Most-Love Meme? Most Unread? qui sait?

This list was telegraphed me by Dylan through facebook, and it seemed a public response would allow others to play as well.  So, this is supposedly a list from the BBC of books which most people will not have read 17 of.  I have bolded those that I have read.  And added some annotations.
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
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman--Never got through the entire first book despite many abortive attempts.  There is something lacking.
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
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The 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

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 (repetitive see 33)

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 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 I don't really know how to count this because I've sort of made it through but not completely and despite all of the Nabakov fanatics out there have no intention of finishing--ever.
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
0. 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
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

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Which merely goes to show that as in matters of found, I am more a gourmand that a gourmet.  I think I've read 79 of these.  Although the complete Shakespeare and then Hamlet seems a bit of a cheat.  And I was forced marched through Shakespeare in college, so I'm not certain it counts, even though I completed the work--I'm not sure I got as much from it as I would if I undertook the task on my own.


  1. Steven,

    An interesting list--one that I will never get to entirely because I have no interest in some of them. I guess I've read around 70 of them. The ones I haven't read are mostly the contemporary titles.

    Harry Potter is one example. I read the first one and had no interest in it. I have no idea why it's the phenomenon it is.

    Shakespeare--all but 3 of his plays.

    The Bible--nearing the end--working my way through the epistles.

  2. Steven,

    I am astounded by the assumption that most people will not have read 17 of these. I should think it would be a list that most people have read barely half of, if that many.

  3. Dear Fred,

    I haven't a clue what to make of the assumption except if it includes only casual readers, then the assumption is probably not too far off. For inveterate readers, I shouldn't be surprised to see numbers in the seventies and eighties. And as with you, there are some that have little to no interest for me, so I won't get through the entire list.

    More than that, it is not a list that I would unreservedly recommend to people. There's a lot of "iffy" stuff both as literature and even as fun reading.



  4. Well, your 79 was way above my score (but I did considerably better than 17, but not so well as the other commenters) - but, be that as it may - don't wait another minute, clear your bookstand, get a copy of A Confederacy of Dunces and have a wonderful time!

  5. Dear Judith,

    I've tried Confederacy several times, but alas, to no avail. Perhaps it is time to try again.

    I'm a very mood-driven reader and so there are some books I have to encounter at just the right time--this may be one of them. But I've also discovered that I can "make the right time" by heeding the encouragement of others. So thank you for the advice!




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