Last week, the British Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, said schoolchildren should be reading 50 books a year. (Sharp-tongued critics asked where children were to find these books, considering more than 400 libraries in the U.K. are on the chopping block.) In a droll response, Telegraph columnist Iain Hollingshead offered grown-up readers a list of books that he says are not the 50 books adults should read before they die. It is really, really funny. I've included a few below - click here to read the rest of the 50.
Emma by Jane Austen
Often cited as Austen’s most flawless romance, but even the author had to admit she had created a heroine “whom no one but myself will much like”.
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A touching story of doomed young love to some; a big steaming dollop of self-pity for others. Young Werther is in love with a girl and works himself up into such a frenzy of misery that he eventually shoots himself. Read this, and you may be tempted to do the same.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
A psychedelic road trip across America makes for gonzo journalism at its unreadable best, or worst. And not as good as The Hangover.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, pray, love, wallow, whine, travel, indulge, write, check bank account.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
When superior life forms come to write the history of the extinct human race, they will cite this distinctly unhelpful self-help book masquerading as literature as a turning point in our decline. Stunningly trite, it has sold more than 65 million copies in 56 languages and was highly enjoyed by Madonna.
Saturday by Ian McEwan
What the author learnt after spending two years getting in the way of a neurosurgeon. Not as good as Enduring Love, which is not as good as Amsterdam, which is not as good as Atonement.
Jordan: Pushed to the Limit by Katie Price
Disappointingly thin on insights into the Hashemite Kingdom east of Israel.