Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Big Read

I found this on my friend Kelly's blog, and since I have been thinking about all the books I've read in my life (via Reading Social on Facebook!) I decided to do it myself.....The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. I am betting I will do significantly better, since I was not only an English major but have been a bookworm my entire life! Feel free to copy and play yourself....

The Rules:
1) Look at the list and put one * by those you have read.
2) Put a % by those you intend to read.
3) Put two ** by the books you LOVE.
4) Put # by the books you HATE.
5) Post.

** Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
* The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
** Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
** Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
** To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
* The Bible (I have indeed read the entire thing, a project I made for myself when I was about 12...I don't remember a lot of it, though!)
* Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

And here I have already beaten the average!! :)

*/# 1984 - George Orwell (Maybe hate is too strong a word. But it's not my favorite)
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman AHA! Finally, I have never even heard of this one!
* Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
** Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (A very favorite of all time...)
** Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (another very favorite!)
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
* (?) Complete Works of Shakespeare (Well, I've read MOST of Shakespeare, but I don't know if I can say ALL...)
** Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
* The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks (Another I've never heard of)
* Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
*/# The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (Read this with my book club, and yes, I hated it!)
Middlemarch - George Eliot
** Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (one of my favorite books of all time. I've read it at least 12 times)
* The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
* Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (never really wanted to read this....can't say I do now, either!)
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I think I began this once but didn't finish)
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh -
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
* The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
* Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
* The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (loved it as a kid but haven't read it since, unlike many childhood favorites of mine)
% Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (Finally, one I intend to read someday)
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
** Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis (love these! Kelly--read them to Collin!!!)
** Emma - Jane Austen
** Persuasion - Jane Austen
** The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis (this is a poor choice since the Chronicles were already listed!)
* The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (liked his next book much better, "A Thousand Splendid Suns")
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis de Bernières -
** Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (Excellent!)
* Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne (HIGHLY overrated, in my opinion...)
* Animal Farm - George Orwell
* The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (again, overrated. readable, but overrated.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
** The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (just reviewed this on reading social! Great ghost story!)
** Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery (another best childhood favorite I keep rereading)
* Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (love Hardy, this isn't my favorite, but still)
** The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (Wonderful premise!)
* Lord of the Flies - William Golding
% Atonement - Ian McEwan (forgot all about this book but I think I'd like it...)
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 (read this for book group, liked it)
* 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 (another favorite!)
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
** Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (wow--depressing but vintage Hardy!)
** Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (OK, I liked this book, but I hardly think it should be on this list!!!)
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
1/2 * Moby Dick - Herman Melville (long story! I still hold a grudge against my 11th grade English teacher, Ms. Shapiro, who ruined my spring break by assigning homework from this BORING book, which I did, only to get back to school and hear we weren't finishing it because we were going to see "As You Like It" in the city and had to read that instead! I never finished the book. It was SO dull!)
** Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
** Dracula - Bram Stoker
** The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (another childhood favorite)
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
* Ulysses - James Joyce
* The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
** Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome (childhood again, I've been looking for this series for Julia, but they're out of print!)
Germinal - Émile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - A.S. Byatt
* A 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 (love it and am reading it to Emma at bedtime these days)
* 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 (I loved this book as a kid but made the mistake of getting it as a cartoon for the kids...the death of the bunnies scarred them and now none of them will read it!)
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
* Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (slogged through it--one time where the play is MUCH better!)

So...I have read 63.5 of the 100 books. Does that make me ten times cooler than the average adult? Or ten times geekier?



j-m said...

Hi Jen,
Your list results are similar to mine. My oldest's last year of homeschlg we slogged thru Les Mis. I was absolutely determined to get thru it before watching it w/Liam Neeson, and we read it aloud by turns. It took sooooo long. Good story but way too many pages of details.
I'm surprised more Dickens weren't on the list. And I would've added Madeleine L'Engle, at least the quintet, and C.S. Lewis's space trilogy.
When DD was sick with some particularly long viral thing, we listened to my old albums (33's!) of Alice in Wonderland. Don't remember who they were read by. That was fun!
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous Blogger said...

That is quite a list. My favs are The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Flies. I never liked Lord of the Flies until I taught it in 10th grade English. It had a different meaning as an adult than when I was a teen.

Jen said...

I know! I have found that almost everybody hates Dickens for some reason. I don't understand why--I love him. As to some of the choices for the list...well, let's just say I think they are a trifle frivolous! And of course they are missing some real classics. They have Dracula, but not Frankenstein. They have Hardy but not Hemingway. They have Alice Walker, but not Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, or Maya Angelou. It should be a list of 500!


Nan Patience said...

I've read a lot of these, the thing is that many of them were read many years ago and with a less mature approach. A lot of the ideas and writing in these books have a forever quality. Lately, I'm especially interested in catching up with what's being written these days and what's exciting and important now. Any suggestions?

Someone recently invited me to Goodreads to share books, but I truly do hesitate to spend more time online than I already do.