The Big Read

( I am exceeding my rule of one post a day, but I can't believe I missed this! Doh.)

“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.”

1) Bold: I have read.
2) Underline: Books I love.
3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them 😉

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 The 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 The Complete works of Shakespeare (Tried, and failed. Maybe its time to try again.)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife
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 – CS Lewis
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
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
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 St. 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

Is Hamlet not included in the complete works of Shakespeare?

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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17 Responses to The Big Read

  1. Aubrey says:

    Read 'Brideshead Revisited' – you won't be sorry.

  2. Zotta says:

    Awesoem! Way to go.

  3. bee says:

    i think it's pretty sad that many great south american and asian and african writers (the latter often write in english and whose who don't are translated) don't feature on their list.

  4. bee says:

    and everyone's expected to read the bible? i don't think so.

  5. Purplesque says:

    I know what you mean. But really, its cultural ignorance more than arrogance. And they don't really make any claims that these 100 are the best (because they most certainly are not..Bridget Jones' Diary? lol ) , just that these are the top 100 they have printed.

    I actually assumed these were their top 100 bestsellers, but it seems that The Big Read is actually a reading initiative by the NEA. They mention these books as central to the American culture, which itself might be arguable. I still think that the initiative itself is laudable..its doubtful that they are targeting people who read Neruda and Tagore. 🙂

    Agree with you on the wealth of literature that is lost in translation. I grew up on a diet of authors like Shivani and Qurratulain Hyder (other than the usual English suspects), and its sad that I can't offer them to my non-Hindi reading friends.

  6. Emjay says:

    There are some that you have not read which I think you would love. Do you intend to read all on the list? I agree with you on the cultural "issue" and with Bee on the bible comment! BTW – I am halfway through The Philosopher's Apprentice – really enjoying it.

  7. Purplesque says:

    Tell me which ones..I don't plan to read all on the list. There are some authors on that list whose works I've tried to read about couldn't finish (too obscure/difficult/just plain weird for me); the rest would depend upon what available in the local library.I'd love to hear your suggestions so I can add them to my list!

  8. Emjay says:

    From here: The Kite Runner; all the Anne of Green Gables series, The Wind in the Willows; The Curious Incident of the Dog (!!), Prayer for Owen Meany; Cold Comfort Farm; The color Purple; Confederacy of Dunces; Town like Alice; The Lovely Bones.I will have to think of more – I see the storylines in my head of some I think you would like but can't remember the titles! (it's my bedtime!).

  9. Purplesque says:

    Cool! That gives me a complete list to take to the library next time! ( I suspect I might have read/started on some of these titles in the past..darned if I can remember.) Hopefully they'll have most of these books in stock. Thanks a ton, Emjay!!

  10. Recopying your list and adjusting as needed. Arent most of these books assigned during middle school?

  11. Purplesque says:

    Lol..yes. That's the primary reason I've read so many of them. It might vary, though, depending upon where you went to middle school.

  12. I was going to say then that's sad that adults only read 6 of them, but then I remember a lot of friends just reading cliffs notes or cheating off people. haha

  13. Purplesque says:

    Lol..and I did my own version of Cliff's notes on Far From the Madding Crowd for my brother..he hated reading.

  14. hahaha too funny. I always read the books… an avid bookworm. Granted, I waited until the night before the exam to read the entire book for the required readings, but I loved to read. My parents always blamed my eyesight on my reading.

  15. Purplesque says:

    🙂 You and I are going to be friends. Before school started, I would have finished my own books and my siblings'. My parents kept warning me..but my eyes somehow survived the onslaught.

  16. hahaha my eyes didnt. I cant even see the big E and I have to send my glasses out to get special ones… too thick. I do remind my parents that both of them also wear glasses and that genetics had an important part in my blindness…

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