The League Table

Year by year, page by page; from our first meeting we savoured – and scrutinised – each book, play, poem & short story. While our favourite titles span a wide range of different authors, the ratings table is dominated by a few familiar names: Charles Dickens, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh account for six of the top 10 books in our ratings table.

Below is the league table of all books read based on our annual member survey. Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square enjoys the top spot after fending off Aleksandr Solzhenstenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch and one of the group’s most highly-regarded books, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The years 2008 and 2009 are most represented in the Top 20 with three separate titles each but it is 2007 which is the most decorated, with two books in the Top 10, including Hangover Square (No. 1) and What a Carve Up! (7).

LoveliestBookGroup.com League Table

Title Author Rating Year Month Owner
1 Hangover Square Patrick Hamilton 3.93 2007 July Anthony
2 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch Aleksandr Solzhenstenitsyn 3.80 2009 June Kay
3 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey 3.71 2004 March EmmaJ
4 David Copperfield Charles Dickens 3.61 2010 Sept John
5 The Quiet American Graham Greene 3.50 2003 July EmmaT
6 Great Expectations Charles Dickens 3.38 2008 Nov Anthony
7 What a Carve Up! Jonathan Coe 3.35 2007 Nov EmmaJ
8 Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh 3.16 2012 Jan John
9 Brighton Rock Graham Greene 3.06 2004 June John
10 Scoop Evelyn Waugh 2.80 2005 Jan EmmaJ
11 Alone in Berlin Hans Fallada 2.78 2011 Sept EmmaT
12 Brick Lane Monica Ali 2.74 2003 Sept EmmaJ
13 City of Glass Paul Auster 2.53 2005 May EmmaT
14 In Cold Blood Truman Capote 2.50 2006 July John
15 All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Remarque 2.48 2008 June Catherine
16 The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemmingway 2.36 2006 Aug Baljit
17 The Man Who Fell to Earth Walter Tevis 2.29 2012 April Miranda
18 Ethan Frome Edith Wharton 2.28 2009 Jan EmmaT
The Pillowman Martin McDonagh 2.28 2009 April Catherine
20 Death and the Penguin Andrew Kurkov 2.25 2008 May John
21 A Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes 2.21 2012 May Sue
22 The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle 2.15 2009 Feb Baljit
23 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold 2.13 2003 Dec Baljit
24 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 2.09 2004 July EmmaT
25 Nights at the Circus Angela Carter 2.08 2006 Feb EmmaT
26 To Build a Fire Jack London 2.02 2010 July DKB
27 The Sisters Brothers Patrick de Witt 1.95 2011 Oct EmmaJ
28 The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Leo Tolstoy 1.88 2010 Feb Catherine
29 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1.87 2005 Feb John
30 The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler 1.80 2008 April Anthony
31 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad 1.67 2006 Sept EmmaT
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro 1.67 2006 Dec DKB
33 Under the Skin Michel Faber 1.62 2007 Aug Catherine
A Room with a View EM Foster 1.60 2005 Aug DKB
34 Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim David Sedaris 1.60 2005 April Baljit
36 The White Tiger Aravind Adiga 1.55 2011 Nov Baljit
We Need To Talk About Kevin Lionel Shriver 1.55 2011 Dec DKB
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller Italo Calvino 1.52 2003 Oct DKB
38 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho 1.52 2003 Aug Kay
Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe 1.50 2007 May Kay
Christie Malry’s Own Double-entry B.S. Johnson 1.50 2007 Oct John
40 Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald 1.50 2007 Feb John
Black Swan Green David Mitchell 1.44 2011 June Miranda
43 Catch 22 Joseph Heller 1.44 2010 June Baljit
45 The Outsider Albert Camus 1.29 2004 Aug Baljit
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami 1.29 2004 Oct Nate
47 Lie in the Dark Dan Fesperman 1.25 2006 June EmmaJ
48 The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton 1.16 2010 May EmmaT
49 The Invention Of Morel Adolfo Bioy Casares 1.14 2009 March John
50 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Mark Haddon 1.13 2004 Feb Kay
Bright Lights, Big City Jay McInerney 1.03 2011 April John
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont Elizabeth Taylor 1.03 2012 June DKB
51 The Spy Who Came in From the Cold John le Carré 1.03 2011 March Catherine
Mister Pip Lloyd Jones 0.90 2008 Aug Baljit
54 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester 0.90 2008 July DKB
56 A Far Cry from Kensington Muriel Spark 0.89 2009 May EmmaJ
57 Clybourne Park Bruce Norris 0.83 2011 July DKB
58 Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller 0.81 2004 Dec DKB
59 Small Island Andrea Levy 0.80 2005 Sept EmmaJ
60 Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? Raymond Carver 0.72 2010 Jan John
61 In Patagonia Bruce Chatwin 0.71 2012 March Anthony
62 The Enchantment of Lily Dahl Siri Hustvedt 0.67 2005 Dec DKB
63 Revolutionary Road Richard Yates 0.58 2010 Oct Catherine
Strangers on a Train Patricia Highsmith 0.58 2010 Dec DKB
65 Home Marilynne Robinson 0.51 2009 Nov Baljit
67 December Heat Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza 0.45 2008 March EmmaJ
66 The Prime Minister: The Job and Its Holders Since 1945 Peter Hennessy 0.45 2008 Jan Baljit
68 Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf 0.43 2010 April Anthony
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Maggie O?Farrell 0.43 2010 Nov EmmaJ
70 Blink Malcolm Gladwell 0.42 2006 Nov Kay
71 The End of Mr. Y Scarlett Thomas 0.35 2007 Dec DKB
72 Three Days of Rain Richard Greenberg 0.34 2008 Dec DKB
73 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. Covey 0.32 2004 Nov Kay
74 Hard Times Charles Dickens 0.24 2012 Feb Catherine
75 A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini 0.23 2008 Feb Kay
76 The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop Lewis Buzbee 0.16 2012 July EmmaT
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Charles Mackay 0.14 2006 March Kay
79 In the Company of the Courtesan Sarah Dunant 0.14 2006 April DKB
77 Neuromancer William Gibson 0.14 2006 Jan Nate
The Tell-Tale Heart Edgar Allan Poe 0.14 2010 July DKB
81 Quantity Theory of Insanity Will Self 0.13 2005 July Kay
Something to Tell You Hanif Kureishi 0.13 2009 July Anthony
The Black Dahlia James Ellroy 0.13 2009 Sept DKB
84 Seven Years in Tibet Heinrich Harre 0.10 2011 Jan EmmaT
The End of the Party Andrew Rawnsley 0.10 2011 Feb Baljit
86 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller 0.00 2004 Jan EmmaT
Answering Back Carol Ann Duffy 0.00 2009 Oct EmmaT
Catfish and Mandala Andrew Pham 0.00 2007 April EmmaT
Diary Chuck Palahniuk 0.00 2004 April Nate
Difficult Daughters Manju Kapoor 0.00 2007 March Baljit
Hey Nostradamus! Douglas Coupland 0.00 2004 May DKB
Letters from the Earth Mark Twain 0.00 2006 Oct Nate
Rabbit, Run John Updike 0.00 2011 May Anthony
Shadow Web NM Browne 0.00 2010 March EmmaJ
The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe 0.00 2010 July DKB
The Crying of Lot 49 Thomas Pynchon 0.00 2009 Dec DKB
The Lottery Shirley Jackson 0.00 2010 July DKB
The Minister’s Black Veil Nathaniel Hawthorne 0.00 2010 July DKB
The Purloined Letter Edgar Allan Poe 0.00 2010 July DKB
Ways Of Hearing: A User’s Guide To The Pop Psyche From Elvis to Eminem Ben Thompson 0.00 2005 Nov John

How This Table is Calculated

Each year, our membership is asked to select their favourite five titles as well as rate the overall quality of the year’s selections. A weighted calculation of both is combined to create the above table which is updated annually.

It may appear counter-intuitive that the our Favourites and Top Titles table are not the same but Favourites are calculated differently: all historical members of LBG were asked to consider their favourites from all books read; Top Titles are calculated in the context of individual years when membership will fluctuate.