Monday, January 25, 2010

Well Read?

Everyone keeps asking me whether I have/want one of those electronic book readers like the Kindle or Sony reader because I'm always reading something and can spend hours in the bookstore but I have absolutely no desire for one of those electronic things. I love getting a new book, cracking the spine and turning the pages the old fashion way. Would you want an electronic book reader?

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this list and bold or put an ‘X’ after those you have read and then leave a link in the comments.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X*
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X

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 X
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot X*
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
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X
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
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossein X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden X
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 Meaney – John Irving X
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
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel X
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
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 Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon X
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 X
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac X
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding X
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X
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 Inferno – Dante
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 X
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker X
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 X

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
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

*never finished

I am an avid reader so I thought I would do better than 39 out of the 100. It's more than the 6 average but not as good as I expected. Some of these books I have absolutely no interest in reading and others I'm going to make a special trip to the bookstore to find out what I've been missing. I'm always looking for a good book to sink my teeth into.

I'm surprised a couple of my favorites didn't make the list so I thought I would add a few more bonus books of my own:

101 Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand X
102 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak X
103 East of Eden - John Steinbeck X
104 Crimson Petal and the White - Michael Faber X

You can check out my complete bookshelf here.

How many of the 100 books have you read? More than 6? Did your favorite book make the list?


  1. I have read just 15 of those listed. I am not interested even slightly in fantasy type books like Lord of the Rings, so I don't feel too bad about that.

    My all time favorite is on the list-Catcher in the Rye.

    My latest favorite, in case you haven't had a chance to read it is called "The Help". A fantastic book about women working as domestic help in the 1960's.

  2. I, too, am an avid reader, but I found I'd only read 32 of the books on that list when it was circulating on Facebook some months ago.

    I think it's because the majority of the books I read and enjoy are popular fiction, not necessarily great literature.

    I really could not name one "favorite book." I have several that I really, really love.

  3. I really dislike a lot of these book lists... this one in particular. Where are the great contemporary multicultural pieces? And why do you get a "Shakespeare bonus" (since if you've read the complete works of Shakespeare, you've obviously read Hamlet. Same with Lewis: If you've read The Chronicles of Narnia, you've read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Why is Dicken's so over-represented? This list is an Anglophile's dream... but hardly representative of the greatest literature.

    BTW, I've read 57.

  4. so so sad. i've only read six ... yet i have about a third of them on my bookshelf waiting patiently to be read. along with those, i have atlas shrugged and the book thief. both of which i'm really excited to get to! atlas' length intimidates me. i need to get over that because i know i'll love it.

  5. If I counted correctly, I think I've read around 20 of them. Like Kate, I don't think the list is that great.

    My fave book ever,"To Kill a Mockingbird", is on the list. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is a close second, and it's not on the list. :(

    I'd take a Kindle if it was free, but otherwise, I'll stick with my library card. :)


    hey, actually made it part of one of my blogs...and I completely agree with you about atlas shrugged...very good book, it could have easily taken the place of The davinci Code...just sayin'
    I think I may have done well with this list because it contains so many barnes and nobles 'classic' books.
    I am self taught in many ways.
    So, people who do that tend to try and read 'classics'.
    I think winnie the pooh is up there, I have that book along with wind in the willows...beautiful books.

  7. I've read 45 - not sure if I expected it to be higher or lower!
    I do have a Sony book reader, I also thought I wouldn't like it as much as reading a real book, but I travel a reasonable amount and you can't beat it when you're travelling. Mine has about 1010 books on it, including whoppers like Vanity Fair & War and Peace, but weighs less than the average chick-lit novel so is much easier to pack! (My house is still full of the real thing as well though!)
    My favourite novel, I know its not an original answer, is Pride & Prejudice.

  8. 15. That's a pathetic number. And I thought I was well-read. At least I now have some titles to add to my reading list for 2010.

  9. Karen: I loved Catcher in the Rye (RIP JD Salinger) and just finished The Help and loved that too!

    S: I'd love to hear about some of your favorites.

    Fab Kate: I totally agree that the list isn't a representation of the greatest literature. 57 is pretty impressive.

    Amanda: There are so many books on the list I wouldn't bother wasting your time with. Atlas Shrugged is definitely intimadating but it is worth the effort. I absolutely loved The Book Thief. Let me know how you liked them when you get around to cracking them open and taking the journey to find out "Who is John Galt?"

    Cammy: I can't believe I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings too. I'm going to start hitting the library instead of the book store now that I have time to get there.

    cmoursler: I didn't really enjoy reading in school but went through a stage of trying to read the classics. I may come up with a list of my favorites and see how they rate with everyone. What's your favorite?

    Chrissie: I agree those digital book readers are great for travel...maybe someday I'll spring for one. I loved Pride and Prejudice too.

    All Women Stalker: That's not pathetic - some of the books aren't worth your time. Let me know if you want any good recommendations or check out my Shelfari book shelf.


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