Unrealistic expectations: The Dymocks 2018 Top 101 list
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved reading. Getting lost in a story comes easily to me, I imagine the people, the places, the atmosphere, the scents, the sounds and I can fully immerse myself in their world.
As a seven year old I was actually behind in my reading abilities for my age. My mum enrolled me in one of those completely mortifying in-school literacy support programs where they pull you out of your class for 30 minutes or so every day and give you extra tutoring in reading. Let me tell you, I HATED her for that, I was super embarrassed at being singled out and felt like I was not good enough. You know what they say though, mumma knows best, ever since that extra help, I have been an avid reader. I remember mum confiscating the book Heidi by Johanna Spyri when I was ten because I was reading instead of eating, dressing and getting ready for school. This was a frequent occurrence for me. What a nerd child.
My dad lives in Sydney and has done since I was about six or seven. Every time my sister Taya and I visited during the school holidays, he would take us to the HUGE Borders store in Macquarie shopping centre (RIP Borders, you are dearly missed) and let us each choose a book or two to buy. If only dad still funded my reading habit.
Flash forward to now. After taking a bit of a hiatus from reading over the last couple of years to finish my uni degree, which coupled with working full time didn’t leave many hours in the day, I am now finally getting back into reading.
So what did I do?
I picked up the 2018 Dymocks Top 101 list, of course. I’m not going to lie, I love a good list and I LOVVEE the satisfaction of ticking things off a list, whether it be a to-do list, a goals list, a shopping list, or yes, a to-read list.
I actually have fond memories of these top 100 lists. My sister and I used to collect them each year and tick off all of the books we had read, granted it wasn’t that many given we were young teenagers, but nevertheless it became a little tradition of ours.
The 2018 Dymocks list has 29 entries from Australian authors and 53% of the books on the list have female authors. Claiming to list the best 101 books as voted by Dymocks booklovers, it has a good mix of adult and young adult, ranging from classics, to thrillers, to fantasy. All in all it’s a pretty solid list.
There is one issue I have with this list though. Dymocks may be well versed in literature, however their mathematics skills are sorely lacking. One would assume a ‘Top 101’ list, would comprise of 101 books. Nope. Not at Dymocks. According to my calculations, the 2018 Dymocks Top 101 list actually has 149 books listed. That’s right, an extra 48 books. Dymocks are counting entire series of books as one entry on the list, which is seriously irritating to my perfectionist tendencies *eye starts to twitch*
Earlier this year, I decided (stupidly) to attempt to read every book on the Dymocks 2018 Top 101 by the end of the year. I also made it a goal to keep up with the monthly Hello Sunshine Book club book pick by Reese Witherspoon – I am succeeding at this so far.
Let me just call it right now, getting through the 2018 Dymocks Top 101 ain’t going to happen, at least not by the end of the year – especially given the unfortunate calculating error on their behalf. But I have always been extremely determined (some would say stubborn) so I’m still going to give it my best shot.
Given it is now June, I thought I should probably review my progress. As of today, 33 books down, 117 to go. This is not encouraging.
Top 101 books I have read
- The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
- All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
- Me Before You series by JoJo Moyes
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Hail Honeyman (this was also a Reese Witherspoon pick – winning)
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Top 101 books I am currently reading
- The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas – currently on book #3 of 7
- The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo – currently on book #1 of 2
Top 101 books I’ll be starting next
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I have actually had this for years but never read it
- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – loved the movie
- The Dry by Jane Harper – sounds like a solid Aussie Thriller
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – just because I feel like I should have read this by now
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I borrowed it off my sister and need to give it back
Top 101 books I’m least looking forward to reading
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit took me two years to get through, two years of my life I’ll never get back.
- A Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin – have you seen the size of these? They’re monsters and I struggle to remember everyone’s names in the TV show let alone in a book!
While the whole Top 101 list thing is really just a genius marketing ploy to get you to buy more books (which it appears I have fallen for) I have enjoyed picking up some books that I may not have otherwise considered.
Given we are now in winter, it is the perfect season to curl up on the couch with an EXTREMELY large cup of tea and dive into a great book.
If you haven’t checked out the Dymocks 2018 Top 101 list, you can find it here: https://www.dymocks.com.au/top-101
If you would like to know what books I would recommend from those I have read so far, let me know!
Anyway, I’ve got dogs to cuddle, vegan food to eat and books to read so I’m going to go, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated with my progress..
Until next time,