BBC Books meme

(I filched this meme from a couple of friends’ Facebook pages. According to the original meme, the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 important books here. Thing is, I went looking for the original source of 100 books, and couldn’t find it anywhere. There’s this BBC Big Reads list from 2003, but it’s not the same. But hey, since when do we allow a little thing that factual sources stand in the way of good blog fodder. On with the meme!)

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) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen *
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien Xish (kind of. I tried! Sooooo long in the Hobbity bits, though!)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X++
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X+
6 The Bible Xish (see comment above re: Tolkien)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X+
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 X
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare Xish (I own it, but havent read every word)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X+
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger X+
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X +++
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell X
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+++ (Don’t panic!)
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 X
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini X (and *hated* it!)
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 * (Oh, the shame!)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding X
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel Xish (I’ve started it half a dozen times)
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 X
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 X
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 (I honestly can’t remember if I actually read this or just sucked it into my pores via osmosis and overexposure.)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville X
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X
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 X
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 Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad X
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery X (In French!!)
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 X

I think that’s about 40 or so, not including the “maybes” and “sortas.” I sure hope that the BBC is impressed!

(I hate it when these memes suss out the really obvious gaps in my literary education. I really ought to read LM Montgomery before I fill out my next passport application or they’ll renounce my citizenship….)

Let me know if you decide to play along!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

9 thoughts on “BBC Books meme”

  1. A quick count showed I’ve read 33 of the titles in their entirety. There were about 10-ish of which I have only read either an excerpt (thanks to English lit survey courses) or which I began reading and never finished.

    It was interesting to see the gaps in my reading. I’ll have to rememdy some.

    Oh, and it’s apparent that the list is a little odd — either warped from the original source (BBC or not) or created in a more hap-hazard fashion, because of some inconsistencies. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare appears on the list, but then Hamlet appears separately. Similarly, The Chronicles of Narnia refers to the entire 7-novel series by C.S. Lewis, but then The Lion the Witch and the wardrobe appears separately.

  2. I’ve done this meme before and I heard then that the original list came from a website where people can enter lists of books they own or have read (I forget the name of the site). On this site people can recommend books to their “friends” who have accounts, and they can also keep track of books that they would like to read but haven’t yet, and books they own that they haven’t actually read.

    Apparently this top 100 list is the top 100 books that people own but have not actually read.

  3. I counted and have read 43, and tried to read about 3 others. There is a lot of literature on this list that I can’t really see men reading, but it sure was in the realm of my faves! I haven’t read Crime and Punishment, but one of my favourite books of all time was The Brothers Dostoevsky (or however you spell that)…so does that count?

    That was fun…!

  4. Dude. When’s your birthday? You’re so getting a copy of Anne of Green Gables.

  5. Fun! I have read 28 on the list… I loved the Kite Runner! Have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns? I liked that even more.

    And Anne of Green Gables… I can read that over and over again, loved it. I also always watch it when it’s on TV. LOVE it!

  6. I clocked in just over 30 but thought I would have read more. As an ex-pat prince edward islander, read Anne, for the love of god! (although I have to admit that i love the emily books even more than Anne …)

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