Angus and Robertson’s Top 100 Books

Last year Paul Anderson and I got wrapped up in book lists – exploring the Waterstone’s Toast of the Century, the 106 books considered literary ornaments, as well a the 1001 Book You Must Read Before You Die. At the time I felt a little miffed. The lists were either American or English. What did Aussies think about books?

Angus and Robertson released last October (after the flurry of book lists had subsided in our blogspheres) their 100 Most Popular Books – compiled from 26,000 public votes here in Australia.

The list follows along with the books I have read in bold and the books on my to read list in italics? Here’s hoping I can fare better here than on the other lists.

1 Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

2 Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

3 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

4 The Obernewtyn Chronicles – Isobelle Carmody

5 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

6 To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

7 The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

8 Breath – Tim Winton

9 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

10 Break No Bones – Kathy Reichs

11 The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

12 Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

13 Magician – Raymond E. Feist

14 The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

15 Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin

16 Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden

17 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

18 Cross – James Patterson

19 Persuasion – Jane Austen

20 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

21 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

22 The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

23 Marley and Me – John Grogan

24 Antony and Cleopatra – Colleen McCullough

25 April Fools Day – Bryce Courtney

26 North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell

27 In My Skin – Kate Holden

28 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

29 A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

30 The Other Boleyn Girl – Phillipa Gregory

31 Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

32 Atonement – Ian McEwan

33 Shantaram Gregory – David Roberts

34 Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett

35 The Pact – Jodi Picoult

36 Ice Station – Matthew Reilly

37 Cloudstreet – Tim Winton

38 Jessica – Bryce Courtenay

39 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle

40 The Princess Bride – William Goldman

41 Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs

42 Anybody Out There? – Marian Keyes

43 Life Of Pi – Yann Martel

44 Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly

45 People Of The Book – Geraldine Brooks

46 Six Sacred Stones – Matthew Reilly

47 Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards

48 Brother Odd – Dean Koontz

49 Tully – Paullina Simons

50 Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

51 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

52 Eragon – Christopher Paolini

53 Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
54 It’s Not About The Bike – Lance Armstrong

55 A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

56 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

57 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

58 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

59 A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey

60 The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

61 The Notebook -Nicholas Sparks

62 Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen

63 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

64 The Host – Stephenie Meyer

65 Dirt Music – Tim Winton

66 Eldest – Christopher Paolini

67 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

68 It – Stephen King

69 World Without End – Ken Follett

70 Emma – Jane Austen

71 Temple – Matthew Reilly

72 Little Women – Alcott Louisa May

73 Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich

74 Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly

75 American Gods – Neil Gaiman

76 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

77 P.S, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern

78 All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell

79 The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

80 Past Secrets – Cathy Kelly

81 The Persimmon Tree – Bryce Courtenay

82 Husband – Dean Koontz

83 Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult

84 Wicked – Gregory Maguire

85 Spot Of Bother – Mark Haddon

86 Always And Forever – Cathy Kelly

87 The Road – Cormac McCarthy

88 Cents & Sensibility – Maggie Alderson

89 Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

90 The Shifting Fog – Kate Morton

91 We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

92 Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger

93 Hour Game – David Baldacci

94 Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

95 The Woods – Harlan Coben

96 Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

97 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

98 Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis

99 Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

100 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

Even on a list of “popular books” I still don’t fare too well.  Is there a list somewhere I might actually cross a few more off – 12 read and 12 to read for this one.  I guess if I was a huge fan of someone like Jodi Piccoult then I might have ben able to cross more off on this list.  Granted it’s a list from “popular vote” … but still. I consult one list and feel “not high brow” enough and consult another and feel “too high brow.”

The upside of this list is A&R now have shelf section in every store dedicated to the 100 books which meant I was able to the first time purchase a copy of The Time Travellers Wife and can’t wait for September when I’ve penciled it in to enjoy during Mercury Retrograde.

How many books have you read on this list or intend to read?

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4 thoughts on “Angus and Robertson’s Top 100 Books

  1. I’ve read 13 of these. Not many on there that I would plan to read beynd the ones I already have. Amazed that classics like Catch 22 and any one of Thomas Hardy’s great novels didn;t make the list. Great to see Spot of Bother on there though….I have a real soft spot for that book, despite its flaws.

  2. It’s a rather mismatched list agreed Dan – interesting to see Pride and Prejudice in there at number three though.

    I noticed also a number of the books had recently had films made from them – such as The Kite Runner, and Marley and Me and Atonement. Wonder what the same list would look like in two or five years time. Would Twilight for instance still come in at number two? Or any of the previouslly mentioned novels with film adaptations be in there?

    I imagine my long time collaborator Paul Anderson will be over the moon to see no Thomas Hardy there (having apparently been traumatised by years of having to read it at school!)

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