Thursday, June 26, 2008


OK so my lovely wife just posted an article listing the top 100 books according to someone or other and then went through the list highlighting the ones she had read. She's read 45 of the 100 on the list and wants to read another 10 of them. I could just blog the list and highlight what I've read.

Then one of our mutual friends with a delightful bent on reality wondered "who is this list according to". It's apparently compiled by a bunch of "stuffy Brits" but there is no mention of the methodology or selection criteria used in the compilation. He's read 47 of the 100 and would have read another 10 if he had followed through on all his assignments in college. I could blog about how clever that was and how often we ignore the motivations behind the headlines.

I've read 20 of the 100. And I'm pretty sure I've read all the ones on that list that I want to read. However I'm an avid reader. I think my friend has it right in his opinion that the list is clearly shaped by its creators. Were I to make the list it would look rather different. There is a serious lack of science fiction which is a shame. The literary world often exempts Sci-Fi from any serious consideration thinking it's just fluff. What a shame - some of the most insightful and compelling commentaries on society I've ever read have been science fiction. That's worth a blog article too but I'm not going to blog that either.

In keeping with the randomness inherent in this site and the wonderful serendipity of all creation I found this comic today which excellently highlights one of the problems I have with "classic" literature. Click the picture to go to the site and while you are there browse the rest of his excellent work. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

As I told the Rabid Paladin after his post appeared, back when the list was being compiled, someone forwarded the request to participate to a list I'm on (full of fantasy readers). I think I didn't participate because you had to be in the UK or Ireland or something, but there didn't seem to be any other limiting criteria that would make it a "stuffy" book list. I think the list looks the way it does because most people don't read widely, and choose their books based on what other people are reading (or tell them they'd like).

I think you'd like Swallows and Amazons if you haven't already read it. It makes me wish I could have a summer adventure like those kids do. The whole series is very good.

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