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100 books for summer (and beyond)

12 Nov

My friend, Miss Bev, has just posted up on her facebook profile the BBC booklist. I have seen this before as it pops up occasionally, but I have not actually sat down and looked at it properly until tonight.

The BBC booklist was compiled by asking the (British) public what their favourite book was to find the nations favourite novel. According to those at the BBC, most people will have read only SIX of the top 100 books.

Now I have read a vast amount more than those six (40 and 1/2 more in fact) and I almost despair at the thought that people could have read less. It makes me want to cry. I mean, The Faraway Tree collection is in there, that’s half of the six!  But I am an avid reader, or I was until work, a social life, the internet and not to mention my boyfriend came into the picture and now I have far less time to lose myself in sweet smelling pages and wonderous worlds. And my mind goes to pudding and the piles of books next to my bed grows ever higher and War and Peace is taking months to read. MONTHS!

So I have decided to make a concerted effort to try to make my way through the list and see how long it takes me to do this. It will take a long time I think, but it will be fun despite there being a few items on there that scare me.  One of them being The Bible.

I once read the New Testament when I was ten because I was bored. I don’t remember it very well, I mostly remember the tiny writing and marvelling at how thin the pages were. And when I was travelling through Europe, we stopped off in Amsterdam for a few days. I had finished all of my books and so in desperation of something to read, ANYTHING to read, I attempted to read the Gideons Bible that was in my drawers in a hotel. My partner smoked a joint and I read the scary bits out loud like that sentence often echoed by that nasty ol’ George Dubbya: “You are either with me or against me”; and “It is better to tear your eyes out than to look at a women with lust”.

I found it all kind of scary and archaic and not at all very nice. So I wonder: can I leave that one out? And Bridget Jones’ Diary. Please?

I have crossed out the 46 I have read and highlighted in green the one I am currently reading although the ‘rules’  are apparently thus:

1) Look at the list and make those you have read bold.
2) Star (*) the ones you LOVE.
3) Italicize those you plan on reading

But this is my blog, and I’ll make a list how I want to.


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

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

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

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

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (currently reading)

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

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

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 – A.A. Milne

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

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

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

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 Inferno – Dante

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 – E.B. 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

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