Monday, July 21, 2008

The Big Read

I found this on my friend Teri's site. Apparently, The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books below.

As you can see, I read a few more than 6. A lot of those books I read in my literature classes. A lot I've read for fun. A lot I have no intentions on ever reading because I don't like science fiction or fantasy. Some of the books on the list I question: Bridget Jones's Diary? The Mitch Albom book? And interestingly, none of the books listed below are on The Big Read's current book list. The Big Read is a community reading project, and there are about a dozen or so books currently promoted for discussion (I read most of those, too, like Age of Innocence and The Death of Ivan Illych).

Anyway, I've read a few of these books. I'm pretty sure my life will continue just fine without having read Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE. (I've added a * to the books I loved)

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
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 (I read some Shakespeare. Does that count?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
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 (I have tried to read this book and failed)
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 (This is my all time favorite novel)
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
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
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
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
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 (Uh, is there a reason this isn't included with the complete works of Shakespeare?)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

3 comments:

SueH said...

I've read about 1/3 of them, but that's a seriously bizarre list. "The Lovely Bones"? "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night"? "Watership Down"? Not bad books, but do they really belong with the likes of Tolstoy & Harper Lee?

PS. Congrats on the Post thing! Way cool!

Molly said...

What an odd little list. Some great books, some pop lit, some utterly forgettable ones. None of my favorite living authors are there at all. Besides the Shakespeare/Hamlet weirdness, there's the fact that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of The Chronicles of Narnia.

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