After 233 nominations of 193 different books by 145 authors, I put the 30 most nominated books to a vote. After 874 votes here are the top ten books to take to a desert island (along with “The Idiot’s Guide to Desert Island Living”, of course):
Epic poem about travels through hell, purgatory and heaven. Meet famous dead people and see where they wound up. Most of the interesting people wound up in hell.
Post on February 1st 2011
Orwell’s dark view of the future: “Big Brother is watching you” and all that.
Post on March 1st 2011
Animals take over a farm. A story about the nature of power – and of Stalinist Russia.
Post on April 1st 2011
#7: Edgar Allan Poe: Ten Great Mysteries (1830s-1840s)
No longer in print, but I am pretty sure the ten mysteries themselves can be found elsewhere. Here they are:
- The Murders in the Rue Morgue
- The Purloined Letter
- The Tell-Tale Heart
- The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
- The Pit and the Pendulum
- A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
- A Descent into the Maelstrom
- The Black Cat
- Thou Art the Man
Post on May 1st 2011
A coming of age story about Angelou’s early years in the Jim Crow South of the 1930s.
Post on June 1st 2011
“The Hobbit” only way longer and way better. Middle Earth in all its glory. Frodo has the ring that could rule the world – and so must destroy it.
Post on July 1st 2011
Were the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt black?
Post on August 1st 2011
#3: Homer: Odyssey (c. -850)
Odysseus’s ten long years in trying to get home after the Trojan War. I will reread it in the Fagles translation.
Post on September 1st 2011
#2: The Bible (367)
The holy book of the Christians. The Holman translation is the best one overall in current English.
Post on November 1st 2011
#1: Malcolm X, Alex Haley: The Autobiography Of Malcolm X (1965)
Malcolm X’s life story. A must-read for all Americans no matter what their race.
Post on January 1st 2012
Honourable mentions (#11-#20):
11: Toni Morrison: Song Of Solomon
12: Muhammad: Koran
13: Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
14: Homer: Iliad
15: Toni Morrison: Jazz
16: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: That Thing Around Your Neck
17: J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
18: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus
19: Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
20: Yann Martel: Life Of Pi
I will do a post on each of the top ten books on the first of each month. See above for the dates. Sadly, I have already read all but two of them – Poe (#7) and Diop (#4). But they are all well worth rereading and so I will – except for the Bible and “Lord of the Rings”, since they are so long. For them I will reread the last 300 or so pages: the New Testament and “The Return of the King”.
– Abagond, 2011.