A friend of mine recently posted on her blog the top 100 list from BBC's Big Read and indicated which of the top 100 she had read. These are allegedly the top 100 most-read books. I always find it to be a good exercise as an English major (still maybe contemplating a Ph.D. at some point in the very distant future) to go through these types of list and see which books I have read and see where the gaps in my education lie. Since I'm obsessed with books and I have nothing else to blog about today, I'm going to go through the top 200 from BBC's Big Read and see what I've actually read. To help out, I'll put the ones I've read in blue. I'll add commentary if I feel the urge too. Feel free to skip this post entirely or fall asleep in the middle of it if you want.
1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen - Of course I have read it! Only about a zillion times!
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman - These books are absolute crap. They're blatantly anti-religion, and they are not even written well.
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling - Multiple times. Why Goblet of Fire specifically, though, I wonder?
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell - May have read this. Not sure.
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis - I think the entire series is also on this list somewhere later. Weird. But yes, I have read this multiple times. I am so happy they are finally making good movie versions too.
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë - One of my favorite books of all time. Love the movie with Ciaran Hinds.
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller - I've started reading this several times but never even made it through the first chapter. It's not bad or anything - I just keep reading other stuff instead.
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë - Another of my all-time favorites. LOVE anything by the Bronte sisters.
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier - It's a rewrite of Jane Eyre, so yes, I love it.
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens - I've read most of Dickens, but Great Expectations might be the best. Now I want to re-read it actually. Joe Gargery and his mispronunciations crack me up. Reminds me of Cy.
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott - I actually really hate this book. It's a snoozefest if you ask me.
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell - An insult to my intelligence, but yes, I've read it.
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling - Ah, here are the rest of the Harry Potters.
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling - My 2nd favorite HP novel. My favorite is Half-Blood Prince.
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy - I HATE Thomas Hardy.
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot - Wanted to kill myself while reading it, and I love the Victorians. Snooze.
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson - Never heard of this.
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez - Love Garcia Marquez, even though he's kind of weird if you don't know much about magical realism.
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett - It's on my Kindle waiting for me to read it - does that count?
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen - Another great movie version with Ciaran Hinds.
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams - I read this last year and told Cy that he should read it because it's about "rabberts." I was trying to say "adventuring rabbits" and it came out "rabberts," so I now think "rabberts" whenever I see Watership Down. I also think of Sawyer on LOST. :)
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald - So many people hate this after having to read it in high school, but I've read all of Fitzgerald and I'm a fan.
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas - One of the greatest books and greatest movies ever. One time I had this awesome idea that I would read the unabridged version. Yeah, it's abridged for a reason. . .
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy - It was a long, hard, boring read but I pretty much made it through. 'Nuff said.
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth - Huh?
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer - Really?
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden - Also on my Kindle, waiting to be read. . .
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding - What is all the hype about? I finally read this a couple of months ago, and hated it. It was poorly written, had basically no plot, and was gross. I don't get it.
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins - LOVE Wilkie Collins. A very underrated Victorian writer.
78. Ulysses, James Joyce - HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE this book. Even though I've written two term papers on it. UGH.
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar - Fantastic kid's book. Actually has a surprising redemption undertone.
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez - My favorite by Garcia Marquez. Funny and sad.
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot - Hilarious.
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie - Read it a couple of times. Rushdie's magical realism almost reads like Garcia Marquez in this book. Might be on my top 10.
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome - Jerome K. Jerome? Hah! I'll have to tell Cy his name could be worse - it could be Jerome K. Jerome!
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker - The uber vampire novel. Fantastic. The vampires are actually scary. And no one sparkles.
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo - SO GOOD. I did not read it in the original French though - I was not nearly that ambitious. It was already a pretty big undertaking in English. Movie version with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush is fabulous.
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver - Love it except for the last 1oo pages or so. They needed cut.
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison - Haha, I've actually read several of the Georgia Nicolson books. They're pretty humorous, if you like British humor.
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt - Neo-Victorian-ish.
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood - Sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read. . .
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker - I took African American Lit. 'Nuff said.
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby - Nick Hornby is so good at making his books hilarious and sad at the same time.
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere - Haven't read it, but the title is French for "butterfly"!
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan - Some of the best-written prose I've ever read.
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey - Kesey's such a drughead I thought I would hate this, but it was actually really good. Surprisingly not acid-trippy.
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad - HATE IT!!!! Hate it almost as much as Ulysses!!! Read it about a zillion times for school.
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling - SNOOZE. Although this is a prime example of British imperialist writing in the Victorian era.
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville - SNOOZE.
162. River God, Wilbur Smith - Actually a really good work of historical fiction about ancient Egypt.
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx - Read an excerpt in one of my classes. Will not be reading the whole thing.
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley - Was on the comprehensive exams. (Had read it before too.) Could write a whole book of criticism on it, but won't.
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway - I used this to put myself to sleep one time when I was suffering from insomnia. Not kidding.
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco - This book is intricate and brilliant. I am not smart enough to keeping reading Umberto Eco.
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens - Wasn't this already on here?
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot - Another book I love that everyone always hates after being forced to read it in high school. Hmm. Wonder what that says about me?
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine - Read a bunch of these.
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. LawrenceLife of Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera - Wanted to learn Czech so I could read it in the original. Obviously didn't happen. Another writer I am not smart enough to keep reading.
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle - Will be reading it to Gemma before too long.
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
Okay, so it looks like I've read a fairly decent percentage of these. I need to read the ones that are waiting on my Kindle for sure instead of just letting them sit there!