Thursday, 24 April 2008

Can we find the world's favourite book?

I'm not usually one for lists of best books - y'know, the endless lists of books you must read before you die or the best books of all time or the best books of the 20th century or whatever. While I secretly like checking how many I've read (don't we all like a little validation of our reading choices?), I usually don't pay them much heed, reflecting as they generally do the particular tastes of whatever literary editor put them together to fill the pages of the books section in a paper or magazine. .

But I've come across a fun new site PollthePeople.com. Its modest aim is to the find the world's favourite books, films and albums by polling people globally. The fun aspect comes in because of the social networking element - you can find people with similar tastes to you and rate their lists.

I'm terrible at restricting myself to just a top five, but I decided to sign up anyway (I can change my choices at any time) and you can check out my list here. I'd love to know what your top five would be!

13 comments:

stefanie said...

You left off Great Expectations! :)

Logophile said...

Stefanie, much as I love Great Expectations I had to choose Jane Eyre instead. Such tough choices to make ;-)

verbivore said...

I love that I didn't know two of your choices, that adds two more books to the list (the O'Connor and McGahern). This type of exercise is way too difficult for me, I have favorites "in categories", my favorite classics, my favorite Japanese, my favorite French, my favorite contemporary. There's just no way I can choose only five. I don't even think I have a favorite book of all time...

Anonymous said...

I love your list, and now that I've registered, I've been able to rate you 4/5! What fun to learn of new authors from people who have loved similar books...! I'm just now considering my top 5 films and albums...that's going to be rather tricky, I feel....

Logophile said...

Verbivore, I agree it's a nearly impossible task. I missed off Revolutionary Road for instance, the book I've loved most in the past year...the fact I can change it was enough for me - this is my top five books this morning rather than ever. Now if it was my desert island books that would be another thing, utterly impossible!

Anon, thanks for your kind words! Let me know your lists so I can check them out (I can't seem to see it through the site itself, though that could just be me not figuring it out!).

orchidus said...

"Yay!" for His Dark Materials Trilogy! :] It sure is difficult trying to narrow down the top five books... I think I have to expand my horizons before making a list.

Ah, thanks for reminding me to read Jane Eyre and One Hundred Years of Solitude. Better get to them soon.

Gentle Reader said...

Love your choices, but now there are two new books for me to read, the O'Connor and the McGahern! Straight onto my list, of course! I think it will be way too hard for me to narrow it down to only 5...

Stewart said...

I'm shocked to look at the list and see that Gary Barlow's My Take is number five. Overall, it's an interesting idea.

Logophile said...

Orchidus, I came late to the Pullman novels and just love them.

GR, narrowing down to 5 is pretty tough!

Stewart, I just checked and Gary Barlow's moved up to number 4! A terrible title in an otherwise pretty top ten...

Anonymous said...

Oh, I've been meaning to read the McGahern for ages! I haven't read him at all, actually, and didn't quite know which one to start with so it's good to know that that's your favourite.

5 is impossible, but I think 100 Years of Solitude would be on my list as well. And I think Midnight's Children, Waterland, and Bleak House would also have to be on that list, but I'm having trouble picking a fifth.... Maybe Ragtime. Or Beloved. Or To The Lighthouse.

-- Preeta

Logophile said...

Preeta, another great McGahern is That They May Face the Rising Sun...and so glad to see what your favourite titles are (for now at least anyway!).

Eva said...

That's difficult...like verbivore, I tend to categorise my favourites. :) I tagged you for a meme, if you have the time. The first one on this post: http://astripedarmchair.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/meme-catch-up/

Tom C said...

Well, I think I prefer Librarything, where at least the contributors are genuine book-lovers!

http://www.librarything.com/zeitgeist

Alas, Harry Potter still predominates but dig down a bit and you'll find some interesting stuff