The Pop Cultural Landscape (According to Books)

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Earlier this week, we spotted a great list of the most mentioned songs in literature over at PWxyz. They’d gotten their info from Small Demons, a fantastic website devoted to connecting books to each other and to the world in interesting ways. Inspired, we did some exploring of our own, and came up with a snapshot of the pop cultural landscape — at least if our books can be believed. Though all of these lists are of necessity always changing as new works get added to the database (and the world), we still think they give a pretty good picture — click through to see the artists, musicians, songs, films and even clothing brands that get most mentioned in literature printed in English, and let us know if you think the book world reflects our culture accurately in the comments.

The 10 Most Mentioned Songs in Literature:

1. “Hey Jude,” The Beatles

2. “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley

3. “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin

4. “We are the World”

5. “Dancing Queen,” ABBA

6. “Blue Suede Shoes,” Carl Perkins

7. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” The Beatles

8. “Eleanor Rigby,” The Beatles

9. “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana

10. “Macarena,” Los del Rio

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Movies in Literature:

1. Star Wars

2. The Godfather

3. Gone With the Wind

4. The Exorcist

5. Citizen Kane

6. Pretty Woman

7. Psycho

8. The Birth of a Nation

9. The Graduate

10. Silence of the Lambs

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned TV Shows in Literature:

1. Sesame Street

2. 60 Minutes

3. Saturday Night Live

4. The Today Show

5. The Simpsons

6. I Love Lucy

7. Sex and the City

8. ESPN Monday Night Football

9. American Idol

10. Seinfeld

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Artworks in Literature:

1. The Rosetta Stone

2. Venus de Milo

3. The Mona Lisa

4. The Thinker

5. Chartres Cathedral

6. The Sistine Chapel ceiling

7. The Scream

8. Winged Victory

9. The Kentuckian

10. The Birth of Venus

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Magazines in Literature:

1. The New Yorker

2. Newsweek

3. Playboy

4. Vogue

5. Time

6. National Geographic

7. Fortune

8. People

9. Life

10. The Atlantic

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Plays in Literature:

1. Macbeth

2. The Tempest

3. Guys and Dolls

4. A Streetcar Named Desire

5. Follies

6. The Importance of Being Earnest

7. Tartuffe

8. Saint Joan

9. Nativity Play

10. Phèdre

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Cities in Literature:

1. Paris

2. London

3. New York

4. Boston

5. Rome

6. Los Angeles

7. New Orleans

8. Seattle

9. Vienna

10. Venice

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Musicians (and Bands) in Literature:

1. Elvis

2. Frank Sinatra

3. Madonna

4. Michael Jackson

5. Bob Dylan

6. John Lennon

7. The Rolling Stones

8. Mick Jagger

9. Bruce Springsteen

10. Bing Crosby

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Painters in Literature:

1. Pablo Picasso

2. Michelangelo

3. Rembrandt

4. Claude Monet

5. Andy Warhol

6. Raphael

7. Botticelli

8. Leonardo da Vinci

9. Titian

10. Norman Rockwell

See more at Small Demons.

The 10 Most Mentioned Clothing Brands in Literature:

1. Brooks Brothers

2. Louis Vuitton

3. Calvin Klein

4. Hermés

5. Adidas

6. Dior

7. Burberry

8. Versace

9. DKNY

10. Reebok

See more at Small Demons.