Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Lists Are You Doin It Right?

A bit of a fun post today, the BBC Top 100 book list is doing the rounds again and it got me thinking about book lists in general. What do they really mean to you? are you going to read a book because it is on the list or conversely not read a book because it isn't on a list? Do you feel guilty/happy reading those "have you read these?" lists?

There are lots of different lists out there, such as book prize lists, bestseller lists, and voted by the people lists to name a few. It seems every big brand book store has its own top something list. Book lists are every where, but does that really make it a good book? or a book you would enjoy?

I remember when Dan Brown was topping lists everywhere and he was on every ones lips when it came to books. I decided to give his book a go, The Da Vinci Code, and I have to say I really didn't care for it.*Gasp* I know I said it. I just did not like his book, it failed to grab me at all.

So for me a list is more of a general guide. If I see a book has made a list I know of, I tend to think "oh how nice". But it wont sway me either way to read a book or not. I am more likely to be swayed by my book blogging friends, especially those with similar tastes, then a list. Oh and a pretty front cover, what can I say, sometimes I am just that shallow!

As for those "have you read these" lists that do the rounds, I have given up on those and stopped feeling guilty. Mostly because I realised the books on the list I haven't read, I haven't read for a reason. That reason is I just don't want to, or have no interest in it. So I don't feel bad about it any more.

Having said that I have found a few lists that are pretty good. They seem to capture a really good cross section of genres. There is literally something for everyone. From Zombies to Geisha, Queens to Aliens, Detectives to Animals. So I have listed the few lists I do keep an eye on below, unfortunately they are Aussie centric for my overseas readers.

50 Books You Can't Put Down
Is Australia's largest annual celebration of books and reading. A wide range of genres is represented in the list: adult literary and popular fiction (including crime and fantasy), adult non-fiction (including biography, history, sport and humour), and young adult and children's fiction and picture books,

Angus & Robertson Top 100
Every year readers vote on their top 100. For the 2010 list a whopping 101,655 people voted for their favorite books. Has everything from classics to contemporary fiction.

Angus & Robertson Kids Top 50
15,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 17 were polled for their favorite books for 2010. A wide range of books including Stephanie Meyer, Roald Dahl, Mem Fox, and Philip Pullman.

Are there any lists you follow?


  1. I have to confess that anything on the Booker list I immediately cross off my list - they all same boring and wordy. have not enjoyed any of the few Ibarvie have tried.

  2. I love lists! I like reading them for suggestions but would never read a book just because it made a prestigous list. I love making my own lists, more for my own enjoyment than anything else. Helps me evaluate on my own.