Thursday, March 12, 2009

The BBC says we aren't well read

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?For those tagged: Put an x beside the books you've read. Apparently the BBC thinks most folks have only read six.
No, seeing the film or starting to read the book don't count. Darn.

Here's my list:
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (X)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (x)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (actually seven books)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X)
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 - JRR 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 (X)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (X)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (X)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (X)
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (X)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I have read the first three)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (X)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)(This is the first of the Chronicles of Narnia)
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 (X)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez(X)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (x)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert(X)
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X)
)55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zifon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley(X)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez(X)
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 (X)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (X)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (X)
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (x)
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert(X)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
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 (X)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery(X) he wrote this while living in Northport, NY the town where I grew up, so we HAD to read it, but we didn't understand much
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 (X) I'm teaching this to AP English students as I write
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables
My score is 37. Wow, the same score as my well-read friend Elizabeth Gerold Miller! I was surprised how many of the same books we have read. Much more reading to get to on this list!
This is bit embarrassing for an English Literature teacher, but 31 books above the BBC estimate. When I lived in London I must admit, however, when I saw Brits reading on the "Tube" (subway) it was more likely to be one of the above classics than the latest potboiler Sidney Sheldon or James Patterson novels. Though I disagree about some of the selections on the list being literary classics:
His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, Five People You Meet in Heaven
Just making the bestseller list doesn't earn a place for you with CS Lewis, Jane Austen and Shakespeare.

Wow, the same score as my well-read friend Elizabeth Gerold Miller! I was surprised how many of the same books we have read. Much more reading to get to on this list.


Shawna said...

I've got 46 of those. About half of those I'd read before the age of 18, too.

I didn't care for some of the books on that list. I mean, I'm personally proud of having not read any of the "His Dark Materials" books, or "DaVinci Code", either.

Leticia said...

Very impressive, Shawna! You went to a good school.
I only read "The DaVinci Code" so that I could understand the books which debunked that fictional work. Philip Pullman, author of "His Dark Materials" admitted that he wrote the book to lead children into aetheism the way CS Lewis led themn into Christianity. Those, and Mitch Albom's pop theology I can live without!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

There were some moderns in there that definitely weren't on par with the classics. And some of them were series that only counted as a fraction of 1. Still it was an interesting list. Madame Bovary is on the cue for reading in the next year.

Joseph said...

I've also read 46. Funny!

I agree some of the books on the list aren't really worth reading, at least not in themselves. (One might be interested in reading the "DaVinci", in order to be able to say from firsthand knowledge that it is trashy, both in content and writing style.)

Jenny Wiegand said...

My score was 54, but MUST read Brideshead Revisited! (And while you're at it, read Decline and Fall by Waugh, too!)

Oh, and BTW..."Atlas Shrugged" should be on this list. I'm sure there are others missing as well, but that omission jumped right out at me.


Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I came back to check if you'd read Brideshead Revisited. I thought it was awful and have been getting some flack from anonymous commenters on my review on my blog.