posted a list of "the top 100 books" put out by the British National Endowment for the Arts.
She got it from Kate Hardy
. Kate got it from Michelle Styles
. Michelle got it from Amanda Ashby
. Amanda presumably, got it from someone else. Or maybe she actually reads the literature put out by the National Endowment of the Arts.
Anyway, the National Endowment people say the average reader has read 6.
I've read slightly over half.
I don't remember a lot about most of the ones I've read. Quite a few were read as part of lit courses I took, not because I was enthralled with them. But some I genuinely loved and went back to read on my own again. And again.
let's be honest here -- I hated.
And I had a heated discussion with The Prof about Madame Bovary
(as always), since he loves it and I hated it. Ditto Gone With The Wind
(well, he didn't love it, but he thought it was worth reading).
He said, "It's an American Madame Bovary
And I said, "Exactly."
And he said, "They're anti-heroines, Madame Bovary and Scarlett O'Hara. You're not supposed to like them."
And I said, "Why would I waste time reading books about people I don't like?"
So, I'm a philistine. Get over it. He has. Sort of.
Anyway, here's my list. The ones I've read are in bold. Read it over and let me know whi
ch ones you've read and what you think of the list.
By the way, the comments
(go to the link and scan to the bottom) over on Liz's blog are well worth reading -- as well as Liz's own comments on the ones she's read. So check them out.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
(first time I read it I was too young and bored. Then I reread it and loved it.)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (yes, indeed, some of us haven't)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (and yes, there are actually romance writers -- well, one anyway -- who haven't read Jane Eyre)4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
(does it count that I've read five of them and have the rest? I'll get to them someday)5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
(amazing book)6 The Bible
(probably not all of it, but most)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (yes, you can be a romance writer and not have read this)8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott 12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
(we read a lot of Hardy in school)13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
(does half count?)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks (bought it for my dad)18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
(ah, teenage angst)
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
(still not a big fan)
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (hated the movie, won't read the book)22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
(like Hardy, we read Dickens till our eyes fell out)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
(from a long line of dust bowl Okies, it cut a little close to home)29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis34 Emma - Jane Austen 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
(loved it)36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
(over and over to my kids and never got tired of it)41 Animal Farm - George Orwell42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
(all the Anne books! Yes!)47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
(loved it!)54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
(I told you we read a lot of Hardy)68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett74 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 Thackeray80 Possession - AS Byatt81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro85 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 Albom89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Labels: Amanda Ashby, books, Kate Hardy, Liz Fielding, Michelle Styles, writers