Monday, October 12, 2009

100 Favorite Musing Mondays of All Time!

I know that I, for one, love a good list, so let's check out this week's Musing Monday question from Just One More Page, which, oddly enough is about book lists...

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about books on your top book lists…
This past week, Borders re-released it’s 100 Favourite Books of All Times. Do you vote in these kinds of polls when they arise? Do you look through the list, or seek out books featured?

I don't know why, but I can't say that I have ever seem one of these lists to vote on. And quite honestly, while I must admit I went over and had a look at that Borders list, I don't put a lot of stock in lists that are voted on by 'regular' people. I much prefer ones voted on by irregular
Really, take a look at it...The Da Vinci Code, one of the favorite books OF ALL TIME!. All time?
If I believed that, I might give up reading altogether.

Sorry, I think my Da Vince Code issues might have gotten out of control there for a minute. Not for the last time no doubt. ;-)

But it is true. Lists like this are a better gauge of passing whims and popularity than quality and I am more interested in lists that might guide me to real quality books that somehow, in my many years of reading, I may have missed. I can see my copy of "1001 Books To Read Before You Die" sitting on my shelves and I have spent many a fascinating hour looking through it. As to there being some I have missed, I can assure you that sadly there are more than a few of those. Someday, I hope to correct that shortcoming in my education...if I live to be really, really old. Not least of all for the simple reason that many of these classics are simply great reads, rip-roaringly good stories. That is something I think we sometimes forget and would be wise to consider when we are looking for our next book to read. Maybe we should reach for one of these lists for a suggestion and consider picking up a classic rather than what is on the NY Times bestseller list this week.

One list of that sort that I saw recently was Newsweek's Top 100 Books, a "meta" list, complied from top 10 lists from a variety of sources. There is a wide variety of books on this one, from classics to modern fiction, from all sorts of writers, many I am sure we could all agree on and a few some of us might question. But bottom line, it is interesting and contains a number of books that I know I should read but haven't yet. If it contains books I think I should have read somewhere along the line, I know it is a pretty good "Best" list. And lists have a use, as the compilers of the Newsweek list say,
"..lists—dating back to, say, the Ten Commandments—have an undeniable appeal. And they often serve a useful purpose. They can focus the mind, stimulate discussion, help us make judgments, convey valuable information, and, yes, even encourage us to read books."
Thinking about books, talking about books, discussing, even disagreeing about books but most of all, reading books...I think we all agree those are good things!


  1. I invariably have read approx. 20-25 books on those best lists. Don't ask me why!

  2. "Really, take a look at it...The Da Vinci Code one of the favorite books OF ALL TIME!. All time?
    If I believed that, I might give up reading altogether."

    That's EXACTLY how I feel.

  3. Lists are fun, but I don't necessarily put a whole lot of stock in them. They do give me ideas though, and solidify the hazy list of wonderful books I've never read. As for the Da Vinci Code? I think not. It only deserves to be on a list because Dan Brown has managed to appeal to the lowest common denominator and sell more books than just about anybody else.

  4. Lenore, I think 20-25 is actually pretty darn good!

    Amanda..I will not go on anymore about DaVC, especially since I am already getting a rap for my Kindle rants from...

    Sandy! LCD indeed. the sad thing is that the LCD sells so very well. That says something that I prefer not to think about.

  5. I was horrified to see two Dan Browns on the list. Just the one is bad enough... but two - that's just downright wrong!

    Was also surprised to see things like Steig Larsson, and both of Khaled Hosseinis books. I hated The Kite Runner, and didn't even bother with A Thousand Splendid Suns.

    What sucks is, some amazing books didn't make the list. I'm still amazed that Schindler's Ark/List isn't on it.

  6. Definitely! Great post. I like looking those lists over to get ideas and validate myself a little bit- it's fun to see what I've read, and inevitably most lists will contain something I've read! :-)

  7. Hi!
    I've gotten some great ideas from reading list. Read some great books from lists. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  8. Thanks for a great post. I am also one of those who SHOULD NOT get into a Da Vinci Code-debate (I did read it though, and I also read Angels & Demons, and I definitely liked Da Vinci MUCH better, I really hated Angels & Demons) and I have actually wondered where all the reviews of that last one were in the book-blogosphere.

    I agree that there has got to be a difference between "greatest books of all time" and "most recent great books because they were bestsellers". I mean, one could risk finding James Patterson on such a list.

    I checked out the Newsweek meta-list and I have only read few, although another few are actually on my tbr-list :-)

  9. I love lists. I'm a geek, I know. That doesn't mean I put much stock in them. I just find them interesting. Usually I've read some on the list, but most I haven't and probably won't.

  10. Yeah two of Dan Browns books on the list is clearly a sign of something wrong. That said there were many books on that list that I have wanted to read and many that I loved.

  11. boy, all these comments almost make me feel sorry for Mr. Brown. No doubt he is crying all the way to the bank.

  12. Well, there is something wrong if "DaVinci Code" is near the top. And there is a big difference between "best" and "favorite." But I tend to love lists of books for whatever reason just to see what I've read or not.

  13. bottom line, I think they are just fun. but perhaps not much more useful than that.

  14. I agree with you - the book lists are fun to read, but I don't use them to decide what I'm actually going to read next.

  15. I like looking at lists like the Borders list or Newsweek's List for fun to see what I have read. And I always get a few new books to put on my TBR. But I can't take seriously any list the considers a Dan Brown book a top 10, 20....or 1000 best book. Lists are lso good for generating discussion about books which is something I like very much!

  16. oh yes, I also meant to say that "anothercookiecrumbles" makes a good point that there are books missing from the list that should be on most lists such as Schindler's List as she stated.


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