Stef (firecat) wrote,

Alternative book list

The Telegraph published a list of the "50 best cult books", which consisted primarily of white male authors.

Nisi Shawl and Nin Harris responded by creating an alternate list of Best Cult Books:

Nisi says:
Cult books are, by my definition, books that introduce the reader to a culture, a group of people who share values delineated by the book. Such books may be big seller or underground hits passed along via loans, but they have an impact beyond that of run-of-the-mill works. And they draw people in rather than merely preaching to the choir: they convert readers into believers.

Since I must interact with all book lists by cataloguing whether I have read them, here are the lists, and the ones I've read are in bold. But please go read the original alternative book list, because the reasons Nisi and Nin gave for why they chose these books are succinct and beautiful.

Nisi and Nin's list

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Didn't finish, but got the basic idea)
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Roots by Alex Haley
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
Howl by Allen Ginsberg
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide by Ntozake Shange
Jambalaya by Luisah Teish
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
Cheri by Colette
Black Looks by bell hooks
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
The Sensuous Woman by J
I Hate to Housekeep by Peg Bracken (No, but I read her book I Hate to Cook because my mom had it.)
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
I Ching (the Wilhelm Baynes translation) (Don't know if I've read that translation)
Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday
Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moor Lappe
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Woman, Native, Other by Trinh T-Minh Ha
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Matigari by Ngugi Wa Thiong’O
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Dykes to Watch out For by Alison Bechdel

And the Telegraph list:

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám tr by Edward FitzGerald
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
A Rebours by JK Huysmans
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Baby and Child Care by Doctor Benjamin Spock
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health by L Ron Hubbard
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
Story of O by Pauline Réage
The Outsider by Colin Wilson
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Dune by Frank Herbert
(Huh? A cult book?)
The Magus by John Fowles
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Chariots of the Gods: Was God An Astronaut? by Erich Von Däniken
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russell Munson
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsig
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979)
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln
Iron John: a Book About Men by Robert Bly
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
No Logo by Naomi Klein (2000)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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