Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Well Read Are You?

This is the kind of thing I really love!  Give me a list and I love looking through it to see what I have accomplished; it also gives me a challenge and a goal to complete.  This list was compiled by the BBC, which I found on Inside of a Dog, and it apparently includes many contemporary and classic titles that if read, would make you well read.  I'm not sure if I agree with all of the selections listed, but that would make an interesting post for another day.

According to the BBC, most people have not read more than 6 books found on this list.

•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.
•Highlight the ones that you have but haven't read. They are probably in your TBR stack/on your shelf at the back because someone said you 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 FitzgeraldWar 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 (en francais)
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 (en francais)
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 (en francais)
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 (en francais)
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 (en francais)
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (en francais)

Okay, I have read 45 of these books, with several on the partial read list, and others are still sitting on my shelf.  Some of these were required reading for high school and university, which is probably the only reason I read them in the first place as I don't think I would have otherwise.  And that would have been a shame as, for example, I loved Germinal and became a huge Zola fan, but would not have read it if I wasn't forced in university. 
Luckily, I have actually heard of all of these books, and I am happy about that as I do consider myself a well-read person.  When I was young, I went through a stage where I adored reading about animals talking like humans, which is why I read The Wind in the Willows.  I completely avoid these books today though, which is weird.  Something must have happened to turn me off of them, but for the life of me, I don't know what it is. 

I am Canadian, and what little Canadian girl has not heard of Anne of Green Gables?  I read the entire series by the time I was ten and am now passing off the books to my daughter (and the films).  The Chronicles of Narnia also passed through my childhood and I have just given that series over to my son and daughter as well.  I am totally excited over The Voyage of the Dawntreader opening up over the Christmas holidays and can't wait to see the newest intallment.

Even as a child, I preferred a good ghost story or paranormal story to anything else.  I hunted for them hungrily (and still do), and when I discovered fantasy and science-fiction, well...a whole new world was opened.  I was, and continue to be, a very eclectic and prolific reader, never focusing on any one genre, choosing whatever catches the eye, there are still some things I can never turn my back on.

So, take a look at this list and tell me how YOU did.  I'm pretty sure that most book bloggers and readers would probably have reader far more than six books on this list.  What do you think?


  1. I've read 27 of them. A few were because of school, but only like 2, I think. The rest were because of lack of other reading materials when I was a kid. Most of these have been on my list to read for YEARS!
    Your definitely doing great at 45!

  2. I'm a 27 too. Several of these are sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I feel guilty now!

  3. I've read 30 of them, and I have several waiting to be read on my Kindle. I'm looking forward to The Voyage of The Dawn Treader too (LOVE Ben Barnes)! :)

  4. I've done 46, though there are several I think i've read but am not positive of so I didn't include them. A lot of these books were, like you, books I read in High school and University, not to mention Canadian Child hood favs like anne of green gables (come on people, where's emily of new moon?).
    The Diary of a

  5. I also wondered where books like Treasure Island and MacBeth were, as well. And perhaps, Little House on the Prairie?

  6. Happy to find another Canadian Blogger:)
    You must read Donna Tartt's A Secret History. one of my fav's.

  7. I've read 15, started 5, and own at least 13 more. I wonder why they repeat Chronicles of Narnia and Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe...or why they consider LotR and HP and His Dark Materials a single unit...

  8. 44.5! I love lists like this too, and I love to be smug about the ridiculous assumption about Americans who don't read.

  9. I've read 52 and another 10 or so partially, plus there's a few that I may have read but can't remember, back in high school or so. Glad to find some "new" reads.