Thursday, June 9, 2016

Which Are the Most Addictive Reads of the Last 25 Years?

Van Gogh, Novel Reader,Paint., 1888. Photo. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 13 May 2016.
Here they are: the books we passed on to our closest friends, fought over at book club, lugged with us on every move and think about still.

Who is the latest arbiter of must-reads? You know you read your share of Oprah's Book Club books in the past, unless you're Jonathan Franzen (and even he eventually called a truce). "Good Morning America" and "Today" both tried to fill her shoes, but we think they never managed to have the cachet of Oprah, in our humble opinion.

So, we're back eyeing for more book tips. Last May, she published a list of "the most addictive books of the last 25 years" (the list includes fiction and non-fiction):

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green [YA]
White Teeth by Zadie Smith [eBook]
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
One Day by David Nicholls
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [YA]
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

What do you think of the list? As of this year, that would be the most addictive books published since 1991. We consulted some other "best-of lists" (Flavorwire, HuffPost, the A.V. Club, Goodreads, USA Today) and found what we think might be a few more contenders, based on their popularity here at the library:

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling [J]
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver [eBook]
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins
 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Selected Stories by Alice Munro
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky [YA]
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Sarah by JT Leroy
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [YA]
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman [YA]
Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
The Liars' Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr
Naked by David Sedaris

We note that many of these "most addictive" and "best-of" titles have been made into movies. Is that a good index of quality or popularity, do you think? Which have you read? Which did you find most addicting? What titles do you think shouldn't be on our list, or should be?

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