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broodings from the burrow

March 14, 2006

british librarians tell you what to read
posted by soe 3:07 pm

The Guardian, the best paper to read if you like literature, has published a list of librarians’ must-read books.

Librarians were asked by the Museum, Libraries, and Achives Council, “Which book should every adult read before they die?”

The complete list, with those I’ve read in bold (those I’ve read parts of are marked with a single asterisk):

  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’urbevilles 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

If we include the two I’ve read parts of, I’m halfway through the list, with a strong emphasis on the classics.

Granted, it’s clear from this list that books originally written in English and those written by Brits themselves get a higher priority than on lists that other groups would create. But that’s still okay. Because it’s fun to see what others recommend.

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