If you’ve been on Facebook sometime in the last few weeks, you may have seen your friends posting lists of 10 books that have had an impact on them.
The introduction to the post goes something like this: “List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes, and don’t think too hard. They do not have to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.”
Each person then shares 10 books and then challenges a few friends to do the same.
Now, thanks to data from researchers Lada Adamic and Pinkesh Patel, we know which books Facebook users say have made a most memorable impact. To compile the list, Adamic and Patel analysed 130,000 status updates that contained the words “10 books” or “ten books” and that were posted in the last two weeks of August 2014.
They also included a percentage that indicated just how many of the 130,000 lists included each of the books.
Here are the top 20 books, ranked by how often they were named in Facebook statuses:
1. “Harry Potter” series, J.K. Rowling (named in 21.08% of lists)
2. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee (named in 14.48% of lists)
3. “The Lord of the Rings,” J.R.R. Tolkien (named in 13.86% of lists)
4. “The Hobbit,” J.R.R. Tolkien (named in 7.48% of lists)
5. “Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen (named in 7.28% of lists)
6. “The Holy Bible” (named in 7.21% of lists)
7. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Douglas Adams (named in 5.97% of lists)
8. “The Hunger Games” trilogy, Suzanne Collins (named in 5.82% of lists)
9. “The Catcher in the Rye,” J.D. Salinger (named in 5.7% of lists)
10. “The Chronicles of Narnia,” C.S. Lewis (named in 5.63% of lists)
11. “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald (named in 5.61% of lists)
12. “1984,” George Orwell (named in 5.37% of lists)
13. “Little Women,” Louisa May Alcott (named in 5.26% of lists)
14. “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Bronte (named in 5.23% of lists)
15. “The Stand,” Stephen King (named in 5.11% of lists)
16. “Gone with the Wind,” Margaret Mitchell (named in 4.95% of lists)
17. “A Wrinkle in Time,” Madeleine L’Engle (named in 4.38% of lists)
18. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Margaret Atwood (named in 4.27% of lists)
19. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” C.S. Lewis (named in 4.05% of lists)
20. “The Alchemist,” Paulo Coelho (named in 4.01% of lists)
The researches also created this neat graphic showing the connections among the books: “In the network visualisation, each node represents a book, sized by the frequency with which it was mentioned, as an edge represents an unusual number of co-occurrences of the two books in the lists.”