This morning came the big reveal, on the Globe and Mail’s new books website: the four secret panel members who, with Books editor Martin Levin, picked the Globe and Mail 50 Greatest Books.

Here’s the Globe’s description of the panel, and the inside scoop on the selection process from three members.  

Favourite quotes:

“For the record, here are the books I haven’t read on our list: Das KapitalThe Wealth of NationsThe KoranPrincipia Mathematica, half of Freud’s entertaining but (to me) interminable Interpretation of Dreams, half of Galileo’s Starry Messenger and Other Dialogues, and most of Wollenstonecraft’s Vindication (dreary beyond measure).” — André Alexis

“Trying to decide impossibilities such as whether Shakespeare should be represented by Hamlet or King Lear gave me something approaching a mild migraine.” – A. L. Kennedy

“I was taken aback when both Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians were axed. I was unable to convince my colleagues that these books reshaped their genres, besides being more accessible than a couple of our final choices ( The Mahabharata, anyone?) Bloomsbury, I guess, now has as much traction as the Chicago School of Neo-cons.” – Charlotte Gray

“I sent my fellow-panelists a querulous note explaining that I wanted to write about a book penned by a woman. ‘I am not making this point to be politically correct, but because I do not see me and my reading tastes completely reflected in the list so far.’ Our Great Books looked too like the kind of history syllabus taught half a century ago — all wars and laws, chaps and maps — that had nearly put me off history for life.” – Charlotte Gray

By the way, as part of the new Globe Books, Martin Levin has a new blog, and so does the section.

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