The Big Read Book List

So, I saw this on Amy’s blog. Being sad and pathetic and always up for a new way to procrastinate I “had to”  do it too…

It’s a book meme….

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. (Note: From the NEA website: “The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.”)

Here’s how it works…
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) Strike out the ones you didn’t like.

Not being one who can ever just follow the rules, I didn’t underline any. It’s not that I’m that picky. Just the opposite, I “love” most books when I’m reading them – if I’ve picked the right book for the right mood. And looking at a bunch of underlines will just make my head achey…   I also added some comments here and there, ‘cuz , well…. you know….

Yes, Yes – spacing is all wonkey. I know. What I don’t know is why – or how to fix without lots of time and thinking…. which would take the fun out of all this. So, you know, deal.)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee


6 The Bible

(well, most of it, not in any particular order… and in fits and starts…)
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 D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (let me echo others in saying… “The Complete works? What about partial credit?)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
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

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’s Adventures 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  –wasn’t this covered in #33?


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
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

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

(what kind of hippie would I be if I didn’t bold this one?)
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 (I’ve started, multiple times… I will get through it eventually)

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
(In English and in French… wish I remembered enough French to pull that off again!)

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
(I guess this is where I get that partial credit)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


2 responses to “The Big Read Book List

  1. I have tried several times to read both ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Brideshead Revisited’ with no success. Not only do I find the many of the characters in these books unsympathetic ,I find the writing styles of both authors to be tedious and pretentious. (and ‘The Great Gatsy’ is pure drivel)
    In my defense, I have read unabridged versions of Crime and Punishment, War and Peace(3 seperate translations), Les Miserables, ana Karenina, Moby Dick(including over 300 pages about whales and whaling), The idiot,The Count of Monte Cristo, and others that are equally long (start rant) which have been needlessy hacked to pieces by ‘editors’ who remove the very heart and soul from these works to fit our vanisihngly short attention span. (end rant)

  2. Hello there you! What a surprise to see a comment from you here. Thanks for stoppin’ by! I found this list kind of an odd combo of books myself….

    Hope all is well in your world!

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