Monday, June 30, 2008

The Big Book Post

From Jenny's Blog:

Updated: Read Gary's comments to see where this list actually originated.

The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They've come up with this list of the top 100 books, using criteria they don't explain, and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these. So, we are encouraged to:

1) Look at the list and bold those we have read.
2) Italicize those we intend to read.
3) Underline the books we LOVE (Since Blogger won't let me underline, I've used an asterisk)
4) Reprint this list in our own blogs

Here goes...What about you?

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 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 Traveler'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
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
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 - 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
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Gary said...

I'd say "I hate to be a noodge" but I really don't. I can't help it, even if I didn't want to be, so I have to point out that I don't think this list is actually affiliated with the NEA Big Read. It's a fun list, but the Big Read appears to be more about asking communities to join in reading one book from a list of several. I can't find anything on the Big Read site that ties it to this list, anyway. To quote from their site:

The NEA inaugurated The Big Read as a pilot project in 2006 with ten communities featuring four books. The Big Read continues to expand to include more communities and additional books. By 2009, approximately 400 communities in the U.S. will have hosted a Big Read since the program's 2007 national launch.

Doesn't mean I won't still look the list over, but I wonder where it actually originated.

Gary said...

Update: this list appears to have come from England, in 2007, as part of a survey they do for "World Book Day" (I didn't know there was such a thing. I want the day off for it next year. It's March 5th in England next year, 4/23 everywhere else?) It was from a British survey of "Top 100 Books You Can't Live Without." Alright, I'll go sit in the corner and be quiet now. Thanks for leading me to peruse some great lists (DaVinci code though, really?)

Mary Beth said...

Thanks for the info Gary. Since Jenny's sister-in-law lives in England, and since Jenny got the info from her sister-in-law, I'm not surprised at the origin of the list.

Good snooping!

HP said...

Interesting list.

I've read surprisingly more than I imagined (48)...though I'll be shamed once J-Man tallies his score!

HP said...

I ended up posting my own at Life Actually....after I finished writing for the day.

Mary Beth said...

HP, it appears that I have not been invited to read your blog!

Jenny said...

Good info, Gary. i thought it was an interesting list, though I had some similar comments (Hubby says Harry Potter but no Asimov? Come now)regarding what's on and what's not.

Gary said...

I put mine up. If I had two books I'd have on an island, I'd take the Bible and Owen Meany.

Mary Beth said...

Same here. I can't believe I hadn't read Owen Meany until about four years ago. What was I thinking?

HP said...

I did invite you!!!

Kel Bel said...

Owen Meany made me cry. Possibly one of the best books ever written. Also excellent, if depressing: Jude the Obscure, Tess of the D'Urbervilles (I have a thing for Hardy I guess), and Attonement.

I may steal this list for my own blog :)

tanstead said...

I like #14 - Complete Works of Shakespeare. Is that now considered one book? Where is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? That is often considered one of the best books ever written by an American. Oh wait, you said this list came from England didn't you. That also explains how the English playwright got his thirty-seven plays and 154 sonnets under one number.

Just kidding of course. I love this list. Thanks for posting it!