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100 Books Meme

100 book meme
As seen several times on my flist

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) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

Two were taken out of the list because they were repetitive (Hamlet & The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe).


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
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
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
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 Meaney - 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
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
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


29. Hmm. Although, if you counted the *individual books* represented by some listed *series*, that number shoots up to 41. (Why list some as series, and other things -- like the Jane Austen books -- separately?) And I'm really not sure how to count the Sherlock Holmes stuff.

I didn't bold "The Complete Works of Shakespeare", because I certainly haven't read the frickin' *complete works*, although if I had to count up which plays I've read (not just seen performed), that would add 5 or 6 more. (I did, however, bold the Harry Potter series, even though I've only read 4 of them.) I also underlined two things (Harry Potter and HDM) in which I only actually loved the first book, perhaps, and I don't want to commit to loving the entire series.

I'm struck, to be frank, by the way I have managed to go through life, and particularly by the way I managed to skate through my education, avoiding reading any number of things on that list that are usually assigned reading in various English classes. I did actually bold several things that I know darned well I read, but of which I have no memory now, or only the sketchiest recollection (Nineteen Eighty-Four, I'm lookin' at you. And you too, Gatsby).

I really had to go look up who or what the heck The Big Read was, too.

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Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
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eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
Huh! That *is* interesting! I got my copy from drlense, and can't recall if the other versions I've seen go around the flist were different or not. I wonder what the origins of the list are?
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drlense
Jun. 25th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the way the list is organized is a little odd. I'm with you on Shakespeare- I've read a good number of Shakespeare's plays (at least a dozen, probably more) but not ALL of them. And none of the sonnets.

What's funny is when I was commuting to work 2 hours each way after college I went through a "classics I skipped in school" renaissance and read all sorts of weird stuff- Sister Carrie, The Good Soldier- I still don't know WHY.
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Every once in a while I tell myself that I "ought" to read some classics that I missed. And every once in a while, I actually *do* it. And sometimes I'll pick up things because I saw a film version and wanted to read the original (like Anna Karenina).

I probably should have decided that by Complete Shakespeare they basically meant "anything contained therein", and checked it off, too.
tejas
Jun. 25th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
25, but I didn't count the ones I started but bored me to tears and didn't finish. And you're right about the series thing. LotR, Harry Potter, Three Musketeers (I've read at least 7 of those, I can't remember if there were more or not, nor do I remember how many were written by his son) would cause the number to jump.

It's a really weird list, too, given that some of those are utter crap. *cough*Time Traveler's Wife*cough*Da Vinci Code*cough*
telepresence
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
It makes me sad the list has Dan Brown, but not Umberto Eco. Firstly I've actually read Eco, so I could have gotten more points. :p Second he delivers a somewhat Dan Brown-esque experience, at 5 or 6 times the quality.
tejas
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
I haven't read Eco, but I've got at least one of his books here... somewhere... waiting... patiently. :-)
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm going to guess that if this list had been put out 20 years ago, Name of the Rose would have been on there, no question. It was popular at that time in a similar (though much lower-key) way to the way that DaVinci Code is now. Only, as you point out, it was genuinely better literature.
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
I told Telepresence earlier -- I have a theory about the inclusion of odd things like Dan Brown. Apparently, this project is linked to a "get people to read!" drive or something, and the introduction of the meme ("reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed") suggests that they're aiming it at folks who aren't self-identified readers, like we are.

So my theory is that they sprinkled the list with "popular" stuff, as an encouragement! Look, *I* haven't read any Dan Brown -- but it has to be acknowledged, a lot of people have. And perhaps that's a way to make the list not so daunting to the people it's aimed at. "Look! You can check off at least a few of these! And not just ones you had to read in high school English!"

They're "gimmes", in other words -- ringers. (I include the Harry Potter books in that category too.)
tejas
Jun. 26th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
I guess so. Just, ew!
veejane
Jun. 25th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
The Complete Works of Shakespeare is quite a few books. I don't know how many, and frankly I don't think I've ever met anybody who has read the complete works who isn't actually a professional Shakespeare scholar. Even Shakespeare specialist actors have not, I suspect, read all the works. But I've read several.

I come up at 41, not breaking out the individual books in series. But there were two items on the list I'd never even heard of (and I think to think I'm not totally ignorant), and quite a few that were like, "I could read that, or I could stick a red-hot poker in my eye and enjoy that more." (Weirdly enough, that last would include both Thomas Hardy and Dan Brown, and I cannot think of very many other categories on this earth in which they overlap.)
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Pfft, yeah -- there are books on there, authors, who I totally skated out of ever reading, and I'M NOT SORRY ABOUT IT.

And no, I didn't check off any of the "I started to read this, and gave up" ones.
okojosan
Jun. 25th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
27 for me...
telepresence
Jun. 25th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
30, if my memory isn't playing tricks (like you there are some books here I swear I read but if you asked me anything about them...)
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eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the degree to which I totally don't remember some of those books read for high school is... embarassing.
ellenmillion
Jun. 25th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
47, which surprises me. (Though I was liberal... I've read MOST of Shakespeare, but maybe not all, and the first 4 Harry Potter books only, and I know I read some of them under duress that I have no memory of, too.)
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
Seriously! I *know* I read Catcher in the Rye, but if you held a gun to my head and asked me to recount the plot? Ugh.
xandra_lj
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
65 for me-- but then, I'm a professional lit. geek (and yes, a Shakespearean-era specialist, so I have read them all even if some of them were quite a while ago. The Sonnets are great fun in smaller packages, too.).

Like telepresence, I'm also puzzled that this particular incarnation of the list has Dan Brown but not Umberto Eco...or a number of other brilliant novelists.
eregyrn
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
Heh!

See my reply above, to Tejas -- I think Dan Brown and some of the other odd ones were "popular" selections to give some readers the ability to check SOMEthing off.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )