Book Stores Top 100 Books Lists…

I came home from work today to discover that I’d receive my copy of Dymocks Book-lover catalogue. This month’s edition is considered ‘special’ because it includes the 101 Club, “The best 101 books as voted by Dymocks Booklovers.” Ignoring the part that it was a book catalogue (and let’s face it, I get excited looking at anything book related), I eagerly tore into it and found myself a pen to mark off what I had read from the extensive list, curious to see what made the list and to tally just how many I’d read this time.

Given that I read a lot in a variety of genres, I tend to consider myself somewhat well-read and yet it continues to surprise me just how few of the books that make these type of lists that I’ve actually, well … read. I’m usually lucky to have read anywhere between 30-50 books from any given list, with my ‘most read list’ having achieved something like 70/100 books on an old Angus & Robertson Top 100. While I acknowledge that these lists are voted on by readers, and are really a genius marketing device implemented by bookstores, I can’t help but question the books that make the lists year after year and how many people have read all of the books listed.

In years gone past of the Angus & Robertson Top 100 lists I used to mark off what I’d read and set about reading the entire list. Sadly I think I completed this aim only once, but it never stopped me from trying each year. Recently I’ve given up on this notion, despite still ‘naively’ hoping to have read the majority of the books that are listed. I’m optimistic that one year I will be able to, but given that the list is very specific and only consists of books-in-print it’s unlikely to happen now that my reading habits and tendency have changed (i.e. I read ebooks now as well and Indie published authors who will unfortunately never make these lists as their books are not available in-store.)

Take this year’s list for example, of the 101 books listed (which is pretty loose really as series are counted as one single entry) I have read a grand total of 43 of the books listed (series counting as one). Of the remaining list a further 26 are on my TBR pile, with 14 of these books being ones I already own but are unread.

Although I know I’m only speaking from my own experiences, but it seems to me that these lists are perhaps not as relevant as they once were before. What’s more Dymocks are offering a “3 for the price of 2” on all 101 books listed, which makes me  curious as to how many of these books are brought simply because of their placing/ranking on the list.

Have you seen the list yet? If so how many books of those listed had you read?

The list is as follows for the 2014 Dymocks 101 Club “The Best 101 Books As Voted By Dymocks Booklovers”:

1. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

2. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

3. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

4. The Lord Of The Rings (Books 1-3) – J.R.R Tolkein

5. The Harry Potter Series – J.K.Rowling

6. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

7. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

8. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simmons

9.The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins

10. Ninetten Eighty-Four – George Orwell

11.Cross Stich – Diana Cabaldon

12. Gone With The Wind – Maragret Mitchell

13. The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

14. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

15. Magician – Raymond E. Feist

16. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

17. Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett

18. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

19. Anne Of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

20. Burial Rites – Hannah Kent

21. Obernewtyn – Isobelle Carmody

22. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein

23. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

24. A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey

25. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

26. Animal Farm – George Orwell

27. The Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare

28.The catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger

29. The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald

30. The Name Of The Wind – PAtrick Rothfuss

31. Angelfall- Susan Ee

32. A Song Of Ice & Fire Series (AKA GAME OF THRONES) – George R.R.Martin

33. Paper Towns – John Green

34. People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks

35. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

36. The Bible

37. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

38. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

39. Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

40.A thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

41. Daughter Of Smoke And Bone – Lani Taylor

43. Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James.

44. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

45. The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

46. Middlemarch – George Elliot

47. The Mortal Instruments Series – Cassandra Clare

48. Peter Pan – J.<. Barie

49. Rebecca – Dauphne Du Maurier

50. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

51. The Host – Stephanie Myer

55. The Messenger – Markus Zusak

53. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

54.The Passage- Justin Cronin

55. We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

56. IQ84 – Haruki Murakami

57. Gone Girl – Gillian FLynn

58. American Gods- Neil Gaiman

59. Birdsong – Sabastian Faulks

60. Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

61. Looking For Alaska – John Green

62. Graceling – Kristin Cashore

63. Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

64. Ice Station – Matthew Reilly

65. Shantatam – Gregory David Roberts

66. Wool – Hugh Howey

67. The Perks Of Being A Walfllower – Stephen Chbosky

68.Tully- Paullina Simmons

69.Tomorrow, When The War Began – John Marsden

70.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

71. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

72. The Narrow Road To The Deep North – Richard Flangan

73. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

74. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel

75. All That I Am – Anna Funder

76. Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey

77. On The Road – Jack Kerouac

78. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

79. The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling

80. The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde

81. The Posionwood Bible – Barabar Kingslover

82. Twilight – Stephanie Myer

83.The Cuckoo’s Calling- Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

84.The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

85. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

86. Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin

87. My sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

88. One Day – David Nicholls

89. The Boy In The Stripped Pyjamas – John Boyne

90. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

91. Rivers Of London- Ben Aaronvitch

92. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

93. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time – Mark Haddon

94. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen

95. Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami

96. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden

97. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

98. The Power Of One – Bryce Courtney

99. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – Neil Gaiman

100. Persuasion – Jane Austen

101. The Signature Of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert




7 thoughts on “Book Stores Top 100 Books Lists…

  1. allvce says:

    Annnd I have only read 14 books. The same as your owned but not read list 😛 And yes, some of these choices do seem a little… Not forced but maybe contrived.

    • Jess says:

      Yeah. I do wonder how many people are honest with their list or their votes. Because it seems like part of the list might be books ‘your meant to have read’. I’m knocking them and I know some of them are my faves as we’ll, but it brings it back to that whole mentality of ‘if your a reader you MUST have read these ones’ to be taken seriously. And now with ebooks and the indie publish scene the list doesn’t incorporate everything out on the market, making it quite obvious as a marketing tool. That said prior to this arvo I’ve never thought of it in those terms and I don’t mean to diss day mocks – I shop there all the time. It’s just these lists used to be huge and to be taken seriously you had to read them all… Now it’s read what you want when you want how you want.

      • allvce says:

        Yeah, often I feel like it is a list of books that you’d be embarrassed to admit to not reading. Like you can’t claim to be a avid reader without having first read Tolstoy or Orwell.

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I’ve read 56, own another two dozen that remain unread so far, have a couple of others on my wishlist, and am not interested in reading the others. I think with many of these types of lists, people who ‘vote’ just click titles that are familiar more than anything else.

  3. rlsharpe says:

    I have read 21 books from the list. I wouldn’t read a book just because it was on a must-read list. I’m more likely to read a book based on a review from a book blogger I know has similar taste to me.

    • Jess says:

      I’m the same now Rochelle. More often then not I purchase a book after reading favourable reviews written by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out and Monique from Write Note Reviews.

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