THE DA VINCI CODE. THE HANDMAID’S TALE. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. ALL HAVE EMERGED AMONG A LIST OF THE TOP BOOKS BRITS WISH THEY HAD WRITTEN, ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY
TOP BOOKS BRITS WISH THEY HAD WRITTEN
Researchers from the Amazon Literary Partnership polled the nation’s book lovers to discover the modern and classic books we would have loved to have penned ourselves, with Stephen King’s classic horror read IT (19 percent) also making the list.
Also featured were Of Mice and Men, the masterful depiction of the failing American Dream, by John Steinbeck (14 percent). Along with Jane Austen’s romantic novel, Pride and Prejudice (12 percent).
While the number one novel that Brits wish they had written was, perhaps unsurprisingly given that the Harry Potter franchise was estimated at £25 billion last year, the first Harry Potter novel, The Philosopher’s Stone, by JK Rowling (34 percent).
In second place was Pulitzer Prize winner and an American literature classic, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which garnered 20 percent of the vote.
Deemed a modern-day classic, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of the rape of a white woman, and lawyer Atticus Finch decision to defend him in court.
Originally banned in some schools due to its themes of racism and sexual violence, it’s a page turner which continues to captivate generations of readers and feels as relevant now as it was when first published in 1960.
AMBITIONS AND DREAMS
The research of 1,500 literature fans also reveals that over a quarter of the nation (27 percent) think they have a bestselling book inside of them waiting to be written, although 54 percent admit they simply wouldn’t know where to start.
A quarter (24 percent) insist they just don’t have the time to be able to sit and write a novel themselves.
The study also found that, so important is literature to the nation, a quarter (22 percent) claim they’ve read at least one novel that has changed their lives.
Other books to make the list include Dan Brown’s 2003 mystery thriller that catapulted ancient conspiracies into mainstream culture, The Da Vinci Code (18 percent), and Swedish psychological crime thriller novel, published in 2011, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (13 percent).
Darren Hardy from Amazon.co.uk said: “While as a nation we might have enjoyed the opportunity to imagine up the magical world of Hogwarts or secret codes and conspiracies, we know from working with incredible literary organisations supported by the Amazon Literary Partnership, that there is still so much untapped writing talent waiting to be discovered in the UK.”
Through programmes such as the Amazon Literary Partnership, Amazon provides grants to a whole range of literary organisations across the UK who empower writers of all ages and stages, helping them create, publish, learn, teach, experiment and thrive. Now in its second year in the UK, the Amazon Literary Partnership has awarded grants to non-profit literary organisations whose mission it is to champion emerging writers and diversity in storytelling.
A PIVOTAL PIECE
While more than one in 10 Britons (11 percent) wish they had penned the dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale (11 percent) by Canadian Margaret Atwood, published in 1985 and a pivotal piece of feminist literature ever since – and currently running as a US TV series.
The study also found that lighter reads like Bridget Jones’ Diary (16 percent) and Sex and the City (seven percent) were also chosen by Brits. Another book they wish they’d written, was erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey (15 percent).
Britons also named Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels (11 percent) and Jordan Belfort’s controversial Wolf of Wall Street (10 percent). Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (9 percent) by the late John le Carré was also one of the tales they wish they’d produced.
And classic novels to make the list included F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (9 percent), The Picture of Dorian Grey (8 percent) by Oscar Wilde and J.D. Salinger’s coming-of-age classic, The Catcher in the Rye (8 percent).
Meanwhile one in five Brits (20 percent) reckon their writing skills have deteriorated greatly since they left school. Half say that constantly texting and using instant messaging haven’t helped their writing ability either!
In fact, 42 percent admit they have become completely reliant on automatic spelling and grammar checks. While 38 percent say an increased use of social media has affected their ability to write well.
However, 37 percent believe that technology means it’s now easier and more accessible than before to write a book.
For the novels we enjoy, half say they feel there are more diverse characters appearing in today’s books. While 43 percent believe there are more diverse authors coming to the fore when it comes to bestselling literature.
When it comes to getting creative with words, 37 percent of Britons enjoy composing social media posts. Almost a quarter (24 percent) write a daily journal, and 24 percent love writing letters to their friends and family.
THE BOOKS BRITS WISH WE HAD WRITTEN, ACCORDING TO BRITS
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling 34%
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 20%
- IT by Stephen King 19%
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 18%
- Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding 16%
- Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James 15%
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck 14%
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Sieg Larsson 13%
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 12%
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 11%
- Jack Reacher (Killing Floor) by Lee Child 11%
- The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort 10%
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré 9%
- The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 9%
- The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 9%
- The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde 8%
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger 8%
- About A Boy by Nick Hornby 8%
- Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell 7%
- American Psycho by Bret Eastern Ellis 7%
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