Whitcoulls book list

The Whitcoulls book list was announced a while ago in New Zealand. I can’t help feeling disappointed, and will attempt to run down the list making criticisms or congratulations as I see fit. Note that if I haven’t read the book and you’d like to add your two cents to this post then post a comment and I’ll attach your opinion (See, I really do care what you think ;P).

1. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Gah, I’ve had enough of the “da Vinci” code, I refuse to write “Da Vinci” because that’s just damn wrong. Have some respect for Leonardo. Unfortunately I haven’t read the book so can’t comment in an official capacity, but the fact that people are running around saying there is a Church conspiracy because of this book shows how gullible the public can be. I mean, of course the catholic church is involved in conspiracies, but we already knew that.

Actually the main reason this annoys me is that I loved Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific work and art. I even wanted to get the Ventruvian man tattooed on my back.

I wouldn’t do so anymore of course.

Edit: Most people (that read my blog) agree that Dan Brown should leave publishing and become a foot painter, in a cave, somewhere in the Andes.

Movified: yes.

2. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Honestly I’m getting a bit tired of The Lord of the Rings, but I certainly would have preferred it to be #1 instead of the da Vinci Code. Movified: yes.

3. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
I have it on good authority from a English graduate that this book is really really average. Hope they don’t waste time and money on making a movie, oh wait… they are. Movified: In the works.

4. The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
Never read the book, but I did see the movie as a kid and was extremely moved (read: cried at the sad parts). Movified: yes.

5. Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
Dan dan dan dan. Go away Dan. Edit: Tatjna informs me that this is entertaining light reading and gets bonus points for a fantastic description of a particle accelerator. Movified: no.

6. Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon
A rivetting journey into how to cross-stitch. The plot is intricately woven into a pretty picture. (I haven’t read it). Edit: Fairy Princess informs me this is a romance novel that is not better than Pride and Prejudice. Movified: All attempts have unravelled (bwahahaha).

7. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
I haven’t read this one either, go read the wikipedia entry. Edit: Alternatively, check out what Tatjna has to say. Movified: yes.

8. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons
I would suspect that a horseman made of bronze wouldn’t do alot and would make for an absence of plot. Perhaps I am mistaken though. Edit: Again my contact in the know, Fairy Princess, informs me this is a romance novel that is good but not as good as Pride and Prejudice. Movified: unknown.

9. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

10. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1960 novel by Harper Lee, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. A coming-of-age story, it is told from the point of view of Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the young daughter of Atticus Finch, an educated lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama, a fictional small town in the Deep South of the United States. She is accompanied by her brother Jem and their mutual friend Dill. Actually, I haven’t read this and that was just taken from wikipedia, my education of this book came directly from the flash overview. Movified: yes.

I will continue down the list with witty comments and silly hijinx when I have the time.


#1   andrew brown on 08.09.06 at 7:31 pm


Well, The Da Vinci code is entertaining (unlike the movie) and people rubbish it, but it entertains, which is a good point.

The Power of One is all about making the reader feel bad for black people. Whom it specifically it makes me feel bad about is irrelevant because I don’t want to feel bad about anybody, let alone black people. Give me “My Little Pony” any day over a sad book.

I don’t know much about the others. The Whitcoulls list is about as in-depth and unbiased as One News. It caters to ill-bred farm hicks.

I hope I have insulted no-one

#2   Joel on 08.09.06 at 8:03 pm

Well, I have nothing wrong with sad books, but I try to limit my intake of them to stay upbeat. I think you have to be careful about avoiding feeling bad about anyone, since it can quickly lead to ignorance. But then if you are reading books as an escape, which I often do, you should be able to avoid some of the crap in the world.

I personally prefer One news to 3 news, primarily because the 3 news people spend so much time trying to look flash and have jokes between the presenters. Of course, I don’t actually actively watch any news on television. I prefer national radio or the net for getting my information. TV news is too sensationalised.

#3   andrew brown on 08.09.06 at 8:41 pm

I get all my news from rss feeds from digg.com and if any news is relevant enough to me to get onto the front page of the something awful forums. so i am up on certain types of news that no-one else hears about for days, and i know nothing about most other bits of news.

i just don’t really get anything out of movies/books that make you sad or feel emotion for people/things. i’d rather feel awesome and watch funny/action movies.

#4   Joel on 08.09.06 at 10:56 pm

I’d personally call any book, that didn’t make you feel something for things or people, boring. Fictional books generally tend to be about people – emotion is a large part of human experience.

#5   Bob on 08.10.06 at 1:57 am

I saw Michael Baigent do a presentation in a Borders bookstore – he also was not a fan of Dan Brown. Interestingly I now find he is from ChCh – full circle!

#6   fairy princess on 08.10.06 at 2:40 pm

Cross Stitch and The Bronze Horseman are good romance novels, but I have read better, and they are in no way as good as Pride & Prejudice by any means. This list doesn’t change much from year to year. Which almost would make it seem that nobody is brave enough to read anything off the stupid list…
That or it is made up entirely by whitcoulls to sell certain books.
Also Dan Brown you suck!

#7   Jon on 08.11.06 at 2:24 am

I fucking hate Dan Brown. I wish I’d savaged ‘The da Vinci Code’ more when I blogged about it, but I tried to be generous to it because it was given to me as a christmas present.

#8   tatjna on 08.13.06 at 1:34 am

The Power of One is moving in a white-middle-class guilt kind of way, but ignoring that makes a nice escapist read with inspiration and emotion and stuff.

Angels and Demons was given to me as a present, it’s the same claptrap as DVC but it does include a fantastic description of an underground particle accelerator, and despite the bollocks I kept reading till the finish. Entertaining light reading.

Pride and Prejudice – you should read this. You should also read my blog post from last week about it. I particularly like the verbal duelling between the two protagonists, and the shock value of the attitudes that were current when it was written.

Oh I Am So Literate Oh Yes.


#9   leslie Hunter on 06.09.08 at 6:03 pm

I will be trying to teach some boys and girls about Rock Painting during the school holidays. I have7 books by Lin
Wellford one is Painting Flowers On Rocks ISBN 089134-945-6 . The latest is Rock Painting Fun for Everyone
ISBN 0-9777065-0-8 and on the opening page quotes most of her books. could you please tell me if these are available or can be obtained and the full price of each book [paper backed]. I will make these available to the children’s parents. Thanking you L.R. Hunter

#10   Joel on 06.09.08 at 6:06 pm


Uhhh, this is my personal blog. I don’t sell books.

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