I came across the article The Novels Everyone Should Read, Based on Top Book Lists and Prizes and the first thing that came to mind was Mark Twain’s quote “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”
The list* is impressive; I can appreciate the time and effort it took for someone or a team to include over one thousand books in that spreadsheet. But why organize based on awards?
For one thing, these books all have a universal message that pinpoints to something in particular. American capitalism, racism, grief amidst failure and angst, moral doppelganger portraits, revolutionary tragedy, and so many other themes cut to the core of existence, or are at the very-very least, entertaining.
I am taking this list with a grain of salt. Just because Twilight received an award, doesn’t mean everyone “should” read it. The Hunger Games trilogy has won plenty of awards, and those books are not included in this list. I have read many of the books listed; but there are many more I will never get to. And that’s okay. I don’t see myself reading War and Peace anytime soon, though I have wanted to read 1984 for a while. The point is, I will not pick the books I read based on awards. I will pick my books on my level of interest in them. If it happens to be a transcendentalist classic, then que será, será.
I call this list “The Reader’s Point A” because it’s a good starting point. Looking for something to read next? This is a vast list that can be a helpful tool in picking your next book. I have the unfortunate habit of being on constant lookout for the next book to read, resulting in over one hundred books in my reading queue.
The beautiful thing about the Point A is that it’s up to the reader to find their Point B.
*If you are looking for a specific book in the list, open the spreadsheet, type CTRL + F to search for the title.