Monday, September 22, 2008


Totally lifted this from Jill and Shell, but I too love a good list and I was very curious to see how many I'd read. I agree that the list is a little strange and i don't value it as a comprehensive list of books every adult should read. I think a few of these books are... interesting picks for a top 100 list. That said, I am sadly lacking in the tally of classics I have read. I want to read them, but get more tempted and lured by the latest book Shell or Hannah or whoever has read, so I read that instead. There being a never- ending list of books I want to read, it seems I never get around to these classics...My goal this year was to read 50 books, and I think I'm on about 40 or so for the year so far. Maybe my next reading goal will be to tackle the classics.

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.

So I've read more than the average adult (I should hope so- 6?! that's appalling.) But not as many as I would like.

Here’s what you are supposed to do:
*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE. Share this list in your blog, too, if you like. (I skipped this step.)

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 Traveler'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 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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


michelle said...

I thought this was fun to do. Just so you know, several people highly recommended A Town Like Alice and The Count of Monte Cristo to me, so those are now on my to-read list.

I really do think we should come up with our own, evolving list of what our top books would be...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe These Is My Words is not on the list. Seriously! It totally discredits the list for me- ha! I want to go through and do it. Glancing at it, I know I have read a lot less of these 'classics' than you or Michelle, but I know more than 6! And I know what you mean about reading ones that someone recommends rather than the classics.

Jill said...

I just barely finished adding many of the books I haven't read to my "to-read" list on goodreads. I take issue with the fact that so many of Charles Dickens' books are on the list, couldn't they have chosen his best and then given someone else a spot? There are so many good books out there and so many of them aren't on the list.

Does this mean you looked at my list? How can you be a lurker on MY blog?

Melissa Marilyn said...

I totally agree that Dickens should NOT be on the list so often. Plus, why is Hamlet listed when the Complete Works of Shakespeare are already on there. I thought some of the choices odd and definitely wanted to see some of my favorites. I have only read 51 of those on the list. :( Oh well, I am constantly adding to my To-Read list! I just finished All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg and HIGHLY recommend it!

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