Difficult to choose, really difficult…. There are so many!!!
In the past 50 years, the top ten most read books in the world were: The Holy Bible (3,900 millions of copies sold); Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (820); Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling(400); The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (103); The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho (65); The da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (57); The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (43); Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (33); Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (30); and The Diary of Anne Frank (27). Source: squidoo.com
I must say I’ve read most of them. I read ‘The Holy Bible’ at school (I went to a Catholic school). I have never read ‘Quotations from Mao’ (precisely, because I went to a Catholic school) and I read the others for different reasons, mainly because my group of teen friends were reading them and I wanted to share ideas. When they published ‘Twilight’, I wasn’t a teen anymore but I read it to understand my teen students of my current no religious (fortunately!!!!) secondary school.
Seen the list, it is difficult to decide about the best book because my likes would be really different. In fact, I only enjoyed ‘The Lord of the Rings’ from that list. I love ‘Gone with the Wind’ film, but the book… Well, not very much.
My list would be: Don Quixote by Cervantes (super, super, super!!!!); The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (perfect picture of our society); Finnegans Wake by James Joyce (the most musical novel ever written); The Jungle Book by Kipling (and the poem If by Kipling too); Asterix (yes, I know it’s a comic but when I was a teen I preferred comics to the Bible); Bomarzo by Mugica Lainez (in my opinion, the best historical novel ever written together with I Claudius by Robert Graves); The White Goddess by Graves (a book that changed my way of thinking); Ariza by me (the reason is obvious); and Ten Masks of Evil by Martin Cid, my husband (again, the reason is obvious).
And how about the worst? I wouldn’t like to criticize an author (I know the great difficulties of writing but now a days, they are publishing a lot of books which are semi-copies of others and which could be thrown away). I recommend you this amazing article about the subject: http://yareah.com/?p=5331 and this other list on good reads about the worst books of all time http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2.The_Worst_Books_of_All_Time . As you can realize, some of the worst books of this list are the great bestsellers of the previous one. Yes, difficult to choose, very difficult… There are so many books and so many opinions as people on earth!
Anyway, today is Friday and I only hope to have given you some ideas to discuss with friends, later in the pub.
Enjoy the evening!
Take a drink…, or two!