Tag Archives: reading lists

I get weirdly excited by another book list

I have photos of the rest of the house to show you, but I have been distracted this morning by a book list.  I cannot resist a good book list, particularly when it makes dubious claims about the nation’s literacy. 

This is a list by the BBC of  100 books they have randomly pulled out of their arse.  They claim that most people in the UK will have only read six of them. 

I have read eighty five of them, which probably means that people in all the streets round my house have been sucked of all desire to read thanks to my voracious habits, and have only read cornflake packets for the last twenty years as I have gradually and parasitically leeched their share of books on the list and made it my own.

Mwahahahahahahaha

(rendered in a mad librarian’s voice.  This is rather like the voice of a mad scientist but quieter).

I have published the list for your delectation, and so that you can surprise yourself by how literate you are.  It really is not at all clear what criteria the Beeb used when picking this list, and why they put things like the whole of the C.S. Lewis Narnia Chronicles as one entry, and then The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe as another, nor why they have made Hamlet separate from The Complete Works of Shakespeare.  It was probably the pulling names out of a hat method.

If you are as nerdy as me, the idea is that you mark in bold the books you have read in their entirety.  You italicise things you have only partially read, and you asterisk everything you have seen on television or via the medium of cinematic images.

Enjoy:

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

 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 May 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 Travellers 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 Berniere *

 39 Memoirs of a Geisha – William 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 – Gabrial 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 Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood*

 49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding *

 50 Atonement – Ian McEwan *

 51 Life of Pi – Yann Martell

 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 – Charles Mitchell

 83 The Colour 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 *

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare *

 99 Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl *

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo