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Book Meme

I found this on Andasamo's Blog, Let Us Go Then You and I who found it on Trisha's Blog, The Life of an Obsessed Reader. And like Andasamo, I think it's pretty cool.

Here's how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

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 - Phillip 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 (I've read many, but not all)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers 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 & Peace - Leo Tolstoy (it's on the shelf anxiously waiting its turn...)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I adore the entire "trilogy in five parts")
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime & 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 (I've read two so far)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (psst, this is part of the Chronicles of Narnia #33...)
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 (classic!!)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (we need something for those books we feel silly and that don't belong on this list)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (One of my all time favorite books)
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 (actually, can't remember if I read this or not)
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (g-d forbid, after Billy Budd I hope I never read another Melville again)
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 Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (another one on my shelf...)
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flauber
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. (I'm about 1/3 of the way through and need to pick it up again

Okay - here are some of my quips with this list.

  • some books are series (e.g., Lord of the Rings and shouldn't count as one).
  • it's missing some books, (e.g., Huck Finn, The Good Earth, Faranheith 451- I can go on and on)
  • just because a book is popular (e.g., The DaVinci Code) doesn't mean it's good.
  • Some are double counted (e.g., Shakespear and Hamlet) oh and by the way - Shakepseare's plays were meant to be seen not read.

Hmm...maybe I'll start another entry with all the books I think should be on this list. Oh, and I've read almost half the list - at 29. Good list though for a resource for possible future Book Club selections.

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Other Thinks (8)


It's certainly an odd list--Why the Da Vinci Code? And nobody reads the entire Shakespeare works unless they're in academia--I think one from each category (comedy, historical, tragedy) is good for these purposes.

Man, I hate those Russian novels.

Any list like this that doesn't include "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Little House On The Prairie" is an incomplete list as far as I'm concerned. :grin:

Kim, I just did this on my blog. Fun exercise, though I completely agree about the flaws of this list. Favorites we have in common: Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, Hitchhiker's Guide, The Count of Monte Cristo and especially A Prayer for Owen Meany.

Hi Kim, doing some packet sniffing to try to track down this problem, so testing a post here.

I'd highly recommend Anna Karenina and War and Peace, though. Even in translation, Tolstoy is one of the most profound prosodists I've read.

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Krista, I've never read Hitchikers. Maybe I should go back and italicize it and read it.

Nate, are you pulling my leg? Tolstoy? Seriously? I think I'm with Amy on this one and the Russians but who knows. Oh, and I had to look up Prosodist. Prosodist: an expert in prosody. Prosody: The study of the metrical structure of verse. I've learned something today - so I'm done for the day and heading to Great Adventure. :)


I only read 5 1/2 of these. I guess after Abraham Lincoln I better get reading.

Nate Andrews:

Ok, I'll confess to misusing the word "prosodist", and out of my own ignorance to boot. The word I should have used was "prosaist" (which I, incidentally, had to look up as well). No meter in Tolstoy. :)

I'm not sure what everyone's experience of Russian writers is, but if your frame of reference is Dostoevsky, then I can understand how you're not impressed. But I must say, Tolstoy is no Dostoevsky, and I mean that as high praise. Dostoevsky's characters are well nigh unbearable in their stereotypical representations of different ideologies or points of view. They're actually rather more ciphers than actual characters, and this makes his books incredibly difficult to read. But with Tolstoy, each character breaths her or his own air, as it were. While they have quirks, they're human quirks rather than quirks they inherit from the ideology which the author intends for them to represent.

I'd go on, but you'd probably rather that I quit spouting things and started fixing things. :-p

Kim [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lisa!!! You really do need to read more. Okay - I'm glancing at that list, 10 of those I read through book club. So that's pretty good.

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