Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reading time

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. I found the list pretty interesting.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Place an asterisk (*) by those you’ve not read, but have seen a movie or stage performance of.

4) 2 dashes (--) means you have started it but never finished it for whatever reason

5) a ?? means you have never heard of it before

1. The Lord of the Rings*, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice*, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman ??
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy*, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire*, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird*, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh*, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe*, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights*, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks??
14. Rebecca*, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women*, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy --
21. Gone with the Wind*, Margaret Mitchell --
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone*, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets*, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban*, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien --
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland*, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson ??
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez ??
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett ??
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens --
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory*, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson --
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute ??
38. Persuasion*, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma*, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables*, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams --
43. The Great Gatsby*, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol*, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy ??
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian ??
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden*, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome ??
58. Black Beauty*, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky --
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman ??
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha*, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles ??
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ??
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett ??
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell ??
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary*, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith --
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake ??
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson ??
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley --
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez --
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries*, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

I'm actually rather pleased with myself. I've read more of these books than I had expected. But I'm also disappointed in how many I had never even heard of before. Hmm... I may have to start making a better effort at reading classics (and not so much Suzanne Brockmann) again.


  1. Who in the world comes up with these lists. I'd say about 12 of those books listed bored me to tears, such as the Great Gasby. There's so many good books out there I wonder why these are considered the all time best.

    I'll have to put this list on my blog. Thanks!

  2. You really must read Pillars of the Earth ... it is very good. A fast read.

  3. beatlesdiva, it looks like this list was the result of a 2003 effort by the BBC to locate "the nation's best-loved novel." I wonder what America's best-loved novel would turn out to be?

  4. Wow, I've read about a third of them, not bad. And I've seen several others as plays or movies--close to half.


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