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The Hawking Index: Hillary Clinton’s 'Hard Choices' tops the list

Mathematician Jordan Ellenberg proposed this index to measure bestselling books that people do not manage to finish.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2020, 10.10 AM IST
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Let's talk about...

This has something to do with Stephen Hawking?
Yes. It takes off on his name.

Wasn't last month the physicist's birthday?
Yes, but it is not so much about him, rather more about a book of his.

'A Brief History of Time'?
Yes. And a bunch of others. Books that people buy but are unable to finish.

You mean books with snob value?
Am sure you have a few of those.

Now, now, let's not get personal. Tell me about this index. Who created it?
In 2014, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg proposed this index to measure bestselling books that people do not manage to finish.

How do you measure it?
He uses Amazon Kindle's popular highlights feature. The last highlight, he assumes, is the last page to which a reader is able to get through to in a book.

And what were the results? 'A Brief History of Time' topped the list?
No, it actually came in third.

So what was at the top?
Hillary Clinton’s 'Hard Choices'. Apparently, people had a hard time getting through it - on average they managed to read only 1.9% of the book.

Which book came second?
Thomas Piketty’s 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'.

Oh!
But guess what the biggest surprise was in the list? 'Fifty Shades of Grey' came in eighth!

Am surprised how could anyone, who bought that bestseller, did not manage to finish it?
So you see, book snobbery can be of many kinds.

Hey, please get the Hawking’s book from the shelf and read it together. May be, we will fare better.

'Quichotte', 'Lanny', 'Frankissstein': Your Guide To The 2019 Booker Prize Longlist

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25 Jul, 2019
The 2019 Booker Prize longlist, featuring eight women and five men authors, was announced on Wednesday. The honour, with a £50,000 prize for the best fiction original novel written in English language, holds immense significance in the literary world.This year's Booker dozen also includes two authors, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, who have previously bagged the big honour.A five-member panel announced this year's nominees picked from 151 novels, published in the United Kingdom and Ireland between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.The six finalists will be announced on September 3, and the winner will be revealed on October 14.Here's a look at the books that made to this year's longlist.
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