Sunday, June 28, 2009

Books! My Favorite Topic

I saw a list similar to the following on Joe's facebook last night. This is the Top 100 List from a BBC survey of favorite books. From what I can tell, they did this survey several years ago in conjunction with their The Big Read program. Apparently, The Big Read was and still is an effort to promote a higher level of national literacy in the United Kingdom. They have a web site with several links to ideas for starting reading groups based on tackling the Top 100 list.

The list our friend, Alex, posted on facebook was somewhat different, but allegedly it was also the BBC one. On that list, I came out at 39 books of the 100. This list I only got 38. Either way, kind of humiliating for me, since I pride myself on reading lots of classics. I've been on a pulp fiction wave lately. It takes so much less thought. I"ll have to get my nose back to the classics grindstone.

Although I did not find this factoid anywhere on the BBC pages, Alex said that the average person has only read 6 titles. So I guess I did OK from that perspective. But Alex scored 40 and that gets up my competitive dander.

I'll have to request a few from the list for my summer reading. Actually, if I finished the several I have started in the past and read the others that we have here on our home shelves, I'd probably bump that number up to about 60. Who needs a public library when one is a compulsive used book buyer?

I was interested to see His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, in the #3 slot. That is the trilogy which includes The Golden Compass. The Golden Compass was the movie that generated so much publicity a while back. Allegedly His Dark Materials is a series which is the anti-Christian counterpart to C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. I've never read any of Pullman's books, but perhaps I should just to see what they're like. I did pull Once Upon a Time in the North off the library shelf once because it had an interesting cover.

I was, of course, happy to see Pride and Prejudice in the #2 slot and to see so many other Jane Austen titles in the list.

You'll notice I marked the ones I've read. Sorry about the goofy formating. I can't figure out how to do a tab on here.

Take a look an see how you score.

So here goes:
Yes 1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
Yes 2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
Yes 4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
Yes 5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Yes 7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
Yes 9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Yes 10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Yes 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
Yes 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
Yes 22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
Yes 23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
Yes 24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
Yes 25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Yes 26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
Yes 27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
Yes 28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Yes 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
Yes 35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Yes 36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
Yes 38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
Yes 40. Emma, Jane Austen
Yes 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
Yes 46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
Yes 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
Yes 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
Yes 56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
Yes 58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Yes 59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
Yes 63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Yes 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
Yes 70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
Yes 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
Yes 81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
Yes 83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
Yes 87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
Yes 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


madhenmom said...

32 - which I'm pleased with because I've definitely drifted from reading classics. Fortunately, I went through a Steinbeck reading phase in my younger days. I'm also glad so many Jane Austen and Harry Potter books were on the list.

I'll have to read a few more Roald Dahl books.

I like the list because it's not too intimidating. I can definitely work with it. But, I should say that I scored considerably higher than Dave, but he's a much better reader of classics than I am. (No Moby Dick on this list - but again, that's why I like the list)

If you're interested, I've read #'s: 2; 5; 6; 7; 10; 12; 15; 16; 17; 18; 21; 22; 23; 24; 26; 28; 29; 30; 38; 40; 41; 43; 47; 50; 51; 52; 54; 58; 64; 75; 76; 83.


A Stafford said...

I have that list on my Facebook page---I just checked it again, and I got a 37. I'd like to keep working on it too--I definitely recommend "To Kill a Mockingbird", one of my favorites. What that you have read on that list are your top 5? Maybe I'll start with one of those if I haven't already read them. Actually I should re-read the ones I liked that I read when I was 14-18 that I don't quite remember.