Paper pickings: 100 Books that Defined a Decade and Enid Blyton

This afternoon I’m enjoying the little luxury that is a cup of hot chocolate in a cafe with the paper. Picking up (what I thought was) the Independent but was actually the Independent with a Telegraph Supplement inside it) I was delighted to discover some interesting bookish snippets in the review section. First off was the 100 books that defined a decade feature. I was amazed to see how many of these I had read in book groups and I can honestly say that I think it is a well thought through list. Notable ones for me were The Kite Runner at 18, Atonement at 9 and The God Delusion at 5 which whether you like it’s premise or not is a remarkable piece of writing.

At number one of course was J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series which I think is well picked. Again, whether you’re a fan or not it’s difficult to deny the impact it has had.

What is interesting about the list for me is how it reflects the events and moods of the time, whether it be 9/11, Obama’s Dreams From My Father or a children’s book about magic or a novel like Labyrinth reflecting our desire for escapism from the modern-day world.

There were also a couple that I now want to add to my TBR including David Starkey’s Elizabeth. Ever since watching The Young Victoria I’ve been wanting to read more about notable British queens.

On a separate note I also came across an article about a new BBC biopic of Enid Blyton. Starring none other than Helena Bonham Carter it looks set to paint quite a dark portrait of the author. I can’t wait!

Which books have defined the ‘noughties’ for you? Can anyone recommend a good book about Queen Victoria?

4 responses to “Paper pickings: 100 Books that Defined a Decade and Enid Blyton

  1. Ooh, when is the biopic due to be aired? I pass the blue plaque of her childhood flat in Dulwich on the bus all the time.

    I’ve just seen the list myself and agree with a number of the inclusions although I would say that Wolf Hall only defined my summer Booker reading and not the last decade! I was surprised that there wasn’t anything about 9/11 as it is the defining event of the decade; I think that Martin Amis’s nonfiction book, The Second Plane should have been there. Most of the ones I have read are typical book group reads and/or children’s fiction and cookbooks, which totals about a fifth of the list.

    • It’s BBC4 Tonight (Monday 16th). For me, I wonder if it’s not so much that each book defines the decade but looking at them all reminds me of different times in the decade, if that makes any sense!

  2. Oooh you should get us all a link to this list of 100 books, as I want to see if its the same as the one they did in the Telegraph it sounds like it. Good books on Queen Victoria… hmmm I know not one.

    Looking forward to the Enid show definatley thats a must watch show for me next week then! Sorted!


    AHA, it’ is actually the Telegraph that I was reading. Apparently some little sneak had slipped the Telegraph supplement into the Independent! Oh well good for them as I wouldn’t have come across it otherwise…

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