Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Big Read


The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. Of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six.”

Another book meme, from DebR of course!


I find that to be really sad. The average is only six. Hmmm, that seems like a really really low figure.

A lot of these we had to read in high school, so I find that hard to believe, maybe people didn't remember the names of the books they read way back when?

I noted the books that I've only seen the movie for, which is kind of sad in a way, sometimes if the movie is dreadful, it makes you want to avoid wasting more time on reading the book.


I have to admit I haven't heard of several of these books, which surprised me, I don't know if they're old or new and don't even recognize the author's names. And several of these I truly have no interest in reading. Looking over this list I see several books that I'd love to re-read too, it is always nice to be reminded of old book friends you haven't visited in a while.


Mark in bold the ones you’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

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 (So pleased these books are included in this list!)

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (I camped at the beach in Mexico where the movie was filmed)

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (some, but not all of them!)

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’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 (why is this here, when #33 is the Chronicles of Narnia which include TLTWATW ??)

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (I don't know if I can bring myself to watch the movie version)

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (awful movie, made me not want to read the book)

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 (one of top 10 books Ever)

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan (really great movie!)

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (great movie!)

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 (looking forward to the movie!)

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 (loved the movie)

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 (one of the most re-read of my childhood)

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 Zola7

9 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 (saw the movie!)

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 (Hey! Wasn't the COMPLETE works already listed above? They could have put another book here in this spot!)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


61 out of 100, what is that a C? Not toooo bad I guess. But there are several that I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I haven't read as of yet. Lots better than the average of six though!
How about you, have you read many of these books??

5 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

just reading through the list I know I read way more then the average 6... makes you realize how little reading some do. Heck, I read more then 6 of these out loud to my dear son as a child!

Jodith said...

*sighs* I've only read 28. But I should get extra points for reading all of Luisa May Alcott's and Lucy Maud Montgomery's books. And all of the Harry Potter series. And I should get points for reading Dickens before the age of 10 *laughs*. The librarian initially wasn't going to check Oliver Twist out to me because of my age. My mother had a little chat with her to let her know that I could read whatever book I *expletive deleted* wanted to.

I have, however, read every last sci-fi book on the list.

Lunaea said...

I've read at least 37 of them (some I may have read as a child and forgotten), but I have to say, this is a pretty goofy list. Some really good books and classics, and some real dogs. (No offense, Zelda.) So I don't feel all that illiterate for not having read many of them. :-)

Barbara said...

I haven't read quite as many as you have, but I DO get extra points for actually having read Ulysses, don't I?

Kirsty said...

Well, I only read 20 on that list, but that said, I have read a lot of books. Can I name all the titles? No. High school was a LONG time ago, lol! I almost always have one book going, might take me a week or more to get through it, but that's life with littles!