The Big Read

I got this over at Iris' place. This is from something called 'The Big Read', from the NEA came up with a list of their top 100 books and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these books. I will highlight the ones I've read. Cut and paste into your blog and let us know which 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
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 the complete works though!)
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
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
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving currently checked out to read after i finish "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"
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
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel52 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
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
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 what a great name, perhaps it will be next on my list!
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

ooh, only 29. not so hot! there's a few that i couldn't remember if i had actually read them or not but i'm guessing if i questioned it the answer would be no! eek! i have seen a lot of the movies though. ;)


ordinary girl said…
I played!

Of the books that you haven't read (at least, the ones I've read), I would strongly recommend Watership Down to you (and the girls). It's great children's literature, and I've read it and reread it maybe 20 or 30 times since I was 9. Can't remember how old your kids are, but 8-10 is about the right age to pick that one up.

Also, would recommend anything by Bill Bryson -- he's a very funny and sarcastic writer, witty and insightful. Worth reading. Notes from a Small Island is just one of many good books by him. (My personal favorite is The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got that Way.)
Iris said…
Oh- in addition to what I recommended to you on my blog's comments, I think you would greatly enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland (my favorite!) and the Anne of Green Gables books. Your girls would love these, too!

I see you've read the Bell Jar. I've stayed away from that one because of my tendency to depression. Should I check it out anyway?
revhipchick said…
o.g.--thanks for the reccomendation. i'm in awe because you even attempted to remember my girls' ages! my 9 yr old (who will be 10 w/out me on Wed.) reads non-stop. i was so excited because i think (hope) she's finally old enough to read To Kill A Mockingbird. i've often wondered about Watership Down, just have never picked it up. i'll remember Bill Bryson next time we hit the library. thanks! i love hearing what others think about their reads and reccomendations.

iris--i've always meant to read both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland--just never have, i'm sure they'd be great to read with the girls. i thought Merk would love Anne of Green Gables but we never seemed to finish it. some books we try to read together and we end up not finishing them because things get way hectic. for example, we LOVE the Series of Unfortunate Events series and had finally begun the last book but then it was the end of school and packing time. it's somewhere in a box and i hope to find it soon because our library fees are going to be outrageous!

The Bell Jar is wonderful, sad and depressing but wonderful. it's a strange story how i came to read that book. my sophomore english teacher took the time to pick out a book for each of us in the class that she thought would have great meaning and impact on us. she gave me The Bell Jar. i'll admit that i haven't been quite brave enough to re-read it as an adult but i both instantly bonded with it, loved and hated it. one time i ran into my teacher's room angry as heck because the girl had tried to slit her wrists and i related so much to it that it shook me to my boots. oh, i was hoping mad and then when i found out that Plath had committed suicide with her kids in the house i was so angry with her. sounds strange but i don't think i really forgave her until i reached my 30's and somehow kids and life greatly altered my perception and i became far more compassionate. perhaps we could read it together or something. it is powerful. i would like to reread it to try and get what my teacher was attempting to tell me. i have my guesses but i think rereading it would make them more substantial.
Dan Trabue said…
I've read about the same as you, maybe 29-31, my memory is not so good.

I'll have to say that I can't see myself reading a good number of those books. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine enjoying Jane Austen any more than I enjoyed the Brontes (that may be some pride and prejudice on my part, though).
Dan Trabue said…
Besides, they are ENTIRELY missing Wendell Berry and that should be truly necessary reading...
ordinary girl said…
you know, this was a very curious list. When I saw the DaVinci Code, I thought, really? It's nowhere near the quality of To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even Winnie the Pooh. Maybe it is considered important for understanding contemporary popular culture? (ditto for The Five People You Meet in Heaven -- a perfectly good book, but on the top 100?)

anyway, I had a very thorough English teacher in my junior and senior years of HS. I love to read, but I'm not sure I would have finished (or even started) the Brontes or Dickens without her.
hip2B said…
Well I have read well more that I guess I'm doing OK.

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