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27 June 2008 @ 05:16 pm
big read book meme  

the book meme!

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
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (gave up halfway through Two Towers)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (may well have read it, but not certain)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (*loved*? i enjoyed them…)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (parts of it)
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (how I haven’t read this one…)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (disliked #1 so thoroughly there was no chance of reading more)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (again, how i haven’t read it…)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (many, but not all. plus, having this *and* Hamlet on this list is cheating)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (once more with the how i’ve managed to avoid it…)
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 (how I’ve gotten away without reading this, I don’t know…)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (see cheating comment: LW&W shouldn’t also be on this list if the Chronicles are)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (maybe i’ve already read it)
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 (does watching the movie count?)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (again, donno how I avoided this)
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 (started it, gave up early in)
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 (confirmed my utter dislike of GGM’s writing. magic realism and I don’t get on well.)
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 (mighta read this)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac5
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (don’t think I got much past “Call me Ishmael.”)
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 (thought i’d give it a try before next Bloomsday)
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 (mighta read this)
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 (hate hate hate)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (a couple, but by no means all or even many)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (gah)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (started it. gah.)
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

I gotta say, my friends lists really skew the hell out of “only read 6 of these”, which of course makes it hard to believe that *really* that’s the average, even if I do, yes, understand how averages work. :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)

Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Mary Annepers1stence on June 27th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to do the bold/underline thing, but I've read at least 57 of these (and technically it's more than that if you count each book in the sets separately). I also question the validity of a list that includes so many multiples of the same author (I mean, really, Hardy is on there three times and Dickens six times). I also question the inclusion of books like Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh, which may be classics of literature for very young persons, but they don't bear nearly so much examination by adults not obligated to read them to small children.
Kerry aka Trouble: head shot hair upcontrouble on June 27th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
89 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a single book, not a complete collection of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.

As for skewing the results/averages, I would expect a writer to have friends who are readers! I need to sit down and do this one.

Edited at 2008-06-27 05:47 pm (UTC)
Adrienneadri3nn3 on June 27th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I've seen this list a few times and eventually I might get around to doing this sorting. I, too, have managed to miss some of the "classics" that you'd think everyone was forced to read in high school.

As to the repeat appearance of a couple of authors, am I mistaken in thinking that each one that's been listed twice or more has some works that have been adapted for film/stage and others that haven't? Perhaps it's sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Some people might have read the book because they saw the movie or play, but not bothered with the rest.
rfrancis on June 27th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
I've read about 15 of them. Saying that's about the level of energy I have for the whole thing, though. :)
vrc84vrc84 on June 27th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
I've read 15 plus half of two others. A few of them thanks to public education, but otherwise because reading is awesome... And how does the count change if you've read a book 10 times???
Chrisberchrisber on June 27th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've read 29-31, depending on whether you include the cheats or not. I agree, including a book separately fromits series is a cheat. I also think that comparing collections to individual works is a cheat. Why lump all of Shakespeare together, but list each Jane Austen novel separately?

Also, how many of these books will be in the top 100 in ten years? It's an interesting mixture of classics and recent flash-in-the-pan books. Or maybe I'm just a crotchety old codger.
Wiredwizard: xkcd loves the whole world (bluebombardiwiredwizard on June 27th, 2008 09:09 pm (UTC)
44 read and a few on the still to be read pile, but I do feel like I'm cheating a bit on this as a lot of them I had to read for classes for my English degree.
mayakdamayakda on June 27th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
The Faraway Tree! That must be part of those Enid Blyton books I loved so much as a kid. Never could remember the title ...
Lady Doomlithera on June 28th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
I've read 40 of them.
darillian: Nature Flowerdarillian on June 28th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Hm. 41 if I count all the books in a series I've read separately, 39 if I don't. Oh wait, I didn't count Shakespeare separately, so there'd be more if it were each for those.

And here I thought I'd do badly. : )

I think they are missing some important ones, though: The Inferno, The Odyssey, The Time Machine...
ghibbitudeghibbitude on June 30th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
38 on this list. though I've got to agree, a lot of these are rather fluffy books and I havent' read many (read: any) of those really. and I'm vaguely irritated the bible is on this list, really. i'm not militant about religion by any means, but it'd be nice, for once, if the united states actually acknowledged that worldwide christianity is not the high man on the totem pole.
Al Pettersoneyelessgame on June 30th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
I've read, I think, 30 of them, if one doesn't count seeing the movie and play and musical.

It's an odd list. Who is "The Big Read"? What is "top"? Most culturally significant, perhaps? That would explain things like da Vinci Code ("sixty million people read this in the last week!") and Pullman (both of which I enjoyed but wouldn't call Great Lit).

I confess I'm not that much into Victoriana, and about a third of those are Victorian. I guess 100 years is kind of the point where you're sure the flash-in-pan effect is mostly gone but you still consider it somehow relevant.

100 years from now, though, this list had better not have more than about four Victorian books on it, or I shall be much put out.