Here's the newspaper's full list:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
2. The Bible
3. A Child Called It, Dave Pelzer
4. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, John Gray
5. Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
6. 1984, George Orwell
7. A Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela
8. The Beach, Alex Garland
9. The Time Travellers Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
10. The Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger
1984 leapt out at me, causing a "Huh?" moment, because I never thought of it as inspirational. Powerful, influential, horribly depressing, sad, maybe, but never inspirational. Reading it, rather than inspiring me, made it want to just give up and slit my wrists. I can accept Diary of Anne Frank as inspiring in spite of its grim story, because she does, after all, feel that "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."
But 1984, which says that "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human faceforever," and ends with one of the most chilling images I've ever read ... inspirational?
Not to me. How about you?