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Important News from the Book World


Do Anna's Book Corner readers know better than Guardian readers?

Anna vs Richard and Judy
Anna's review printed on book jacket


Do Anna's Book Corner readers know best? June 2004

500 visitors to The Guardian Hay literary festival were asked to suggest their top 50 "essential contemporary reads". Frankly, Anna does not agree. What do you think? Tell Anna what your top 10 essential contemporary reads are, or enter the competition of who has read more on The Guardian's list. Or both. Small prizes may be available. Anna's Book Corner reader's top 50 to appear soon.

Read the not-terribly-interesting original article here or skip straight to the list.


Do Richard and Judy have good taste in books? May 2004

In suprising news, Star of the Sea, a book that Anna dismissed as "a nineteenth-century Eastenders" was called a "masterpiece" by Bob Geldof and shot straight to the top of the bestseller lists after being taken on by Richard and Judy's book club. Could Anna be wrong? Decide for yourself.

Read Anna's original review here, buy the book here and/or read an interesting article on the Richard and Judy book club phenomenon here.


Anna is famous! April 2004

A glowing review of Making Love was reprited on the cover of the paperback edition. How exciting!

Read Anna's original review here or click here to buy your very own copy of the review itself, attached to some book.


  • The top 50 essential contemporary reads
  • According to patrons of the Hay festival, researched by The Guardian
  • In Alphabetical Order
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    American Pastoral by Philip Roth
    Atonement by Ian McEwan
    Being Dead by Jim Crace
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
    Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
    Disgrace by JM Coetzee
    Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
    Faith Singer by Rosie Scott
    Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
    Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson
    Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
    Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
    Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty
    High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
    His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
    Hotel World by Ali Smith
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
    Misery by Stephen King
    Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
    Money by Martin Amis
    Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
    Riders by Jilly Cooper
    Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
    The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
    The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Rabbit Books by John Updike
    The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
    The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
    The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
    The Women's Room by Marilyn French
    Tracey Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
    Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
    Unless by Carol Shields
    What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
    What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith


How many of these have you read?

Tell Anna

Do you agree with this list? What would be your top 10 essential contemporary reads?

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