Favourite & Least Favourite Books

No. 41 in our running order but No. 1 in our hearts, Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square reigns as the top choice from our first 10 years — our ‘Favourite Book’, as voted by all LBG members.

It marks a strong showing from 2007, the only year to feature two titles in the top five of our voting. Jonathan Coe joins Hamilton with his book, What a Carve Up!, selected from the same year.

Charles Dickens is the only author who enjoyed two titles in the top 20 on our favourites list, with Great Expectations and David Copperfield.

Our Favourite Titles (2003 – 2012)

Title Owner
1 Hangover Square Anthony
2 One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest EmmaJ
3 Great Expectations Anthony
  What a Carve Up! EmmaJ
5 All Quiet on the Western Front Catherine
6 Christie Malry’s Own Double-entry John
7 Bonfire of the Vanities Kay
Brideshead Revisited John
David Copperfield John
Never Let Me Go DKB
Tender is the Night John
The White Tiger Baljit
13 The Sense of an Ending Sue
Alone in Berlin EmmaT
15 Brighton Rock John
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller DKB
The Sisters Brothers EmmaJ
18 Black Swan Green Miranda
In Cold Blood John
One Hundred Years of Solitude John
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Nate
22 Death and the Penguin John
Ethan Frome EmmaT
Lolita EmmaT
The Big Sleep Anthony


Our Least Favourite Titles

Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller is named our ‘Least Favourite’ title from our first decade, a book read by the group in 2003.

Joining Calvino in the bottom three is The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon and, intruigingly, Hard Times by Charles Dickens, the author whose books feature twice in the list of favourite titles and who tops our Favourite Authors list. The four-way tie for No. 3 also includes John Updike’s Rabbit, Run, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and Ways of Hearing: A User’s Guide to the Pop Psyche from Elvis to Eminem by Ben Thompson.

Our Least Favourite Titles (2003 – 2012)

Title Owner
1 If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller DKB
2 The Crying of Lot 49 DKB
3 Hard Times Catherine
  Rabbit, Run Anthony
  The Alchemist Kay
  Ways Of Hearing: A User’s Guide To The Pop Psyche From Elvis to Eminem John
7 One Hundred Years of Solitude John
7 Habits of Highly Effective People Kay
A Canticle for Leibowitz EmmaT
The Invention Of Morel John
We Need To Talk About Kevin DKB
12 Blink Kay
Diary Nate
Neuromancer Nate
Quantity Theory of Insanity Kay
16 Letters from the Earth Nate


You can also see the full list of books we’ve read and the author league table.