Thursday, 13 October 2011

Top100Books - 5 books to read before you die - Big Issue

Sylvia Plath

There's a weekly column in The Big Issue you check out if you can (you need to buy the mag, it's not online).
Every week a well known author is asked which five books people MUST read before they die. It's a pretty good basis by which to consider which books you think should be included in our Top100Books survey too.
Last week Jackie Kay, author of Red Dust Road, suggested these:

  1. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
  2. Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  3. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  4. To the Island (trilogy) by Janet Frame
  5. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The week before a very different female writer, Jodie Prenger (a judge in the Mills and Boon New Voices talent search) suggested this five:

  1. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  3. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  4. A Safe Place by Lorenzo Carcaterrra
  5. Flirting With Intent by Kelly Hunter
That last is a Mills and Boon. A publisher I'm guessing who won't make everyone's top five list, or even their top 1,000.

The Scottish poet Liz Lochead was the picker from the week before. Her list is equally fascinating, equally disparate.

  1. Selected Stories by Alice Munro
  2. The Rattle Bag edited by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney
  3. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. Poor Things by Alasdair Gray
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
What are your top five? And send your top ten list to The list should be ready sometime in January.

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