In the latest edition of the Times Educational Supplement, teachers voted their top 100 favourites novels. Whether they are implying that these are actually their favourite novels, or their favourite novels to teach students, I am unsure. Let's go with the latter. Anyway, the top ten were:
- Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
- To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
- Harry Potter (series) - J.K. Rowling
- Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
- Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
- 1984 - George Orwell
- The Lord of the Rings (series) - J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Book Thief - Markus Zuzak
- The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
What do you think of the list? Personally, I prefer Persuasion, but am happy that my favourite novel, The Bell Jar, made it, as well as a few I loved when I was a child, namely Rebecca and Goodnight Mister Tom.
I do, also, agree with one of the comments that there are far too few non-fiction entries on the list (only one, in fact). There are plenty of non-fiction books that can be engaging for students, introduce them to different ways of understanding and looking at the world, In Cold Blood, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Silent Spring, The Selfish Gene, A Room of One's Own.
Does the list represent novels read by students in your country? Have you read any, many, or all of them? Are they too Britain-centric? What else would you suggest?