The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.
1.) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2.) Italicize those you intend to read.
3.) Underline those you LOVE.
4.) Put an asterisk next to the books you’d rather shove hot pokers in your eyes than read.
01. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
02. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
03. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
04. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
05. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
06. The Bible
07. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
08. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
09. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (I may be mistaken, but this was the one where there’s a terrible storm and her grave spits her back out? That’s all I remember, so it might be some other book I’m thinking of.)
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (Can you semi-underline? I wouldn’t say I love his stuff, except possibly The Tempest, but I am awed by how brilliant it is.)
*15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot (Makes you want to weep, it’s so dull.)
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 (I think I’ve read it, but I don’t remember anything about it, so I may be mistaken.)
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh A book of two halves – I liked the first half.
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Or it may have been this one I read. I know I read some well known doorstop of a gloomy Russian saga. I remember the sense of achievement on finishing it. Now I can’t even remember which book it was, so what was the point of that?)
*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 (Does it count if you started it and couldn’t get past the first chapter? At least I now know how to extract a pea from someone’s ear.)
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell Not exactly loved it, but thought it was utterly brilliant.
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown If I could only discover the secret of his success, I’d be a happy author.
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 (Another one where I think I read it but have blanked the actual experience thoroughly.
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy Dullsville.
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding Gripping but too disturbing to get an ‘I loved it’.
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert (Now this was cool!)
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. The 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 (Well, I started it and put it away, thinking ‘what does everyone see in this?’)
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (I’m surprised I’ve read so little Dickens, but what I did read, I didn’t like.)
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson Hilarious!
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 (Why these and not the Famous Five?)
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 (I started but couldn’t continue with this. Good proof that all action, all the time, makes for a dull read.)
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare The underlining is for watching the play. It’s a bit hard going to read, but to watch it’s the most amazing piece of characterisation ever.
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo I could have done without the play-by-play recounting of the battle of Waterloo, but otherwise it was so gripping I stayed up all night reading it, and even voluntarily read The Hunchback of Notre-Dame afterwards.
Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.