From my copy of Publishers Lunch today:
Harris Interactive surveyed American adults to find out “What is your favorite book of all time?” The answers:
1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
3. Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand, by Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
That number one book is still wielding far too much influence for my taste. Do you think a majority would still claim it as their favorite, if they concluded that it was a complete fiction? Or almost completely fiction with a tiny bit of nonfiction now and then in reference to people’s names or the occasional true event?
I don’t see The God Delusion on the list. Or, The Pale Blue Eye, a stunning crime novel that came out in the last 2 years. Or Toni Morrison’s masterpiece, Beloved. Or Richard Wright’s Native Son. Or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I love them all, and more, and cannot choose between them.
If anyone had asked me, my favorite book is the dictionary. After that there are too many to narrow it down, but none are on the above list. I choose the dictionary because all the other books are inside it, they’re just jumbled up. (When I say dictionary I mean to include all dictionaries, accounting for different versions and different languages.)
What’s your favorite book? Is it on the above list? Are you surprised by the titles on the list? Pleased by them? Disappointed?