Monday, September 22, 2008

The Big Read

I got this from fellow Canuck Cindy. Here's her intro - it was written so concisely, I figured I wouldn't mess with it:

Seems The Big Read, sponsored by the BBC, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on this list. How do you fare?

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
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 (This was a tough one for me as I've read a fair amount of it, yet really not enough to bold it)
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 (like Cindy, I haven't actually read them ALL, but enough of them - I did a Shakespeare course at university and read at least 26 plays that year + others in high school)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
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
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
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
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 (I'm pretty sure I've read this one)
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

My score was a 27. And it's an interesting list. Both for what is on it and what isn't. I mean, why that particular Blyton title? One of the few I haven't read. Similarly I've read Hard Times by Dickens, yet it's not on there. And NO Canadian literature appears - grrrrr. I'd have included things like:
  1. Josephine B series - Sandra Gulland
  2. A Brief History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
  3. The Odyssey - Homer
  4. The Aeneid - Virgil
  5. Beowulf
  6. Dr. Faustus - Christopher Marlowe
  7. River Thieves - Michael Crummey
  8. Paradise Lost - Milton
  9. Little House series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  10. Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro
  11. A Jest of God- Margaret Lawrence
  12. The Stone Angel - Margaret Lawrence
  13. Bonheur d'occasion - Gabriel Roi
  14. l'Etranger - Camus
  15. Candide - Voltaire
  16. The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
  17. The Old Wives Tale - Arnold Bennett
  18. l'École des femmes - Molière
  19. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
  20. Watermelon - Marian Keyes
  21. Sailing to Sarantium- Guy Gavriel Kay
  22. Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies - I admit, I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my TBR list along withVirginia Woolff's A Room of One's Own.

Care to do the same with my list as well?



Rene said...

When I read the list, it gives me the shudders because I read a lot of them for high school. To be honest, there wasn't a whole lot I enjoyed. In fact, some of them bugged me to know end.

I would add "The Talisman" by Peter Straub and Stephen King. Contemporary fiction which presented the Hero's Journey the best of any book I've read since "The Odyssey."

Tess said...

LOL - I had lots of shudders too. Talk about choosing the MOST DEPRESSING of Hardy's novels. OTOH, there were some of those assigned readings from school I did enjoy. And I admit to reading The Bell Jar of my own accord and being completely drawn into it.

Melissa Marsh said...

Goodness. I read a lot of them in high school, too, but a lot of them I HAVEN'T read and that makes me feel guilty!

Tess said...

Melissa - I don't think you should EVER feel guilty about what you haven't read. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.