Sunday, August 03, 2008

Top 100 book meme

Phil from A Very Public Sociologist has kindly (?) tagged me in a book meme designed to show how few of the world's most popular books I've read.

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or were forced to read at school and hated.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them
For some reason Phil seems to have a slightly different list - oh well, I think mine's more up to date.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
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
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
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
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
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
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
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
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
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
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
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
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

A bit embarrassing admitting to having read the Terry Pratchett books, and I'm sure it's obvious from the list my reading is rather left leaning (Roy, Steinbeck, Orwell, Tressell but no Archer, Waugh or Rowling).

In accordance with my usual meme policy I'm not going to tag anyone but feel free to tag yourself should you so desire.


Douglas Coker said...

Sorry Jim but this seems like a bit of a silly season filler. I got sucked in initially but my first attempt to bold a line failed and I'm not a techie so I got pissed off.

It seems a bit elitist and kinda assumes your readers are all classics/Eng Lit educated scholars or maybe it is just a mish-mash which includes some populist stuff.

Well - you know - some of us are a bit more rough and tumble in our style. I'm a big enthusiast of getting the think part of the brain up and running but while there are some books on this list I've read there are some obvious candidates missing.

List these two for instance: The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane and Woodstock - An Inside Look at the Movie that Shook up the World and Defined a Generation by Dale Bell - Foreword by Martin Scorsese.

Woodstock ... seriously FAR OUT and a must read for the "younger generation" who don't get it. That is who don't get what was happening in the 60s.

Love and peace ...
Douglas Coker
Enfield Green Party

PS. There are some "political issues" you could be blogging on. I'll buy you a pint at Conference and explain.

Jim Jay said...

DC - well there's an element of truth to what you say, it's a bit of froth really. And again it's interesting to see what's missing...

Alas I've had a busy day writing articles for other places and practising my "drupal" (a web site design programme). So you're right there's lots I could be writing about - hopefully tomorrow.

If you'll accept my apologies I'll accept that pint ;)

scott redding said...

I've read 24 on the list.

Of the ones you haven't read yet, I think you should try 6, 13, 41 (I have to say 41, I'm Canadian), 60, 63, 90, 91, and 100.

There are a lot of big names missing: Chinua Achebe, Albert Camus, Gunter Grass, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood.

Jim Jay said...

That's a game in itself pointing out the authors/books that should have been in the list.

- All Quiet on the Western Front
- Always outnumbered, always outgunned (Walter Mosley)
- Peter Carrie (all)

Is Anne of Green Gables set in Canada? I always assumed it might be something to do with Henry the Eighth (flaunting my ignorance!)

I'm put off on the road simply because they'd be a weight of expectation

Green Gordon said...

Pfff.... Anne of Green Gables is in Prince Edward Island. Every Canadian knows this. And you call yourself Canadian.... (joke)

scott redding said...

I wish this was satire, but it's a real tourist board website. "The Gentle Island" - as opposed to those horribly vicious islands that suddenly close on you like venus-fly-traps.

Jim Jay said...

You've obviously never been to Canvey Island in Essex - the definition of a non-Gentle Island.

weggis said...

Does having seen the Film or the BBC TV series count?

aart hilal said...


I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!


moll said...

We could all quibble for days about what should and shouldn't be on, which is what makes such lists kind of meaningless. But the number of children's books on the list is a little weird to me. Does this imply people only read when they are kids? The fact that most people have only read 6 on the list is not surprising - I suspect that if books were judged by the number of people that read them, Mills and Boon would fill the top 100 at least. And there is nothing wrong with that.

(btw, there is nothing at all embarrassing about having read Terry Prachett. The only time I have ever fallen off a chair I was laughing so much was when reading one of his books... ;)

Jim Jay said...

Huh - coincidence - Iwas discussing Paulo Coelho at work today.

Moll - I thought your first sentance was going to go "We could all quibble for days about what should and shouldn't be on, which is what makes such lists kind of" fun. But it didn't :(

Come on - this is a wonderful quibbling opportunity - don't pass it up!

I think alor of people probably do read more books when they are kids but its probably down to the fact that adults read kids books these days... which I have no objection to.