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Top 10 Books People Buy But Don’t Read

John Rentoul

mandela 204x300 Top 10 Books People Buy But Dont ReadThe Top 10 series in The Independent on Sunday’s colour supplement New Review started with the “Top 10 Worst Beatles Songs”. This Sunday’s “Top 10 Misquotations” has already gone to press. But I still need your help with the following weeks.

At the launch of Alan Johnson’s memoir of his childhood, This Boy (you will have to read it to understand the title), which I have reviewed, I was discussing with some bookish people the kinds of books, unlike AJ’s, that people buy but don’t read. Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom and Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time came first to mind. Bill Clinton’s memoir, My Life, and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s It Takes a Village were mentioned. Ulysses by James Joyce was proposed and then withdrawn, on the grounds that hardly anyone actually buys it in the first place (you can get it free on Kindle).

More nominations please.

And nominations for more Top 10s.

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  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/user-comments/makempsownup MakeMPsOwnUp

    What you call “intellectually incurious” I call bias. He knows that if he made specific references to its contents and/or its adherents’ practices Salman Rushdie would look like a boy scout in comparison.

  • delilah1

    The difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is simply who is calling the shots…Nothing more nothing less

  • delilah1

    I have read “War and Peace” 4 times within my long life (I am 73) but for the Hell of it I cannot remember the names of the important characters…flicking back and forth to the list in the front is tiresome…..


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