100 Great Books

Rachel did this so I thought I would too: I put some notes below the list regarding my personal winners and losers.

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

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt. Tag other book nerds.

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 – Philip 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

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

19 The Time Traveller’s 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 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 Berniere

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

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

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 – 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 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 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

Books Read in Entirety – 42

 Books started or read in parts – 12   I am currently reading The Woman in White. So far it is excellent. Kind of a gothic scary story, romance, ghost story all rolled into one. Interesting little factoid. The author Wilkie Collins’ brother married the daughter of Charles Dickens.

Most overrated book I have read from this list is Da Vinci Code.  It was so bad that I was astounded over the controversy.  How anyone took it seriously is beyond me.  Also anything written by John Steinbeck. Is that guy a downer or what?

Most underrated book – Germinal   Fantastic story about the beginnings of the French Revolution. Everyone should read this.

Yes, I have actually read the entire Works of Shakespeare and the Bible which I did on one of those read-the-Bible-in-a year deals.

Truly Excellent Books – David Copperfield, Vanity Fair,  Bleak House, Dracula, The Remains of the Day, The Kite Runner

Personal Faves that I will read again and again –  Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, everything else by Jane Austen, anything from the preceding list, Memoirs of a Geisha

Books I wish I loved but didn’t – Wuthering Heights (I found it depressing and disturbing), Little Women (fake and emotionally manipulative), The Great Gatsby (pretentious).  Another interesting factoid, this one about Wuthering Heights. It was based on a real story that happened right in the Bronte neighborhood. In fact, it was so true to life that the “characters” took her to court!

I know I will never read Watership Down or Atonement. I saw both movies and that was enough. I will never finish War and Peace, or Moby Dick. But who knows?

I know I will someday read – The Bell Jar, Life of Pi, Heart of Darkness, and finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus The Hobbit

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5 Responses

  1. I am so glad you are enjoying The Women in White. Such a good book! I actually liked the Da Vinci Code. It wasn’t one that I will ever sing praises over, but I did have fun while reading it. I hadn’t known that Wuthering Heights was based on a real story. I wasn’t especially fond of that one. I love Jane Eyre though.

    I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

  2. You too Wendy! I hope you and Anjin had a great time! The controversy was just starting when I decided to read Da Vinci Code and everyone seemed nuts to me. It was like trying to prove that Harry Potter was just fiction. It was, wasn’t it? 🙂
    I know it colored my interpretation of the book.

  3. I don’t know . . . Harry Potter’s world seems so real!

    Seriously though, with The Da Vinci Code, the controversy amuses me more than anything, how seriously everyone took it. It was just a regular ol’ thriller in my mind, not even the best one, and yet it has been catapulted into a huge phenomenon. It’s funny how that can happen, isn’t it?

  4. I read 17 out of the 100 listed here. Still a long way to go. You are doing very well!

  5. Just stopped by to say season’s greetings, and found this fascinating list. Since Steinbeck’s writing is about the people who left and mine is about the people who stayed, I was delighted to see his name bolded. You’re ahead of me on Shakespeare, but be sure you don’t read Bell Jar on a bad day!

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