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BBC Reading Challenge

I spent the long 4th of July weekend in Las Vegas, the return flight delayed for over a day due to the plane crash in San Francisco. Work travel this week means I won’t get a lot of reading done. In the Garden of Beasts continues to engross, but The Diagnosis is dull. Anyway, what do you when you’re stranded at the airport besides reading? Surfing book blogs!

This list is the BBC Book Challenge. The BBC believes that most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books below. How many have you read? I boldtype the one I’ve read.

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 (all) [I stopped at Book 5]
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee [First assigned reading in 9th grade]

6 The Bible [Read it cover-to-cover twice but haven’t touched it for years]
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens [Another 9th grade read]

11 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier [One of the best suspense/mystery books]

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks [Meh…]
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger [10th grade read. I remembered not knowing what the word “turd” meant then]
19 The Time Travellers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger [Didn’t really care for it]
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot [AP English assigned reading]

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby — F Scott Fitzgerald [One of my favorite novels of all time]
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 [Not my favorite of his. Like East of Eden much better]
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy [My favorite 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 Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Willaim Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell [Another 9th grade book]
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown [Hard to imagine anybody who hasn’t read this one]
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabrial Garcia Marquez [Read it for two different classes in college]
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins [Another great mystery]

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far from the Madding Crowd — Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood [Creepy and eclectic]
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martell [Don’t really care for this one]
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth  [Sitting on the shelf forever]

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon [Overhyped]
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens [My favorite 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 [10th grade reading]
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 [I’m done with him after Satanic Verses]
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville [never finished this one]

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson
74 Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar – Sylivia 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 – Charles Mitchell
83 The Colour 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 & the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo [Only read the bridged edition]

I have read 52 so far.


12 Responses

  1. I absolutely hate “top 100” lists of this kind, but this one has Germinal. Germinal! Unfortunately it does not have The Master and the Margarita or Wolf Hall, but I guess I have to be happy with what they do have…

  2. You beat me… I’ve only read 51! 😉

  3. I’ve only read 24 so have a ways to go. Glad you arrived safely home. Hope the weekend was good.

  4. Matt, there is some duplication in the list. E.g. Complete Works od shakespeare (14) and Hamlet later on; Narnia Chronicles and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. That said, I seem to be fairly well read as far a lists go but, like you, I have read many times more than 100 books and find these lists too restrictive. Just let’s read and the Hell with Lists. All the best, Michael

  5. I’ve read 24. But like you I ended Harry Potter at Book V. I’ve also read only the first book of the Lord of the Rings. I have some of the books waiting to be read like Huckleberry Finn, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Songbird etc.

  6. 62 (maybe more). I’d have to check my shelves (and my Kindle archive) for a few I’m not sure of.

  7. […] the lead of flexnib and matt here are the 100 titles with the ones I’ve read (56) in bold and with comments. Some of […]

  8. 66 – being an English major helped a lot.

  9. I can’t resist a list! I keep track of this one on Rose City reader. I’ve read 60 so far and have several others on my TBR shelf. But I am probably never going to finish all the books on it because I plan to skip the HP and most of the sci-fi. Here’s my list: http://www.rosecityreader.com/2009/07/list-of-day-bbcs-big-read.html

  10. I’m only at 17, but I have a lot of them sitting around to be read at some point int time.

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