Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Big Read

Here is a list put forth by the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S.  It lists the top 1oo books and asks how many you've actually read.  The Big Read (which is an initiative of the NEA designed to restore reading to the center of American culture) estimates that the average adult has only read 6 of the books on this list.Here’s how it works:

  1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  2. Italicize those you intend to read.
  3. Reprint this list on your blog and link back to this post.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Harry Potter series - JK Rowling  (LOVE them!)

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Bible (it’s a work in progress, but I’m going to bold it anyway!)

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
(I heart Little Women)

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I’ve read a lot of them…)

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 Niffenegger (I’ll be reading this in March for my book club.)

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (maybe?)

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (saw the movie J)

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (yeah, not happening.)

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 on here if the Chronicles are also on here?)

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
(Better than the movie)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
 (I tried, Joelma, really, I tried.)

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - 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
(This book was fantastic…. Just get through the first 100 pages.  Very thought provoking)

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

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (funny that this in on here…)

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
(one of my favorites as a child)

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
(Love anything by 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 (I don’t even know what this IS.)

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
(Did I read this in college?  I think I did, but should it really count if I can’t remember?)

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


That looks like 38 total.  Not so impressive. I read a LOT, but apparently I need to read BETTER! I love lists like this, because I love marking things off lists!  I’ve listed 15 books to try to read.  

Here is the challenge!  Pick three books that you haven’t read but think you should.  And let’s read them together.  Leave me a comment with the books you pick!


Queen B said...


"Crime and Punishment" I had to read for school. I copped out and got the abridged book on tape and still could not get through it!

I, too, read a lot, but apparently also need to read better. There are a few on here I would like to try. Since I have about 16 hours/ month in the car, I might do book on CD.

Jim said...

Does it count if I saw the movie?

Andrea said...

Even with counting the movies... that brings you up to what... the five Harry Potters?

Amy said...

I have read 20. About half were from high school and college and the other half as an adult. I used to be in a book club and really miss it. BTW Time Traveller's Wife is very interesting, you'll have to tell me what you think after you read it in March (how do you already know what youa re going to read 6 months from now?!?!)

Troye said...

I'm so glad that you used Mr. Linky. I tinkered with him a couple of nights ago, and plan to use him on Friday, so now i can enlist your help (as always). Way to stay a step ahead. Love ya!

Kari said...

Thanks for coming by my blog today, Andrea! I responded to your comment, but my dad used to sell Charles Chips, so I asked him to get me some cans a few years ago. (And he passed away about two years ago, so they are actually really special to me. I am glad you noticed them.)

I liked seeing your book list, too!

Kim Thomas said...

I am terrible but I probably read every one of those Nancy Drew books on your book shelf.

Wendy said...

Okay, I'm in... I'll come back to do the linky thing later tonight!

Jackamo said...

I added your list to my blog and gave you props and a link. I'm one shy of 50% on the book list. That was both fun and full of annoying Lit. class memories.

Paula said...

I used to read all the time and haven't in years. I just bought "Love in the Time of Cholera" 3 days ago! I've only read 4 pages. I've had DaVinci Code for about 3-4 years and got to about page 50. I've had "Stephen Colbert's I Am America and So Can You!" for a year--on page 120ish.
MMMMM Do you see trend here? I just never seem to have time

Kim A said...

I am with Jim on seeing the movie! Still, haven't done so great with that!

BTW...Mr. Linky??? oh, Troye!

Queen B said...

oh, Kim, good call. I have read those Nancy Drew ones, too!

Jinjer said...

I am bad with having time to read right now. But I just read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and it was the best book ever. I am now onto Stori Telling by Tori Spelling :)

Wendy said...

Andrea, the three books I pick are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and A Confederacy of Dunces. (I got two of them at the library yesterday and have already read the dog one - it was pretty good!) Which are your three?

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