Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How many?

The BBC 'most people have only read six books' thing has reared its ugly head again. I think it's been around for years but it's still an interesting exercise. Apparently, surveys show that most people have read only six of the list below. 
(Bold means I've read it. Italics means I started it and gave up. There are also comments.)

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  (I read the first four then she sold out)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I really should, shouldn't I)
6 The Bible (What? All of it?)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (My O Level book)
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 Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (And I know why people -allegedly - go out and kill afterwards. I really wanted to kill Holden Caulfield!)
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 (It's on my list. It's on my E-reader!)
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 (lots of times - one of my favourites)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (Yes, all of them)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe  (See no. 33)
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 (I LOVE Pooh!)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Not his best. Angels and Demons is better)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (And it felt like it!)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (Give him back! One of the best books ever)
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 (Hated it)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding50 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  (Very clever book)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Because I hated 100 years... see 43)
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 (It's nonsense!)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (And it is.Never really enjoyed Hardy.)
68 Bridget Jones’s 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  (Oh my gawd.....Was she the depressed one?)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome  (It's on my list but I don't have a copy yet)
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 Blyton91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery  (In French!)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks (This is about the only Ian Banks I've never read. I've even read some Iain M 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  (Not sure why they have this separated out. See 14)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Sandra Davies said...

Hmm ... think I read 50+, lots at school which I hated (1984 & Lord of the Flies), cannot stand Dickens (though have read 2, I like you hated the Handmaiden's Tale) but what an odd list, e.g. why pick on the 'Curious Tale of the Dog' - and as for Bridget Jones' Diary!!

But I did read 'To Kill a Mocking-bird' last summer and enjoyed it far more than I expected to.

Jarmara Falconer said...

I've read about 20, but I have had some of them as audio books as I love to be read to while I'm busy in the kitchen. It help me 'read' more as I have a large number of books by my bed.

I read 'Catch 22' when I was a teenager but didn't understand it, but when I had it read to me a couple of years ago, I loved it. Whether it was because my mind had time to mature or not I don't know.

A great list.

Jarmara Falconer said...

P.s I loved 'Five people you meet in Heaven at wonderful book!

MorningAJ said...

I think Bridget Jones (and JK Rowling) were in there just so that people would have read something. Curious Tale was actually recommended to me by an English teacher!

MorningAJ said...

Hi Jarmara I might actually try Five People because you're not the first person to say that.

Sandra Davies said...

I've never heard of 'Five people' - daren't even think of it at the moment, although I am progressing through my pile of un-read. And I too ought to re-read 'Catch 22'

A slight digression, I am shocked at the number of excellent contemporary Scottish writers who certainly don't seem to reach mainstream English bookshops - I highly recommend Andrew Greig - start with 'Electric Brae' and A L Kennedy I like too.

snafu said...

I have only read 27 out of that list, although I think it is odd that some are whole series and some just a one off novel. Not a big score but it seems that most, if not all of the books on this list have been made into a feature film, or a TV series, which is not necessarily a good recommendation for them.
I wonder who decided that it would be an interesting exercise to see who has read them, because most of the film directors who made them into films do not seem to have been amongst them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandra and AJ .. The Curious Incident of the Night Dog - I think is a brilliant book explaining the aspects of Aspergers .. I wrote a post about that and a few other useful books - strokes, etc ..

I wrote it nearly two years ago .. if you're interested in having a look it's here:

I have scan read probably about half those - ie at school when I'm not sure what I took in .. but it's an interesting list .. and thanks for printing it out .. then I've enjoyed a few over the years ..

Thanks - Morning AJ - enjoyed this - Hilary