Monday, November 22, 2010

Have You Read This? Well, HAVE YOU?

From Theocoid ...  here we go.

P.S. About half of these are NOT really classics but just popular modern books. Give me a list of 100 that have already stood the test of time and I'll be much more interested. Mitch Albom? Really?

UPDATE: Melanie Bettanelli commented on the Facebook version of this that she had actually seen it loosely linked originally with a list from the Guardian when she did a vain attempt to track it back to the BBC. Either way, it is still rather a fun list to look at.
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here...

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, underline the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

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 (but I"m working on it)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

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 - A.A. 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 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     

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 (This is NOT a classic and is mean spirited enough to make it never become one in my book ... stick to his history-ish books, not the travel guides)

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 - E.B. 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
Dr. Boli (from whom I am honored to have received a comment) shows us a different way.
The fundamental flaw of the list is that there seems to be no way to construe the word "classic" so that it includes Dan Brown. However, we may find another use for the list. Copy it again, and this time bold all the titles that nothing short of a substantial payment, cash on the barrel, would ever induce you to read. Give reasons.


  1. Definitely some non-classics there. 32 that I'm sure of, plus a few partials, like most of the Bible & most of the Narnia books--does it count double if I read the Spanish ones in the original language? = super nerd.

  2. 34...but not as many I thought I had, after all. Gotta load up my kindle I guess!

  3. I've read 28 titles on this list. How is it that Shakespeare's complete works are listed (deservedly), but Hamlet gets its own entry? Also, FWIW, I agree with you that Bill Bryson and Mitch Albom don't belong on this list. Philip Pullman? Gimme a break! Neither does "The Lovely Bones" (Alice Sebold did alright with that, but Leif Enger's "Peace Like a River" was much better -- and where are Morris West and Edwin O'Connor? Their signature novels could wipe the floor with most of these titles)

  4. The fundamental flaw of the list is that there seems to be no way to construe the word "classic" so that it includes Dan Brown. However, we may find another use for the list. Copy it again, and this time bold all the titles that nothing short of a substantial payment, cash on the barrel, would ever induce you to read. Give reasons.

  5. I'm so close to you. 37. 37 and a half if you count spark noting Tess of the D'Urbervilles. They had to choose that instead of Return of the Native, didn't they?

  6. You've read Return of the Native? Wow!

  7. I've only read 14....

    I have to say, I'm shocked that you haven't read Catcher in the Rye!

  8. Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series is anti-Catholic. I read the series, concerned the titles were in the local Catholic schools. Please consider removing this from your Happy Catholic list.

    OTOH - as to the Narnia series, I have read aloud this series to several children, and it was agreed the most edifying book was The Magician's Nephew.

  9. How is it that Augustine's Confessions didn't make the cut? All faiths and atheists have read it... On another note, I've always found The Bridge Over San Luis Rey (Thornton Wilder), which I had to read in high school and I'm now 57, for such a small book, is a real gem even after so many re-reads. I'm not a big reader, but this list left a lot to be desired IMHO.

  10. One I would have added was Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

  11. Donna ... please read carefully the introduction to see where the list came from, where the books were generated from ... and why this is not a list of my recommendations. Thank you.

  12. Only about ten of these, and where Jonathan Livingston Seagull? Skipped Dan Brown, but does reading virtually all of Thomas Merton, plus Thomas aKempis,and Thomas Aquinas make up for the lack? Hmmm, must be hooked on Thomases (including "Tom Sawyer").

  13. As you mention in the update above, contrary to the ongoing meme about how the BBC claims that only 6 people have read these books, this list doesn't even come from the BBC. Their equivalent list may be found here:

    The list you posted above comes from the World Book Day poll asking reader to name 10 books they can't live without.

    In other words, this isn't a list of classics, or great books, or anything like that. Instead, it's a list of books compiled from the "top 10" lists of 2000 random people participating in a poll.

  14. 20 or so. but I'll not consider the Oprah Book Club Wal-mart selections at all.

    Belloc, Chesterton, Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, Lewis, Waugh, and Wodehouse for me!

    (What, no football books?)

  15. 22 that I read completely; and several others (Crime & Punishment, e.g.) that I started, but gave up part way through.

  16. Along the same lines as Patrick O'Hannigan:

    The Lord of the Rings is one title, but Chronicles of Naria and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe are separated?!

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy gets a listing, but the other four books of the trilogy are left out?! (I haven't read And Another Thing.... Should I?)

    Plus, other sundry problems with the list. Oh, well.

    With that off my chest: 22 substantially or completely read. 12 I plan on never reading.