Jan 11, 2011

100 Books

Sometime early in 2009, a meme popped up on Facebook asking folks to see how many of the 100 books listed below that they've read.  With instructions on partially read books and what not.  The meme went on to say that the average person has only read 6 out of the 100 books.  Seems a bit low to me, but the list itself is pretty odd.  Even odder, no one seems to know where the meme originated.  It says that it came from the BBC, and there is a list similar to it from back in 2004 printed by the BBC...but nothing about the average number of books the average reader has finished.   And the list is different.

Did I mention it was odd?  "The Chronicles of Narnia" listed as one book, and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as another?  Last I checked the latter was part of the former.  And "The Complete Works of Shakespeare"?  That's a whole lotta Shakespeare.  I've read some/most of them, but not all of them.  Just a strange, strange list.

I guess it's still making the rounds.  I'm not on Facebook, so it never made it to me.  Until I got together with my family over the weekend and my sisters and Gia were talking about it.  So I had Gia forward it over to me via email for blog fodder.  Voila!

How many of these have you read?  I'm going to list the ones I read in bold.  A partially read book is an unread book in my opinion, so no italics or anything.  Either I've read it or I haven't.  So there!

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
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 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
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

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

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
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 

That's 43 of the 100 that I've completely read.  Not bad, but not great either.  There is a bunch of stuff up there that I really should have read at some point in my life.  Then again, there's a bunch of stuff up there I've never heard of.  Odd list.

Like I said, that's leaving out stuff like the Shakespeare or Sherlock Holmes compendiums.  Stuff I've only partially read.  I left out "The Bible" as well, because...well, I have no idea if I've read it all.  I know I've read a lot of it.  I come from a pretty religious family.  I know I read it at times, but I can't say for certain that I've read it all.  So it's off my completed list.

How did you do?

PS - I'm posting this at 1:11 AM on 1/11/11.  Just because, just for scuzz.


badgerdaddy said...

I read a hell of a lot and I only have 24 of those read and completed. There's maybe another five of them in a pile by my bed, waiting for me to get to them. Still, a surprisingly low number. That said, I do tend to avoid the classics...

RW said...

Only 17. 18 if you count The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which is actually a collection of I think ten(?) short stories, which I hated because Doyle sucked big elephant balls when it came to dialog.

So I guess 18. But this gives me an idea of making a list of "alternative classics" and seeing where folks are on this because the overwhelming majority of books on this list make me yawn just thinking about them and I'll have no intention of wasting my time on anyway.

Avitable said...

I've read 46 of them, but many of them were in school.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

10...I'm a pathetic literary soul.

Verdant Earl said...

badger - it's an odd list, as I've said.

RW - Of the 43 I read, only 14-15 were books I wanted to read. The rest were read because of school.

Avitable - me too.

Candy - was Bridget Jones's Diary one of them? Just me? Crap!

Slyde said...

COMPLETELY read? 10.

p.s. you should hang yourself for admitting to reading Bridget Jones' Diary

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - Really? I'm shocked. I would have thought you would have read a bunch of those in school. And, as Jimmmy Buffett sings, with Bridget Jones...I'll claim that there was a woman to blame, but I know.....it's my own damn fault.

Slyde said...

ok, i went too fast the first time. total count was 13.

bridget jones still isnt on my list.

white rabbit said...

36 - Proud to say that I've never read a single Harry Potter. The Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare hardly count as one book - neither was written as such.

Also can't I have extra points for books that I started but were too bloody boring for any sensible person to want to finish? That would get me in the 40s. Mind you I slogged my way through David Fucking Copperfield not because I wanted to bit because it was a set text - were it not for the exam, I would have thrown it against the nearest wall - hard - at about page 10.

Faiqa said...

56. And proud to say that I've read every single one of the titles up there that were written by a brown person.

sybil law said...

I've read 61 of of them, but only 61 because I recently read The Time Traveler's Wife (and hated it).

Verdant Earl said...

Wabbit - Oh, there are a bunch I would rather have not read as well.

Faiqa - that's just racist! ;)

Sybil - Looks like you win. So far...

Bruce Johnson said...

I have to say that in the past I have not been a voracious reader, to date I have only read:

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

While not many books, they were some big ass books that took a long time to finish. These days, I have a Sony E-Reader, and the amount of reading that I am doing is going up.

Now, if the film versions of these also count, I have seen about half the list.