Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Are You "Well-Read?"( I'm not sure if I am). . .

The challenge is: Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

This post stems from Rach Writes and many others but I came upon the challenge at Rach Writes.

• Copy this list.

• Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.

• Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

• Tag other book nerds.

If you dare like Rachael Harrie, then underline those books you plan to read in 2011.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (Didn’t finish all 7 but finished up to book 4)
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell [I've been meaning to read this one for ages]
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare [Was a theatre arts major]
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson [I did read his A Short History of Nearly Everything]
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl [But I’ve read James and the Giant Peach]
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo [In this list, if it’s a classic play then I’ve likely read parts based on my theatre background]

Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes believes there to be one missing on the list and added The Iliad by Homer.

If I were to add the 100th I think I might add Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

I’m afraid in this list of 100, I am not as well read as I should be: 20 Read Entirely and 10 partial reads.

Then again, this is a subjective list. There are great books not on the list like, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway or Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe. There are books like Bridget Jones which pales in comparison to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde on a list suggesting whether or not we’re well read. I like it though. It’s great to see what kinds of classics aspiring writers have read. I think I just might make another posting about what exactly is on my bookshelf after Thanksgiving. By the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



  1. Hi Patricia,THIS interests me! I notice a few familiar titles, but like you there are those that I have read/am reading not in the list. I published one post moments ago, so may do this later. Drop by my blog? Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. It's so interesting to see all the different books everyone has read. I do agree with your comment though, there are some very odd books on the list. Bridget Jones's Diary and The Da Vinci Code puzzle me, I must say. I think I'm going to conclude that this isn't a definitive list of classics/must reads, but it was fun nevertheless :)


  3. The list was not a list of classics or must reads but a list of the UK's most popular books, which explains why thinks like Bridget Jones' Diary were on there.

    The full sources for the list are on my blog here:

  4. You beat me. Damn. I plan on posting this list tomorrow or Friday, but I've only read 15 of these books. It's more than what the BBC thinks is acceptible, but still not enough.

    I don't know though ... some of these so-called great books just plain sucked and I don't see why I should be expected to have read them to be well-read. JUDE THE OBSCURE for example. God, I hated that book so so so damn much. It almost put me off of reading entirely (until I found Harry Potter and YA/MG). I mean, what was I supposed to get from that book. Some poor guy marries a manipulative bar maid, they have 3 kids, one of the kids is like some super genius and acts beyond his age and for some reason kills his brother, sister and himself. Why is that of any value? I seriously hate that book.

  5. This looks fascinating! I think I might just post it myself . . . I love anything book-related. Those are some interesting choices, though Tizzy's comment that they're the UK's most popular explains the titles.

  6. I think I only have 12 but at least that's twice the six!

  7. Thank you all for your comments today. It's an interesting post. Funny to think what one person or group in one country believes to be a good list of books to deam a person well-read or not. I get that it's UK popular books versus classics. This was a fun list. May all of us aspring authors get to be listed one day.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  8. I got 39 and I think their list was a bit lacking frankly-- I don't know that C.S. Lewis should be on there and agree with the others... Da Vinci Code? Bridget Jones Diary?... Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  9. I'm surprised that the BBC thinks most people would've only read 6 of these, considering so many of these are assigned reading in school! I think with the Jane Austen alone, I"m up to 6! And why does Hamlet show up twice, by itself and included as one of the Collected Works of Shakespeare? Intriguing! Glad you posted this.

  10. I'm amazed I've actually read 35 of these books and a few partially read ones too. I'm also surprised about the low number especially since we read some of them in school.
    Of course there are 7 books in Harry Potter so that's another 6 on my list too :O)