Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Books?

Lifted this off of my dear friend The Archaeogoddess' blog. She's read a few more of them than I have, and I have to say the list is oddly lacking in several great books and there are a few I question being given the title of great books.

Apparently The Big Read thinks that the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books on their list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen Loved the book, loved the play!
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling Last I checked, this was seven books, not one.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible Been meaning to get to this for a long while, but haven't yet determined which version I want to read, I know I don't want to read the King James version, but that rules out only one version of many.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens Must say I second the Archaogooddess in my hatred of all things dickensian
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 Hamlet, Macbeth, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and many of the I'm not there yet, but I will be.
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 I have tried and tried to read this and just can't do it.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen Here the Archaeogoddess and I differ greatly. I love Jane Austen while she...erm...doesn't.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis This not being included with the Narnia series perplexed me as well as the Archaeogoddess
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 I have no idea how I missed this book. Seems like everyone I know (Archaeogoddess aside) read this book, how she and I missed it is beyond me
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown I read it, but I'm not clear on why this is considered a great book.
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 Loved, loved, loved this book.
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
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 I was ready to slit my wrists to get out of finishing this book. I hated this book with a vengeance but was forced to read it by the most frightening sophomore English teacher ever. There was no getting around her assignment of books for book reports.
68 Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker I'm not sure why this ia a great book, why everyone loves it so much. It was boring, verbose and pompous.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett I have no idea how I missed this book
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 The only Dickens novel that didn't make my brains leak out of my ears.
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker The Color Purple is a good book, but if you're only going to read one Alice Walker book then I recommend Posessing the Secret of is indescribable.
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
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad Way better than Apocalypse Now
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 Should have read this, but chose not to, as did another of member of the same class who then originated the term freak shampooing accident
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare Wouldn't this be part of the complete works?
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 38, which is two more than I told the Archaeogoddess, of course counting has never been my strong suit.

Still, I object to some of these books and question the lack of others. For instance, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, or Wizard of Oz, Role of Thunder Hear My Cry

I've spent my entire life with my nose stuck in a book, so it's hard to believe that I've only read about a third of these books.

I'm already trying to brainwash the midget into reading. She reads well, but doesn't have the passion for books that I have. A lot of that, I know, has to do with the quality of her childhood versus the quality of mine. I needed books to escape into, and she doesn't.

So...if you've only read six of these books like the "average" adult, then get out there and start reading. Because while this is not the list of books I find essential, it's a good start.


Webster Twelb said...

i've read 9...i'll start reading some of it...

Lou Ann said...

I'm already trying to brainwash the midget into reading. She reads well, but doesn't have the passion for books that I have. A lot of that, I know, has to do with the quality of her childhood versus the quality of mine. I needed books to escape into, and she doesn't.

And in a way, I guess I should say "you're welcome" - but would rather you had a child hood that you didn't need to escape from...