Tuesday, July 29, 2008


One of my favorite blogs, Miss E's Musings, just posted this book meme, and it's just my kind of thing. There's a list of 100 books, and I've bolded the ones that I've read, and italicized books that I want to read. The rumor about this meme is that the average American has only read six of these books - which I find absolutely shocking.

Here we go:

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 (I was a theology major, after all!)
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 (Most, yes, not all)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (We had to read this in 6th grade!)
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 Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (ummm... a repeat of #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
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 (I think I read everything that LM Montgomery ever wrote.)
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 (actually published by my old publishing company!)
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 (I really want to read this one - I would take a class on it if I could!)
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 (I refuse to read anything by Mitch Albom!)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (en francais et anglais!)
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 (Didn't they mention the complete works at the beginning?)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Lizzle said...

I too find it appalling that the rumor is that the average person has read roughly 6 of those books... I think I'm closer to the 50-55 range.

Out of curiosity, why do you refuse to read anything by mitch albom?

Jsto said...

I've read 13 of them, (including Madame Bovary and the Three Musketeers in French), but since I really hate to read, I would've expected myself to be pretty much the National Average.

Marcia said...

Liz -
I refuse to read anything by Mitch Albom because everyone loves him when he really just writes the same sappy book over and over again.

Jsto - 13? That's way higher than I thought for you!

Matt said...

Yeah, there's some serious bullshit on this list, actually. The Five people you meet in Heaven!!! The Da Vinci Code!!! Bridget Jones's Diary!!! Please! Also, including the Complete Works is strange, almost no one has read all of, say, the histories, or the minor plays, but then Hamlet gets slotted in near the bottom as a Shakespeare afterthought. Lear is probably as great a work as Hamlet, and Macbeth is an equally deserving listee.

Anyway, I made it to 27, with the caveat that I had to begin and complete each book. I've started and never finished a bunch more, but that didn't seem fair.

Spencer said...

I have read 37 of them including the repeats. But I'm with Matt on the stuff that really shouldn't be included.

Mary Beth said...

I am proud of you twenty-somethings for having read so many of these, I got over 60, but then I am almost 60, so I have had a lot more time to do it.
Love, Mom

Ceej said...

Mar, The Secret History needs to go to the top of your italicized list, forreals.

Ellen K. said...

Yeah, I later learned that this list is not exactly an official, sanctioned survey, more a list of books that British people report as their favorites. But I still believe that most people (*cough*including my husband) have read very few. Oh, well, that just makes us look awesome and literate.

SBC said...

Wow, I am impressed with my education - 36 of them, and no I did not count the movie versions of the Hobbit or Watership Down (neither of which I've ever read).

My Matt and I were just talking today about re-reading the books that were forced upon us during our education. I need to make a list and start. I'm sure I would enjoy most of them now.