Tuesday Thingers ~ Popularity Contest

July 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 4 Comments
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Here is the Top 100 Most Popular Books on LibraryThing. Bold what you own, italicize what you’ve read. Star what you liked. Star multiple times what you loved!

I don’t typically do well in popularity contests, but here goes. 🙂
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (32,484)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling (29,939)
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) by J.K. Rowling (28,728 )
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling (27,926)
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling (27,643)
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling (27,641)

7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (23,266)
8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (21,325)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling (20,485)
10. 1984 by George Orwell (19,735) ***
11. Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics) by Jane Austen (19,583) ***
12. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger (19,082)
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (17,586) ***
14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16,210) ***

15. The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (15,483)
16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (14,566) ***
17. Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (14,449) ***
18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (13,946) ***
19. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (13,272) ***
20. Animal Farm by George Orwell (13,091) ***

21. Angels & demons by Dan Brown (13,089)
22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (13,005)
23. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (12,777) ***
24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah’s Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (12,634)
25. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,276)
26. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (12,147)

27. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (11,976) *
28. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,512)
29. The Odyssey by Homer (11,483)

30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (11,392) *
31. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (11,360) *

32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (11,257) ***
33. The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,082)
34. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (10,979) *
35. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (10,823)
36. The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (10,603)
37. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (10,537)
38. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (10,435)
39. The lovely bones : a novel by Alice Sebold (10,125) ***
40. Ender’s Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (10,092)
41. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (9,827)
42. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (9,745)
43. Dune by Frank Herbert (9,671)
44. Emma by Jane Austen (9,610) ***
45. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (9,598 )
46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bantam Classics) by Mark Twain (9,593) ***
47. Anna Karenina (Oprah’s Book Club) by Leo Tolstoy (9,433) (different version)
48. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (9,413)

49. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (9,343) ***
50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (9,336) ***
51. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (9,274) ***

52. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,246)
53. The Iliad by Homer (9,153)
54. The Stranger by Albert Camus (9,084) ***
55. Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (9,080) ***
56. Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (9,027) ***

57. The Handmaid’s Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (8,960) 58. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (8,904)
59. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (8,813)
60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery – (8,764)
61. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (8,421)
62. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (8,417) *
63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (8,368 )
64. The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition) by John Steinbeck (8,255)
65. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8,214) ***
66. The Name of the Rose: including Postscript to the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (8,191)
67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (8,169) ***
68. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (8,129)
69. The complete works by William Shakespeare (8,096) *
70. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (7,843)
71. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (7,834)
72. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (7,829)
73. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare (7,808 ) *
74. Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck (7,807)
75. A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (7,793) ***
76. The Alchemist (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (7,710)
77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (7,648 )
78. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Oscar Wilde (7,598 )
79. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk (7,569)

80. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (7,557) *
81. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman (7,534)
82. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan (7,530)
83. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (7,512)

84. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (7,436) ***
85. Dracula by Bram Stoker (7,238 )
86. Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions) by Joseph Conrad (7,153)
87. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (7,055)

88. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (7,052)
89. The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman (7,043)
90. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce (6,933) ***
91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Milan Kundera (6,901)
92. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (6,899)
93. Neuromancer by William Gibson (6,890)
94. The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer (6,868 ) *
95. Persuasion (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (6,862) ***

96. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (6,841)
97. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (6,794)
98. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (6,715)

99. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (6,708 )
100. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (6,697)

Tuesday Thingers ~ All About Popularity

June 17, 2008 at 11:41 am | Posted in Books, LibraryThing | 9 Comments
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Today’s Question: What’s the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What’s the most popular book you don’t have? How does a book’s popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

The Most popular book that I own is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is also the most popular book on LibraryThing as it is owned by 32,529 members. I haven’t read that book even though I own the entire series. I have many people at work who are encouraging me (in some cases badgering me) to read the series, and for whatever reason, I’m just can’t work up the motivation to get started. I typically don’t read fantasy, but I think I’m more hesitant because it’s just so darn popular. At this point, who would really care if I said that I’ve finally started the series? I’m quite probably the last person on earth who hasn’t.  Do I really want to read these books just to say that I have?  Do I want to wait and read them with my daughters (5 and 3) when they get old enough?

The most popular book that I don’t own is The Da Vinci Code (23,291 LibraryThing owners).  I tried to read this at one point because my sister loved it and asked me to, but I couldn’t get past the evil monk flogging himself.  There was something about it that just felt off to me and I stopped reading it.  The Jesus and Mary Magdalen controversy doesn’t do anything for me.  Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” explored this in a really meaningful way.  If I did want to read about that, I’d pick up The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis off of my bookshelf and read that.  I have absolutely no desire to revisit The Da Vinci Code.

In general, I don’t think that a book’s popularity affects me other than the hype surrounding it.  If there is a really hot historical fiction book, I’ll pick it up and read it in a heart-beat.  Even if I don’t end up liking it, I’m almost always glad I read it because I enjoy the discussions around it.  The Da Vinci Code and Eat, Pray, Love are examples of books that were/are really popular that turn me off.  In both cases, I didn’t finish the book and wished that I had followed my instincts and never picked them up in the first case.  In those cases, if they weren’t popular I wouldn’t have been given copies of the books in the first place.

How about you?  What’s your history with popular books?

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