The Telegraph’s done a Best Cult Books list. A contentious proposition, the list includes the classics like Slaughterhouse 5, Catch-22 and Gravity’s Rainbow, plus slightly unexpected entries like Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care, and Naomi Wolfe’s Beauty Myth. And of course, the comments on the page are full of ‘But you missed…’ and ‘That’s not a cult book!’
What is a cult book, anyway? The Telegraph puts it as an intangible difference, that just makes them stand apart from the usual bestsellers. They’re often those books that sell by word-of-mouth, or the books that change the way people think, and tap into key characteristics of a generation or subculture. Or maybe they’re just the books you took very seriously when you were 17.