Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The BBC Says

As requested, here's the list. I've read 51 so far. Some I couldn't tell you a thing about, I just know my eyes roamed all the pages. Some I'd give back if I could. There are still a few (a very few) I'd like to get through before I pass or they get replaced. (Yes, I know there are weird duplications on the list. I didn't have any say in it, I'm just reproducing it at your request.)

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
Tally your total at the bottom.

How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (X)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (X)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (X)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (some) (X)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (X)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (X)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (X)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (X)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (X)
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (X)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (X)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (X)
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 (X)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (X)
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (X)
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 (X)
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (X)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (X)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (X)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie (X)
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (X)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (X)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (X)
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (X)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt (X)
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker (X)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (X)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (X)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)
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 (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


  1. Hey, 21! Not so bad for a math major. Only one of those 21 I'd give back (The Secret Garden, phtooie!), and some more on there that I'd read willingly.

  2. Blasphemer! The Secret Garden is a freaking classic young reader book! Sigh. No wonder you're a math major. :)

  3. Oooops, 22. I did read Anne of Green Gables. Luckily, for JRHJr, I had forgotten that I once adored the name Gilbert.

    And, you haven't read Great Expectations?

  4. You know how I feel about fantasy!

  5. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Really? They think most people would have read only six? That seems awfully low. Then again, I guess not everyone was an English major like I was/am. That also explains why it appears that everyone else has a better paying job than I do.

    65 out of 100 for me. What can I say? I'm a nerd.

  6. Wow, you've read a lot, Kizz! Color me impressed! Some of the choices on this list seem sort of random (The Five People You Meet in Heaven--really??) But I'm happy they included my fave book, A Confederacy of Dunces.

  7. Apparently, the list is of dubious origin.

    Here's what I commented to the person from whom I got the list:
    "And how on earth are Bridget Jones' Diary and The Five People You Meet in Heaven in here as 'great books' but there's no Proust, Kafka, Pynchon, Beckett, Roth, Updike...? Who made this freakin' list?"

    Her response?
    "Ok. Ok. I was at work and just renamed Amy's list (which she called 'Whew') as 'Great Books.' Lazy and inaccurate, but quick and got you to read it."

    I googled "bbc great books" and found two lists that were not the same as this one.

    This is the one on the BBC's website.

    It still has Bridget Jones on it, but it's way different.

  8. I count 40 on this list which is either pretty darned good or pretty fucking shameful, given that I'm an English teacher. I'll post both your list and the one on the BBC site later in the week.

  9. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Wow, they used Da Vinci code which I could not get through, in the same league as Town Called Alice, Narnia, and Crime and Punishment. Strange list, but some are dead on. I got 51.

    So where is Stranger in a Strange Land? I Know why the Caged Bird Sings? Ender's Game?

  10. Anonymous6:42 PM

    How can you NOT have read any Tolkien?! :)

  11. I've read 39 titles from this list, but I'd like to point out that some of these are much more challenging reads than others. Les Miserables and War and Peace take a lot more than Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh. I'm just sayin'...