10 most popular books in Britain according to a vote done by the BBC Big Read. It took me a decade to read through the top 100 books on this list, so I hope you'll forgive me for taking a couple of months to quote from just the top 10.
Today, I finish with the most popular book in the UK - The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. This epic novel in three volumes is often held up as the primary example of fantasy fiction. Some people hate it, or at least can't see what the fuss is about. I happen to think it's pretty amazing. I gave it 9/10 for enjoyment when I read it. The entire story is very long, thus the scope for quotations is almost overwhelming. I'm not going to try to find an unusual quotation this time therefore, but will go instead for two of the most obvious ones - as befits the most popular book in Britain.
Firstly, a wonderful line that appears in literary tattoos and jewellery more than most:
"Not all who wander are lost."
And secondly, the famous poem about the rings themselves. I find it oddly chilling:
"Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
Which is your favourite of the top 10 books? (Jane Eyre; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; 1984; Winnie the Pooh; To Kill a Mockingbird; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; His Dark Materials; Pride and Prejudice; The Lord of the Rings)