Our lives in books, according to Facebook

classicbooksNo doubt you’ve seen the latest meme making the rounds on Facebook: A person names 10 books that have “stayed with them,” and challenges their online friends to do the same. The results have been interesting, not just in terms of which titles people pick, but why. A friend of mine chose Fifty Shades of Grey because it was “something I wish I could unread.” Another participant wrote that while most of her picks weren’t “literary works of art,” they were thought-provoking, and that was enough.

You can probably guess some of the most popular responses. The Bible. The Harry Potter series. The Great Gatsby. Thanks to research service Facebook Data Science, though, you don’t have to. The group scoured Facebook for mentions of the meme, aggregated the data, and came up with a list of the most commonly occurring books.

What does the list tell us? That we like our fantasy series, for sure, along with high school English curriculum classics. Unfortunately the results don’t include any context for why a book was chosen, but it’s great fun to imagine, and even greater fun to spot your own favorites and see where they stand.

What follows are the top 20 picks, along with the percentage of lists that contained them. Take a look at the full post for the top 100 books, too. Some of the selections are surprising.

21.08 Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
14.48 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
13.86 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
7.48 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
7.28 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
7.21 The Holy Bible
5.97 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
5.82 The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins
5.70 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
5.63 The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
5.61 The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
5.37 1984 – George Orwell
5.26 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
5.23 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
5.11 The Stand – Stephen King
4.95 Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
4.38 A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
4.27 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
4.05 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
4.01 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

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