Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - Book meme

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March 11th, 2009

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08:11 am - Book meme
According to the BBC, the average adult has only read six of the Big Read's top 100 books. How many have you read?

I got this from pickwick on LJ, and since I'm a sucker for lists:

Bolded if I've read it
Italicised if I've started it/ read some of it
Struck out if I hated it
Asterisked if I own it but haven't read it

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - J.K. 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
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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 HitchHiker’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 - C.S. Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
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 - L.M. Montgomery (all seven of them)
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 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
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

As you can see, I hate classic Russian literature almost without exception. I've started so many and only got a few chapters in before giving up in disgust. Hence all the strikings-out. There are quite a few books I hated, really. Even more books I found boring, like most of Dickens,  Cloud Atlas, or anything by Rushdie.

One book I'd really like to read, and I've no idea why I haven't yet is Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh. I love his other stuff.
Also: 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker.

Books I haven't read yet but look interesting:
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
80 Possession - AS Byatt
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

Of the others, there's probably a good reason why I've been avoiding them so long. For example, I'm never going to attempt Les Mis. I've seen/heard enough adaptations to know I find it dull.

Quite a few of my favourite books ever have made this list, including Hitchhiker's Guide, Dune, Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair, Middlemarch, Lolita, The Three Musketeers, and Hamlet (surely not a book?). Each of these I've read many times over.

Other favourite books of mine that didn't make this list: Perfume - Patrick Suskind; The Liar - Stephen Fry; Cotillion - Georgette Heyer; Araminta Station - Jack Vance; Monkey - trad Chinese.

The only book I've got ready and waiting from this list is 'Madame Bovary'. I got it free online from Project Gutenberg. Hooray!

Oh yeah, and I should total my book count so I feel all smug and that because I know I read a lot. It's 79, including the partially read and never going any further, thank you. I mean, has anyone ever actually finished Joyce's Ulysses? I don't think so, Not unless if they had to do it for college.
And I just realised. I really have read the whole bible. I did it for kicks - nobody made me. Revelations was my favourite. Wow, that stuff's wacked. But Proverbs was rather pretty.

(Indulge your wild theories here)


Date:March 11th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
I always see these Top 100 book lists and wonder where all the books are that I've read. There's usually no more than half a dozen that I've read/started/rejected. I suspect I just have very esoteric reading tastes.

But I have read 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole. It's a very quirky book. I think you'd enjoy it.

[User Picture]
Date:March 11th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
You need the BBC Top 100 Horror Book list. You'd have cleared the board there.

[info]schemingreader recced me A Confederacy of Dunces already too. She said it was funny. It's on my to-read list which I keep on my mobile phone. There's about 10 items there at the moment:

Doris Lessing - the Golden notebook
Joyce Carroll Oates - the gravedigger's daughter
Evelina, Fanny Burney (rec by schemingreader)
Midnight Disease, the drive to write - Alice Flaherty (rec by schemingreader)
Oscar and Lucinda
The Prospect of the Sea - Dylan Thomas
Sexual personae - camille paglia (rec easilyled)
Creation - Gore Vidal (rec my mate F)
The Sheltering Sky - paul bowles
Confederacy of Dunces (rec schemingreader)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles - haruki marakami (rec glynnis) Finally one I read already and loved!

Every time someone recs me a book, I make a note of it.
Date:March 12th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
You need the BBC Top 100 Horror Book list. You'd have cleared the board there.
Well, there's more chance I'd have read them, that's true!

I appreciate book recs but then I feel bad when I don't get around to reading them because my reading habits are so...sporadic.
[User Picture]
Date:March 18th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
I have about 50 books/book recs I haven't got round to yet! I don't feel bad about it at all, in fact the opposite. I see it as money in the bank, reading-wise. I've got years to read them all and I think of all the joy ahead. A book rec is always a better bet than a blind read.
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