Saturday, February 21, 2009

Have you read. . .

Here is the BBC's list of 100 books you should read (stole it off a British mommy-blogger's site). So an American version would probably be slightly different, but I still think it's fun to look through--both to get ideas about what to read next, and to see how many of them I've already read. Apparently the BBC thinks that the average person will have read only 6 of these, which I find amazing.

How many of these have you read? What were your 2 or 3 favorites?

** means I've read it, * means I started it but never finished it
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 **
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee**
6 The Bible* (I've read the whole New Testament, but only parts of the Old)
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
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier**
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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 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
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - 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 *
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**
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
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 Inferno - Dante*
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
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*
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad**
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-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**
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo**

My top two favorite books of all time are on this list: Possession (read it!) and Les Miserables (read it if you're really bored and have a year or two to devote to a really long book! ha ha). Also on my top 20 or so would be Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Memoirs of a Geisha, Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, and The Time Traveller's Wife.

Two that I would not recommend (apologies here to any Oprah's Book Club fans out there--just about every time I read something from her list, I end up hating it, go figure): Love in the Time of Cholera and Atonement. I can't figure out why there's been so much buzz about these two books in the last few years. I heard so much about them, so I finally got around to reading each of them last year, and I have to admit I just didn't get it. They were both incredibly boring to me, nothing compelling at all. I only finished them because I kept thinking that something more intriguing had to be coming, and I wanted to find out why people love them so. Did you read either of these? Did you love them? If you did, I hope I haven't offended you or made myself look ignorant. I'm genuinely interested in what made them so great to so many people.

What are your favorites?

1 comment:

  1. I've read 27 on the list - fewer than you have, I believe. I did like the descriptive writing in Atonement, but it did drag, and it lacked likeable characters, too. But love it, no.

    Also, you can download The Woman in White for free. It's an old novel, and I downloaded it because one of my favorite essayists recommended it - Nora Ephron. She absolutely loves it. I have a hard time with curling up to read a computer screen, however, so I haven't made much headway in finishing it.