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20 Books Everyone Should Read!


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I suppose it depends on your criteria. If you think everyone should read them because they're well written, or groundbreaking, or challenge views- something like that you may not choose to list some books that you enjoyed, but if you go purely on that you enjoyed the book and feel people would enjoy it too so they should read it you may choose books which aren't literary greats.

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Well, there are different things, I think.

 

List my favourite books

List books I think people would enjoy most

List books people should read

 

I'd come up with completely different lists for each. Clearly there are no rules, but it's a surprising list to me looking at the title of the thread.

 

And no, there's nothing wrong with reading for entertainment. But it seems to me to not be something I would say someone "should" read.

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I feel it's a little presumptuous to list 20 books that people should read. No matter who comes up with such a list, it'll be anything but subjective. No doubt The Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare would feature highly on one person's list; Harry Potter and Twilight on another; with Proust and Plato gracing yet another.

 

It's a no-win situation. Our reading tastes, thank goodness, are all over the map and nobody's going to agree on those amorphous 20 books. Perhaps a better approach, and one less likely to raise ire and eyebrows, would be "Top 20 books" or "BCF's Top Twenty for 2XXX."

 

Far as I'm concerned, I think everyone should read.

Edited by Maggie Dana
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It isn't about winning. It's about seeing what the average person thinks people should read. If 200 people think everyone SHOULD read Twilight because it's fun, then according to the masses Twilight is the sort of thing people should read. I could have defined parameters, but I didn't because all reasons are valid - it's an opinion poll.

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Not wanting to be rude, but "Everybody should read" Harry Potter, Twilight and Jodi Picoult? Really? They might be peoples' favourite books, but I'm hard pressed to believe everybody should read them, that there's any merit beyond entertainment...

 

I feel it's a little presumptuous to list 20 books that people should read. No matter who comes up with such a list, it'll be anything but subjective.

 

The whole thing was meant to be a bit of fun, not to be taken seriously and argued over! Over in the original thread, I simply said..

No, I didn't really want to make a criteria.. just the books that you've enjoyed so much, that you believe everyone should read. :lol:
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I apologise for coming on so strong. I've just re-read my post and it really is a bit rude. I'm sorry. I hate being/sounding rude, but I certainly did here. Again, my apologies, and please don't kick me out of the sandbox. It's way too much fun in here and I'm meeting such lovely people.

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I apologise for coming on so strong. I've just re-read my post and it really is a bit rude. I'm sorry. I hate being/sounding rude, but I certainly did here. Again, my apologies, and please don't kick me out of the sandbox. It's way too much fun in here and I'm meeting such lovely people.

 

Oh my goodness. Unless I missed the post you are referring to I can't see where you were rude. :lol:

 

I haven't joined in here .... but I will, when I've decided. I'm a bit of a ditherer and just can't make up my mind which books are my favourites, which should be read or those which I think are best. :lol:

 

Recent discussion regarding pedantries has added to my ditheriness (thinking of pedantic... is ditheriness a word?).

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I apologise for coming on so strong. I've just re-read my post and it really is a bit rude. I'm sorry. I hate being/sounding rude, but I certainly did here. Again, my apologies, and please don't kick me out of the sandbox. It's way too much fun in here and I'm meeting such lovely people.

 

Hahaha! If anyone was being rude, and being told off for being rude, it was me for being prescriptive about what people should read, and being rude about what others' suggested. I'm right, of course, because I always am. But I wasn't exactly sticking to the spirit of the thread.

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Andy, you were right because I agreed with you, and everyone knows I'm always right.

 

And really, Maggie Dana, I didn't see anything you should apologize for. As a rule of thumb, if you're being nicer than me (or occasionally Andy), you're safe. *laughs* How's that for a reference point?

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Interesting list, maybe for the fact that classic authors do start coming into it within the top 20. But I haven't read many of these particular classics either. So for myself I'll rest content with knowing that everyone else believes Mockingbird is the best. Or the one everyone else should read. Or their own favorite. Or . . . . whatever. It does turn up all over the place, however -- still without raising my curiosity.

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Sophie Kinsella - Shopaholic ties the knot

Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber (selection of short stories)

J K Rowling - Harry Potter (mainly the last 3)

Jeanette Winterson - Oranges are not the only Fruit

Thomas Hardy - Jude the Obscure

Bram Stokers Dracula

Mary Shelly - Frankenstein

Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice

Helen Fielding - Bridget Jone's Diary

JAmes Ellroy - The Black Dahlia

Minette Walters - The Sculptress

Ian Banks - Consider Phlebas

:)

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Bram Stokers Dracula

Mary Shelly - Frankenstein

:)

 

I agree with these two most definitely :lol:

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Edited by Wilde Lily
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  • 2 weeks later...

Can't believe I hadn't added to this previously. If not too late some of mine would be:-

 

The Red Tent ~ Anita Diamant (a must read for all women)

To Kill A Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee

My Sister's Keeper ~ Jodi Picoult

The Secret Life of Bees ~ Sue Monk Kidd

Chocolat ~ Joanne Harris

 

(and I would put in Emotional Geology ~ Linda Gillard if allowed more than 5)

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's kinda hard to pick five books that I have read that I think everyone should read but as for a bit of fun here are my five----

 

The Vampire Chronicles-Anne Rice (Lestat is my all time fictional favourite)

Maximum Ride Series- James Patterson (The perfect YA read)

Twilight Saga- Stephenie Meyer (Sorry but I loved it)

Stephen King- Misery (Everyone should read a little horror. hehe)

Skulduggery Pleasant- Derek Landy (Left me in stitches)

 

I don't mind if people don't like my list. If anything point me in the right direction where there are much better reads that I havent yet got my hands on! :smile2:

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Watership Down by Richard Adams

Quest For The Faradawn by Richard Ford

All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Sophie's Choice by William Styron

Shadows On Our Skin by Jennifer Johnston

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Mine are all mind, body and spirit books, as these are the ones that have had the most impact on my life and most influenced my way of thinking. It is difficult to put them in any kind of order, but here goes:

 

1. A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle

2. Conversations With God trilogy - Neale Donald Walsh (in fact all of his books)

3. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers

4. Your Body Speaks Your Mind - Debbie Shapiro

5. Emissary Of Light - James Twyman

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  • 2 weeks later...

Life Of Pi ~ Yann Martel - 15 year old boy, stranded at sea with Bengal Tiger for company. Full of witty anecdotes, wonderful narration, and tips for surviving this scenario should you end up braving it! Adventure writing at its finest.

 

Cold Skin ~ Albert Sanchez Pinol - Strange, page-turning horror/mystery set on a remote island in a lighthouse. Minimal characters and themes allow the seige-mentality plot to drive forward. Has the feel and style of a classic.

 

 

Illium ~ Dan Simmons - Epic sci-fi fused around Homer's Illiad. The battle of Troy, lunar exploration, politically minded Gods, distant worlds, alien beings, living machines, sandals, swords, spaceships...It's huge!

 

 

The Science Fiction ~ H.G Wells - Four classic tales bound in one book. The Time Machine, War Of The Worlds, The First Men In The Moon, and The Island Of Dr Moreau. Fantastic imagination bring these strange worlds to life.

 

 

The Great And Secret Show ~ Clive Barker - Epic dark fantasy territory here. A vast array of well-realised characters - heroic, evil and unwitting, draw events towards an apocalyptic finale. Very thematic.

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