Whether on noted lists or not, these books should be on yours

Ideas

Whether on noted lists or not, these books should be on yours

Many great books aren’t on lists such as those of The Guardian and Time Magazine. They should be

Sunday Times Book Editor

There are certain books I like to pretend, even to myself, that I have read. That list of 100 you must read before you keel over. I read most of them studying English lit at varsity, but honestly, some I have not finished and others I don’t remember. James Joyce’s Ulysses is one, The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon is another (there are loads more). I still have no idea what those novels are about thematically or otherwise. I don’t think I will revisit them, so they will always remain a big question mark for me. But I’ll happily tick them off as being read when I look at those lists.

There are different lists, though. Most famously are those of The Guardian, BBC, Time Magazine, Goodreads and Amazon. What is telling is how they slowly change over time. Now we have books such as Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green sitting alongside classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and The Odyssey by Homer. 

There are many books not on these lists that I think should be, but there is a separate one for them. Google #Woke books and they will appear. You will see White Tears, the brilliant thriller by Hari Kunzru, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, among other fantastic titles. All, I think, are must-reads before you die and should not be on a separate list. ..

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