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Britains 100 favourite books...

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited January 2023 in General Chat
full list is here

SO... how many have you read? Which ones would you recommend? Which ones are missing? And which ones did you look at and think 'how the hell did THAT get on there?!'?

I've read 49 of them... in my opinion, The Handmaid's Tale should be on there, there's a few i'd recommend (all the terry pratchetts, memoirs of a geisha, etc...) and i don't think Jane Eyre deserves a place.
Post edited by JustV on
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have read 33 of them. Jane Eyre is a BRILLIANT book (much better than Wheights).

    What about the trilogies- His Dark Materials and Lord of the rings are three books each (so if i count them individually i've read 37)

    Wheres Wild Swans, Atonement and The Child in Time? Surely they deserve a mention?

    Ones that shouldn't be in there;
    Jane Austens
    Harry Potters
    Some of the Terry Pratchetts aren't that great...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, well, if we're playing that game, i've read 53. :p

    I like terry pratchett. Though i'm not a huge fan of Good Omens, i have to say, and i think there are better ones than TCOM and Guards! Guards!

    Hate Jane Eyre. So much.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Sa-ra-ra-ra
    I like terry pratchett. Though i'm not a huge fan of Good Omens, i have to say, and i think there are better ones than TCOM and Guards! Guards!

    Yeah, so do I. Guards, guards is not a great book but TCOM and Good Omens are great!

    I think its a v. populist selection (but then again i spose its a most popular list...)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Gah, i've only read 31 of the list! The Dark Materials trilogy wasn't one i expected to see in there but it's a nice surpirse. Looking at that list also made me realise how much english classes at school have increased my reading habits.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is a good and varied list. It is nice to see some classics on there (such as Bleak House) and some more modern ones. I have only read 22 of them, but in all honesty have very little desire to read many of them because older literature doesn't appeal to me too often.

    I would say that Silas Marner is a much better book than Middlemarch though. :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Tim the Enchanter
    nice surpirse.

    Ironic really, I'm talking about english and I make a spelling mistake....
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've read 13 :lol:

    I guess I don't read popular books.. ;] And how on earth did Winnie the Pooh get on that list?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Fáfnir VII
    And how on earth did Winnie the Pooh get on that list?
    It was voted for by the British public, which I am pretty sure contains children and people who used to be children.

    Good books don't always have to be for adults. However the original Winnie The Book books are classics and are often not remembered because of Walt Disney's recreations.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shouldn't be on there?

    Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
    The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
    Double Act - Jacqueline Wilson
    Dune - Frank Herbert
    Girls in Love - Jacqueline Wilson
    Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
    Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
    Kane and Abel - Jeffrey Archer
    Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
    Mort - Terry Pratchett
    Nightwatch - Terry Pratchett
    The Story of Tracy Beaker - Jacqueline Wilson
    Vicky Angel - Jacqueline Wilson

    Not that I'm intolerant, but some of these books are such trash that they should bring back book burning rallies. Although fair enough if they bring such joy to certain people that they'll vote on 4 Harry Potters, 4 Terry Pratchetts, and 4 Jacqueline-fucking-talentless-Wilson.

    Especially in a list that doesn't contain these:
    The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
    Burmese Days- George Orwell
    (any of the Flashman series)- George Macdonald Fraser
    Evelyn Waugh- Scoop
    Oscar Wilde- A Picture of Dorian Gray
    To Have and Have Not- Ernest Hemingway

    and many others.

    Those from the list that I'd recommend personally over the others (although of course I haven't read all of them!):
    1984 - George Orwell **
    Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
    Catch 22 - Joseph L Heller **
    The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas *
    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams *
    Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists - Robert Tressell (maybe, a bit long)
    A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens **
    Lord of the Flies - William Golding *

    *=recommended
    **=strongly recommended


    I also suspect that a lot of people voted for books like War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy or Crime and Punishment - Fyoder Dostoyevsky (as good as they are) because it made them feel big and intellectual; not that many ACTUALLY enjoy reading those books.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Carlito - I know you are only expressing your opinion, but the poll was open to everyone of all ages. To expect young children to vote for "classics" is stupid. The poll was to find Britain's favourite books, and children form part of Britain and are therefore eligible to vote.

    Naturally young children will vote for books by authors such as Rowling, because that is who the books were primarily aimed at.

    I am personally glad to see those books in the list, because they have encouraged a nation of children to start to read. Furthermore, older children and even adults who don't like to read have been encouraged to do so, which can only be a good thing.

    Literary snobbery is pathetic.
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    JsTJsT Posts: 18,268 Skive's The Limit
    I used to read a lot of books, don't anymore, too many demands on my time from work and internet etc!

    I have read 9 of them, mostly about 5/6 years ago, I used to be a superb reader in my early teens - but I haven't settled down and read a good book in about 2 years!
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    littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    33.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've only read 12 out of that list. I haven't read a good book for ages.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've read 43.

    I'm surprised there are so many Terry Pratchetts, I really don't like them - guess they're an acquired taste.

    But Jane Eyre is great! And Jane Austen. The classics have to be on there...

    I agree that Memoirs of a Geisha deserves a place.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by perfect***day
    I agree that Memoirs of a Geisha deserves a place.

    :yes: My fave book ever!

    I've only read 15 off that list, but I don't like classics or Terry Pratchett so that rules most of them out!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BumbleBee
    Carlito - I know you are only expressing your opinion, but the poll was open to everyone of all ages. To expect young children to vote for "classics" is stupid. The poll was to find Britain's favourite books, and children form part of Britain and are therefore eligible to vote.

    Naturally young children will vote for books by authors such as Rowling, because that is who the books were primarily aimed at.

    I am personally glad to see those books in the list, because they have encouraged a nation of children to start to read. Furthermore, older children and even adults who don't like to read have been encouraged to do so, which can only be a good thing.

    Literary snobbery is pathetic.

    Ok thats fair enough, but maybe there should have been a seperate poll for kids or something, because I think its pointless trying to compare Orwell or Catch 22 to children's books, it just demeans the whole poll.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't vote for what they genuinely think is the best book of all time, and this poll serves a useful function (to show what the majority likes) but I'd in no way confuse "the nations favourite books" the nation's "best books".

    Hence why I said people are voting for Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to make themselves feel clever, these are not genuinely that many people's "favourite" books (if you class "favourite" as a book you most enjoy). But then there might be confusion in the population as to what the BBC meant by "favourite". For example, I think that War and Peace is a "better" book in terms of literary greatness and explanation of humanity and general profundity, but I enjoyed "the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" a lot more.

    I agree literary snobbery is pathetic, but I also think that people getting more from Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett than from Orwell or Hemingway is also quite pathetic.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by carlito
    Ok thats fair enough, but maybe there should have been a seperate poll for kids or something, because I think its pointless trying to compare Orwell or Catch 22 to children's books, it just demeans the whole poll.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't vote for what they genuinely think is the best book of all time, and this poll serves a useful function (to show what the majority likes) but I'd in no way confuse "the nations favourite books" the nation's "best books".

    Hence why I said people are voting for Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy to make themselves feel clever, these are not genuinely that many people's "favourite" books (if you class "favourite" as a book you most enjoy). But then there might be confusion in the population as to what the BBC meant by "favourite". For example, I think that War and Peace is a "better" book in terms of literary greatness and explanation of humanity and general profundity, but I enjoyed "the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" a lot more.

    I agree literary snobbery is pathetic, but I also think that people getting more from Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett than from Orwell or Hemingway is also quite pathetic.

    Hear, Hear
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by perfect***day


    I'm surprised there are so many Terry Pratchetts, I really don't like them - guess they're an acquired taste.


    Yeh I agree, I read a couple of books from that trilogy about the tiny little people and just didn't connect with them, but I can see why so many people could get caught up in them, they seem very cult-ish.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I need to get back into reading, I've only read 11 of those and reading is one of my favourite hobbies :eek2: I have read...

    BFG
    Black Beauty
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Double Act
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Little Women
    Matilda
    Secret Garden
    Story of Tracy Beaker
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- I've got an exam on this on Friday :(
    Winnie the Pooh

    I do read a lot more than this, just none of them are listed... they probably deserve to be, though!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by carlito

    I agree literary snobbery is pathetic, but I also think that people getting more from Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett than from Orwell or Hemingway is also quite pathetic.
    If you agree it is pathetic then you are agreeing that you are being pathetic. What one person deems a great book is their opinion. I would not expect someone like a young child, or someone with learning difficulties to be a major fan or Hemingway (well, nor am I, I find him boring). The poll was open to the whole nation. If you didn't vote then you can't really complain.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    49.

    Nice to see two by Gabriel Garcia Marquez on there.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ive read 8 of them :confused:

    Lol, shows how much reading I do :rolleyes:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    About 20 but that list only included fiction (or is that just how the voting came out)

    Whats wrong with childrens books, they are the books you learn to read with, and for many years are the books you enjoy most, how can you challenge the genius of Roald Dahl?

    I like the Pratchett books and the Dark materials trilogy is genius!

    Really you can't say one is better than the other, it is a popularity poll, not a quality poll........
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BumbleBee
    If you agree it is pathetic then you are agreeing that you are being pathetic. What one person deems a great book is their opinion. I would not expect someone like a young child, or someone with learning difficulties to be a major fan or Hemingway (well, nor am I, I find him boring). The poll was open to the whole nation. If you didn't vote then you can't really complain.

    No because I don't think I'm being a snob about it, snobbery is something that has no rationality or logic to it. I'm saying that the fact the population would learn more/get more out of/be more moved by for example Harry Potter than Hemingway suggests to me that they don't have very good taste or don't understand it, and I should probably qualify by saying that I don't think those people are necessarily pathetic, but I think the state of affairs that leads this to happen is pathetic.

    In terms of enjoyment of reading, then its perfectly fine that somebody should prefer Harry Potter to Hemingway, but then it begs the question why are you bothering to read? Why not just watch TV if you aren't going to bother with something which is either relevant to real life, intellectually stimulating, or particulary beautiful prose and writing? I don't think many people would claim that Harry Potter is any of those, they just enjoy the narrative. Which isn't to say they shouldn't be reading Harry Potter, but its basically "chewing gum for the mind" the same as crap on tv is "chewing gum for the eyes", and therefore in my opinion shouldn't be voted onto a 100 greatest books list.

    And like I said perhaps they should have had a seperate poll for children's books, because it kindof makes the poll pointless. As for learning difficulties, fair enough, but I don't think theres enough people with learning diffuculties to justify the amount of bad books on the list!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg
    About 20 but that list only included fiction (or is that just how the voting came out)

    Whats wrong with childrens books, they are the books you learn to read with, and for many years are the books you enjoy most, how can you challenge the genius of Roald Dahl?

    I like the Pratchett books and the Dark materials trilogy is genius!

    Really you can't say one is better than the other, it is a popularity poll, not a quality poll........

    Yeah I agree, it is a popularity poll, but I think there must have been some confusion by people voting because I fail to beleive that a significant number of people "enjoyed" reading Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and maybe even Austen the most out of any book they've ever read, or else I've seriously underestimated the capacity of the British public. Either that or it highlights the class war when half are voting "War and Peace" and half are voting "Harry Potter"!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You know Carlito, you are in no position to judge other people who may gain more from reading Harry Potter than reading an Orwell book. I have to say that I deem myself intelligent, and I get more enjoyment from a Harry Potter book than I do from Orwell or Hemingway. Granted, 1984 makes you think, but what if you cannot understand the arguments being made or indeed "the point" of the novel. If you think the majority of the British public is in a position to understand these books to the same extent as yourself then yes, you have greatly over estimated the public.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Britains 100 favourite books...
    Originally posted by Sa-ra-ra-ra
    in my opinion, The Handmaid's Tale should be on there,

    I've been reading that for AS English Lit & i love it! It's one of those that really make you think but is still a good read & i always win the arguments with my friend over the ending (the actual story, not historical notes)


    I agree that Memoirs of a Geisha deserves a place.

    I loved that book too! :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg
    how can you challenge the genius of Roald Dahl?

    I love all his books, read every single one when I was younger :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *revises* I have actually read 42 :p
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