SPark, the Purple Dragon (bladespark) wrote,
SPark, the Purple Dragon

Let's do the BBC book meme

Apparently, according to the BBC, the average person will supposedly have read only around six books on this list. I at first thought that was absurd, considering how many of them I was forced to read in high school, but then I remembered that the class that ticked off the most of them was AP Literature and not everyone takes that. So I guess the six thing could be correct.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte - Read in high school, deliberately blotted from my mind after testing was over. Ugh. This is my mother's favorite book in the world.
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
- Probably at least a dozen times, yay lifelong Sunday School? And yet I've forgotten almost all the verses I once had memorized and have to look them up now.
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte - I may have read this, but if so, I've blotted it out so thoroughly that I don't remember whether I did or not.
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman - I tried, I really did try. Finished the first book, couldn't get through the second.
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 - Uh...... Yikes. I've read large swathes, but not everything.
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffeneger
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 - Multiple times. :D
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck - Another one I read in school and can't remember a thing about now. I remember some of the school ones, I remember 1984 vividly, but so many of them bored me so much that I promptly forgot about them.
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll - More than once! And Through the Looking Glass too.
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis - Also more than once. I do have to say, though, that my adult re-reading raises some eyebrows at the implied theology.
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis - Well that's weird to have separate from the Chronicles above?
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
- God, everyone was going on and on and on about how amazing this was when it came out. It was not amazing. It was fine. I read three more Dan Brown books, because I needed reading material, and discovered that all Dan Brown books are the exact same book, so I stopped there.
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 – LM Montgomery - I read this as a kid because my mother adored it. I was bored to tears by it.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding - Read in middle school! I guess they wanted us to read it while we were around the age of the little terrors in it? I loved it. Give me bloody pigs heads over bland people fretting about their bland lives every day. I live and fret about a bland life, I don't need to read that.
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert - I read several of the Dune books when I was about 12. I did not understand everything, but I got the adventure-y bits of the story and really liked it. I've re-read them several times since. I even like the weird later ones, at least a little.
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 - Another "read in school, don't remember now." I don't think I hated this one, though, it was just okay.
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley - Have to say I do remember this, but didn't super love it. It was a little too uncomfortable at the time, and now I just think it's kinda pretentious. It's the classics version of grimdark fanfic, it's not as deep as people say it is.
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 - I may have read an abridged version.
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
- This was a bit of a slog! But being the vampire fan I am, I figured I should. It has some good moments. I've always wondered if the ambiguous ending was intended or not. Most people don't seem to see it as ambiguous, so maybe not.
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett - Possibly the only book in the world that both I and my mother love.
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 - Several times! Also the Muppet Movie version is both the most accurate to the book, and the best.
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel
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 - My incredibly boring grandmother had this and a few other classic collections (I remember a Jack London one too) in her basement, so when the kids were banished down there to play with actually nothing because there was nothing to play with and we weren't supposed to touch any of her things, I'd go read books. (And steal crystallized honey from the basement storage pantry.)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery <3 So good.
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks - I really need to read this! I've read a ton of Ian M. Banks, but none of his M-less non-sci-fi.
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams - I adored the movie as a kid, I was about six when I saw it? I recently learned that the reason my mom would never rent it a second time was she thought the violence in it would be a bad influence on me. Sigh. Read the book somewhere around 8 or 9 and loved that too.
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas - Read not for school, but also forgotten. And I may have read an abridged version?
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo - I tried, but I bounced off of it hard just a chapter or so in.

34/100 Given I've read literally thousands of books, the list definitely doesn't lean towards my tastes. Now if you had a "top classic sci-fi books" list, I'd probably be able to check off nearly all of them.

Hmmm. I'm sure there is such a list somewhere...

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