Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Alternative Big Read - 100 of the most influential books

A list of books compiled in April 2003 and circulated widely on Facebook is the result of the BBC’s Big Read campaign where the British broadcasting company went around the United Kingdom in search of the Nation’s best read. Unfortunately I wasn’t polled and neither were any of my friends, obviously an oversight on the part of the BBC so having gone through their list and highlighted the 25 books which I’ve read, I decided to compile an alternative list for those of us who missed the knock on our door or whose internet might have been down when the online survey was circulated.
Feel free to comment on any additional ones that should be on the list - we can always 'bump off' some 'multiple titles' in favour of any omissions.



1. African psycho by Alain Mabanckou



2. In Search of our Mother's Gardens by Alice Walker



3. The Temple of my Familiar by Alice Walker



4. Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo



5. The devil that danced on water by Aminatta Forna



6. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutola



7. The Hundred Secret Sense by Amy Tan



8. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan



9. Fruits of the Lemon by Andrea Levy



10. Small Island by Andrea Levy



11. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve



12. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga



13. The God of small things by Arundhati Roy



14. The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah



15. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver



16. Brothers and Sisters by Bebe Moore Campbell



17. The Famished Road by Ben Okri



18. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta



19. The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta



20. L’enfant noir (The black child) by Camara Laye



21. A distant shore by Caryl Phillips



22. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie



23. Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie



24. No longer at ease by Chinua Achebe



25. Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe



26. Graceland by Chris Abani



27. Passing Through by Colin Channer



28. Big girls don’t cry by Connie Briscoe



29. Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Forster



30. The beautiful things that heaven bears by Dinaw Mengestu



31. Some kind of black by Diran Adebayo



32. A love of my own by E. Lynn Harris



33. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat



34. Krik Krak by Edwidge Danticat



35. Prospero's Daughter by Elizabeth Nune



36. A lesson before dying by Ernest J Gaines



37. The Belly of the Atlantic by Fatou Diome



38. The Longest Memory by Fred D'aguiar



39. The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi



40. Measuring Time by Helon Habila



41. The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende



42. In the heart of the Country by J.M. Coetzee



43. In search of satisfaction by J California Cooper



44. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid



45. Go tell it on the mountain by James Baldwin



46. Another Country by James Baldwin



47. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys



48. Nação Crioula (Creole) by Jose Eduardo Agualusa



49. Sozaboy by Ken Saro Wiwa



50. Like water for chocolate by Laura Esquivel



51. All the Blood Is Red by Leone Ross



52. Lady Moses by Lucinda Roy



53. Madame Fate by Marcia Douglas



54. The True History of Paradise by Margaret Cezair-Thompson



55. Aya Marguerite Abouet by Clement Oubrerie



56. So long a letter by Mariama Bâ



57. Trois femmes puissantes by Marie NDiaye



58. Unburnable by Marie-Elena John



59. Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills



60. God don’t like Ugly by Mary Monroe



61. I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou



62. Rain darling by Merle Collins



63. Sleepwalking Land (Terra Sonâmbula) by Mia Couto



64. Brick Lane by Monica Ali



65. Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa



66. Juletane by Myriam Warner-Vieyra



67. Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam



68. The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer



69. The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson



70. Memoirs of a woman doctor by Nawal El Sadaawi



71. Weep not child by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o



72. Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes



73. Kindred by Octavia Butler



74. Tide running by Oonya Kempadoo



75. Me Dying Trial by Patricia Powell



76. Browngirl Brownstones by Paule Marshall



77. What Looks Like Crazy … by Pearle Cleage



78. Erasure by Percival Everett



79. Mine Boy by Peter Abrahams



80. Invisible man by Ralph Ellison



81. The Swinging Bridge by Ramabai Espinet



82. Native Son by Richard Wright



83. Ruby by Rosa Guy



84. A measure of time by Rosa Guy



85. Everything good will come by Sefi Atta



86. A life elsewhere by Segun Afolabi



87. Les bouts de bois de Dieu by Sembene Ousmane



88. He drown she in the sea by Shani Mootoo



89. The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwartz-Bart



90. The coldest winter ever by Sister Souljah



91. Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih



92. Mama by Terry McMillan



93. The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara



94. Beloved by Toni Morrison



95. Tar Baby by Toni Morrison



96. Nervous Condition by Tsitsi Dangarembga



97. Devil in a blue dress by Walter Mosley



98. The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka



99. White Teeth by Zaidie Smith



100. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

4 comments:

momma Iz said...

Sadly i've only read FIVE of these and more on the BBC list which seemed to omit awesome work by African authors. Love your list. Might use it as a guide to expanding my "library". If only i could find the time to read a lot more than i do now. Sigh!

Maja said...

Fantastic ! I am going to use this list to expand my reading !

Val said...

Love this list...2 must adds are Juletane and The Bridge of Beyond.

Sula said...

Sistah def a wonderful list though you could add tayyeb saleh's work...any of it. :) not simply because Sudan is missing on the list but because he truly is an amazing writer/human being. Oh and I love the list!! Will use it for sure