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Gacked from Joey: the Big Read meme
twins
sedens
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well, let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.


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 (only the first one--gave up one chapter into #2)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (yes, even the Apocrypha. Especially the Apocrypha.)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip 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 -- oh, come on! I've never read Timon of Athens. So sue me.
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks (I read three pages of this once, based on a lot of enthusiastic reviews. It was the most unadulterated dreck I've had the bad luck to encounter since I was forced to read dying-teenager YA novels in my youth.)
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
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
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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 Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
37. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (Another one that I abandoned in disgust after a few pages.)
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell

41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
47. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
49. Atonement - Ian McEwan

50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
51. Dune - Frank Herbert (tried when I was in high school. Monumental fail.)
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
67. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding

68. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker

72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
74. Ulysses - James Joyce
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
77. Germinal - Emile Zola
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
79. Possession - AS Byatt
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
86. Charlotte's Web - EB White
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (no, but I read Tuesdays with Morrie. That was plenty.)
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and all the others, too)
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (oh, how I adored this book when I was in grade school. I didn't understand half of it--what was so bad about Milady de Winter, anyway?--but I adored it all the same.)
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Looks like 60, give or take Timon of Athens.

Yo, Joey! What are 99 and 100? I can't find this list on the Big Read website.

And I wonder whether part of the scattiness of the list is because it's a mixture of current book-group standards and old-fashioned recommended-reading lists for high-school students. Never the twain, etc., etc.
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Ahhh maybe it's that current book-group faves that got me. I read randomly, just not the same randomly as this list. I think I should make up my own list. I wonder if I should go back and mark books by authors I have read just not the books listed. Why should Austen get two listings anyway. Or Tolstoi even. Seriously couldn't they come up with 100 without repeating?


I'm going to hunt down the other version of the list that I spotted on somebody or other's LJ and repost it, just for fun--we'll see whether it's less repetitive, or pretty much the same.

To be honest, I think I may have read about six on this list. I feel like I should be embarrassed, but I never could get into a lot of the authors listed on it. :/ I'm wondering if I should give Dickens another go since you like him so much.

I really like romantic literature, especially German Romanticism (at least, what I was exposed to in my "fun" English class I chose my senior year). Unfortunately, books like those never make it into the top 100 lists.

And it aggravates me so when crap like The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter gets on those top 100 lists. Ugh.

Oh, I'm with you all the way--but I think these kinds of silly lists *are* interesting, if you don't take them seriously, because they reveal something about the cultural moment that produces them. I found a "100 Books You Must Read" list from the 1920s once; I remember that the snobby critical-theory guy I worked with got all huffy when I showed it to him, because he assumed (without looking) that the list would be all Dead White Male Authors. He was SO wrong . . . there was all kinds of women's writing on the list (including really "shocking" writers of the '20s like Elinor Glyn). So that said something about the Twenties. Kinda cool.

'Ya beat me!
(54) and I never noticed there were only 98!
:(

Ehhhhhh, this is what I do for a living . . . it's like asking a mechanic how many wrenches he's used!

I actually used that analogy on my dad once, when he was helping me move from grad school to my first job and he couldn't figure out why I needed so many books. He was a farmer, and he did finally have to admit that his shop was as full of tools as my apartment was full of books. But he didn't want to. ;-)

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Re: bitchin at the listers

I had coprolites on my mind, too. :-)

Ditto what you said. Also, where the Pamela Deans?

It always amazes me what other people think we all should have read. Sometimes I think these lists are about acquainting us all with our cultural identity combined with literary merit. But then I see something like Five People and I start wondering where stuff by Camus and Thoreau went, plus others that aren't coming to mind with insufficient coffee intake at this point.

I've read a lot of books on this list. I've also started some of the ones I can't claim to have read, because I chucked them at the wall out of pure pique and immediately carted them off to the Goodwill. I almost never give up on a book, so to have given up on those "necessaries" is interesting.

Actually I like that idea ... what books did you start and could NOT finish.
On the above list for me Bleak House ... omg it really was Bleak, I did not pitch it cause I love Dickens but the bleakness really got to me.
Also Madame Bovery .. recently on recommendation I started the Gormenghast Trilogy .. I just could not find an anchor in it.

I used to be really serious about finishing books I started, as if it were a moral obligation or something, but as I get older, I just don't care. There are too many books I want to read--it isn't worth plugging away at ones that don't work for me (especially if there isn't some compelling reason why I should read them).

Of course, this isn't what I tell my students! LOLLLLLLLLL

Gormenghast. Yes, that came to me with a recommendation as well. Ugh. I mean uber-ugh!

Looks like my education was OK .. btw what were 99 and 100??

I have not read 47 of them

I don't know! keiki_boys's list only had these 98. And here's another funny thing--there are multiple versions of the list floating around LJ. I just saw a VERY different one on a couple of journals. (It has The Princess Diaries on it, omgggggggggg.)

So did you dive into the Haute Doll shopping frenzy just now? ;-)

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Seeing Timon of Athens most definitely counts! Especially if it was a good production (was it?). ;)

I'm addicted to these, too, though I'm starting to think I'm actually addicted to the adrenalin-rush of rage that I get when I read them . . .

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