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...but this is an incredibly weird list:


I mean, there are the obvious blockbusters that people love to mock, like Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and The Da Vinci Code, but otherwise a lot of the significance escapes me; they seem to be American popular political/psychological hits, plus the odd work of Nazi propaganda that a lot of history students will actually have read because they're studying the period.

Anyway, I've read 12/100, and I've got Peyton Place on the shelf waiting for me to get round to it...



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC)
I've read 1 and parts of 4. There are a few odd items on the list. I mean - Das Kapital? Most of the books are crap but I could add many more of the same. In a lot of cases they're books that were popular in their day and everybody read them - as one does.
Sep. 12th, 2015 11:27 am (UTC)
Reminds me of the time we were in an Oxfam Books that was trying and failing to give away a massive wall of copies of The Da Vinci Code - it was one of those rare situations where I actually felt they'd have been better off recycling them, since you'd be hard pressed to find a household that hasn't owned one at some point...
Sep. 12th, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC)
When I first started spending a lot of time in second-hand bookshops I realised pretty quickly which books were popular when and came to the conclusion that they were 'crap'. I thought that if they hadn't been crap, there wouldn't be so many copies for sale. Okay, I was young. :D I was right about a lot of it but I wish I'd been able to discriminate because I'd have picked up some worthwhile collectibles. I expect that Oxfam ends up with more than its fair share of DVC because no one else will take them. They'll be recycled eventually.
Sep. 12th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, there's a lot of trial and error involved in figuring out when popular means lowest common denominator, and when popular just means the thing's damn good. I'm often frustrated in trying to get R into things because if they've been hyped enough at any point, he's automatically wary of them.
Sep. 12th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
I read 16 1/2 of the 100.

A lot of the 60s/70s books were those era's 'airport' books (like reading Jeffrey Archer or James Patterson or Clive Cussler today).

I was confused about how I would be embarrassed to read the books about rock bands!

Sep. 12th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, surely those are both classics?
Sep. 12th, 2015 08:45 am (UTC)
The list seems to be an exercise in snarkiness for the sake of snarkiness. A lot of the books are just soft targets. I'd guess this person has never read any of the books on the list and just has picked titles that they and their cool friends can snigger about. I strongly suspect this person is a millennial and is indulging in some gratuitous boomer-bashing. A lot of the titles just seem to be books that were popular in the 70s.

Heck, Valley of the Dolls is a far better book than most of the modern "literary" fiction I've read. And Peyton Place is great fun!

The political books are odd choices - they cover the entire political spectrum!
Sep. 12th, 2015 12:09 pm (UTC)
I think they're unlikely to be a millennial - I'm at the oldest end of that cohort, generally well-read about book trends, and there were still a lot I hadn't heard of. Then again, I'm not American, and if they're just listing anything from their parents' bookshelves that has "bestselling" on the cover, and adding a few contemporary hits...

Oh yes, Valley of the Dolls is another one I've got hanging around the house somewhere! Looking forward to that. :)
Sep. 12th, 2015 03:31 pm (UTC)
and if they're just listing anything from their parents' bookshelves that has "bestselling" on the cover, and adding a few contemporary hits...

That's actually a plausible explanation. If the person's parents are boomers they probably would have Jackie Collins and Tom Clancy novels lying around somewhere. So they're simply reacting against anything their parents might have read.
Sep. 12th, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, Valley of the Dolls is another one I've got hanging around the house somewhere! Looking forward to that. :)

It's stupendously entertaining. It's trash, but it's glorious trash. Once you've read the book you must see the movie if you haven't already. Once Is Not Enough is even more outrageous, but read Valley of the Dolls first.

I honestly can't imagine being embarrassed about having read a particular book. Lord knows I've read some terrible books in my time but I can't think of a single one I wouldn't admit to having read. I've read Trotsky's autobiography but that doesn't make me a Trotskyist. I've read libertarian books but I'm no libertarian. I've read Orson Scott Card but I'm not a Mormon. I haven't read Kapital but I have read The Communist Manifesto and I'm still not a communist. I haven't read Mein Kampf but I doubt whether it would turn me into a Nazi.

Heck, I've read Chariots of the Gods and I'm not even embarrassed about that! It's total rubbish but I'm still not embarrassed.
Sep. 12th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)
I don't believe in guilty pleasures either - if I like a thing, I like it.
Sep. 13th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)
Valley of the Dolls is on my vague longlist of books I want to read, although it might turn out to be a disappointment because I first heard the title at a very young age and assumed it must be sci-fi. :P

I've read not only Chariots of the Gods but also Fingerprints of the Gods and a couple more by von Däniken. I'm not embarrassed by that, though it is a little embarrassing that they were the books that kick-started my transition to atheism.
Sep. 15th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
I made the same assumption! The other interesting thing I know about it is that Roger Ebert wrote the screenplay when it became a film, so I'm curious from that angle as well...

I don't think it matters what got you there - it's probably pretty common, too, that people start out with that type of book, since it encourages questions about our established assumptions...
Sep. 12th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
That list is so weird! Most of it I understand even if I don't agree (there's no need to be ashamed of reading anything, but at least I get why someone might be) but Kapital? The political biographies? Some of the analyses like "A Place at the Table"? Why not brag about those?

Edited at 2015-09-12 06:34 pm (UTC)
Sep. 12th, 2015 11:39 pm (UTC)
A couple of us figured upthread that it's probably someone disparaging the blockbusters of their parents' generation, plus a few from their own generation for good measure!
Sep. 15th, 2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
I haven't read any of those, but I don't understand what's wrong with reading a political autobiography or Das Kapital...
Sep. 15th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
It reads like it's just one person's prejudices based on whatever was trendy for their parents' generation/what has been trendy in the last decade...
Oct. 16th, 2015 01:53 am (UTC)
i have gone through that list and i have only read three of them.
Oct. 15th, 2015 10:39 pm (UTC)
I must check this list to see what is on it but it is late in the night so i shall do so at my leisure.
Oct. 15th, 2015 10:40 pm (UTC)
I'm curious as to what you'll make of it!
Oct. 15th, 2015 11:12 pm (UTC)
I will let you know. I am just catching up on all my comments people have posted etc.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )