More lists, bigger lists (of books).

Last time I posted a small list of my favorite English novels.  Now, thanks to Adam, who blogs at Reviews and Ramblings, I can send you to look at lists of 400 of NPR listeners’ favorite books.

Adam spotted this summer’s NPR poll, devoted to teen novels. Sadly I didn’t look at the date the voting closed, so it’s too late to put in your choices. Still, you can look at the 100 finalist titles (selected by a panel from 235 listener nominations). You can check back next week to see the rankings assigned by people who paid attention to the deadlines.  And you can also check out the winners in the categories featured over the past three years:

  • 2011 – Science fiction & fantasy
  • 2010 – “Killer thrillers”
  • 2009 – Beach reads

The panel of three who whittled the list down from 235 to 100 for voting said their main criterion was selecting books “that teens themselves have claimed — whether they do, in fact, voluntarily read it.”

Umm – I’m not convinced in every instance, anymore than I think Anna Karenina belongs on the 2009 list of beach reads.  Still, the good folks at NPR have pointed me toward several great novels.  Look through the results of their polls.  You may well find something great to read.

2 thoughts on “More lists, bigger lists (of books).

  1. Very interesting list. I can understand your scepticism about some of the books — whether or not they are being read volunarily, but when I was teaching, my “readers” were often reading books that were taught at other levels than my class. When I asked why they were reading those, they would say they had heard about the book from a sibling or friend and decided to try it. They would also often re-read the books that were taught in class. What we teachers refer to as “readers” are those kids who always have a book with them and read at every opportunity. Love those kids. They are the ones also more likely to answer a survey about reading, so you would have a preponderence of those kids exhibited on the list.


    • I was thinking in particular of “A Separate Peace,” a great book, but one I read in HS because it was assigned. It wasn’t something I would have picked from a bookstore shelf. Perhaps I’m simply projecting, but it’s hard to imagine todays HS kids picking it up at B&N either – if it’s even stocked in the brick and mortar stores these days. Same even with “To Kill a Mockingbird.”


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