Do YOU Read?

Monday, August 4, 2008

I am borrowing another post today... Like I did yesterday. It's just that the blog world keeps me so fascinated, ya know?? So yesterday was a shout-out to my brother Steven's "Fear Post", and today I am borrowing from my friend Melanie (who, incidentally, borrowed from her friend, who borrowed from her friend... so it's kinda a tag... KINDA.)

So this is a list of 100 popular/classic books. I agree with many of the choices on here, but have issue with a few... But who can REALLY post a definitive list, ya know? So based on this list, you are supposed to highlight the ones you have read in BLUE and the ones you want to read someday in GREEN. (And I added to the ones I particularly cherish...)

According to The Big Read, the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on this list. How many have you read?

Being an English major/teacher, and overall lifelong bookworm, I am going to do much better than that.... But I am still a bit chagrined at some of the titles on here that I should have read and never did. Maybe someday, right?

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 (parts of it?!)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - 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
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 Mitchel
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (I got halfway through...)
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck ( I think East of Eden, my favorite book of his, should be on here)
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 (I really tried, but BLAH. Boo.)
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’ 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 ()
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (started it)
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

And there you have it.... 30 on this list. Though TECHNICALLY, I could count Harry Potter as SEVEN books, bringing my count to 36. And the Chronicles of Narnia also have seven, though one is listed separately, still giving me five more to add-- so I say I have 41 total. But it's splitting hairs.

And since we're talking about books, here are my top five of all time:

1. East of Eden~ John Steinbeck
2. The Education of Little Tree~ Forest Carter
3. Harry Potters 1-7~ J.K. Rowling
4. Expecting Adam~ Martha Beck
5. Simple Abundance~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

...though there are so many more that I cherish. Ahhh.... books. I love them.

Your turn!


  1. Wow...the first comment! Every time I read your blog, there are already like 14 comments. So I never comment because I am not even sure if you keep reading past the first 12! Ok, so 1984 was a wonderful book and should definitely be on your to-do list. And I personally just finished Bram Stoker's Dracula about a month ago, and I could not put it down! I am dying for someone else to read it to see if anyone loves it as much as I did!! Let me know if you decide to read it!

  2. Well, I am happily far above the average adult according to this list (if you don't split the hairs with Harry Potter and the Chronicles- and Shakespeare, too, for that matter, since I have read quite a bit of his works, just not everything...)-- I have read 23 (almost a quarter of the list). If you count edited editions, partial readings, and being read to (Great Expectations, Lord of the Flies, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), my count reaches 26. Still, while that is somewhat impressive to me, I agree with you, Em, that as an English major (and a Spanish minor), there are some on there that I should have read by now and still haven't (of course, there are some I never plan on reading, so what are you gonna do?)...

    fun list- thanks for taking the time to share- (And I agree with unange14 in that 1984 is one you should read- a little more bleak and complicated than Animal Farm, but quite a fascinating study in the power of the mind... I still like Brave New World better, though).

  3. It a-m-a-z-e-s me how many on that list we were assigned to read for Block. Wow. Just reiterates what a fantastic class that was.

    I'd disagree with the 1984 opinions above me, but I really dislike dystopia settings, and the middle part about their constitution...or something...well, Katie Cadwell and I (who read it for a group Block project) agreed to skip it entirely. Ugh.

    But where's a Wrinkle in Time, huh?

    P.S. I have wondered, since I learned the truth about Little Tree, if that changed your perception of it. I read it after you told me you loved it, then recently found out about its little scandal (around the time that Million Little Pieces memoir was exposed as a fraud) and it made me dislike it a bit. And I didn't like that I felt that way. Did it affect your appreciation at all? Or did you know its story before you read it?


  4. 19, but you're right about Harry Potter and Narnia... Anne of Green Gables has a bunch also.

    And I TOTALLY agree with you about East of Eden!

    Wouldn't it be fun to be in a book club? I would love that!

  5. I am not an avid reader by ANY means (just ask Steven)...but I have read #43 "Cien años de soledad"...that's right, I read it in Spanish, ironically García Marquez is latin american! go figure.....

    Anyway, I also found it difficult to get through and I don't particularly care for depression-type books or things of that nature, and I know that once I got closer and closer to the end, there were definite moments of "oh, NOW I get it..." but today, I can't remember much about it. I guess that says something!

  6. Oh man, before I had Marlie I used to read a ton. I loved to walk to the library and pick out a new book. When Shane was in class I would crawl into bed and read. I really miss that! I look forward to the day when I can get back to reading more. I've read some of these, but not a ton. Some of them so long ago that I don't really remember what they were about.

  7. Um, sad that we've read so many of the same books, and yet 4 of your top 5 (if you count Master Potter's stories as one) I haven't read!! Crazy! I guess that gives me 4 new ones to try.


  8. You forgot Lord of the Rings is 3 books, so that brings you up to 44 I think! Rockin'!

  9. First time commenter, long time lurker :) Simple Abundance is the book I can go to again and again for inspiration and I've lent it out so many times it's got good karma oozing from it. Thanks for the reminder, because I could use a good dose of Sarah Ban Breathnach right about now - I'm gonna go dig it out!

    I'm one shy of fifty off the list - mostly the oldies. I can't even discuss Watership Down without a lump in my throat, and have thoroughly detested Wuthering Heights each of the three times I've read it (once as a tween, once in college and once as an adult, just to make sure it really rotted). Bridget Jones' Diary had me convulsing on the beaches of Aruba in such hysterics my husband refused to acknowlege he knew me.

    I also agree that A Wrinkle in Time needs to be on the list - that story rocked then, rocks now, just plain rocks! Makes me want to tesser just thinking about it!

    Sadly, I haven't read much that isn't pregnancy/parenting related in the six years I've been a SAHM because I'm such a junkie I'll ignore my children's needs with my nose stuck in a book. But I really want to get to fifty. Maybe I'll pick up The Kite Runner this week...

  10. I can't even believe that you have time to do a post like this! This looks like it took a long time. I am impressed I must say. Way to go

  11. This was a GREAT post! I have to say I was happy to see a couple of Jane Austen's works on the list...she a favorite of mine.

  12. I love lists like this! Only wish I had the time and energy (or maybe it's just energy) to do the list myself. Maybe one day.

    In the meantime I had to say that I love that your #1 is East of Eden! It's mine too. I read it almost every year and glean something new and wonderful from it.

  13. Gosh, so many good books that I NEED to read. Sometimes I get overwhelmed (like right now).

    A classic that wasn't on the list The Scarlet Letter in one of my favorites. I LOVE that book. Have you read it?

  14. What is simple abundance about?

  15. I'm at 26 but am depressed over Jane Austen. Love the movie remakes but have never read a book. Definite to do for me!
    But glad to see 1984, my favorite book, on the list. But I guess I am just a dytopia kind of girl.

  16. In answer to this post I am going to simply say that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is my favorite book always...but you have to be reading "Breaking Dawn" right now, right? It is all of our secret guilty pleasure...

  17. the only thing i have to add is that you could leave heart of darkness off of your to-read list. because it is a horrible book. i hated it. and i'm kinda proud that i've read a few that you haven't!! like gone with the wind (i honestly can't count how many times because i love it so much) and i've read les miserables. i tried in french and i thought i would die. maybe someday. i might steal this one from you in a few days.....:)


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