I read a lot. Most of it is not what you’d call great literature, or is uplifting or educational—though there are a few books that would qualify in those categories. 🙂 I came across a blog post from one book site—unfortunately, I have misplaced the link—that offered the author’s personal view of 100 books to read to qualify as well-read. His final selection was Fifty Shades Of Grey, which caused a furore in the comments. The blogger’s justification was that the book was a huge popular success and a well-rounded reader should take note. I don’t think I’ll bother with the book, but there is much entertainment to be had from reading the Amazon reviews. The most helpful favourable review is currently:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the Book
Perfect for making a fire when camping. You just rip the pages out, set them down and set them on fire, it works like a charm.
I suspect that the overall rating of 3.3 stars might be a bit misleading.
I came across this site, A List Of Books, courtesy of StumbleUpon. There’s no indication on the site of who’s responsible, but what they have done is combine 13 lists of “100 best books” into one giant list. Thirteen lists have resulted in 623 books—so not inconsiderable underlapping. The Great Gatsby is top of the charts.
The site does not, however, confine itself to presenting a list of books, but—with the requirement to sign up for a free account—you can tag each book with “read it” or “want to read it”. You are also invited to review any of the books you have read. Each book has a “home page” with any reviews that have been posted, and links to Amazon, GoodReads and LibraryThing. This page also shows the lists on which the books appeared: The Great Gatsby is 1st, 2nd and 3rd on three different lists, but is then in the 20’s or 40’s for most of the others. It does, however, appear on all 13 lists.
I’ve tagged all my read books and have a long way to go: 47 down, 576 left. Someone identified as PoetDee claims 338.
All in all, A List of Books seems like a worthwhile project to follow.
While checking the Amazon links, I did take a look at their top 100 books (Kindle paid and free). There’s not much commonality, but The Great Gatsby does come in at 19 on the free list.
Update 15 January 2014
I found the lost link to which I referred in the first paragraph: it was a post on the BookRiot site.