Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you well read?

I saw this list over a Dead End Follies and Too Many Books, Too Little Time and thought I'd play along.  Supposedly the BBC put together a list of 100 books and claim that people will only have read 6 of these books on average.  I'll bold the books I've read, italicize the books I've read a part of.

I say "supposedly" because I noticed these 2 blogs have 2 different lists of books.  So I tried searching for the list the BBC put together.  And I can't find it.  I found a list of the top 100 nation's best beloved books but this didn't say anything about how only 6 of these books are read on average.

I then found the list Too Many Books was using over at LibraryThing, but again, nothing about the BBC or 6 reads.

Kristjan Wagner over at Pro-Science noticed the same thing I noticed, namely that this BBC list isn't around.

So from all I can see the BBC doesn't think people will only read 6 books on the list below, but I still want to see how many I've read so here we go.  I'm using the list off of LibraryThing only because that's the list I've seen repeated a couple times.  If someone can find an actual list by the BBC please let me know!

Let's see how I stack up:

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien -- I read the first two books of the series but just couldn't make it through Return of the King. I tried but couldn't do it.

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 -- I've read a lot of Shakespeare but I can't say I've made it through all of the works (Timon of Athens, A Winter's Tale)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

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

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (at least twice)

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 -- So the Chronicles of Narnia was just mentioned at number 33.  Does this not count as part of it?

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 – A.A. 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

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 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

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 Inferno – Dante 

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 – E.B. 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 -- read it in English and French! Don't ask me to do that again, I don't remember enough French to do it.

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 -- This list is repetitive.  It already asked if I'd read the complete works.  Come on people!

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl 

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I have 30 bolded and 7 italicized.  How do you stack up to this completely arbitrary list?

Update!  My good friend Paolo is far better at internet research than I (and probably doesn't give up after 5 whole minutes of looking) and found what looks to be the original list on the Guardian.  No mention of the BBC or 6 books but if you want to check it out, here you go!