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Monday, August 17, 2009

What do people do in England if they don't read all day?

Not that it's any better here, of course. But the BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. So how do your reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice X
2 The Lord of the Rings X
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman X (actually, just the first book. How do you make 1/3 of an 'X'?)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (own, haven't read)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare X (well, I've read many...)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (want to read)
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I really need to read this. I keep putting it down)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky X
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll X
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame X

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (own, haven't read)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (own, haven't read)
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X (really could have done without reading this...)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan X

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (own...you get the drill)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert X
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons (I have been hunting for a copy of this)
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (own, etc)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov X
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X
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 (own)
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (own)

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X (read obsessively as a child)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker X
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (own)
80 Possession - AS Byatt X

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell X (!!! favorite modern novel !!!)
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (want)
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert X (I have two copies of this. I do not need to copies of this.)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (own. Will probably never read)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - X Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (read some of these as a kid)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (own)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (tried to read. Didn't happen)
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory X
100 Les Miserables — Victor Hugo X

Well, I didn't do too bad for myself, I'd say. 54/100, assuming I can count. And many more owned and planned. Some though, I'm going to pass on.

I'm curious what 6 the BBC believes most likely, and why these are grouped as they are...


  1. Hmmm. I've read about 47 of those, and I'm in England. (I've also skim-read quite a few more while in Uni... bad habits I know).

    I *think* that list is something to do with the BBC's 'big read' contest, where the nation (or a small percentage of us!) voted for their favourite books of all time. It's not exactly the same as that list though. Maybe they updated it?

  2. I'm not sure either. My friend had it on her Facebook. We have a Big Read here too (through the National Endowment for the Arts and the ALA), where a specific book is pushed each year. It's interesting.

    I kinda wanna look it up now, because if it's a list of national favorites, that intrigues me.

    People really should read more.


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