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


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