One major author was excluded from The Queen’s Jubilee honours reading list

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Here's who...

    To mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, she has released a list of seventy must-read books to celebrate her 70-year reign.

    The Big Jubilee Read consists of ten books that define each decade of The Queen’s rulership since she was crowned in 1952.

    Many fans were shocked to discover that certain best-selling authors didn’t make the cut – including JK Rowling.

    Despite over 500 million copies being sold worldwide, not a single Harry Potter book is to be seen on the list.

    An expert panel of literary specialists compiled the list, so it may not have been The Queen’s personal choice to omit the author.

    Many have speculated that Rowling’s omission from the list is due to the transgender comments controversy, which has caused an ongoing backlash from loyal fans and the Harry Potter cast.

    Wondering who the expert panel that decided who made the shortlist were? The Jubilee reading list was compiled by the BBC and The Reading Agency.

    Debbie Hicks, creative director of The Reading Agency who helped compile the shortlist, said on the selection process: “We want this list to be the start of a national conversation about great reads. We were determined that this would be a reader-driven list.”

    Suzy Klein, Head of Arts at the BBC, added that the list “is a real opportunity to discover stories from across continents” with “books that we may not otherwise read and reading authors whose work deserves a spotlight to be shone on.”

    Susheila Nasta, a professor of modern literature at Queen Mary University, has addressed the fact that Harry Potter franchise didn’t make the list and shared there was a “big discussion about JK Rowling.”

    She detailed that while Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone made the long list, they were faced with “very tricky decisions” and didn’t include it in the final list as it’s a “children’s book.”

    But fans have been quick to point out that Markus Zusak’s 2005 novel The Book Thief made the list despite being a young adult book.

    Titles on the list include Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, the fantastic 1956 novel about the Windrush generation moving to London, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other. 

    You can find the full list (without any Harry) here. What do you reckon – was it the right move?

    Reading now

    Popular entertainment stories