The Library of Congress currently has an exhibition of books people in the USA like reading. It is not an impressive list but then it is not meant to be a best-of list, only a popular list. I have to admit that I have read only thirteen of the books on the first list and only seven on the second and I do not consider it likely that I shall be reading any more. Surprises, apart from the fact that it is a complete mystery to me why anyone reads Ayn Rand, include Tim O’Brien‘s Things I carried Carried (I have read three of his books but not that one); Gravity’s Rainbow. Have people actually read it or is it just one of those books survey respondents claim to have read to show that they are well read?; Melville but no Hawthorne; no London, Wharton, Morrison, Updike, Tom Wolfe, Emily Dickinson, Poe, Angelou, Carl Sagan; relatively few women and only one African-American and no Hispanics. Only seven of my favourite US novels make the list but that is not really surprising. I have no doubt the British equivalent would not be impressive with ‘Arry Potter high on the list.
Tags: Library of Congress