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Books We Should, or Must, Read

Written by Chris Routledge, 22nd January 2009

New Year is oviously a time for resolutions and for many of us - it is to read more. On 16th January, the Telegraph ran an article about 100 Novels Everyone Should Read.  Not to be outdone, the Guardian is running a seven day series: 1000 Novels Everyone MUST Read; these are broken down into the categories of Love, Crime, Comedy, Family & Self, State of the Nation, Science Fiction & Fantasty, and War & Travel.

The Telegraph's list sparked a lively discussion amongst readers, many of whom did not truly agree with the Telegraph's choices. Where was DH Lawrence, Thackeray, Hemingway, Kafka, Voltaire - to name but a few? These lists are obviously a little subjective as they are based on undefined criteria, however, the value of them needn't be overlooked - there are some brilliant reading suggestions. After any initial outrage and hurumphing about what's not there, reading through the list again leads to obtaining some really useful ideas about what to read next.

The Guardian's list is obviously far more comprehensive - it's also broken down in a more structured way - but again it does not mean that we will all concur with their selection, or how they have been categorised. Again though, it's food for thought and encourages some interesting discussions.

Why not tell us your thoughts on the lists, and recommend some of your top books of all time?

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