Most Held Books by this Group

SnakReaders Over Sixty

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Most Held Books by this Group

1Tess_W
maj 16, 4:37pm

As admin I have a little report that posts which books are held the most often by members of this group. It doesn't matter if they are active or not. Here are the top:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (66), Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (62), Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (56), Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (52), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (52), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (51), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (51), Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (51), The Odyssey by Homer (50), A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (50), Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (50), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (50), The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (49)

Are they what you would think for our age group?

2Crypto-Willobie
maj 16, 6:57pm

Aren't many of them on the general most-held list as well?

3terriks
maj 16, 7:04pm

Interesting statistics, Tess. Regarding your question, I don't see why this list wouldn't be indicative for our age group. Looks to me like we're pretty well rounded. :)

I have a solid 9 of those from that list. It may be more, because off the top of my head, I can't recall if I have The Odyssey or A Tale of Two Cities. I've read them, but somewhere over a few moves, I have misplaced some books. It makes me feel a little crazy sometimes, but there are titles that I know I had that I can't seem to find.

4Crypto-Willobie
maj 16, 7:17pm

I haven't got Dragon Tattoo, Book Thief, and Guernsey...Pie -- all from the last 20-30 years I believe? I have all the rest -- the older ones, because I'm an older guy?

I used to have a signed first of the Odyssey but I seem to have misplaced it...

5Tess_W
Redigeret: maj 16, 9:56pm

>2 Crypto-Willobie: Here are the most held books on LT:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) (110,357), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (91,958), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (90,051), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (87,590), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (86,466), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (86,057), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (82,166), The Hobbit (77,718), Nineteen Eighty-Four (68,470), Pride and Prejudice (67,210), To Kill a Mockingbird (65,979), The Da Vinci Code (63,160), The Catcher in the Rye (61,282), The Great Gatsby (60,260), The Hunger Games (52,211),

Obviously, many of us sixty plussers (is there such a word?!) don't read Harry Potter.

6nohrt4me2
maj 16, 11:15pm

"The Book Thief" surprises me because it's generally classified as a young adult book. But maybe the setting--Nazi Germany--is perennially popular with those of us who remember our parents talking about WWII and seeing TV shows and movies that were still pretty drenched in that experience.

It strikes me that the list pretty much reflects the curriculum Boomers were exposed to in high school and college: European, predominantly male authors (though top three are female), skewed toward 19th century classics (I count only three or four of those titles that were written after 1964).

Given that a most-held list might reflect the common reading experiences those over 60 might share, I was surprised that some of these books are NOT on the most-held list:

"Catcher in the Rye"
"Lord of the Flies"
"The Scarlet Letter"
"Catch-22"
"Slaughterhouse Five"
"Lord of the Rings"
"Fear of Flying"
"Black Like Me"
"Little Women"
"Atlas Shrugged"

Seems like everyone I knew in in high school or college was reading the above, either voluntarily or as assignments.

It would be interesting to compare the most-held list to a most-liked books of the members of the group to see if they were very different.

7Crypto-Willobie
maj 17, 1:10am

>5 Tess_W: Yeah, we would have to factor out Harry Potter to get ore meaningful figures.

8John5918
Redigeret: maj 17, 2:19am

>1 Tess_W: As admin I have a little report that posts which books are held the most often by members of this group

That's interesting. I don't see that option in the group I administer. How/where did you find it?

9John5918
maj 17, 7:16am

>1 Tess_W: Are they what you would think for our age group?

I've only read five or six of them, mostly later in life. Never even heard of a couple of them. I've read at least seven of the books listed in >6 nohrt4me2:.

>5 Tess_W:, >7 Crypto-Willobie:

Yes, Harry Potter does tend to skew the picture somewhat. I confess to having read them, but only really enjoyed the first one, which seemed like a nice children's story reminiscent of the old Enid Blyton-style boarding school tales of my youth, as opposed to the rest of the series which got increasingly self-important, pretentious, wordy and boring.

10nohrt4me2
maj 17, 9:50am

I always am always a little sad when adults pan the Harry Potter series.

We read them all aloud as a family when our son was young and they gave us lots to talk about.

I don't think Rowling is a great stylist, though she has quite a knack for thinking up great character names. The plot in the final book was a bit of a mess. But even that was interesting, as The Boy spent a lot of time talking about how he would re-write it.

I probably wouldn't have read the books had I not had a child at my advanced age, but they provided a lot of nice family moments and made bed time easier.

11John5918
maj 17, 11:10am

>10 nohrt4me2: I am always a little sad when adults pan the Harry Potter series.

Fair comment. They were written for children, not for adults. Not having any children, I simply give my own opinion, for whatever it's worth.

12nohrt4me2
maj 17, 12:54pm

>11 John5918: Oh, not chastizing anyone's opinion. As the books became hugely popular, I think Rowling was able to limit the amt of editing by her publisher. I do think that shows in the last three books. Would be interesting to know if those books will have held up in 50 or 100 years.

13Tess_W
maj 17, 9:21pm

>8 John5918:
Go to Groups I administer
Statistics
Most Held Books

14Tess_W
Redigeret: maj 17, 9:25pm

>6 nohrt4me2: Here is the bottom "half" of this group's most held works:

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (49), The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (48), The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (48), The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (47), The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (46), A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson (46), Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (46), Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (46), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (45), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (45), Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (45), The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (45)

But then, you have to consider that this is only a very small sampling, just 189 people.

15John5918
maj 17, 11:42pm

>13 Tess_W:

Thanks, Tess.

>14 Tess_W:

Ah, now most of those I have read!

16vwinsloe
maj 19, 9:10am

>6 nohrt4me2: Also surprised that there is no Tom Robbins in addition to Kurt Vonnegut. Everyone in my age group seemed to be reading Even Cowgirls Get the Blues or another one of his novels at some point.

172wonderY
maj 19, 10:09am

>16 vwinsloe: I just started my first Tom Robbins book, recommended by my 35 yo daughter. We both love Vonnegut. I’m finding Robbins quotable, but not nearly as fascinating.

18Tess_W
maj 19, 10:18pm

>16 vwinsloe: Have never read a Robbins book.

19Tess_W
Redigeret: maj 19, 10:21pm

I've read all of the most held books by this group except for the Harry Potter Books (I read the first one) and The Hobbit.

20dustydigger
Redigeret: maj 20, 1:40pm

I have very few of the lists on my shelves,but I have read a LOT of them
Tess's list {post 1} - Read all but Book Thief and Madame Bovary
Read all of list 2{post 5}
Read 7/10 of list 3{post 6} Very unlikely that I will ever read Fear of Flying,Black Like Me,or Atlas Shrugged
Bottom half of list {post 14}Read everything except A Walk in the Woods and Girl Who Played With Fire.I was very disappointed with Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which had been touted as mainly a ''locked room'' sort of book as someone disappeared mysteriously. Went downhill for me when all that mystery was brushed aside and it all became a story of dysfunctional often very unlikable characters. Have never gone anywhere near the rest of the trilogy! :0)

21John5918
Redigeret: maj 20, 10:56am

>20 dustydigger:

I read Atlas Shrugged by mistake when I was in my forties. I'd never heard of Ayn Rand nor her strange political philosophy, but a friend told me it was about railways (which I suppose it was, in a way), so I read it, ever hoping to read more details about the railways, but of course I was sadly disappointed! I read Fear of Flying when I was too young to really appreciate it.

22nohrt4me2
maj 20, 10:43am

>21 John5918: I wonder if reading "Atlas Shrugged" as a teenager was an American thing. Most of my male friends in high school flirted with Randian ideas. A few who remained conservative have grown out of that romantic "true believer" phase and became more pragmatic. As have those of us on the left, too.

23nohrt4me2
maj 20, 10:50am

>14 Tess_W: Ah, yes, there are the books i was expecting! I forgot "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues." I have never read it, but it was going around a lot in high school. So was The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, another one I have not read.

Years ago, my son asked me to make him a CD with songs on it that I liked in high school. I have been laying by things that I would like to pass on to any grandchildren who might appear--none on the horizon at this point--after my demise. I should put a reading list in the box. Sidenote: If anyone else is doing this, make sure you print everything. Even now, people under 30 cannot read cursive.

24terriks
maj 20, 11:24am

>21 John5918: >22 nohrt4me2: I tend to agree with the idea that Atlas Shrugged seemed like an "in" thing to do at high school age. I read it, and more than once - overall, it's a good yarn full of interesting characters. There's a strong female lead. Of course, Rand's preaching throughout the thing, but if one can simply keep it within the context of the storyline, it's as harmless as any other "here are the good guys, here are the bad guys" setup.

Rand wants to paint anyone who is for regulating industry as a job-killing, freedom hating bad guy. Ha ha! That line of thinking passed with ease during the 1950s, when this was written.

Today's readers will have been exposed to events that occurred in the decades since its publication. In the 1960s, Lake Erie caught on fire, and other stories of over the top corporate pollution were becoming increasingly widespread. Now we're warned about rising sea levels as our polar ice caps shrink and sea water bubbles up through manholes in Florida city streets.

Rand is said to have laid out the planks for Libertarianism, so if that's offensive then it might be too annoying to enjoy the book. It's been years since I read it, and maybe if I read it now I would be more annoyed with it. But from my current perspective, I view Rand with (another ha-ha), more of a shrug than anything.

25dustydigger
maj 20, 2:01pm

I seem to mostly stick with older books and authors these days simply because I am very oldfashioned. I like a hero who is a ''white hat,clearly one of the good guys. A Dick Francis sort of hero.
Since I like to identify with the protagonist,the modern antiheros,unreliable narrators,foul mouthed sex addicts are SOOO not for me. After a lifetime,60 years, of reading crime novels I have almost given up on the genre except for reading old pre 1990 books.I suppose I could read some cosy crime,but I find too many of the heroines are airheads or do stupid things.Or are so busy quilting,knitting or gardening they miss all the clues!
So I turn to the past styles,or read science fiction instead! lol.
They modern ''everything is shades of gray'' has been going on for years now.I keep hoping folks will get sick of it and some decency and standards will return to fiction....not holding my breath......

262wonderY
maj 20, 3:45pm

I read one Ayn Rand back in the day and dismissed her immediately. She didn’t believe altruism was real; that all action is selfish. I pity that attitude; what a sad outlook. My mother embodied self-giving.

27pamelad
maj 20, 6:47pm

>1 Tess_W:, >14 Tess_W: I've read all of them except Fahrenheit 451, The Book Thief, The Odyssey, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I don't own many of them any more because I've been emptying the shelves.

>22 nohrt4me2: Maybe. I don't know anyone who has read it. A popular book in seventies Melbourne, along with Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, was 100 Years of Solitude.

28vwinsloe
maj 21, 9:20am

>17 2wonderY:, >18 Tess_W:. Tom Robbins may have been more like a cult favorite. He is not as pithy as Vonnegut by any means, and may be considered early post-modern by some. My favorite is Still Life with Woodpecker, which had the most unforgettable first sentence ever.

>22 nohrt4me2:. Yes, Rand's books relied on the American mythology of "rugged individualism" which was attractive to teens who wanted out of the nanny state of their nuclear families. ;>)