Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Big Read

I saw this on my good friend Raquel’s blog at and as I support any initiative that encourages people to read, I thought I’d reproduce it here.

The Big Read is being promoted by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. you can find their web site at

I’m not sure where this list comes from as it does not appear on their web site, it may just be some meme from the blogosphere. But allegedly, the Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of these 100 books. I guess that makes me an above average adult as I’ve read 56 of them. :-)

Anyway, wherever the list came from it’s fun to play along.

  • Bold: I have read.
  • Underline: Books I love. I haven't figured out how to underline so will put an asterisk *
  • Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read only 6 and force books upon them!!

1. *Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. *Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte *

4. The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling (I haven’t read the whole series, just 2 of them)

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 – Phillip 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 . The Complete works of Shakespeare (I haven’t read them all, but a lot of them)

15. *Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier*

16. The Hobbit --J.R.R. Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler's Wife

20. **Middlemarch - George Eliot** (I really love this one)

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** (I really love this one)

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

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** (Another of my faves)

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

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

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 St. 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 and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I will add a proviso, jsut because I haven't added an asterisk, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book. I enjoyed reading them all.

In addition, I think there should be something on this list from Annie Proulx, The Shipping News, That Old Ace in the Hole, or Accordion Crimes. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is also notable by its absence. I could think of lots more worthies, too.

Who would you include?


pamokc said...

Oooh, fun. I see several on here that I have read. Will have to do a list when we get back from a short holiday.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Heehee I got'cha beat girlie! ;-)

Loved this post so much, I am linking you and reproducing on Friday...some great books on there and we like alot of the same stuff.

Janet said...

Pam, enjoy your holiday. I will look forward to your list.

Sarah, I don't mind a bit that you beat me. :-) I'll look forward to your post.

Daffodilly said...

Its so refreshing to see so many english books listed as sometimes I get fed up of the lack of humour in american writers.