7 April 2006

Chick lit

Recent reserch by the uni of London has compiled a list of liturature that has changed your life. The reseach, based on about 500 interviews found that "the novel that means most to men is about indifference, alienation and lack of emotional responses. That which means most to women is about deeply held feelings, a struggle to overcome circumstances and passion."

"We found that men do not regard books as a constant companion to their life's journey, as consolers or guides, as women do," said Prof Jardine. "They read novels a bit like they read photography manuals." Women readers used much-loved books to support them through difficult times and emotional turbulence, and tended to employ them as metaphorical guides to behaviour, or assupport and inspiration.

"The men's list was all angst and Orwell. Sort of puberty reading," she said. Ideas touching on isolation and "aloneness" were strong among the men's "milestone" books. "We were completely taken aback by the results," said Prof Jardine, who admitted that they revealed a pattern verging on a gender cliche, with women citing emotional, more domestic works, and men novels about social dislocation and solitary struggle.

Can you pick which list is which?

  • 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

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Middlemarch by George Elliot
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Golden Notebook by Dorris Lessing
  • Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  • Rememberence of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Oranges are not the only fruit by Janette Winterson
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
  • Little Women by Lousia May Alcott
  • Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
  • The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


meririsa said...

I can't imagine a woman putting hi-fidelity on their favourite book list. I've personally read equal amounts from each list, but not sure if I'd say I loved them. Don't you love (not) these gender stereotype articles that perpetually spring up? I rarely feel like I fit the woman's stereotype, nor that C-chan fits the male stereotype...

Betty Sue said...

I have read 12 from the male list and 8 from the female list; and none of them qualify as "books that changed my life". What does that make me?

BSharp said...

Clearly you're a gender misaligned, societal OUTCAST, Bettysue.

Hey I just posted this up because it was silly and funny.. and calls men adolescent (gender wars, who, me? never), not as a benchmark for reading. Also all the interviewees were english. Explains a lot.

mermaidgrrrl said...

What I think is interesting is that the male readers only seem to have one female author that I can see on their list, whilst the female readers have a mix of fe/male authors.