books, me and the BBC

March 11, 2009 § 6 Comments

NEWS FLASH – the following list has been botched, updated, amended by various players/readers so I do NOT have the list “verite” below. Please go here, where Wordlily has posted the real list. You’ll love it.
And I’ll just leave the list I have below as is because, well, I have nothing else to post tonight. So, remember: the REal list is chez Wordlily (at link above) and the faux one is below. Though I’m not a fan of faux, but still…

Reportedly, the following are the top 100 books on the BBC’s list. Oh yawn, you say, I’ve seen this list a thousand times. Mmmm hmmm. Did you notice that Shakespeare’s works and Hamlet are listed separately? what’s up with that? and look how many Dickens’ and Austen’s are on here!I think that one night at the BBC at 5 pm or so, some newbies were given a pack of cigarettes and a  pint  and told to have a top 100 booklist by morning at O dark:30 to fill space. And so they did it.

And so the booklovers pounce on it, scanning it to see if we rank as well-read readers OR if there’s something we haven’t heard of that we just might like OR to see what the Brits are up to and whether or not the list is global. (It’s not).

There are a couple choices on here that may knock you out of  the “I’ve-read-’em-all” category.
There are a couple that you must might say “huh?”
And there are many that are missing, that should be on here.
All in all, it’s fun. Have a look.

 Bold those you have read.
 Star the ones you loved.*
 Italicize those you plan on reading.
Underline those you have partially read (series) or tried to read.…

Oh, snap, I can’t do it. Too many rules. Too much italicizing and asterisk-ing. Here goes!

 001 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 
Read six of her books in a row in high school. Waaay better than chemistry class!

002 The Lord of the Rings- JRR Tolkien
read and enjoyed it, also because a boy I liked was reading the triology and I wanted to be in on what he was talking about

003 Jane Eyre –– Charlotte Bronte
oh, big deal, I haven’t read it. I will. I will. I’ve seen the movie. I read the prequel, SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys. Does that count?                

04 Harry Potter series- JK Rowling  

Yup, I”m  one of those adults that has read every one of them and enjoyed every one of them. Am I a fantasy fan? no . But the Harry books won me, I won’t even suggest that several of the series could have been edited!

005 To Kill a Mockingbird
– Harper Lee
I read the book after seeing the movie. I went to the theatre with my Gran when I was 8 years old.  Scout seemed so much cooler than I was. 
006 The Bible
Have not read it cover to cover … yet. And so many stories I have only “heard” in the good old oral tradition!

007 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
I bought it in junior high school and finally read it, all yellowed, in college. Fell in love with it, completely. 


 008 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell 
Sure, I read it. Had to. English class. But I’m just gonna tell ya’ – I have trouble  with cold, grey, concrete, broken, rigid settings.

009 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman 
What? don’t  know this one.
010 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Call me a sap; I don’t care. I read this one in 9th grade and was captivated. I love the language, the story twist. Can’t help it. Good old Pip!


011 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott    

Read this one. Almost loved it.    
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy 
Geez, Hardy could be so ruthless in his use of  scenery and Nature.  But I read several of his books, go figure.


 013 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller   
I tried this one and failed to finish it and don’t care.

014 Complete Works of Shakespeare 
Nope, haven’t read all of them. But I’ve read several of them several times (Julius Caesar, Romeo&Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth; the Tempest; Midsummer yadayada – and love them every time.

015 Rebecca- Daphne Du Maurier   
uh huh. I read it. Chilling in its way. Not on my shelf , though, it’s not a re-read for me.

016 The Hobbit- JRR Tolkien
Now this one, I found on my own. By accident. In the bookstore. Before the triology. It was magic. I took it home and read it all. It was everything fiction should be for me at that time and yet I will still insist to you that I am NOT a fantasy fan.               

017 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks       
Here’s another one about which I have no idea.

018 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger  
Oh, our dear little twisted Salinger. But I did love Holden and looked for a boy like him all through high school. And there was one.  He just didn’t know that he was my Holden.

019 The Time Traveller’s Wife- Audrey Niffenegger

I adored the complex structure of this book. Even though it was sad. I loved the writer’s work, appreciated it enormously.
020 Middlemarch – George Eliot         
Yes, I read this one. And was glad to get it done and say that I had read it.

021 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell   
I know I love this; I have seen the movie about 5 times. But in the book I always get to the same part and stop, where she is with Frank Kennedy (ugh). Maybe I can break past that part this summer on my personal READ TH E CLASSICS vacation.


 022 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald  
Say what you will – I adore this book and  Nick, the narrator.

023 Bleak House – Charles Dickens     
Not yet but intend to. 

024 War and Peace– Leo Tolstoy        
Not yet but intend to. 

 025 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams 
Read most of it. Really not my thing, though.

026 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh 
Haven’t read it yet, but intend to.

027 Crime and Punishment- Fyodor Dostoyevsky 
I FEEL like I have read it cuz know so much about it.

028 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck    
I read it in junior high. Who could forget the Joads? Yup, give it 5 stars. 

029 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll      
I’ve read snippets. Love the Disney cartoon!

030 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Own it. Haven’t read it.


031 Anna Karenina– Leo Tolstoy
Not yet but intend to – another classic for the summer list? 

032 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

Read the classic comic.
033 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
I read it. ‘Nuff said.


034 Emma – Jane Austen                 
Oh, another Jane! That makes two Brontes and two Janes so far!

035 Persuasion – Jane Austen
That makes three Janes. (yes, this was one of the set of 6 I read)

036 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
Um, didn’t we say this one already? See #33.

037 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini  
I gotta tell you; I don’t always read what’s on the hit parade. I’m warming up to this one and will read it some day.  

038 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

mmm… nah.
039 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

I read it before I saw the movie; good thing it was in that order.
040 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne  
Oh, Pooh – if only you knew how much you showed up on kids’ room walls, their clothes and dishes!

041 Animal Farm – George Orwell 
oink – oink . I  read this one.


 042 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Yes, flew threw this one.

043 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez   
I read it and liked it but please don’t ask me for a synopsis.
044 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving  
There’s no explaining it – I loved this book.

 045 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Haven’t read it yet, but intend to


046 Anne of Green Gables– LM Montgomery  
This one I read aloud sometimes with Nory

047 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

I don’t know. Did I read this one or see the movie? Movie, I think. Loved it
048 The Handmaid’s Tale. – Margaret Atwood  
I keep meaning to read this one!


 049 Lord of the Flies – William Golding    
My brother (3 yrs older) read it in school. He had to write a paper on it. The entire family got involved. so I knew something about it . Then I read it. Then later, I ”taught” it to the juniors. 

050 Atonement – Ian McEwan                   
I read it, loved it, loaned it out and it never came back.  Drat.

051 Life of Pi – Yann Martel               

052 Dune – Frank Herbert             
Uh, no!

053 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons   
Really? It’s a book? I saw the movie. .

054 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen      
Egads, that’s 4 Janes! See why I think someone was holed up in the press room and forced to write this list?

055 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth                     
Oh, dear – what’s this one?

056 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
And this one??? I gotta get out more!

057 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens    
And, another Dickens . Yes, I’ve read it three times. I dunno why.

058 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley           
Yes, I read it and cannot tell you diddly squat about it.

059 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Maybe someone will give me this one. I keep walking past it at the store and don’t buy it.

060 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez  
I read HM’s copy. Which was great; I enjoyed all his notes in the margins.

061 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck                      
I’ve read it and taught it but I just can’t love it. Hey, and that’s the second Steinbeck on the list!

062 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov                           

063 The Secret History – Donna Tartt                     

064 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold                       
I haven’t read it. Should I? It seems so sad.

065 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas          
Oh, what fun this one!

066 On The Road – Jack Kerouac                         
I love the Beats.

067 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy                       
What have we here? the third Hardy on the list? Nope, haven’t read this one.

068 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding                     
Oh, yeah! I read this, the first chick lit to hit the shelves.

069 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie                  
I always intend to read Rushdie but haven’t yet.

070 Moby Dick – Herman Melville                               
Read every page when teaching it in a logging town. Proves that lit can be made somehow accessible.

071 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens                              
Geez, The Dickens is doing well on this list. Yes, I read it.

072 Dracula – Bram Stoker                                         
Good book. Scary, actually.

073 The Secret Garden- Frances Hodgson Burnett     
Good book , not scary.

074 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson              
It’s on the TBR list.

075 Ulysses – James Joyce                                  
I am listening to it in the car – 40 CDs in all!

076 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath                                   

I read it to honor her, not cause it was something I enjoyed.

077 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome          
Um, what?

078 Germinal – Emile Zola                                        
Geez, yeah, I read this one en francais. Then sold it the next semester.

079 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray      
I can’t believe I haven’t read this one starring Becky Sharp.

080 Possession– AS Byatt                                         
Sticking with this book to the end was worth it!

081 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens                
Oh, hello, Charles. Here you are again! The family reads this one every year.

082 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell                             
No idea.

083 The Color Purple – Alice Walker                        
Read it far too quickly to appreciate it.

084 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro       
I intend to read it.

085 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert                  
the poor dear lady. I had to read this one (had to do with grades, you know).

086 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry                    
’scuse me?

087 Charlotte’s Web – EB White                              
I’ve read it bunches of times, with the kids and without them.

088 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom   
What? read it? I saw the movie. Enough for me.

089 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  
We read it aloud, HM and I.

090 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton                   
Dunno this one.

091 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad                     
I have it and may read it though we just watched Apocalypse Now.

092 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery          
I’ve read it many times. I’m not so sure it’s great, but the combinaiton of the story and pictures, maybe that’s it. Also, it’s typically the first “novel” they have French students read.

093 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks                                   
No idea.

094 Watership Down – Richard Adams                          
I’d forgotten about this one. I loved it.

095 A Confederacy of Dunces- John Kennedy Toole    
I tried. It came highly recommended. But no, didn’t finish it.

096 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute                                

097 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas              
I’ve started it many times.

098 Hamlet – William Shakespeare                              
I’ve read it AND seen it many times but not  because I love it. But the language in this one is just plain amazing. Every time.

099 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl   
Yes, I read it. He’s quirky, that Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo                                
Yes, I got through this book!


Tagged: , , , ,

§ 6 Responses to books, me and the BBC

  • ds says:

    Don’t think the BBC and me would get along too well. By what criteria does Bridget Jones, funny as she is, overrule Clarissa Dalloway? Or Martha Quest? Then again, there are plenty of gaping holes in my reading, list or no list. Guess that makes us even. LOVED your comments!

  • wordlily says:

    I solved the mystery of the messed-up list in August on my blog: So at least you can rest assured, the BBC didn’t list Hamlet separate from the complete works of Shakespeare.

  • seachanges says:

    This looks like hard work! Have a look at my site and I’ve got a surprise for you..

  • oh says:

    Phew! I just cleaned up the list a little. I really really ought to learn htmml “stuff.” Or, why feel compelled to print the whole list. Honestly, diligence is sometimes just ridiculous.

    DS- hmmm, you’re right about BRIDGET. Though I enjoyed her, she’s my beach read, or, the it’s-late-at-night-and-I-can’t-get-too-involved-in-a-book kind of a book. I think there should be a TV show book club, where readers get together and discuss and “dis” and just thoroughly enjoy books and talking about them – you know, a “new” reality kind of show!

    Wordlily – I’m headed over to you to see what you worked out. But I just had to include this. I get so excited over booklists!!!

    Seachanges – I’ve sorted it out a bit now. And will head over to your place for a “surprise.”

  • wordlily says:

    Oh, I understand the booklist fun, definitely.

  • Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, those two are hard to read, their books are heavy (to read and to hold).

    Surprised – in a good way – to see that at least some SF made it in the list, but even more surprised (not so good) to see Dan Brown there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading books, me and the BBC at This Writing Life ....


%d bloggers like this: