April 22, 2011 By

Amazon Chooses 100 Books to Read Sans Les Misérables, Moby Dick

c_1Amazon released a selection of “ 100 books to read in a life time” Tuesday. A “bucket list of books to create a well-read life”, goes the advertisement from the editors of Amazon on their site.

The list spans two hundred years of literature, along with a wide range of genres and authors like David Sedaris, Salman Rushdie, J.D. Salinger, Michael Pollan and Shel Silverstein. Books on the list include Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (1813), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” (1925) and Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” (2013).

Sara Nelson, editorial director of print and Kindle books at Amazon.com, said the list was created after months of deliberation among her team, though no mathematical algorithms were used. “One of our tasks was to have books that don’t feel like homework: ‘eat your vegetables’ books,” Nelson said. The books are not ranked but rather are listed alphabetically to represent that “no book is more important than another,” she added.

Children’s books like “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White and “Unbroken,” a nonfiction book about World War II by “Seabiscuit” author Laura Hillenbrand are included. Fan favorites like “Harry Potter,” “Hunger Games” and “Lord of the Rings” series also made their way into the list. The list also features just one of the No. 1 Amazon Best Books of the Year, Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

According to Nelson, the book that was most hotly debated by the editorial team was George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.” “We tried to find books that were iconic and that would lead to other books”, she said. Classics like “Les Misérables” and “Moby Dick” were excluded despite arguments for their inclusion.

Posted in: Uncategorized