Farm Stella Gibbons

72 Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

73 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mary Ann Shaffer

74 The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde

75 Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

76 The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman

77 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins

78 The Princess Bride William Goldman

79 A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth

80 Perfume Patrick Suskind

81 The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas

82 The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy

83 Middlemarch George Eliot

84 Dune Frank Herbert

85 Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel

86 Stardust Neil Gaiman

87 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

88 Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie

89 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J. K. Rowling

90 Shantaram Gregory David Roberts

91 The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro

92 Possession: A Romance A. S. Byatt

93 Tales of the City Armistead Maupin

94 Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami

95 The Magus John Fowles

96 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne

97 A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry

98 Alias Grace Margaret Atwood

99 Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami

100 The Wind-up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami

Dymocks Top 101 Books

Australian bookstore chain, Dymocks, compiles readers favourite books annually. I’m a little late with this one but I always love a list. Here is the list for 2010.

Those in bold are the ones I’ve read.

1 The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

2 The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

3 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

4 The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

5 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

6 The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

7 To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

8 The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

9 My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

10 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

11 The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

12 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

13 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

14 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

15 Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

16 Magician by Raymond E. Feist

17 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

18 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

19 Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

20 The Host by Stephenie Meyer

21 Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

22 Atonement by Ian McEwan

23 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

24 Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

25 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

26 Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon

27 Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

28 The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

29 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

30 Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

31 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

32 Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

33 Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody

34 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

35 The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini

36 The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

37 Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

38 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

39 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

40 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

41 Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

42 The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

43 Persuasion by Jane Austen

44 Tully by Paullina Simons

45 Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly

46 Breath by Tim Winton

47 The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

48 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

49 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

50 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

51 Emma by Jane Austen

52 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

53 The Bible

54 Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly

55 A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey

56 We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

57 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

58 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

59 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

60 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

61 People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

62 The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

63 The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

64 Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

65 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

66 The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris (Only the first. It was awful.)

67 Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

68 Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly

69 On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

70 The Princess Bride by William Goldman

71 The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

72 Wicked by Gregory Maguire

73 Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

74 Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

75 Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

76 Dewey by Vicki Myron

77 Dirt Music by Tim Winton

78 Marley and Me by John Grogan

79 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

80 Dune by Frank Herbert

81 The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

82 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

83 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

84 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

85 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

86 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

87 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Only The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.)

88 The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

89 Possession by AS Byatt

90 Finnikin of The Rock by Melina Marchetta

91 No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

92 Graceling by Kristin Cashore

93 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

94 The Secret History by Donna Tartt

95 Silent Country by Di Morrissey

96 Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

97 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

98 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

99 Still Alice by Lisa Genova

100 The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

101 Gallipoli by Les Carlyon

I’ve read 37 titles. It’s a very ‘now’ list and it’s awful that Twilight is number one. However, I do like that there’s a nice mixture of youth and adult literature along with some core classics. I’m surprised at how fast some titles have made their way onto the list seeing as some were only published last year. And, of course, it’s always great to see some great Australian titles included.

What do you think of the list?

The Most Memorable Books in My Life (so far)

I’ve pinched this meme from Kimberly and was inspired to write my own post. I’m still young (quite) and hopefully still have long reading years ahead for me. I wonder at times if there should be an age limit for these sort of things. Would writing up a list like this be something akin to a 17 year-old celebrity writing her autobiography? Nonetheless, these are the ten (only an arbitary number or I could go on and on) books that have resonated with me so far. In no particular order:

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I adore this book. It’s so romantic, fierce, Gothic, dark, strong, melodramatic and sinister. I could go on with the adjectives. There are so many layers in the story. The crux of it, though, is the one that’s most inspirational which is, of course, the story and struggle of Jane Eyre. Plain, little, alone and poor, Jane makes her own way through the heavily patriarchal world and chooses what feels right for her. I think I have around four various copies of this book scattered around.
  2. Tintin by Herge. I grew up with these books and these definitely don’t read like comics. The expressive and wonderful illustrations along with the stories really captured my attention. The stories taught you about morals and what was wrong and right. They also took you to the most interesting places around the world from the Congo, Scotland and China. I still re-read them occasionally and they’re a treasured part of my collection.
  3. Matilda by Roald Dahl. The original and most inspiring bibliophile! I think it was reading this book that first made me realise how much I indeed did love books. The lovely illustrations by Quentin Blake also added its own enchantment.  Awhile ago, I copied down a list of books that Matilda had read. I have only read six out of the fourteen!
  4. The Tomorrow series by John Marsden. This was a significant read for me during my teenage years. It’s a very quintessential Australian series, largely set in the country but it also explored important social and political issues. It’s about a group of teenagers who goes camping for a long weekend and come home to realise that the country has been invaded by a foreign nation. The foreigners are never identified in the book. I remember the books being quite filled with action, with the teens initiating their own impressive guerrilla attacks against the invaders,  but it also had the typical teen issues like sex, relationships and friendship. I’d always thought if we were ever invaded, I’d want these books with me. Somewhat bizarrely, it also introduced me to Pride and Prejudice.
  5. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. This book was assigned reading for a second-year Anthropology subject and it truly opened my eyes and mind. Fadiman writes about an unusual case where they have been misinterpretations between both parties. There is the family who are Hmong refugees and who have only recently settled in America. Anybody familiar with Hmong traditions know that they differ vastly from the Western idea of ‘normality’ and ‘rationality’. The youngest Hmong child suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and because of the massive cultural barrier between the parents and the American doctors, and the belief of what causes epilepsy, there is a large division and mistrust between both parties which inevitably harms the child. This book really taught me to always question the concept of culture and it really broadened my mind. I didn’t even know who the Hmong people were until I read this.
  6. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Ah, my first Sensation read and it was marvelous and what fun! Wilkie Collins is particularly memorable because not only are you guaranteed a ripping read but his insight into legal loopholes and issues women face is fascinating too. It is nice to know that Collins can be considered an advocate for women’s rights especially in what was such a patriarchal society.
  7. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. This was a book that surprised me by how much I really did enjoy reading it. It was suspenseful, gripping story with memorable and excellent characters – Pip, Estella and of course, Miss Havisham – a woman wholly consumed by her failed nuptials and who has stayed in a her wedding dress ever since. It’s one of my favourite Dickens.
  8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which books begin to burn. The whole concept of the perceived dangers of a book, historically and presently, was foreign to me until I read this slim but powerful book, a cautionary tale of how oppression and narrow mindedness can breed. I’m still amazed at how threatened a society can feel by the mere presence of a book.
  9. The Outsider by Albert Camus. I read this when I was seventeen and I loved it immensely. I could, perhaps frighteningly, identify with Meursault and his perspective on life and freewill. While most in class was ready to cast Meursault as a villain, I viewed him as a sort of hero who had the courage to live his life without bowing to social conformity.
  10. The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre. If I had to pick a religion or faith, I think I would pick existentialism. Sartre really made me rethink the idea of freedom and, really, in the end we may think we are free but we are not. There are too many attachments in life holding us down that our concept of freedom have been misconstrued. I love books that make me think like this!

I wonder if this list will change dramatically if I do it again in a few years time. What books have been most memorable in your life?

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1000 Novels You Must Read

Early last year, Guardian selected their own 1000 novels one should read in their lifetime. It was only recently that I stumbled across this list. The list is divided into seven categories: Comedy, Crime, Family and Self, Love, Science Fiction and Fantasy, State of the Nation and War and Travel. I won’t post the entire list here but I’ll post up the titles I have read which is 78 all together.


Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

And that’s it. I scored a very dismal ONE (!) in this category. It might say a lot about my reading although some titles included here surprised me.


Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary E Braddon

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Total – 10

Family and Self:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

The Outsider by Albert Camus

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Les Enfants Terrible by Jean Cocteau

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Washington Square by Henry James

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Total – 12


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Vilette by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

Lolita, or the Confessions of a White Widowed Male by Vladimir Nabokov

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Total – 19

Science Fiction and Fantasy:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Total – 13

State of the Nation:

The Plague by Albert Camus

Disgrace by JM Coetzee

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Silas Marner by George Eliot

A Passage to India by EM Forster

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Total – 9

War and Travel:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Crab with the Golden Claws by Georges Remi Herge

Tintin in Tibet by Georges Remi Herge

The Castafiore Emerald by Georges Remi Herge

Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Total – 5

I like the list and I especially love the inclusion of Tintin! I don’t think a list has ever included Tintin and I think it’s unfortunate. Tintin has a lot of literary appeal that perhaps goes unappreciated.

The Best of the Best

Neilbowers has a consolidated list of the top 100 lists from several different countries and has made these top 100 lists into one single top 100.

Those in bold are the ones I have read.

1. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

2. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. The Grapes Of Wrath John Steinbeck

4. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

5. Catch-22 Joseph Heller

6. One Hundred Years Of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez

7. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

8. Ulysses James Joyce

9. On The Road Jack Kerouac

10. The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien

11. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

12. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

13. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis

15. Great Expectations Charles Dickens

16. War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

17. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

18. Animal Farm George Orwell

19. Crime And Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

20. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

21. Lord Of The Flies William Golding

22. Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh

23. Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie

24. Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

26. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

27. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien

28. To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf

29. Middlemarch George Eliot

30. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier

31. Dune Frank Herbert

32. Brave New World Aldous Huxley

33. A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving

34. Watership Down Richard Adams

35. The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner

36. Little Women Louisa May Alcott

37. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

38. Anne Of Green Gables LM Montgomery

39. Emma Jane Austen

40. Memoirs Of A Geisha Arthur Golden

41. Beloved Toni Morrison

42. Of Mice And Men John Steinbeck

43. The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

44. Les Miserables Victor Hugo

45. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

46. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown

47. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy

48. Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne

49. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks

50. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres

51. Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut

52. Life of Pi Yann Martel

53. A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

54. The Count Of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas

55. A Passage to India E.M. Forster

56. Moby Dick Herman Melville

57. A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth

58. The Stand Stephen King

59. Possession A.S. Byatt

60. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert

61. A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens

62. The Trial Franz Kafka

63. I, Claudius Robert Graves

64. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood

65. The Secret History Donna Tartt

66. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman

67. The Harry Potter Series J.K. Rowling

68. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

69. Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

70. Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence

71. The Pillars Of The Earth Ken Follett

72. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce

73. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain

74. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini

75. An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser

76. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll

77. Bleak House Charles Dickens

78. The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger

79. A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry

80. The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemmingway

81. Nostromo Joseph Conrad

82. Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry

83. The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing

84. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers

85. The Stranger Albert Camus

86. Native Son Richard Wright

87. Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon

88. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

89. Perfume Patrick Süskind

90. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe

91. David Copperfield Charles Dickens

92. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl

93. Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov

94. Persuasion Jane Austen

95. Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand

96. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass

97. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray

98. Atonement Ian McEwan

99. Light in August William Faulkner

100. The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett

33/100 – not too bad I suppose.