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March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Great books: Have you read them?

And now, another meme (ganked from littledupont: The Big Read thinks the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books they've printed below.


1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 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 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 Traveller'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' 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

I can't honestly say that I intend to read any of those that I haven't marked already read. I guess 47 read isn't bad, though. I'm not sure I gained anything by reading some of those that I have read. I wonder, in fact, how many of these books would even stand a chance of getting published today. I'd have to say "for good reason." Starting July 15, you'll get a chance to say what classics you would publish today at http://www.longtalepress.com. It will be fun. Come and see!

Comments

I quite agree. I think the list is fairly arbitrary and was compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts. It does not match up with the "100 best titles of the 20th Century" put together a few years ago. It is not particularly classical works as you note. In addition to pulling Shakespeare apart into "the works" and "Hamlet" they took C.S. Lewis and put in the whole "Chronicles of Narnia" plus "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," but Harry Potter gets mention only as a series. And really, how many Jane Austen books need to be on the list? I thought at first it was a list of books that movies had been made of when I looked at it, but I think it was just a list that the NEA liked and could make a sweeping statement about. Believe me, based on the experience of choosing what books from Gutenberg Project to use in our "Would you publish this book?" meme at Long Tale Press, it isn't easy to make a well-rounded choice.
... or Dickens. Can't believe that ten percent of the list is Dickens and Austen!
Yeah, that list doesn't come from The Big Read. It's a World Book Day reader's poll from 2007, which explains the randomness, UK-centric/movie title focus, and I suppose how stuff shows up twice.

I have no clue where the average adult has only read six thing came from. Chalk that one up to the LJ meme process?
Oh God, HARDY! MINE ENEMY! *ganks meme*

Hee, I don't think anyone would ever publish anything resembling Thomas Hardy's works today. They're bleak, frustrating, long, and never end well (with the exception of Far From The Madding Crowd). Unless you enjoy being yanked around for pages and suffering alongside the characters, you're not really missing much.

I do have to say Les Miserables is a good story. Giving it a modern spin, it's a tale of love overcoming poverty, warfare, and human frailties. The musical and movie I haven't seen, but a recent BBC radio adaptation was very affecting :D
I've read 80% of those... I'll post this to my LJ too....
when I think of 'classics' I think 'Scarlet Pimpernel, Scarlet Letter, Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, Iliad, etc...' I don't necessarily think 'DaVinci Code'. Oh well, fun list anyhow!