The Big Read

I originally did this on Facebook but I thought I’d carry it over here. Mare tagged me to see where I’d score with the BBC’s Big Read: The 100 Most Loved Novels of All Time. The list is going for sheer popularity, not necessarily critical acclaim which explains why The Fucking Da Vinci Code is there. Also, The Chronicles of Narnia is included, along with The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe, which is odd.

I scored something like 26 or 27, which is higher than average but lower than a lot of people I know.

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
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 (not all, a fair amount)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
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
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
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
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (ok, why is this even on the list?)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
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
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas 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
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 – 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 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 and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

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7 thoughts on “The Big Read

  1. Yeah, I scored 71 on the strength of an English degree and a childhood with my nose in a book. I’d like to say I’m going to get through the 29 I’m short, but they include the Complete Works of Shakespeare (though I have read a bit, I have not read all – Troilus and Cressida, for instance, or The Two Gentlemen of Verona, or most of the Histories); and Ulysses. The thought of tackling Ulysses fills me with anxiety. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was hard enough. And so… and so.

    I was very surprised not to see The English Patient or In the Skin of a Lion; or Life of Pi.

    Additionally, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind is an excellent read if you’re looking for something gothic. Also recommend The Thirteenth Tale for the same purpose.

  2. I haven’t tabulated yet, so I don’t know my score, but oh, I so agree about your Dan Brown comments. It is also beyond me why “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is on the list. I don’t know if they decided it was artistic on the merits of how bizarre it was, or what. But I’m not really convinced that the mere fact of being inaccessibly strange should really mean anything.

    Now, “Count of Monte Cristo.” That’s quality.

    Hi, by the way! I found you linked from Lambic.

  3. The list was defintitely drawn up by popular vote and is not considered in any way authoritative. I don’t know what it means, other than it concludes positively that I have read a lot of stuff that other people have read but I have not read some other stuff that other people have also read.

    Oh, and I hated the Da Vinci Code.

  4. That Dan Brown book worms its way onto a lot of these lists. Diabolical. And for some reason Shakespeare is mentioned twice. With a couple of minor variations, I’ve read most of the books you’ve highlighted. As to most of the rest, they belong on another list: 100 Classics Everybody Knows the Title and Story of But Rarely Ever Reads. ‘Nuff said.

  5. I got ot ask…why the underlines? I assume the underlines were for books you want to read, but then you have the bolded books underlined.

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