Wednesday, December 30, 2009

100 "Must Reads"

This list is from a note that travels around Facebook stating that the BBC believes most people have read only 6 of the following 100 books. I am not sure how or why these particular books have been selected but I have decided to make it a project to increase my number, which is 18, and work my way through the list.

There are some that I am sure I will not be reading in their entirety. I see no reason to read something just so I can say I have read it if I am not enjoying it. There are already a couple on this list that fall into that category. I'll try to organize my list to show read, not read, or tried to read & gave up.

I haven't read these:
  1. Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  2. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series, JK Rowling (I've read several but not the complete series)
  5. The Bible (Again, I cannot claim I have read it completely)
  6. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  7. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (3 book series)
  8. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  9. Little Women, Louisa M. Alcott
  10. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  11. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
  12. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
  13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulk
  14. Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
  15. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  16. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  17. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  18. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  19. War & Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  20. Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  21. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  22. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  23. Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis (7 books)
  24. Emma, Jane Austin
  25. Persuasion, Jane Austin
  26. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis (1 of the 7 Narnia books)
  27. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  28. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis De Bernieres
  29. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  30. 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  31. A Prayer for Owen Meaney, John Irving
  32. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
  33. Anne of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
  34. Far from the Maddening Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  35. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  36. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  37. Dune, Frank Herbert
  38. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
  39. Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen
  40. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
  41. The Shadow of the Wind, Carolos Ruiz Zafron
  42. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  43. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  44. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  45. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  46. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  47. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  48. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  49. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  50. Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
  51. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
  52. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  53. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  54. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  55. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  56. Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson
  57. Ulysses, James Joyce
  58. The Inferno, Dante
  59. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  60. Germinal, Emile Zola
  61. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thaceray
  62. Possession, AS Byatt
  63. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
  64. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  65. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
  66. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  67. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
  68. The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom
  69. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  70. The Faraway Tree Collection, Enid Blyton
  71. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  72. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  73. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
  74. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
  75. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
  76. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
  77. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
  78. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  79. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

I have read these:

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee
  2. 1984, George Orwell
  3. Catch 22, Joseph Heller
  4. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  6. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  7. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  8. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  9. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne (I have my Mom's copy given to her in 1927!)
  10. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  11. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  12. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  13. Atonement, Ian McEwan
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, Mark Haddon
  15. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
  16. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
  17. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  18. Charlotte's Web, EB White
  19. Watership Down, Richard Adams

These I couldn't/wouldn't finish:

  1. Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy

I think I'd like to research a little more exactly where this list came from and if it's updated annually or what. If I do read some of these I I'll move them on this blog and date the entry for when I read it (or gave up), rather than repost the entire blog again. I think I have actually read more than I take credit for - I know some of these were read in my school years, but that is far too long ago to remember!


  1. I just realized this doesn't add up to 100 books. Looking back on the original list I copied from, #26 is missing. Maybe I'll discover what it was, maybe I won't.

  2. After a rather quick and not very thorough search by Google, I find the most current book listing by BBC to be in 2003. I will try later to find a more current list of "must read books" and not necessarily by the BBC. More to come....