Book ’em

“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.”

1) Bold: I have read.
2) Italics: Those I intend to read.  Actually, it would seem that there aren’t any…
3) Underline: Books I love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.  Given #2 above, I think that we can assume that if I haven’t read it by now, I’m not going to read it.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible (Note: one benefit of 12 years of catholic education, though EVERY WORD might be a stretch)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Note: I’m saying that having read several, doesn’t count)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Note: I know its sort of sacrilege for nerds to say this, but I really didn’t find this book very funny at all…)

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Note: shoot me)
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I own)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac (please…)
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple, Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (How many of them?  ½ point to me for a lot)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine de St. Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare  Note: At least I get one out of not reading “The Complete Works”
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


So, 33 of 99 (because there is no 58), a count that I’m okay with given the quantity of Jane Austen (and Austen-like books on this list…), though clearly I will get schooled in the Brown Trivial Pursuit questions by Cori, Noelle and Ancora Impara.

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17 thoughts on “Book ’em

  1. Quite a few of them on there that we've read in book club. You didn't like "The Kite Runner"? That was one of my favorites. We're reading the sequel for July.

  2. Oh very interesting. I'm going to have to steal this when i get a moment, and see how many I have read. Wierd that The time Travelers Wife is on there… not really what I'd list…

  3. Jacolily — I thought the prose in The Kite Runner was beautiful. I found the story (and some of the coincidences near the end) to be a little contrived. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I could underline it… ;)

  4. Katie — yes, I think the "Top 100 books they've printed" might include a couple that aren't really "classics" — though I've heard a number of people that REALLY like Time Traveler's Wife.

  5. Steve, can you add a link to the original article regarding the average number of books read? I went to the Big Read website and couldn't find it…

  6. You should read Shadow of the Wind (#56). It's a book for people who love books. This young boy is sad because he can't remember his dead mother's face or voice and so to cheer him up/distract him, his dad takes him to this huge bookstore-type place, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.* He's told that he can pick one book and then he'll be responsible for it and making sure that it isn't forgotten completely. He picks one and he totally falls in love with it. He wants to read more by the author but they've all disappeared. (It's so, SO much better than I'm making it sound.)
    * = In my mind, it looks somewhat like my bedroom, which has books stacked all over the place. Someday, I will die when the room caves in from the weight of those books.

  7. I enjoyed the Kite Runner. Adn hwile the coincidences of meetings and such seem strange to us Americans, I find in smaller countries, at least in Africa, a reputation can last you forever and meeting a random person on the street may very well result in those coincidences. Oh gosh i;ve typed On and on….

  8. One thing–there is nothing I love more than sleep. I am not the person who's up all night reading. Except with that book. I was literally unable to put it down. As in, 4am and I was still reading. So there's that, too. :)

  9. I have about 47-48 of these done. Not a Kerouac fan, I see? Neither am I. He bored me to tears. The Time Traveller's Wife is not a classic, though I'm one of those who liked it. I still have to get through some of the really FAT tomes — War and Peace, Crime and Punishment. Sometime soon!

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