When it comes to naming classics, there are a few no-brainers, at least in the Western canon of literature. Names like Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dickens, Dumas, Bronte and Austen would seem to be shoo-ins for a place on the list.
But would you believe (or agree with) the fact that Cervantes, Hemingway, Faulkner, Patchett, Morrison, Ondaatje, Munro, Richler, Murakami, Bulgakov, Chekhov, Pushkin, and Greene did not make the BBC’s most recent list of 100 books we should read before we die? Perhaps more WTF is that The Da Vinci Code, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Harry Potter, The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Kite Runner made this list. As if that weren’t enough of a brain orgy, someone at the BBC was clearly drinking moonshine late into the night when they added The Five People You Meet in Heaven to this list.
Who the where the…why?
On the flip side, kudos to them for including Cloud Atlas, A Confederacy of Dunces, Watership Down and A Suitable Boy.
You can look over the books which did make the BBC’s list yourself and keep score. While they say you’ve likely read only 6 of these “classics,” the average Goodreads member has read 23 of them.
Click here to see the BBC list in its entirety.