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Dymocks Top 101 Books

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Feb 25, 2008, 12:06am Top

Dymocks Bookstore has come up with a top 101 books list, based on votes by the members of their booklover's club.


What do you all think of the books chosen? For me, this list introduced me to "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell which became one of my favourite books of all time. It is a hilarious autobiography of a naturalist's idyllic childhood in the beautiful Greek island of Corfu. It is full of great descriptions of both people and animals.

Feb 25, 2008, 2:45am Top

"What do you all think of the books chosen?"

I would hazard a guess that the majority of voters were women.

I'm glad to see my favourite book of recent times on the list, 27 The Book Thief, although it should've been #1! :-)

Feb 25, 2008, 6:43am Top

Certainly a different readership to me - I have only read 11 of those 101. I read "My Family and Other Animals" 20+ years ago. A few others I only read as texts at school. I might check out some of the others at my local Library.

Feb 25, 2008, 11:16pm Top

The content seems similar to the Angus & Robertson and ABC lists. I've read about 34 of them.

Apr 11, 2008, 4:57am Top

This is certainly not a list of books by book lovers. A Bryce Courtney and a Dan Brown in the top ten? Oh for goodness sakes!

May 4, 2008, 12:55am Top

Interesting list, I've read 24 of them, which isn't so bad.

Id' say that alot of the votes do appear to be women's votes.

May 8, 2008, 4:40pm Top

>I've read 38; interestingly, very few of the Australian books mentioned. I would've expected to see more Australian titles than were listed.

A Raymond Feist novel in the top ten?

I noticed 5 female authors in the top 10, nice to see some gender parity somewhere. One might assume that as in many other countries, women are the primary book buyers and they also tend to consume way more fiction than men, so if a lot of the votes appear to be 'women's votes' that could be why.

Jun 3, 2008, 10:57am Top

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Jun 4, 2008, 9:20pm Top

8 - You're kidding, right? My favourite authors are mostly women - Octavia Butler, Robin Hobb (yes, she's a woman), Katherine Kerr, Catherine Jinks...

I think most men who read regularly read both male and female authors. You might be right partly, that men who only read occasionally are more likely to stick to male authors - Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler, Feist, etc.

Jun 4, 2009, 8:39am Top

Well, I've read only 14, just the fantasy and the school ones, so I guess I'm a bit boring with my choices. Must say that I'm a bit disappointed that 2 Dan Browns got it. Literature for the illiterate! Probably goes more by how many units they sell, rather than what is actually read, re-read and purchased again when you wear the first copy out. Thats a sure sign of good book!

Jun 4, 2009, 1:59pm Top

15. cant believe i have never heard of most of them, a lot of potboilers. cant take any list seriously that has catch22 so low. and possession so very very low!

Jun 4, 2009, 6:37pm Top

I'd read about 60 and had most of the others on my to-read list. There were a few I hadn't heard of, but really not many. I'd enjoyed almost all of the ones I'd read too, so I think they're all good books (I thought the list was pretty diverse - 'literature' and fluff, kid's books and adults - but in my case this is a reasonable reflection of what I read... Lots. Of everything). Avaland, I initially thought the Australian content was low too, but when I counted I realised there were quite a few Aussie authors - Tim Winton (3 books), Bryce Courtenay (2 books), Marcus Zusak, John Marsden, Matthew Reilly, Melina Marchetta and Miles Franklin. (Especially considering they were competing with the likes of Austen, Tolkien and the Bible... And that I can't get half of them to come up as touchstones on LT!)

Jun 5, 2009, 3:35am Top

I've read 59 of them. Some were good, some were bad.

The list is a popular vote, so you will get a lot of (popular) trash, plus recent books. For example, I'm not sure if you'd see Marley and Me appearing again if they ran this again in a few year's time! But I do take heart that Possession appeared at all!

Of the top 10, the only one I hadn't read was the Australian one. Oh dear.

Jun 9, 2009, 9:17pm Top

Frighting thing is I have read 10 of them and been exposed to about another 22 through TV, Radio, Movie and/or Theatre, I'm becoming much to main stream!

Jun 9, 2009, 11:51pm Top

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Edited: Jun 14, 2009, 3:39am Top

well I've read an even 20 and not many of those 20 would make my own personal Top 101 list.

and what's with listing some complete series as a single entries and in other cases listing only an individual book from a series?

Jun 14, 2009, 3:10am Top

Inconsistency. I've not looked at the list yet, and I may not, given the disparaging comments here. And if the list is inconsistent as well! Not for me.

Jun 14, 2009, 7:53am Top


Perhaps they didn't want 7 Hairy Putter books in the top 10? :)

Jun 14, 2009, 8:34am Top

>18 bluetyson:
perhaps not, but surely Jasper Fforde and Stephanie Meyer (though I'm not a fan of the latter) deserved similar treatment.

But I know no Top 100 list is ever going to cater to me, I'm just gratified when I find a couple of books I like in them :)

Jun 14, 2009, 9:55am Top

Any list which puts The Da Vinci Code in fourth place ahead of Gone With The Wind is suspect in my opinion. But then I thought that The Da Vinci Code was a dreadful potboiler only written for its movie potential.

Jun 27, 2009, 8:04am Top

I've read 51 and nine from the top ten. From the top ten, I only have To Kill a Mocking Bird to read and that keeps floating up and down on my TBR pile, this year it has just missed out on being read about 4 times! I will get to it!
Many others are on my TBR pile or my wishlist.

Agreed, the way it is ordered does make it a bit of a strange list. But I think I enjoyed most of the books I've read. Even Dan Brown's stuff. I find I can lend his books to my "non-reading" friends and they REALLY rave about his books. Very easy for people to digest, maybe?!

The list must be related to sales, me thinks.

Jul 6, 2009, 10:05pm Top

I've read 37 as they are listed - some of them like "Hitchhikers Guide" actually translate to a number of titles including the radio play scripts (Yep bit of a Hitchhiker's tragic here)

I feel this is little more than a popularity contest and tends to reflect the quality of the material held in airport book shops!

Jul 7, 2009, 8:56am Top

It's no coincidence that teh CEO of Dymock's is leading the charge to remove restrictions on parallel imports of books, which Australian writers and publishers see as potentially very destructive to Australian literary culture

Sep 6, 2009, 11:44pm Top

Don't you mean destructive to profits? :)

Sep 20, 2009, 11:18pm Top

No, actually, I meant what I said. I don't think of very many writers as making "profits" from their writing, more like scraping a living, or finding something to do after a day's work at something else.

Sep 21, 2009, 12:29am Top

It's protectionism, pure and simple. And it means you and I have to pay more for books here than almost anywhere else in the world.

I can order books from the UK, and have them shipped to me here in Australia, and still end up saving a considerable amount per title.

I travel to the US often, and can pick up popular paperbacks for around $9 US, which at the moment is still less than ten Australian dollars. Equivalent titles here in Dymocks or Abbeys would cost around $20 to $25.

Sep 21, 2009, 2:40am Top

Wow, you get an excellent exchange rate, much better than what's on offer where I live. I wonder if your other facts are as reliable?

Edited: Sep 21, 2009, 8:21pm Top


My original post was far too tetchy, and the result of jet lag and a red-wine headache. My point was that books that cost about $9 in the US cost between $20 and $25 here. There was no need for the argumentative nature of my post however, for which I apologise.

Edited: Sep 21, 2009, 6:03pm Top

I apologise for being a smart-arse, omaca. I guess you're right that if one travels to the US one can buy US popular paperbacks much more cheaply than one can buy them here. I was in the US last week too, and could have bought Dan Brown's new hardback in the US edition, probably much cheaper than the hardback edition that was released in Australia on the same day. I didn't buy it in either place. On the other hand, I was quite happy to pay Australian prices for Dave Eggers' Zeitoun (I haven't done a price comparison) if it helped an Australian publisher stay viable so as to be able to produce Australian texts that haven't been modified to suit the requirements of US publishing houses.

Actually, I just reread your last post, omaca. The books that were in "the same imprints" were surely imports from the US, rather than Australian publications such as the current legislation protects. So the "same imprint" titles are actually examples of what we can expect if the "protection" is removed.

Sep 21, 2009, 8:14pm Top

Ahem, we seemed to have gotten off-topic here. It's a fascinating subject, but maybe you two could move it to another thread, please.

Sep 21, 2009, 9:29pm Top

You're right, wookiebender. My bad.

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