To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeNow, you all know I love a list as much as the next person. And mere words will never do justice to how much I adore the librarians, but I'm afraid I have to call shenanigans on this little exercise.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
Oh, not with most of the picks. They're okay by me. I mean, who's going to argue with To Kill a Mockingbird and The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice? Or with 1984 and A Clockwork Orange? Or with Winnie the Pooh and The Wind in the Willows (both of which, coincidentally, I've written about recently)? Not me, that's for sure.
I can also see the point of including some titles that don't exactly set my house on fire. I prefer East of Eden to Grapes of Wrath, but the latter had a profound social and political impact that probably renders it a More Important Book. And Tess of the D'Urbervilles? Well, you know my feelings about that particular book, but I guess Hardy HAD to be included somehow, so may as well go with poor Tess. And everyone probably should read A Christmas Carol, or else they're going to be really confused by the plots of the Christmas specials for pretty much every North American sitcom.
But (and at the risk of offending some of you, for which I apologize in advance)... but... The Lovely Bones? The Time Traveler's Wife? The Life of Pi? Er, ahem, The Prophet?
I can see that the librarians tried to take into consideration recent popular favourites, and I think it's sweet that they made the effort. And heck, in my opinion, The Poisonwood Bible definitely belongs on this list. But some of the other contemporary picks (and I've read most of them), just don't ring with the clear clarion tones that say "This book will live on throughout the ages. The ages, I tell you!" Not to me, anyway. I'm not being needlessly harsh, either. I mean, I really, really LIKED The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It's just... well... you know.
Shenanigans! Shenanigans! Somebody get me my broom!
*What do you call a group of librarians, anyway? (No, this isn't a riddle.) There's a parliament of owls and a murder of crows, but it strikes me that, if any group deserves its own nomenclature, it's librarians. A shelf of librarians? A collection of librarians? Help me out here.
(Link via Raincoaster)