Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bring it on, BBC.

Today may only be December 2nd, but I have already come up with my New Year's Resolution. I know, I know - sometimes I am so prepared, I scare myself.

You see, there is a list of books floating around the internet, and supposedly the BBC says most people will only read 6 of the 100 titles named. Now, I can't actually find a record of the BBC saying that, and this list is a little messed up in places, as you will soon see. So I'm not so sure about the legitimacy of this list but let's just skip over that minor detail for the time being.

The point is, here are a bunch of classic books, many of which I've been meaning to read anyway. I spend about 20 hours a week commuting on the bus to and from my job, so I am always looking for more reading material. Now that this list of beloved novels has entered my life, I feel a sense of purpose. That's right, challenge accepted. I am going to read all of these books.

I'm not giving myself any deadlines, because I want plenty of time to savor these books at my own pace. But some day, I'm going to be able to look at this meme and say "Yeah, I've read ALL of those. How you like me now, BBC?"

I've noticed the list is a little repetitive in places and there are more than 100 books on it (Hello, Harry Potter is seven books, you can't count that as one, fools). So I reserve the right to edit this list as need be. But, without further ado, here is the list of books, with the ones I've already read in bold:

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, I've read a bunch of it throughout my childhood anyway, so I'm counting it).
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 (Cheaters, this is way more than one book!)
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 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 (Why is this book listed separately from the Chronicles of Narnia?)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
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 Meaney – John Irving
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
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 Zafo
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 (Ugh horrible memories of high school French class.)
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 (Why is this listed separately from the Shakespeare collection?)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I've got about a quarter of the list covered already. Not too shabby.

Any suggestions for the book I should kick off this madness with? I'm thinking Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," since it's that time of year and all. I hope you will all support me on my journey to becoming a well-read individual, even if I don't complete it until I'm 80 years old.

Watch out, Boston Public Library, because I'm comin' for you.


  1. this list is so whack they don't even have The Divine Comedy on here wtf

    i would like to highly recommend Catch 22 because that book is hilarious, so I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Good to know! I will check Catch 22 out soon then.

    And yeah, the list is a little weird in places, so I'm editing it as I go. Since it's going to take me years to read them all anyway, I'm just adding other classics as I think of them. So I will put The Divine Comedy on too, woo!