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Monday, 17 August 2009


The BBC believe that most people will have only read six of the books in the following list. I was challenged by Joanne Walpole to list all the ones I have read and so I have done so, marking the titles that I have indeed read with a *. Seems this has turned into another of those memes and so I challenge James Reasoner, Bill Cryder, David Cranmer, Howard Hopkins and Charles Gramlich - apparently the way this works is you paste the list onto your blog, identify the titles you've read and tag five other people.

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 (not the whole book!)
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
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens*
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 Graham
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 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 - 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 - 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


Laurie Powers said...

The list was a lot of fun, but like I posted on Jo's page, here we go with the lists again and who decides what books get on the list? For example, I've read a lot of these, but I haven't read one Ian Fleming (don't shoot me, please) and there also isn't one Hemingway on the list. And no Westerns to speak of.

Chris said...

No Louis L'Amour? Well, okay, I'm not necessarily surprised.

Chap O'Keefe said...

I was given as a present a 960-page book called 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (New Burlington Books, London, 2006). It's well designed and illustrated trade paperback and claims to give "critical insights" into its list. Weighty, in every sense -- 4 pounds 4 ounces or 1.9kg. But I won't be trying to follow its titular exhortation. For one thing I'm sure I don't have the reading time left. And it contains NO westerns!

The thrust of Laurie's comments would apply equally to the 1001. They have Ian Fleming on their list, too, represented by Casino Royale: "redolent of the early 1950s in which it was written . . . Only in the descriptions of gambling and flagellation -- two of Fleming's most treasured pursuits -- does the writing run away with itself. Otherwise, the book takes on the same aspect as its hero's face: 'taciturn, brutal, ironical and cold.' "

Nik said...

Anthony Burgess did this a while back - 100 books he'd recommend; I have the vast majority of his recommendations. Any list is subjective. But what surprises me is the BBC's appraisal - only 6? If people love to read, there'll be a lot more than six books off this list. I've read 53 on the list and have a good number more from the list still to read. Writers should read.

Dave Lewis said...

Some fine works here, but no Raymond Chandler? No Dashiell Hammett? No Kurt Vonnegut? No Jack Martin? Maybe this should be 104 BOOKS YOU MUST READ.

Charles Gramlich said...

One good thing about being an adult is not having to listen to anyone about what you should or should not read. Of course, I've never really cared what anyone else's opinion is about that and it's done be good. However, I do have this list on my computer so I will do this blog theme. It can be fun as long as no one takes it seriously as coming from some authorities!

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