Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Well Read Are You?

I love this kind of thing. I think lists are interesting. This seems to be an interesting sort of list of with a variety of classic and contemporary books. I could easily argue about the titles that are included and the ones that are left out. 

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.


  • Copy this list.
  • Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
  • Italicise the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
  • Tag other book nerds.
  • I highlighted the ones that I have but haven't read. They are probably in my TBR stack because someone said I should read them.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

Emma -Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I have read 28 of these and have 4 more on my TBR stack. I may have read more of them but I only bolded the ones I was sure about. 1984 and Vanity Fair both sound like things I could have read. And I know I read some Steinbeck but don't remember if Of Mice and Men was one of them. Most of the ones I have read were read a number of years ago. The most recent would likely be The DaVinci Code.

I consider myself a well-informed person regarding books and literature but will have to admit that there are a few of these that I have never even heard of - Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres and The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, for example.

As a children's and YA librarian, I am ashamed to admit that I have never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Watership Down, Winnie the Pooh or The Wind in the Willows. I hate books where the animals are animals but they talk -- which is my reason for avoiding three out of four of those. The fourth just never interested me. When I was a child, I preferred science fiction or realistic fiction and didn't care for animal stories at all. As an adult, there are too many books that I want to read to go back and catch up on what I missed as a child. 

Take a look at the list and tell me how you did. I have a feeling that book bloggers - no matter what genre we may prefer reading - have read lots more than six of these.


  1. Very Interesting - thanks for sharing and check out how I did:

  2. Not lots more, only eight for me!

  3. I've read 37 of these titles in their entirety. I am surprised at some of the titles, because they're not what I would call literary masterpieces. But, there are some of my most beloved books on this list. Love The Color Purple and The Shadow of the Wind. And, The Handmaid's Tale and Life of Pi. Great books! This was fun--thanks for sharing!

  4. I don't consider myself particularly well-read, because I'm not a huge fan of the classics, but I've read 44 of these (maybe plus or minus one or two). It's interesting though that I read around 2/3 of them in the (relatively) short time span of high school/college, whereas I've only read 1/3 in the 25 years since.

  5. I've read 52 of them, many of them in college lit classes. It's an interesting list, but I agree that much discussion could be held about what was left off and put on.


  6. I'm going to this one on my blog next week! I'm ashamed to say I haven't read as many as you!!

    Girls with Books

  7. Interesting list. I've only read 18 of these, so guess I'm not very well read. :(

  8. I've read about 16 of them but some of them I've read different books by the authors instead. Either that or, The Entire works of Shakespeare seems weird because I've read about 6 or 7 of his works which is more than non-readers will have read. As for your talking animals. OMG I hate talking animals as well. I always complain about talking animals.


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