Book meme

Monday, October 13, 2008
I keep seeing this on other people's bogs, and I'm both proud of how "well" I've done with this list and kindof want to hold onto it for future reference, so am reproducing it here. Keep in mind that I a: am a librarian (though a pharmacy one, so I don't actually touch books that often) and b: buy books for pleasure/solace/therapy. I dropped about $150 at Borders this weekend - which I'm justifying by noting that it's been months since my last book spree and I haven't bought yarn since June. :)

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

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - OK, I know I've read several Austens but I can't remember which ones. They've all blended together.
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - First read when I was 10 and in Germany. Amazing the difference between reading it as a YA adventure story and then as an adult with an understanding of the social context. Love, love, love, can't get enough of it. I want to be Arwen.
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - in high school
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - in high school
6 The Bible - Yes, really, the whole thing.
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - once in high school, then on my own
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - how do I anti-underline something? I actually really liked this one, but hated the last one. It's such a cop-out and not compelling, unlike the first.
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - Never read, but dated a guy who was reading it for English in high school. I cannot say "D'Urbervilles" properly to this day.
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - I started, and got through most of them, one summer when I was lifeguarding and had a lot of downtime to sit in the sun and read.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - in high school
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 - in high school
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 - in high school
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - in high school.
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - Interestingly, I have read this in both English and French. Note that I do not speak French.
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - in high school.
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - I have read this series more times than I can count, and it's the current bedtime readaloud in the house. We're coming to the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - it seems odd that this is essentially listed twice, if you count #33.
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 - and have read to the DD
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - in high school, and many times since
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - again, one I would anti-underline. If you want a good Templar/bloodline of Jesus conspiracy novel, try Foucault's Pendulum. Much better book, and it won't make you feel like your IQ dropped.
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 - One of my favorite authors of all time.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - Just bought his second novel, am hoping it's as good as the first. Read this in high school
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - I have never cried so hard at the end of a book.
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
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - I return to this one over and over again. First read when I was about 10.
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 - another favorite author
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - Did you know, this is one of the most banned books in the USA of all time?
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - And this is NOT one of the most banned?
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - I've read the abridged version. The DH keeps nudging me to read the complete (1000 page) one. Apparently there are whole characters missing from the version I read!
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding - no interest
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - I have read Ahab's Wife (good) and In the Heart of the Sea (great). Funny story: I was once interviewing a college admissions candidate (for my Ivy alma mater), and asked her what her favorite novel was. She said, "Oh, I don't know. I liked Moby Dick. Except for the part about the whale."
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - for some reason this was a huge joke among a group of friends. I never was in on it, though.
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - I did read the Dubliners and some other Joyce, but haven't worked up to this one.
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 - While reading this book I had dreams about the characters. Unfortunately Byatt's other writing isn't as compelling, and she seriously overdoes the sex and sexual violence in some of them.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - in high school and many times since. Also a commonly banned book.
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - Loved the movie.
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - My least favorite book of all time. I only finished it because it was required reading in a high school English class. Oh how I hated this book!
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White - Some pig. We read this to the DD.
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 - Can I give this a half a bold? I've gotten halfway in about 10 times.
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - My brother had a reading from this in his wedding. Another that I go back to over and over again.
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - So I totally thought this was a book about the navy. It took most of the book before I realized that it was going to be about bunnies the whole way through.
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 - Again, seems like this is double-counted with the Complete Works above.
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - Another one to read out loud to the DD. Right now her fave is James and the Giant Peach. I love all Dahl books and can't remember the first time I read this one.
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wow, that's 56 of the 100 that I have read, and only a handful that I can see myself reading in the short term. Not that I would refuse one, and if there's one I haven't read that is your favorite, let me know and I'll give it a try. Thank goodness for four years of honors and AP English in high school!


  • Dorothy

    I read The Little Prince at least once a year.

    I just read the Count of Monte Cristo for the first time. Don't waste your time with the non-abridged version. The Count is still a jerk, the book still stinks.

    Hope you're feeling better!!!!

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