BBC Top 100 Books

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Books, Everyday Me | Tags: , , , , |

I got this on Facebook, and then subsequently saw it on a few other blogs…it’s an interesting list. I know the BBC did their Big Read for top 100 fan-v0ted books and that turned up many children’s titles. This is still an interesting list to check out though, The rules & instructions are below…

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Instructions: 1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. 2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE. 3) Star (*) those you plan on reading. 4) Letter p for “meh.” 5) Tally your total at the bottom.

THE BOOKS

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen –  * (Just got her entire collection!!)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien –
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – 
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling – X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – X
6 The Bible –
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – *
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 –
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – X p – I like some more than others 
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – X +++  (If you haven’t read it – Do!)
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien –
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger – X
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 – 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 –
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 –
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis – X
34 Emma – Jane Austen- *
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen – *
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis – X
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 –
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- (I’ve heard mixed reviews)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding –
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan – X
 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  – X
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – * (in process of reading it – I wont lie I’m finding it a bit slow starting) 
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck – X
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 – * (Just came in the mail from Amazon over the weekend!) 
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- X
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 – 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- 
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 – X+++ (this is definitely top 5 for me! Try it in French too!!) 
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
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl- X
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo –

Total…27 books! Not as many as some but not as bad as I thought either…Overall, not too shabby!
There are so many on that list that I can’t wait to pick up and read. There are also some on there that I would NEVER reccomend to anyone so it’s interesting to see them listed on a compliation such as this. There are so many that aren’t on there that I would love to include, One of those most recent ones like that I’ve read is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – such a touching and memorable tale. Overall great list – I want to make it a challenge and really step up my reading to include the others that I’m interested in on the list!

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5 Responses to “BBC Top 100 Books”

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It’s interesting looking down the list. The six they figure have been read by most adults were probably required reading in high school. LOL. It’s amazing to me how many people never pick up a book again once they graduate.

74 for me (thank you for my first degree; literature/history

It needs to be said: The list looks like it was tabulated from a 2003 survey: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml
and I cannot find any mention of “The BBC claiming most people have only read 6 of 100” except on facebook and other blogs…
That said, it isn’t a great list; seeing that it only has one Nobel prize winner

I totally hear where you’re coming from with the nobel prize winners but..that being said does winning a prize make them worthy of being the top 100 or best of the best or anything like that? I think that a good discussion could be centered on maybe a comparison of ‘bests’ out of prize winners and ‘bests’ out of all published books – it would be interesting to see how many prize winners really stack up on those kind of lists though I’m not sure the criteria you would use to determine best of bests other than prizes (kinda puts you back to the beginning I guess)

I only had 13 😦 but there are bunches on there I would like to read such as the Lord of the Rings novels, the Count of Monte Cristo, and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


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