Thursday, April 06, 2006

Genders in reading

As life slowly regains some normality, or at least its appearance, there's time to, once again, glance through the inside of newspapers. In today's Guardian there are a couple of amusing articles about the considerable difference between men's and women's literary tastes (generally speaking, of course). Whereas Albert Camus, J.D. Salinger and George Orwell reign over male literary preferences, usually drawn to alienation and isolation themes, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Jane Austin, George Eliot and Margaret Atwood are among the favorites of women, more partial to books about passion and deeply held feelings. Other curiosities are that men don't much care about fiction, at least not between the age of 20 and 50, women develop emotional bonds with the books they love, their companions for life, and that men tend to prefer hardback covers whereas women favour broken paperback covers. As I said, it's amusing (mainly because quite a lot of it feels incredibly true based on personal observation).
The top men's "milestone" novels are:
The Outsider by Albert Camus
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Ulysses by James Joyce
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
1984 by George Orwell
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Anonymous said...

So, I am a male... (because of Camus...)

Anonymous said...

Another "list of ten" with no significance. Who says so?
To be noted: Ulysses is always mentionned. I am SURE that not 10% of those who say that they have read it have in fact do so