David McCandless likes to take numbers and put them together in engaging ways. One of his most recent efforts takes book recommendation data, from sources like Goodreads, the Pullitzer Prize, Oprah’s Reading List and more and puts them together into an interactive, graphic display.
Mining that data reveals a strong showing for science fiction, fantasy and horror works.
Like tag clouds, the size of the font is indicative of relative strength (the larger the font, the more recommended a work is, apparently).
Here’s a list of the genre titles we could identify, in what we believe to be in descending order of recommendation:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
1984 by George Orwell
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
*The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
*The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
(The following are all approximately the same font size and are presented alphabetically by author)
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Crash by J. G. Ballard
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The following are all approximately the same font size and are presented in alphabetical order by author)
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Dune by Frank Herbert
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
(*Courtesy include though the authors won’t admit their genre roots)
There are a total of 112 works listed in the graphic (though I might be off by one or two); there are 97 “genre” works in the listing – a whopping 25.8 percent! Which is quite large when you consider that the graphic displays “Novels Everyone Should Read”, which necessarily includes every single genre out there, – science fiction, fantasy, horror, western, mystery, literary, romance, adventure tales, social commentary and satire, the list is nearly endless.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there are three authors with two works each listed: Orwell, Rand and Tolkein.
You can view the original graphic here.
And here they all are in a gallery!