Today is World Book Day in the U.K., and Ireland (and also my name day, St. David's. My late mother always used to tell me I'm supposed to wear a leek in my hat today. I'm not wearing a hat. Perhaps I should tuck it behind my ear). In honor of the day, on its 10th anniversary, the organizers did an online poll of the 10 books "the nation cannot live without." The results:
1) "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen
2) "Lord of the Rings," by J.R.R. Tolkein
3) "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Bronte
4) "Harry Potter" books, by J. K. Rowling
5) "To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
6) "The Bible"
7) "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte
8) "1984," by George Orwell, tied with "His Dark Materials," by Philip Pullman
10) "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens
Who knew that Harper Lee's novel was so popular in that part of the world? Though I can't find it on the worldbookday site, the Guardian also reports the top 100 listed by poll respondents. It includes everything from Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones" and Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones's Diary" to Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" and the complete works of William Shakespeare.