Facebook, the Bible, and C.S. Lewis


“List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way,” a recent Facebook meme directed. “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.”

The social network’s data science team then gathered more than 130,000 status updates from its users (mostly American women in their late 30s) to sort out the books mentioned most.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series topped the list of influential books, with more than 20 percent of examined users naming the series. But the Bible placed No. 6, listed by more than 7 percent of those answering the meme. And C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia placed No. 10, with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe itself placing No. 19.

The Facebook top 20:

  1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  3. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
  4. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. The Holy Bible
  7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  8. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  9. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  10. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  11. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. 1984 by George Orwell
  13. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  15. The Stand by Stephen King
  16. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  17. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  18. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  19. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  20. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Chronicles of Narnia and the Bible were cited as influential by slightly more women than men, according to a Facebook graphic. Those who listed the Narnia tales tended to also list The Hobbit (No. 4) and The Lord of the Rings (No. 3) by J. R. R. Tolkien. Those who listed the Bible as an influence were more likely to also name The Help by Kathryn Stockett (No. 48), The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and The Shack by William P. Young (No. 58).

Eight of the top 20 books match up to a poll released in April by Harris Interactive, asking respondents to name their favorite book of all time.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra

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