This is what I think. Not what everyone in Leeds Book Club thinks. It’s also not supposed to be serious, I don’t actually think anyone’s an idiot. If you never want to be friends with me again, fair enough. Contains SWEARS. Soz
Britain, have a word with yourself. You’ve had a chance to vote for the best loved books, the books that you’ve enjoyed more than anything else ever in the world ever, and you’ve come up with this.
1) Seriously, dudes, To Kill a Mockingbird is an amazing book, I’m not going to fault it, but every single person in the world ever has done it for GCSE at some point in their lives, and I know for a fact that no-one enjoys the books they read for GCSE apart from absolute saddos, or lucky sods like me who got to do Lord of the Flies.
2) Pride and Prejudice, your number two, is obviously brilliant. But just cos its the only Austen you’ve ever read. Have you not seen my constant plugging of Persuasion *points at the podcast where I blather on about how good Persuasion is for a good 45 minutes*? Its a billion and one times better! The characters are funnier, the plot is more well structured, and the hero is, you know, not a dickhead.
3) The Book Thief. The Shitting Book Thief. Words actually fail me. I know you like your device-strewn toss, but couldn’t you have chosen something that doesn’t make you want to empty out your brain with a ice cream scoop afterwards? Where the chuff is Neil Chuffing Gaimen on this list! Number TWELVE?? What is WRONG with you people?
4) Jane Eyre. That’s better, Britain, well done.
5) The Time Traveler’s Wife. Oh for fucks sake. It’s not a bad book. But it’s not I Capture the Castle, is it?
6) Lord of The Rings IS MORE THAN ONE BOOK AND THEREFORE SHOULDN’T COUNT. Also if you’ve read all three books all the way through without dieing you should get some sort of voucher, or a key ring in the style of a Poppina’s Mega Breakfast, or a Blue Peter badge or something.
7) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is actual genius and should be in the top five. Made me nearly choke with laughter when I was 12 and still found the bottom jokes in Blackadder funny (now I’m 26 and suddenly farting is funny again. Am I now an adult, or have I massively regressed?).
8) Wuthering Shites. Three hundred and nine people seriously think this is the best book they’ve ever read. That’s the entire population of Haworth, and they have to say that otherwise the Yorkshire tourist board will flood the Worth and vanquish the evil that stems from the valley forever. Seriously, its the only way my bit of the world gets any money.
9) Rebecca. Brilliant book. If this comes out of World Book Night I am HAVING that (unless Cold Comfort Farm does in which case I’m going to be boring a lot of people with my insistence on there being something narsty in the woodshed). Again, should have been earlier in the list.
10) The Kite Runner. Not as good as a Thousand Splendid Suns, not even by an inch. Pity.
What narks me off the most is that these are the books that World Book Night are more that likely going to be giving out for free. When they could be giving out books that will actually engage and inspire emerging readers, every single one of these books, apart from possibly The Book Thief, which is still being marketed as children’s when its stretching it a bit at YA, is of reading level 4 or above. Books that readers can read, given out by readers, to readers. Another successful self-serving system. Or is that me being extra cynical this morning?
Then again, at least Twishite didn’t get a look in. Every cloud etc etc.