Wednesday, 8 December 2010

100 books to read before you die?

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This is bound to bore the pants off some of you, but because I love books and because Tat from Mum in Search put up her list and I wanted to be able to keep a copy and work my way through some of the books on it (it is my NYR after all), here is a list of the BBC top 100 books.

The instructions are to bold all books you have read and italicise the ones you’ve started but haven’t finished.


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 have sure read a few of his works, but all of it? Has anyone?)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (double points because I read it in German?)

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 (In spanish!)

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

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 (Not 100% sure I have read them all but have definitely covered a few)

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


32 down, 68 to go (although some of the Sci-Fi's I won't be rushing to read).

I must confess that I read some of them at school and I can’t remember a thing other than the title. Hence, the scarce commentary along the way. But a few I am still re-reading today (e.g Memoirs of a Geisha as we speak).

How many have you read? What would you recommend I tackle next?

13 comments:

brismod said...

I did this on Facebook. I've read 33 out of the list but I had a friend who had read over 50!! I'm reading The Prince at the moment. I loved Jane Eyre and Rebecca. Cloud Atlas is very cool too.

life in a pink fibro said...

Am happy to say that I can tick off a lot of these. I think you should go with The Remains of the Day next. A quietly amazing book. Or A Fine Balance - an incredible, absorbing, mind-blowing read. Or The Wasp Factory. Or... actually, I'll stop there.

Rachel said...

Oh what an awesome idea.. I may just do this... as for you next book try The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
I loved this as a kid I love it as an adult and bop is reading right now with a little bit of help from mommy...we all love watching the movie together

The Twin Coach said...

I did this on Facebook, too (and, like you, had read many in high school without paying much attention. So sad)! As for what to read next, A Confederacy of Dunces is very funny, Cloud Atlas was hard to put down, The Secret Garden is an absolute gem (as is her other book, A Little Princess) and The Chronicles of Narnia were read cover to cover so many times they fell apart in my hands - wonderful, magical reading. Oh shoot...and Rebecca! OMG....amazing, as is all of DuMaurier's work. I love to read. I wish I had more time these days but with little ones running around it can be tough.

Gill@OurParklife said...

great idea and great list...

your unfinished and finished titles are suprisingly similar to what my list would be...

The Lovely Bones was a good read, a little dark and sad but worth reading in my opinion

Gill xo

Maxabella said...

I'm about 68 read. Not bad. I think I enjoyed about half of them. I would definitely revamp the list... x

Maxabella said...

PS - Tackle next:

Ulysses - just so you can italise it (finishing it would mean you would die before you got to the rest of the 100)

Notes from a Small Island - fabulously funny, read all the Bill Brysons. I have them to lend to you.

Same for 'Owen Meany' and 'Confederacy of Dunces' - funny stuff.

Aside from Sherlock Holmes (where have you been!?) my fave 'classic' that you haven't read yet is definitely Madame Bovary.

Maxabella said...

PS - No wait, it's Of Mice and Men.

Also, read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nigh-time.

MultipleMum said...

I will raid your library before going to Fiji. You mock but I have read many other books, just not these 'classics'! I will get there. Advice taken about Ulysses (I have seen others go down during their attempts to read it so have never given it a go).

ANB said...

His Dark Materials is three books not one but very much worth the effort. It probably fits into the fantasy/sci fi category but it's so beautifully written and it's 'realist' fantasy and extremely thought provoking. There is nothing else like it. I also really enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife - it's a lighter but still well written read.

Tat said...

The list brought back lots of memories...

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

38 surprisingly. It seems I have a lot more to go though. A little light reading from Dante before bed time?

♥α§ђ£ε¥™♥ said...

Over half- but I've always been a reader. I used to check several books out at the library at a time whilst the rest of the class would check one simple book out...and I passed all my university writing and literature classes in high school. Ah, books.

My favorites that you hadn't checked off (and this is an older blog, so you may have tackled more of the list by now) were the Time Traveler's Wife and Lovely Bones. I'm surprised Fahrenheit 451 wasn't on there, but I've seen lists like this traveling around and it was on another one I did see.

Most of this list I can check off, and though a large percentage of them were, yes, due to school, many of the school required ones I actually went back and *shock* read again. I'm a book nerd! I love the smell of new books...then reading them over and over...

~Ashley~

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