>The BBC’s ‘The Big Read – Top 100 Books’


Many of you may have seen this list floating around the blogverse or on facebook over the past few months. The first time I saw it was on a blog back at the end of the summer. 
Since then, it has gained popularity, or notoriety, depending on your opinion of it. I was talking with William the other day and we were wondering how some books make it onto the ‘classics’ list. 
I won’t mention the author or the book, but if the one we were discussing were submitted today, I highly doubt it would make it to any publishing house. If it takes 20+ pages to begin and end an action, it’s a good bet I won’t be reading it, or anything else that author has written. Then again, I’ve read a lot of fluff….
So anyway, here is the list. I’ve color coded them instead of writing reviews. (Time constraints.)

1.The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien     Read it, have the movies and the books.

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen     Read it, have the movie and the book
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling     Read it, have the movie and the book
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee     Read it, saw the movie, had the book
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne     Read it, watched it on Disney when I was little
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell     Have the book
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis     Read it, have the movie, have it on radio theater
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame     Read it
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens     Started it
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott     Read it, saw two movie versions
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy     Saw the movie
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell     Saw the movie
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling     Read it, have the movie and the book
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling     Read it, have the movie and the book
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling     Read it, have the movie and the book
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien     Read it, have the book
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll     Read most of it, saw several movie versions
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens     Started it
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl     Saw the movie
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson     Read it, saw different movie versions
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen     Have the book
39. Dune, Frank Herbert     Saw the movie
40. Emma, Jane Austen     Have the book, saw the movie
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery     Read it, had the book, saw the series on tv
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams     Have the book
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald     Read it
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas     Read it, saw the movie
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell     Have the book
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens     Started it, saw several movie versions
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett     Read it, have a version of it on dvd, had the book
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King     Started it, have the book
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell     Read it, had the book, saw the tv version
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer     Read it, have the book
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens     Started it
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough     Saw the tv series
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl     Saw the movie
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding     Saw the movie
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens     Started it
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar     Read it, saw the movie
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons     Saw the movie, really want the book
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist     Read it, have the book
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo     Saw the movie
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot     Saw the movie
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Now, that’s the list and where I’m at with it. Hart the Watery Tart (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) posted the list with her thoughts on the books she’s read. Theresa also has a tag on facebook here. Has anyone else posted anything about this list? What are your thoughts on it?
Hart also added a few that she thought should be on the list, as well as some that should be taken off. Taking a page from her idea, I’m adding a few….

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Oddkins by Dean Koontz
The Eight by Katherine Neville
The Thomas Covenant Chronicles by Stephan R. Donaldson
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis/Hickman (a grown up version of Tolkien* my words)

PS-why does Blogger always mess with continuity? Dang it!

Oh, yeah, my score:

Read: 20
Started/Read Part Of: 7
Saw in some form: 29
Own(ed)/Want: 20

*this count is likely off-each time I go through it, I get a different number!*

About CuriousCat

I love to learn new things-anything from how to create a junk journal to the way light moves through space; why cats present their behinds to us to the effects of chemicals on our endocrine system. If it interests me, I can spend hours reading and learning about it.

Posted on November 27, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. >Your header makes me smile–even though it's 20 degrees here right now!I've seen the list and thought about reading what I hadn't already read. Then I came to my senses and decided to make my own reading list–soon.Best,Bonnie

  2. >worth a closer look… thx b 🙂

  3. >Ummm, guess I better get started if I want to complete that list by time my eyes are too old to focus anymore 🙂 I stopped by and was caught by the NC and teacher in your profile…me too!

  4. >I spent way too much time here today, but I loved every minute of it. Have a great weekend. Blessings….Mary

  5. >Wow, you've read a lot of the classics! A Tale of Two Cities is a great book, but it did take me a long time to get through it with the help of my mom in high school. The end makes it worth it, though! 🙂

  6. >You've read a lot of these, clearly you aren't the demographic the BBC was referring to!

  7. >My son is reading "Of Mice and Men," and he's bored. Before he even started it, I reminded him that these books don't start with a bang. You have to give them time! Not something current 13-year-olds are used to doing. Thanks for the list AND your opinions!

  8. >I feel more unread than everyone else who has done this list. However, there are a lot of books here that I don't think should have been in a list of this nature and they are books that it is unlikely that I'll ever get around to reading. I would have included something by William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. I think this list was compiled by someone in England–that and maybe the age of the compiler might have had a lot of bearing on what appears on this list.LeeTossing It Out

  9. >This list is so British-leaning! (Of course it is.) I'll read whatever is in front of my face, so I've read 40 of these books and some of 3 more. I almost never put down a book without finishing it, even if I hate it. Recently I read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It was well-written and all, but extremely long and seemingly pointless, with lots of unrelated storylines. (Or maybe I missed something.) Seth himself wrote a little preface to the book joking about how it should have been edited better but he didn't want it to be. I felt like I didn't get the joke. Or was it on me?

  10. >*Bonnie-wow, and I thought it was cold here at 37! I think I'll make a list, too. We should make our own recommended lists and see how many we have in common!*Laughingwolf-I've notice a couple lists with different books on them. I don't know how many of these I'll ever get read but December has been designated as a reading and no writing month for me. We'll see…*Tracy-hey, nice to meet you! Your comment made me laugh! Thanks for stopping by and I wouldn't worry too much about completing the thing; I'm not!*Mary-I understand. I've been over it a few times, deciding which ones I want to tackle next month!*Aubrie-that one is definitely on my list for next month, thanks!*Karen-(with a snooty sniff, my nose in the air) Of course not! (laughing) you should see what I HAVE read. I don't think most of it would fit their list! But I've loved most of it and that's what counts!*Julie-that book was recommended to me. I might have to put it on my Dec. list….*Lee-I completely agree. Sure, some of the classics deserve a mention, but there are also some really good ones out there that should be mentioned, too.In the 11th grade, we didn't read any Faulkner or anyone else. Instead, my teacher focused a whole semester on Hemingway. I feel cheated! And I don't know that other person; gotta check him out….*Genie-daaaaaang! I'm impressed! Thanks for the info, just crossed off A Suitable Boy. My friend William was telling me about a Virginia Wolfe book and how it took 20+ pages to make one paint stroke. Arrrrg!

  11. >I guess I've read half or more of the books on the list…gosh..maybe there was a time in my life that I actually read something just for the fun of it!!

  12. >*Charlene-half?!!! Wow! That's awesome!

  13. >Say aren't you a clever little well-read bookworm! Very pretty post too! I've got this ready to post when I can. I've been reading all your past posts I've missed starting at Thanksgiving. Thanks again for the link.

  14. >Ooh, and I forgot! Congrats on winning NaNo. I've got a few thousand to go but I'm finishing it today even if I turn into a zombie!

  15. >My next assignment for you: make you read Catch-22. One of the most darkly hilarious books ever. I know you will love it.

  16. >Wow, I am very impressed with that list of books! I've many of them, but not nearly enough. Hope you are having a Wonderful long weekend!!Hugs,Coreen

  17. >It's a great list – scanning quickly I see at least 15-20 that I haven't read, and at least two that SHOULD be on the list (IMHO): The Book Thief and The Poisonwood Bible.

  18. >*Denise-I was a book junkie in high school. And I just saw that you're purple now, congratulations!!! No zombie cravings for you, my friend! And it's sweet of you to go back and read, thank you! Hope the rest of your weekend is relaxing.*William-but I still haven't finished the other books you gave me!!!!! =P*Coreen-lots of those got read when I had much more time and fewer responsibilities. I wasn't writing then, either. Thanks and I hope yours is a great one, too.*Angela-15-20 that you HAVEN'T read?!! WOW! And I agree that the list should be updated or altered!

  19. >You're right–there are different lists out there! Makes me wonder even more–where on earth did this thing actually originate?Ah well. You're definitely well-read, anyway!

  20. >*Golden Eagle-so are you, my friend!

  21. >This is a different list than the one going around Facebook, I think. On the FB list, I'd read at least 25. A few writer-friends had read over 50 – so impressive.

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