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Give a Hoot, Read a Book

Entertainment Weekly continues their hallowed tradition of opening multiple cans of worms with its New Classics issue, subtitled “The 1000 Best Movies, TV Shows, Albums, Books & More of the Last 25 Years.” Equal parts cool and infuriating, EW has taken the “list” concept to its logical conclusion and made up an issue consisting entirely of lists. The movies list is overall pretty good, only hitting the overrated and/or inexplicably popular movies at around #25 (Shrek). The TV list is overrun with lots of superpopular shows that I never “got,” but they’re forgiven since they put The Simpsons on top where it rightfully belongs. Several classic albums appear on the music list, although to be honest music is such a subjective thing that they could’ve had 100 different fans picking 10,000 different albums and they would all have some validity. So, EW, your shit still stinks. Don’t even get me started on the bizarre randomness that is the 50 Pop Culture Moments That Rocked Fashion.

What really got me inspired here is their books list, specifically the top 50. This one seemed a lot more thoughtful than the others, and it covers a wide range of stuff. I’m sure there are a few overrated choices there, too, but what struck me personally is that I’ve only read two books in the entire top 50! Those two (technically three) would be Art Spiegelman’s Maus/Maus 2 (#7) and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (#16). If I had an endless bank of time, I’d love to read the other 48. Unlike the other lists, most of them actually appear worth looking into. Another time consuming project I’ve been investigating is to check out various novels that have appeared on the year-end best seller lists from throughout the 20th century. Further tempting is the fact that many of those earlier bestsellers are available as free downloads at Project Gutenberg. Unlike EW, apparently, I have a burning desire to know what rocked the average American reader in, say, the year 1902.

One Thought on “Give a Hoot, Read a Book

  1. I’ve read 8 of the top 50, although that number jumps up considerably if you count having seen the movie of the book. (I know, I know.)

    Tbh, that list seems as arbitrary as the movie one, which I found annoyingly bad.

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