Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This was sent to me through facebook, and then I saw it as a meme on some random blog as I was searching for something else, so I thought I'd give it a go... (I've adjusted the instructions a little to suit the flexibility of blogger's font options)

The claim is that the BBC thinks that most people have only read 6 of these books. I looked into this a bit (as in, googled this) and found that the list offered below is based on this list of England’s 100 favourite books, as tallied by the BBC in 2003, based on reader responses. (I also found out that this list originally made the rounds last February… oops). Anyway, here goes:


1) Copy this list into your blog or journal (or a facebook note), including these instructions

2) Bold the books you've read (having seen the movie doesn't count!)

3) Star (*) the ones you loved

4) Italicise those you have partially read (series) or gave the OCT (Old College Try) (this last one is an addition I saw on this blog)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - I seem to recall "reading" the last one via the Wikipedia plot summary, but I think it still counts!
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible - As a child, I spent a few weeks at a very fun summer camp that just happened to be run by my cousin's church, and this made me at least try to read the bible. And then at Uni I read parts of it in an Ancient Greek class... trust me, its much better in the Greek.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell*
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

Total (count only the ones you’ve read in their entirety): 6

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller*
14 Any Collection of Sonnets by William Shakespeare – we had to read a few in High School
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien – our grade 4 teacher read it to us, but I think she modified some of the language so we’d actually understand it.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger – read this one last fall, and thought it didn’t live up to its reputation
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

Total: 5

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell – I started it, but I can’t remember if I finished it
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald – Yet another great classic that I didn’t get…
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (started but never finished)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (and the other 4 in the trilogy)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh – see this one I got. Maybe its because I’m not American that the reputations of the American Classics just don’t make sense to me?
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

Total: 4

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - I’ve read the first 2 of the series
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen* - this is my favourite Jane Austen novel.
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - (why is this in the list twice?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres – so much better than the movie. In fact, the movie ignores all the good parts of the book!
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – and I’ve read it in Latin!

Total: 6

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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

Total: 6

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
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Total: 3

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt – This book will make you fear Classicists… but I promise we're not all like that!
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
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
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

Total: 2

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 Inferno – Dante – this one has been on my list for ages, I really must get round to reading it!
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray –‘read’ this with the help of Brenda at Cast-On. Audiobooks are such a great invention!

Total: 3

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
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

Total: 2

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery – oh wait, maybe I’ve only seen the cartoons…
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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo – I saw this on stage, and was compelled to read the book. But it’s a very long book! J

Total: 2

Grand total: 40/100

Yikes! Looks like I need to start reading more! Or maybe I just need to find a list compiled by Canadians? ;)

1 comment:

Gavitron said...

Arguably, half of the listed books are not great works of literate art, but rather pop-culture tripe - as evidenced by the original source of the list.