Friday, December 15, 2006


Teens vote for favorite young adult book

Teen readers across the country voted "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling as their favorite book to take the #1 spot on the annual Teens’ Top Ten (TTT), sponsored by The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association (ALA). The vote took place during Teen Read Week, October 15-21, 2006, and gave teens an opportunity to voice their choice of the best new young adult books.

TTT is a part of YALSA’s Young Adult (YA) Galley Project, which facilitates access to advance copies of young adult books to national teen book discussion groups. These groups evaluated books that were published from January 2005 through April 2006, and created a list off 22 nominations for the best new books for young adults. Teen voters across the country then cast ballots for their three favorites, creating the 2006 Teens’ Top Ten booklist of the best new books for young adults.

Teens were encouraged to vote for their favorite young adult books during Teen Read Week from the official nomination list posted online at the Teens’ Top Ten site. Over 5000 online ballots were cast and the results, combined with the results of a separate vote of the TTT groups, determined the final ranking of the 10 top books of the year, as selected by teen readers.

With J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter book topping the list, the 2006 Teens’ Top Ten includes:

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic Press, 2005).

2. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2005).

3. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005).

4. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (Delacorte Press, 2005).

5. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (Razorbill, 2005).

6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2005).

7. Poison by Chris Wooding (Orchard Books, 2005).

8. Captain Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart (Laura Geringer Books, 2005).

9. If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor (Hyperion Books for Children, 2005).

10. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers,

TTT voting groups include the CHS Book Club of Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo.; Middle Creek High School Printz Club of Middle Creek High School in Apex, N.C.; Teen Advisory Board (TAB) of Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library; Teen Literacy Initiative of Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wis.; Young Adult Advisory Council (YAAC) of City of Mesa (Ariz.) Library; Best Books for Young Adults Discussion Group of Elizabeth (N.J.) Public Library; City Library Street Team of Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library; Danbury Library Teen Council of Danbury (Conn.) Library; Keene (N.H.) Public Library’s Keene Teens Read group; Mary Jacobs Teen Group of Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in Rocky Hill, N.J.; Stratford (Conn.) Library Youth Review Board of the Stratford Library Association; Teen Advisory Board of Tippecanoe Public Library in Lafayette, Ind.; Teen Talk Book Club of Lincoln County High School Media Center in Stanford, Ky.; Watertown-Mayer Book Club of Watertown (Minn.) Public Library; and Young Adult Advisory Council (YAAC) of Johnson County Library in Shawnee Mission, Kan.

Margaret A. Edwards Winners

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, that have been popular over a period of time. The annual award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.

Margaret A. Edwards Winners:

1988 - S.E. Hinton for The Outsiders; Rumblefish; Tex; and That Was Then, This is Now.
1989 -No award given.
1990 - Richard Peck for Are You in the House Alone?; Father Figure; The Ghost Belonged to Me; Ghosts I Have Been; Secrets of the Shopping Mall; andRemembering the Good Times.
1991 - Robert Cormier for The Chocolate War; I Am the Cheese; and After the First Death
1992 - Lois Duncan for Chapters, My Growth as a Writer; I Know What You Did Last Summer; Killing Mr. Griffin; Ransom; Summer of Fear; and The Twisted Window.
1993 - M.E. Kerr for Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!; Gentlehand;, Me Me Me Me Me: Not a Novel; andNight Kites.
1994 - Walter Dean Myers for Hoops; Motown and Didi; Fallen Angels; and Scorpions.
1995 - Cynthia Voigt for Homecoming; Dicey's Song; A Solitary Blue; Building Blocks; The Runner; Jackaroo; and.
1996 - Judy Blume for Forever.
1997 - Gary Paulsen for Hatchet; Woodsong; Winter Room; The Crossing; Canyon; andDancing Carl.
1998 - Madeleine L’Engle for Meet the Austins; Ring of Endless Light; A Wrinkle in Time; and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.
1999 - Anne McCaffrey for Dragonflight; Dragonquest; The White Dragon; The Ship Who Sang; Dragonsong; Dragonsinger; andDragondrums.
2000 - Chris Crutcher for Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes; Athletic Shorts; Chinese Handcuffs; The Crazy Horse Electric Game; Stotan!; andRunning Loose.
2001 - Robert Lipsyte for The Contender; The Brave; The Chief; andOne Fat Summer.
2002 - Paul Zindel for The Pigman; The Pigman's Legacy; The Pigman & Me; My Darling, My Hamburger; andThe Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds: A Drama in Two Acts.
2003 - Nancy Garden for Annie on My Mind.
2004 - Ursula K. Le Guin for A Wizard of Earthsea; The Farthest Shore; Tombs of Atuan; Tehanu; The Left Hand of Darkness; and The Beginning Place.
2005 – Francesca Lia Block for Weetzie Bat; Witch Baby; Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys; Missing Angel Juan; and Baby Be-Bop.
2006 - Jacqueline Woodson for I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This; Lena; From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun; If You Come Softly;and Miracle’s Boys.

Best Books for Young Adults 2006


1. Akbar, Said Hyder and Burton, Susan. Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager's Story. Bloomsbury, 2005.
2. Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. Scholastic, 2005.
3. Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005.
4. Bolden, Tonya. Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century American Girl. Abrams, 2005.
5. Deem, James M. Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii. Houghton, 2005.
6. Delisle, Guy. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. Drawn and Quarterly, 2005.
7. Dendy, Leslie and Mel Boring. Guinea Pig Scientists: Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine. Holt, 2005.
8. Eisner, Will. The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Norton, 2005.
9. Farrell, Jeanette. Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives. Farrar, 2005.
10. Fleming, Candace. Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005


1. Adlington, L. J. The Diary of Pelly D. Greenwillow, 2005.
2. Bechard, Margaret. Spacer and Rat. Roaring Brook/Deborah Brodie, 2005.
3. Black, Holly. Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie. Simon & Schuster, 2005.
4. Bray, Libba. Rebel Angels. Delacorte, 2005.
5. Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. Dial, 2005.
6. Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. St. Martin's, 2005.
7. Castellucci, Cecil. Boy Proof. Candlewick, 2005.
8. Coburn, Jake. LoveSick. Dutton, 2005. .
9. Cummings, Priscilla. Red Kayak. Dutton, September 2004.
10. Delaney, Joseph. Revenge of the Witch. Greenwillow, 2005.

Members of the 2006 Best Books for Young Adults Committee were Lynn M. Rutan, Chair, Macatawa Bay School, Holland, MI; Leslie A. Acevedo, Flint Public Library, Flint, MI; Edith E.H. Cummings, Allen County Public Library, Hessen Cassel Branch, Fort Wayne, IN; Gretchen Haynes, Kansas City Public Library Southeast Branch, Kansas City, MO; Lynn E. Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI; Rick Orsillo, King County Library System, Shoreline Branch, Shoreline, WA; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN; Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped; Hollis Rudiger, Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; Karyn Silverman, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York, NY; Edward A. Spicer, Reviewer, Michigan Reading Journal, Allegan, MI; Karen J. Tannenbaum, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN; Deborah Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD; Cheryl Karp Ward, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, CT; Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT; Gillian Engberg, Consultant, Booklist, Chicago, IL; Cindy Dobrez, Administrative Assistant, Harbor Lights School, Holland, MI

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Best Books

Here are 61 books from the 973 reviewed that have particularly impressed me, divided into fiction and nonfiction lists. They can also be found in the other indices, marked with a "**".


* Ivo Andric: The Bridge on the Drina
- a novel of three centuries in eastern Bosnia

* Roberto Calasso: Ka
- a superb synthesis of Hindu mythology

* Bruce Chatwin: The Viceroy of Ouidah
- a short but powerful novel of West Africa

* Hugo Claus: The Sorrow of Belgium
- an adolescence in Flanders during World War II

* Frederick Crews: Postmodern Pooh
- biting parody of modern literary criticism

* John Gardner: Grendel
- an original and provoking philosophical novel

* Alan Garner: Strandloper
- an Australian convict escapes and joins the Aborigines

* Juan Goytisolo: The Marx Family Saga
- Karl Marx faces the failure of communism

* Stefan Heym: The King David Report
- a very funny novel about the politics of history in the 10th century BC

* Viðar Hreinsson: The Complete Sagas of Icelanders
- Icelandic tales of Viking Age feuds, legal conflicts, love affairs

* Imre Kertesz: Kaddish for a Child Not Born
- the introspective monologue of an Auschwitz survivor

* Ahmadou Kourouma: Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote
- the life story of an African dictator

* Halldór Laxness: Independent People
- the epic story of an Icelandic sheep farmer

* Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea Trilogy
A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore

* Primo Levi: The Periodic Table
- stories of a chemist working with elements

* Irmtraud Morgner: The Life and Adventures of Trobadora Beatrice as Chronicled by Her Minstrel Laura
- socialist magical realism from East Germany

* Borislav Pekic: How to Quiet a Vampire
- a psychological and philosophical novel of totalitarianism

* Marge Piercy: Woman on the Edge of Time
- parallel conflicts in a far-future utopia and a present mental hospital

* Mesa Selimovic: Death and the Dervish
- a spiritual crisis amidst Ottoman Bosnian politics

* James Tiptree Jr: Her Smoke Rose up Forever
- dark, powerful science fiction stories about sex and death

* Pramoedya Ananta Toer: This Earth of Mankind
- the Buru Quartet: novels of colonial Indonesia

* Mario Vargas Llosa: Conversation in the Cathedral
- a novel about power and politics in Peru in the early 1950s

* Peter Weiss: The Aesthetics of Resistance
- art and politics in pre-WWII Germany and Spain

* Austin Tappan Wright: Islandia
- gentle romance and captivating fantasy

* Roger Zelazny: Lord of Light
- epic science fiction using Hindu and Buddhist themes


* Martin Aigner, Günter M. Ziegler: Proofs from THE BOOK
- mathematical results that are beautiful, accessible, and profound

* Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, et al.: Essential Cell Biology
- An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell

* Kevin Bales: Disposable People
- a passionate but scholarly study of modern slavery

* Joel Beinin, Joe Stork: Political Islam
Essays from Middle East Report

* David Bellos: Georges Perec
A Life in Words

* Fernand Braudel: Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century
- a social and economic history of the shaping of the modern world

* Marc Zvi Brettler: The Creation of History in Ancient Israel
- the biblical authors and their presentations of the past

* Timothy Brook: The Confusions of Pleasure
Commerce and Culture in Ming China

* Dorothy L. Cheney, Robert M. Seyfarth: How Monkeys See the World
Inside the Mind of Another Species

* Robert Cribb: Historical Atlas of Indonesia
- learned and lavish

* Alan Davidson: The Oxford Companion to Food
- a gloriously erudite encyclopedia of biology, culture, history

* Gary William Flake: The Computational Beauty of Nature
Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation

* Ronald Fraser: Blood of Spain
An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War

* Stephen Jay Gould: Ontogeny and Phylogeny
- the history of recapitulation; developmental timing and evolution

* Stewart Guthrie: Faces in the Clouds
A New Theory of Religion

* Bert Hölldobler, Edward O. Wilson: The Ants
- ant ecology, ethology and evolutionary biology

* Cemal Kafadar: Between Two Worlds
The Construction of the Ottoman State

* Audrey Kahin: Regional Dynamics of the Indonesian Revolution
- an unusually appealing essay collection on 1945-50

* Patrick Vinton Kirch: On the Road of the Winds
An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Conquest

* Donald E. Knuth: The Art of Computer Programming
Fundamental Algorithms; Seminumerical Algorithms; Sorting and Searching

* Richard Lewontin: Human Diversity
- the realities of human biological variation

* Cecilia Lindqvist: China, Empire of the Written Symbol
- Chinese history and culture through written characters

* Jessica Litman: Digital Copyright
- intellectual property and the Internet

* Nancy A. Lynch: Distributed Algorithms
- for a deep understanding of formal methods

* Harry Mathews, Alastair Brotchie: Oulipo Compendium
- people, works, and forms, with extensive examples

* John McPhee: Annals of the Former World
- travels across the United States with geologists

* Arthur Morris: The Art of Bird Photography
The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques

* Brian Morris: Anthropological Studies of Religion
An Introductory Text

* Jakob Nielsen: Designing Web Usability
The Practice of Simplicity

* Karl J. Niklas: The Evolutionary Biology of Plants
- evolution makes sense of otherwise unconnected areas of botany

* S. Robert Ramsey: The Languages of China
- social, cultural, and historical background as well as linguistics

* Orrin W. Robinson: Old English and its Closest Relatives
A Survey of the Earliest Germanic Languages

* James C. Scott: Weapons of the Weak
Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance

* Elliott Sober: Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology
- a mix of classic papers and more recent material

* Edward R. Tufte: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
- the classic work on statistical graphics

* Mary E. White: After the Greening
- a geological and botanical history of Australia

Monday, November 20, 2006

The world's best books

When Melvyn Bragg set out to pick the books that changed mankind he found himself making some startling choices
Debate: Which are the world's best books?
About nine years ago, when I was reading about Isaac Newton, I imagined this awkward, unhappy, driven young man sitting alone and in silence in his home, a farmhouse, forcing his mind to construct theories that eventually changed the world and changed it radically. Out of the unlikely context of that Lincolnshire farmhouse would come revolutions in thought whose force and consequences reordered human life.

The juxtaposition of the solitary figure working to produce such a modest and harmless-looking object as a book and the explosion this caused in the minds of men and women then and since led me to look for others whose intense preoccupation posted in placid pages had seized the story of our species. That a mere book should have such power!

We think of the world changing 65m years ago when an asteroid hastened the death of the dinosaurs and allowed space for the growth of the mammals. We think of the upheavals in ancient ice ages and fear global warming to come. We know about the destructions of war and the inspirational energy that can bring about peace.

There was the American revolution, the French revolution, perhaps most important of all the industrial revolution, the draining of populations from the countryside to the cities. There was the extension of the lifespan, the eruptive transformations brought by the advances of technology. The rise and rise of mass consumerism. . . A mere book seems a very unlikely contender as a world-changing catalyst.

Yet for those of us who love to read, the idea that a book can have an influence is not news. Our perceptions have been shaped through books, our store of information heaped up, our tastes extended, perhaps refined, our sense of humour tickled, our sense of well-being restored or reinforced; we have been excited, alerted, moved, consoled, felt less alone, even felt morally improved and inspired — at least for a while. We know that books can change us as individuals.

On a different level books have often been and still are the agents of creeds that have shaped and reshaped humanity. These generally religious books would, I think, have figured prominently in the reckoning for a list of the 12 most influential books in the world. At one stage I had a list dominated by the ancient Greeks, books of God, Marx and Mao and two or three books of science. It felt unsatisfactory; too ambitious and, despite the undoubted importance, not very lively as a selection.

Out of the several lists that followed, I eventually saw that a number of books by British authors had a fair claim to have changed the world. Indeed it was difficult to cut down the number to 12 — James Clerk Maxwell, Tom Paine and Dr Johnson, for instance, were hard to omit. The British have produced and still do produce a high yield in key thoughts, inventions and proposals. By omitting the definite article — these are not the 12 books — I believed a case could be made for 12 books from these islands and that is what I try to do. The British provide a surprisingly rich crop.

From the beginning I wanted to enjoy a range. Leisure and literature would, if I could make it work, figure alongside science and the constitution; changes in society as well as changes in technology would be addressed. This has meant taking a risk and, now and then, elasticating the strict meaning of the word “book”.

For instance I thought it essential, given its key constitutional importance, to include Magna Carta which, though produced by the royal chancery in 1215 as a formal royal grant, became in effect a vital and enduring book of reference, the basic book of our constitution and that of many others, most importantly of America and India.

Certain books suggested themselves, most especially Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687), Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776), Michael Faraday’s Experimental Researches in Electricity (1855) and William Tyndale’s massive contribution to the King James Bible (1611).

It was, I thought, impossible to ignore William Wilberforce’s successful campaign for the abolition of slavery. True, it began as a four-hour-long speech in the House of Commons in 1789, but it was reproduced in print immediately afterwards and it is in its book form that its revolutionary and lasting influence resides. Nor could the emergence of women as equals in every respect be neglected and in different ways Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and Marie Stopes’s Married Love (1918) spoke authoritatively and with far-reaching influence on that.

The arts could not be omitted, I thought, and nor could leisure. William Shakespeare’s posthumously published First Folio in 1623 will be argued for as a book that has ever since changed and reshaped minds. The first Book of Rules of Association Football (1863) enabled the world to play a game which now commands a unique and previously uncharted, unimagined empire of followers, participants, fanatics and rich merchants.

Which leaves the Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine (1769). I was being shown over his now-derelict mills in Derbyshire and learnt then how crucially important this invention was to an industrial revolution that has never stopped. This was made possible by a patent cunningly and skilfully put on paper by Richard Arkwright. A patent, I thought, could be called an entrepreneur-inventor’s book.

One of the people I spoke to when I was thinking about this list was my friend Howard Jacobson, the novelist. He was dismayed that it held no novelists. “I’m a novelist, you’re a novelist, we love novels, novels changed my life and novels changed your life, good novels change lives every day; a list without a novel? Without one, not one, novel?” A mild paraphrase: Howard on song can be rather more emphatic than that. (Shakespeare did not satisfy him.)

I defended the list I had drawn up. I said that I wanted books that I could prove had changed, rootedly, the lives of people all over the land — people on trains, people at airports, people in clubs and pubs, women who were still campaigning for equality and enjoying the long-awaited acknowledgment of their right to orgasm, men who week in week out played, watched, celebrated and discussed a game so beautifully and simply constructed it remains a masterpiece of socio-leisure architecture, those who hold religious truths to be self-evident and those whose conscious and unconscious lives have been readjusted by the revelations from the Galapagos Islands, the industrialists and financiers who ride and lubricate international capitalism calling on the market and free trade as its two true parents, those whose lives are devoted to seeking freedoms which were given such a lead in the abolition of the slave trade, those who go to the moon, put on the light, send a fax, vote in a democratic country, fight for their rights; those whose daily lives and the reach of whose minds and ambitions have been transformed by books which set off a shot that rang around the world. Or words to that effect.

So where, I had asked myself, in preparing this list, was Middlemarch? Bleak House? Women in Love? And for any passionate fiction reader, a list of novels could go on until the end of the book.

Yet that was one of the difficulties. Though Middlemarch might well have changed the life and thought of Howard Jacobson and others, it is not as easy to quantify as an electric light or flying to the moon. Where can we weigh the good done by Middlemarch, where quantify the benefit to the world at large, where find a plausible proof that it can have a claim to have changed the world?

And yet . . . I grew up and am still, I hope, growing up partly through books. I can remember so many books that touched and, for a while, changed my life. Schoolboy tales of square-jawed, honest, Christian and true Tom Browns made me pull myself together for an hour or two while still in short trousers; the romance of Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers had me making a bow out of two yards of cane bought at the ironmonger’s and fashioning a sword from any likely slim branch of a tree which could be hacked off.

On it went and on it goes still. Did the reading of Proust enlarge my sense of the possibilities of memory in life and in fiction? I hope so. Do the sentences of Samuel Beckett still ring down there in the helpful caverns of literary memory, the majestic lives of Dickens change the landscape of enjoyment and of a fictional world of a real city? I hope so . . . and on it goes still.

Every one of you will have a different list. Some can be books rarely remembered now and modest even when they were first published, but books that somehow made us recognise what we more largely could be and changed us. But I find it difficult to take a single novel, or even, given all the benefits possible, a body of work by DH Lawrence, for instance, and track through, as I have been able to do I hope with the other books, the ways in which they met the grand challenge of changing the world out there.

Changing a single world, yes. And yes, those small fields of influence can and sometimes do grow in power over the years so that The Waste Land, which first fell largely on barren soil, became in my generation an accessible quarry of modernist mantras. But nevertheless, to hold to the argument about a book that flooded the world with newness and observable change, it was reluctantly my conclusion that to take a novel would be a testament of hope rather than a statement of what actually happens.

What I wanted the books on my list to have in common was that they changed the world to that in which we now live. They could be reduced to plausible snapshots. You could walk into a pub or an airport, go on an outing or just stay in your house, and be aware of what these books had delivered to the lives you daily led and saw.

Newton took us to the moon; Faraday gave us electricity; Darwin took away God and the gods who had been there since civilisation began; Mary Wollstonecraft started the struggle for the equality of women and Marie Stopes for their right to control and enjoy their sex and family lives.

After Wilberforce the equality of the races was on the march and Magna Carta is the keystone of opposition to the exercise of tyrannic power. Our markets operate through the laws of Adam Smith, our imaginations are most exercised by Shakespeare, our work organised by Arkwright, our language and religious thought by the King James Bible and our world-dominating sport by the FA Book of Rules.

It seems to me all but miraculous that amid the tumult of events and the melee of competing dramas, despite the uproars of wars and politics and all the bombast of the daily news, these British voices began, all of them, with the quiet strokes of a quill or a pen and were formed in seclusion to be sent out into the world, where a fuse was lit. There then followed a conceptual chain reaction, sometimes of awesome proportions, which changed the way all of us lead and experience our lives.

© Melvyn Bragg 2006 Extracted from Twelve Books that Changed the World, by Melvyn Bragg, to be published on April 10 by Hodder & Stoughton at £20. Copies can be ordered for £17.99 including postage from The Sunday Times BooksFirst on 0870 165 8585. ITV series begins on April 16


Principia Mathematica (1687) by Isaac Newton

Married Love (1918) by Marie Stopes

Magna Carta (1215) by members of the English ruling classes

Book of Rules of Association Football (1863) by a group of former English public-school men

On the Origin of Species (1859) by Charles Darwin

On the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1789) by William Wilberforce in Parliament, immediately printed in several versions

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft

Experimental Researches in Electricity (three volumes, 1839, 1844, 1855) by Michael Faraday

Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine (1769) by Richard Arkwright

The King James Bible (1611) by William Tyndale and 54 scholars appointed by the king

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith

The First Folio (1623) by William Shakespeare