The creative citizens of Facebook saw the videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going viral, and they started their own challenge: the Book Bucket Challenge. The idea of this challenge was to put up the names of ten books that has, in some way, touched the life and left a mark in the life of the reader. At the bottom of the list, the person also has to tag a few friends, thus challenging them to do the same. There have been some very interesting updates all over Facebook. While some have elaborated how they have been moved or changed by the ten unforgettable books they have read, others have kept theirs a plain and simple list and nothing more. After quite a few weeks of this unique and fun challenge going viral on the internet, a survey was carried out to find out the most popular favourite English books among Facebook users. If you took the challenge, then read the countdown of the top 10 favourite English books of Facebook users, to find if your favourites are in the list. And, even if you are not much of a reader, go through the list and get inspired to take up this enriching hobby.
10 Favourite English Books of Facebook Users:
10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This 1925 novel was “something new–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned,” as Fitzgerald himself had promised. The story is about Jay Gatsby, an American of the Jazz Age, with the American Dream, great ambition, obsession with money and simultaneously, a quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan, a legendary young beauty. It is a love story of sorts, delving in the spirit of America in the author’s generation.
9. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The 1951 novel was initially released for adults, but, eventually, it managed to become a favourite of the teenagers around the world as the story revolves around themes like teenage angst, rebellion, alienation, identity, and all that a teenager faces. These have not changed much over the years, and the book, hence, continues to be a great favourite, with Holden Caulfield, the protagonist and a wry anti-hero having become an icon of teen rebellion.
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The 2008-released science fiction novel and the following two books of the series are stories narrated from the perspective of 16-year old Katniss Everdeen, living in a dystopian nation called Panem, where each year, a televised reality show named Hunger Games takes placed in which a boy and a girl of 12-16-years age from each of the 12 districts are selected to participate in a game of death. The story line and character development in the books have received high accolades.
7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The comedy science fiction series was originally a radio show in 1948, which later turned into novels, comics and what not! Each new adaptation by Adams is substantially rewritten, thus creating mutual contradictions in many places, though the basic plot remains the same, i.e. the adventures of the ill-fated Englishman, Arthur Dent, and other major characters, such as an alien and his semi cousin, a depressed robot and a woman who is the last survivor of the Earth’s destruction.
6. The Holy Bible
There is very little one can, or need to, say about the Holy Bible. Irrespective of the religion or faith of a person, the Bible has proven to be a prized read for anyone with a religious bend of mind, and even appealed to the atheistic and agnostic persons. As an interesting fact, it is not only a best-seller, but also one of the most stolen books. While many use its deliberately misinterpreted words to defend bigotry, lies, malpractices, etc. in the name of religion, others find inner peace and a guidance down the path of life in the wise and kind words of the Holy Bible.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The 1813-published novel of manners centring round Elizabeth Bennet, an early 19th century English woman struggling with issues of education, manners, marriage, etc., and pining for the rational Mr. Darcy, the male protagonist, while she and her sisters stay occupied in picking themselves together after the plans of engagements that fall through. Despite almost other-worldly time frame, the book captures the imagination of modern readers, which is what makes it such a classic.
4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The chronology of the storyline suggests that this is a prequel of The Lord of the Rings series. Published in 1937, this children’s classic is about the adventures of the hobbit named Bilbo Baggins as he journeys to win a treasure guarded by a dragon, Smaug. The growth of characters and their display of heroism take centre-stage in the story as they move to greater sinisterness, and encounter Tolkien’s Wilderness. Tolkien’s WW-I experiences largely influence the structure of the story.
3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
A sequel of The Hobbit, the LOTR series, written between 1937 and 1949, the series is evidently parallel to WW-II. One of the best-sellers in the world, it is about the journey of Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, and their companions and allies. Mythology, religion and philosophy set the background of the story as Tolkien analyses them elaborately, while the characters grow and influence large numbers of readers and stay with them forever.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This award-winning 1960 American novel has a plot that centres around characters as the author herself observed when she was 10 years old. As a result, the story is very real, and that is what strikes a chord in the hearts of the readers. It has an excellent balance of humour and darkness, with issues such as rape, racial inequality and destruction of innocence as the background against which, the protagonist, Atticus Finch, grows up and finds a place in the readers’ hearts.
1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The series of 7 books revolves around the lives of an orphaned wizard, Harry, and his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as they live and grow in a magical boarding school, and discover the darkness and complexities of life, death, power, love and the people around them with all the secrets. Research shows that children who grow up reading Harry Potter have tolerance of stigmatized minority groups like immigrants, diseased, LGBTIQ people, etc. The Bildungsromans have secured the top position in this list. Many accept the series as an important part of their lives.
The original list consists of the names of top hundred books which include some classics, as well as some contemporary books. However, to restore faith in humanity and its taste in literature, some of the hyped and popular books like the Twilight saga or the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which have otherwise become bestsellers, have not found their place among the top hundred, nor have the chick lit books like Mills and Boons. While this might disappoint many, yet, the Facebook users have thankfully given the final verdict: that true readers of today appreciate well-written books, be it the innocent children’s literature, the coming-of-age pieces from different periods of time, or the Holy Bible.