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‘The Lord of the Rings’ has been voted the all-time favourite book of Britain in a new poll by website www.books.co.uk.

The Top 20 books are:

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
2. 1984 - George Orwell
3. Harry Potter books - JK Rowling
4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
5. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
6. Animal Farm - George Orwell
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
9. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
12. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
13. Diary of Anne Frank
14. Watership Down - Richard Adams
15. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
16. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
17. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
18. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
19. His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman
20. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Your mission, should you choose to accept, is firstly to rearrange the books (only the books in the list above) in order of *your* preference.

Secondly, which books in the list have you read and what did you think of them?
1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - The Best!
2. 1984 - George Orwell - Another of my all time favourites. I loved it. Great style and story with chilling undertones.
3. Watership Down - Richard Adams - Sad and lovely and beautifully written.
4. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - I read this when I was about 15 and it was hard work but enjoyable. It was from this that I read Alexander Solzehnitsyn(sp) and loved them all depressing though they were.
5. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough - the book is so much better than the TV series. Beautifully written with passion and understanding. Another one I would recommend of hers is 'Creed for a Third Millenium'.
6. Animal Farm - George Orwell - Classic!
7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - The next three books I studies at school and taken within the context of when they were written they give a fantastic view of the period, culture and customs. Fascinating.
8. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
9. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
10. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - Kate Bush has a lot to answer for!
11. Harry Potter books - JK Rowling - Well, I did say it had to be the books in the list. I have read HP and I like the story and concept.
12. Lord of the Flies - William Golding - All I can remember is that it gave me panic attacks while reading. *shudder*
13. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - My least favourite Dickens. I never really understood it at all.

I haven't read the following books so I can't comment on them.

14. His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman - Couldn't get past the moth at the beginning but my son loved the books.
15. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
16. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding - didn't like the film. I have the book somewhere. Maybe I should read it.
17. One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
18. Diary of Anne Frank - Reminds me of a funny but bad taste joke.
19. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell - Saw the film. Have the book. Maybe one day....
20. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - Again, I have the book, have heard great reviews, maybe...


(OK, you need to do a bit of cutting and pasting and renumbering but it's worth it.)
And here's my answer to the challenge.

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien. Do you still need to ask?
2. Animal Farm - George Orwell. Nice book. Lovely story and adore the satire and the concept.
3. 1984 - George Orwell. Nice story. Gets a bit boring after a while. But still is doubleplusgood.
4. Catcher in the Rye. - James Salinger. I admire the writing style. Very unorthodox and thus is good.
5. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens I wouldn't really rate it 5th but I have no choice. Becomes very boring after the first few chapters and I got hopelessly lost in the melodrama.
The largest prime number. Harry Potter books - JK Rowling. Just don't bother asking.

The rest of the books I've not read and hence I feel I should leave them unranked.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee I've heard its good. Might read it.
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen I hate such books. Won't bother opening.
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte Never heard of it.
Lord of the Flies - William Golding Sounds like an interesting read for a frog. Sadly, I'm not an amphibian.
Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding I'm a gentleman and don't read other person's diaries. Even if they publish it.
One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey I do know two people who are all "cuckoos" over this book but I prefered to give it a pass.
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte Did hear of it. Never saw it.
Diary of Anne Frank Like I said, I'm a gentleboy.
Watership Down - Richard Adams I don't care whether he's a kin of Douglas Adams or not but i don't think i'll ever get to read it.
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell I'll quote Rhett Butler's last words: "I don't give a damn!"
The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough Sounds quite barren. Won't do.
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy I've seen the real thing while I was in Kuwait. Won't want to read about it.
His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman Who cares when we've got Sauron?
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott Not much appeal.

Apparantly, most of the books I read never make it into these Top 20 books list. Who cares? Happy reading all!
Bridget Jones and Harry Potter make the top ten, eh? I'd like to be around to take this poll again in a hundred years and see if that's still true. The idea of placing either ahead of Dickens alternately amuses and offends me.

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien. I personally have to add the Silmarillion to this though, since I like it better. I read somewhere Guy Gavriel Kay helped Chris with some of the actual crafting into a narrative, so I may have to check out some of his books now. A

fter that the question becomes do we want FAVORITES or great literature, which to my mind is how Fielding and Rowling get on the list (being Brits prob'ly didn't hurt either.) For me, a great and profound theme is a must, so the next three or more in order of preferred ending, since it's pretty close between them as far as I'm concerned

2. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. Brownie points for being written by General Robert E. Lees granddaughter. And "Light Horse" Harry Lees great-great-great-great-granddaughter, come to that.

3. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens. But don't ask me which ending I like best. What can I say? I was fifteen when I read it and smarm won out over the authors desires. I sided with a publisher over an author! My turn for seppuku.

4. 1984 - George Orwell. I suspect I'd like Animal Farm better, but I've never read it.

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte. I was just barely sixteen when I read it, and in the throes of first Love. Still a great book though, and there's nothing wrong with the theme, it's just that familiarity breeds contempt.

5. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen. The theme suffers the same problem here; it's been done. Enjoyable, but unlike Wuthering Heights I wouldn't read it more than once.

The rest I'm not going to try to rank without having read them, but I do have my suspicions about two. Of course, they asked for "favorite" apparently, not "best."

4. Watership Down - Richard Adams
6. Animal Farm - George Orwell
11. One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
12. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
16. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
18. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
These six I need to read. I'll get around to it, I promise. If I can suffer through Crossroads of Twilight I should be able to handle Tolstoy. I find it interesting that Kesey beat out Salinger.

8. Lord of the Flies - William Golding. This one can't possibly be written well enough to grip me when the plot is so well known. Too bad, I guess, but I may be a little old for it now. Dunno, haven't read it; just because the characters are all kids doesn't mean it's a kids book.

15. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell. I don't know if it would be worth it after all the showings of the movie; we know the plot, so it asks a lot of the writing to hold our interest. I'm open to suggestions.

13. Diary of Anne Frank. I suspect this would be too depressing; the excerpts I've read are hard enough. That men could do that to their fellow men is still inconceivable.

19. His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman. I've never even heard of it. The best thing I can say is it's not one of the following.

20. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott. I can't stand Alcott, thus I've never finished Little Women or started Little Men.

17. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough. Seems like a regular ol' bodice ripper to me. Pass.

3. Harry Potter books - JK Rowling
9. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding. I'll take your word for it on these two. I promised Grondy I'd give Rowling a chance, so I guess I have to try one or two. Right after Knife of Dreams, I promise.





Okay I'll give this a go, although I don't think I've read many of them.

Number 1's obvious... 1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien.... Say no more

2. Animal Farm - George Orwell.... I was 11 when I first read this one and didn't realise it was about the Russian revolution (in fact I didn't know at that time the Russians had had a revolution). Still enjoyed the book though. Read it again when I was about 15 and wondered why I had not connected it with the Russian Revolution.

3. Lord of the Flies - William Golding.... This little gem got me out of having to read the Mill on the Foss at school for which I am eternally grateful. The other class who did get Mill on the Foss were so jealous.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee... Another one of those school books. At the age of 13 though, I totally missed the point about racialism and thought it was just about a bunch of kids scared of Boo Radley. I think schools probably push some books on us too early.

5. 1984 - George Orwell... Read it at school when I was about 15. Found it pretty boring to be honest. Never been inclined to go back and give it another go.

6. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens.... God, I find Dickens boring. I spent a whole term at school pretending to read the first few chapters of this book. Never did finish it. Probably give it a go again one day now that I actually enjoy reading, but I'm afraid it'll put me off books again.

I haven't read any of the following, so I cannot really put them in any order (although I suspect I would really enjoy HP, and at some stage I would like to read Catcher in the Rye, if only to see why it inspires readers to then go and assinate someone famous)
Harry Potter books - JK Rowling
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Diary of Anne Frank
Watership Down - Richard Adams
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

And finally...
20. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.... which I had to read at school, much against my will. Multiply everything I said about Great Expectations tenfold, because I was actually forced to finish this one. I hated it.

Haven't read most of them, so here's my list of those I have read:

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (no questions I presume)
2. Diary of Anne Frank (first read it when I was 14, read it again later and still thought it very good and moving)
3. Animal Farm - George Orwell (I found it a better read than 1984 for some odd reason)
4. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (very pleasant book I found)
5. 1984 - George Orwell (better than the rest in this list, but not in my personal top 5)
6. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (not as boring as I thought it would be)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (very boring I found)

Of course my personal top 10 would not look like this at all, only number 1 would survive. Animated Wink Smilie
Ive been looking at the list for a long time now , so here is mine :

1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - Do I have to explain WHY ???
2. The Harry Potter books - JK Rowling - I very much like the concept. and a great exiting story for children and adults if you like that genre
3. Lord of the Flies -William Golding - No the same title , but a good story
4. Diary of Anne Frank - A sad story that I still read sometimes
5. Catcher in the Rye- JD Salinger - read it years ago , A bit strange
6. War and Peace -Leo Tolstoy - A great story
7. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - Love the stories from that time in England
8. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - Im A huge fan and love romance
9. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough - I like the story very much, so much passion and sadness
10. Bridget Jones Diary - Helen Fielding - A frustraded woman , who aint sometomes ? I think its funny as well.

The rest of the books I havent read so I cant comment on them
11. 1984- George Orwell - I guess I have to read that one
12. To kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - heard of it
13. Animal Farm - George Orwell - I have a strenge feeling that Ive read it sometime . but my memory must be bad
14. Wuthering Heigths - Emily Bronte - Never Heard of it
15. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - Ive read much from him but not this one
16. One Flew over Cuckoos nest - Ken Kesey - Famous but never read it
17. Watership Down - Richard Adams - ?
18. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell - Only seen the film several years ago so...
19. His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman ?
20. Little Woman - Louisa May Alcott - Know the story so maybe I will read it someday


1. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (been my favorite since i was 6.)
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (This one ties w/ LOTR, considering i looooove Jane Eyre and the Bronte sisters.)
3. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (one of the librarians recommended this one to be in my 6th year, and I adored it.)
4. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell (classic Civil war novel.)
5. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (I liked this one by how well i could relate to each of the girls)
6. Diary of Anne Frank (the first book that I acutally cried while reading it.)
7. Harry Potter books - JK Rowling (at least the first 4 were good, went downhill after the movies came out...)
8. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (loved it!)
9. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (biiiig fan of Dickens.)
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I didn't really get into it until a friend played cal in a play version of it and was able to explain it a lil better.)
11. One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey (had to read this for english, it was acutally pretty good.)
12. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen ( I liked this book until my piano teacher became obssessed with it and i was forced to endure his lectures on which movie version was most accurate.)
3. His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman (I've always really gotten into his stuff, and these were no different.)
14. Watership Down - Richard Adams ( thank goodness I took my lil sister's advice for once and read this..i was a little skeptical about the whole rabbit thing when she first told me about it.)
15. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (good book, also had to read it for english class.)
16. Animal Farm - George Orwell (once I actually understood it, I like it, before I was starting to think Orwell was on something.)
17. 1984 - George Orwell (once i read animal farm, i fell in love with his works.)
18. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (I'm a big fan of historical stuff, especially what he did, so it was really interesting.)
19. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding (haven't read this one)
20. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough (this one either)