World Book Night Top 100

Yes, it’s yet another top 100 list.  This time from World Book Night, who got the country talking books back earlier this year.  WBN has asked all its users of the website to nominate their top ten books and they’re compiling the top 100 to inform them on the choice of the 25 books for World Book Night 2012.

Here’s the list as it stands yesterday – it’s still evolving – but I wouldn’t think there will be much change above the bottom reaches of the chart.  There’s still time to vote if you register.

The number of votes each book has received is in brackets and I’ve lined through all those I’ve read which was a surprising 59:

The World Book Night Top 100 Books (29/7/11)

  1. To kill a mockingbird – Harper Lee (349)
  2. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (282)
  3. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (259)
  4. Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkein (244)
  5. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (211)
  6. American Gods – Neil Gaiman (206)
  7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  – Douglas Adams (201)
  8. The Time  Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (183)
  9. Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (162)
  10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (162)
  11. Harry Potter (set) – J K Rowling (154)
  12. 1984 – George Orwell (140)
  13. Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier (138)
  14. The shadow of the wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (138)
  15. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein (134)
  16. A thousand splendid suns – Khaled Hosseini (121)
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (120)
  18. The Help – Kathryn Stockett (119)
  19. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (115)
  20. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (112)
  21. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (111)
  22. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (110)
  23. One day – David Nicholls (107)
  24. Atonement – Ian McEwan (100)
  25. Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman (99)
  26. We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver (96)
  27. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (91)
  28. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (84)
  29. The Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger (84)
  30. Room – Emma Donoghue (82)
  31. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (81)
  32. The lovely bones – Alice Sebold (79)
  33. Animal Farm – George Orwell (77)
  34. One hundred years of solitude  – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (77)
  35. Never let me go – Kazuo Ishiguro (75)
  36. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres (73)
  37. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (72)
  38. The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde (70)
  39. The Stand – Stephen King (70)
  40. Dracula – Bram Stoker (69)
  41. The Secret History – Donna Tartt (69)
  42. A prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (68)
  43. Life of Pi – Jann Martel (65)
  44. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (65)
  45. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (64)
  46. Chocolat – Joanne Harris (64)
  47. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke (63)
  48. I capture the castle – Dodie Smith (62)
  49. The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett (61)
  50. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (61)
  51. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (61)
  52. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov (60)
  53. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks (59)
  54. The Island – Victoria Hislop (58)
  55. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (57)
  56. Night Watch – Terry Pratchett (57)
  57. The Road – Cormac McCarthy (56)
  58. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (56)
  59. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (55)
  60. The Five People you meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom (55)
  61. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (53)
  62. Persuasion – Jane Austen (53)
  63. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (52)
  64. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (52)
  65. Stardust – Neil Gaiman (52)
  66. The Princess Bride – William Goldman (51)
  67. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons (50)
  68. The Color Purple – Alice Walker (49)
  69. Small Island – Andrea Levy (47)
  70. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (46)
  71. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (45)
  72. Notes from a small island – Bill Bryson (45)
  73. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult (44)
  74. A suitable boy – Vikram Seth (44)
  75. Dune – Frank Herbert (44)
  76. Watership Down – Richard Adams (42)
  77. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel (42)
  78. The remains of the day – Kazuo Ishiguro (42)
  79. The picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (40)
  80. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (40)
  81. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood (38)
  82. Middlemarch – George Eliot (37)
  83. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (36)
  84. Perfume – Patrick Suskind (36)
  85. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (36)
  86. Posession – A S Byatt (35)
  87. The Magus – John Fowles (34)
  88. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (34)
  89. Crime and Punishment – Fydor Dostoevsky (33)
  90. Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin (32)
  91. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami (32)
  92. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (32)
  93. Kafka on the shore – Haruki Murakami (32)
  94. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer (30)
  95. The vanishing act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell (30)
  96. Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (28)
  97. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts (27)
  98. On the road – Jack Kerouac (27)
  99. A fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry (26)
  100. Brideshead revisited – Evelyn Waugh (25)

What stands out?   Neil Gaiman has 5 entries!   Apart from that it’s a fairly conventional mix of classics, modern classics, a few children’s classics and lots of more recent bestsellers of varying degrees of literaryness. 

The other surprising thing was that none of my personal top 10 that I entered are there!  They are mostly from my Desert Island Books list (see the tab at the top of the page), but in no particular order they are (today):

  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick De Witt – still the best thing I’ve read this year (review here)
  • The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster (review here)
  • The Shipping News by Annie E Proulx
  • I Claudius by Robert Graves
  • Blindness by Jose Saramago
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Tender is the night by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carre (Review here)
  • Double Indemnity by James M Cain (Review here)
Initially I wasn’t bothered by yet another top 100 list, however given the opportunity to help influence the next WBN, it has value if enough people enter their choices.
So over to you.  Are you bovvered about yet another top 100?  How many have you read? Are any of your choices there?  Will you vote/have you voted?
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9 thoughts on “World Book Night Top 100

  1. I just voted, and I was torn between listing my true favorites, which would include several on the list, and voting for ones that I’d like to see on the list. I mean, as much as I adore Lord of the Rings, I’m not sure it would be the best choice for something like World Book Night. I ended up doing a mix of both, mentioning some absolute favorites already on the list, but leaving off a few others I’d ordinarily list in my personal top 10 to make room for others that I think are worthy of Top 100 overall status but that aren’t on the list. (Blindness was among them, as a matter of fact.)

    • I gaily put my top ten in several weeks ago without knowing how they’d fare, but was disappointed not to see any of them in the list (I could adjust now I’ve seen the provisional list though ….). Thanks for adding yours Teresa.

    • There aren’t many translations are there Stu. My top 10 did include one though… Just haven’t read enough of them – something I’m addressing gradually I hope.

  2. I probably won’t register, but I was pleased to see I Capture the Castle on there – a good book to give away, which is a different beast from a personal favourite. I don’t think I would force some of my weirder favourites, such as Ann Carson’s Book of Red, or Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, on random members of the public, but anyone can enjoy ICTC or another popularist choice, and it might get them reading further, which is better than challenging them a wee bit too much.

  3. Well you did better than me, Annabel. When I counted up I have read 30 of the list all the way through and three others partly (haven’t got past Order of the Phoenix in Harry Potter and still haven’t read the third of the Philip Pullman trilogy)and there are a fair few on the list that I very much doubt I will be reading any time soon. It’s quite a mixture isn’t it?

  4. I think there must have been enough people who read loads of fantasy and voted for loads of Gaiman, Pratchett and co. I like an occasional fantasy, but deliberately chose ten different authors for my votes – and mostly not too obscure I thought … Ho hum.

  5. Just checked back on the chart this morning. No new entries, but a little jiggling around. Quite a few extra votes though.

    For info – WBN 2012 will be on April 23rd – the date of Shakespeare’s birth and death.

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