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To Kill a Mockingbird voted best novel of all time


War Hero
Taken from Telegraph

I thought I would put this up as The Telegraph seem to be refusing to post my comments on their site, probably because I took the p*ss out of their more elitist readership. So comments, what would you add, take away etc.

"The story by Harper Lee follows Atticus Finch, a respected lawyer, who defends a black man accused of assaulting a white woman in the deep-south of America during the depression.

The 1960s classic, selling 30 million copies worldwide which later went on to become an Oscar winning film, covers the trial and the violent attacks on his family by locals through the eyes of his young daughter Scout.

The novel has beaten more recent books, including The Da Vinci Code and the Harry Potter series, to the top spot in a poll of 2000 readers conducted by online retailer

In second place is Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, which is also the ninth best-selling book ever with sales of 150million.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S Lewis ranks third followed by Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice with The Da Vinci Code in fifth.

The religious thriller by Dan Brown, despite only being published in 2003, is the 19th best-selling book ever with over 57 million copies being purchased.

Readers are also still enjoying the classics and Charles Dickens and Jane Austen still remain popular authors - with two books each in the top 50.

Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller magazine, says the findings are not surprising.

"People tend to come back to their favourites" he said.

"To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that many people read at school or during their formative years. It is a hugely powerful and political book which has formed many a conscience. As a teenager a book like that can be more profound than reading a book in your 40s and 50s" he added.

Modern classics which also featured in the top 50 include, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

The research also found that the average Briton buys at least one new book a month and nearly three quarters save money by buying second hand books or selling old books on trading websites.


1. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2. Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S Lewis
4. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
5. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
6. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
7. Animal Farm - George Orwell
8. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
10. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
11. The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
12. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kasey
14. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
15. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
16. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
17. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -time - Mark Haddon
19. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
20. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
21. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
22. Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence
23. Anna Kareninia - Leo Tolstoy
24. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
25. Emma - Jane Austen
26. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
27. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
28. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
29. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
30. A Passage to India - E.M Forster
31. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
32. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
33. Atonement - Ian McEwan
34. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
35. In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
36. Middlemarch - George Eliot
37. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
38. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
39. It - Stephen King
40. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
41. Vanity Fair - William Thackeray
42. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
43. The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
44. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
45. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
46. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
47. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
48. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twin
49. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome
50. The Island - Victoria Hislop


War Hero
sgtpepperband said:
No "Bravo Two Zero" then? :?

Crikey mate, some of the more "academic" members of the Telegraph readership would have gone apoplectic at the thought of it!

I don't think some people have grasped the concept of popularity, they would have us all reading Tolstoy (have you ever tried to read War & Peace, dour and tedious in my opinion, OK if you have the will to work through it, but a good read?)

One bloke describes To Kill a Mockingbird as "one dimensional" so what? Millions have read it, or more importantly Millions have gone back to re-read it after studying it at school, it's a really good read.

Some good books there, and some not so good in my opinion but obviously all worthy. I would have liked to see some more Fantasy Fiction so that I could feel "normal" but hey ho, back to the freak show!


War Hero
No it makes you well read, the elitists are the readers who have left comments inferring that people who choose not to read, or read and didn't rate literary high brow, when considering the books they enjoyed most. To be fair I've also read about a third of the list and enjoyed about half of those, gave up on a couple and really didn't enjoy just one, although the film was Ok.

My best book of all time isn't even on the list, although it varies by my mood, top 3 would be in no particular order:

Raymond E Feist - Magician
Wilbur Smith - Eagle in the Sky
Tad Williams - Dragonbone Chair

None particularly high brow, more easy reading I guess. There are loads of others, the result of reading a couple of books a week for about 30 years
how the hell can the Da Vinci shite make it to number 5. what an absolute pile of drivel.

at best it is a holiday ditcher - read and then leave in the hotel room for the next poor sod.

and another thing - no jeffrey archer


War Hero
I've just sat here wondering why there's no Terry Pratchet in there, everyone I know enjoys his books and he's the second most read and most shoplifted author in the UK Wiki

I met him fairly recently but before his revelation that he has Alzheimers, he had a slight slur and I thought he was pissed, I felt really bad when I found out he was actually ill. I'm sure he would see the humour in that though!
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