Top 100 Book Lists

Recently, I’ve been on a quest to make a list of books that I should read and/or want to read. I’ve recently stumbled upon the BBC’s Big Read list and thought it would be fun to see how my tastes compared to those of the Brits who nominated and voted upon these books in 2003.  I also found an online site that basically accepts nominations, maintains votes, and updates their list periodically. Therefore the second list has the possibility of more current titles.  I’ve pasted both lists below and will bold the ones I’ve completely read and italicize in green the ones I’ve read partially read.

 BBC’s Big Read 

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7.    Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8.    Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10.  Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

The Best 100 Lists

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  10. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  14. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  16. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  17. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  20. Ulysses by James Joyce
  21. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  22. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  23. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  24. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  25. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  26. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  27. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  28. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  30. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  34. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  35. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  36. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  37. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  38. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  39. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  40. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  41. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  42. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  43. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  44. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  45. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  46. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  47. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  48. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  49. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  50. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  51. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
  52. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  53. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  54. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  55. The Stand by Stephen King
  56. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  57. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  58. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  59. Dune by Frank Herbert
  60. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  61. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  64. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  65. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  66. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  67. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  68. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  69. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  70. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  71. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  72. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  73. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  75. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  76. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  77. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  78. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  79. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  80. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  81. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  82. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  83. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  84. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  85. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  86. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  87. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  88. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  89. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  90. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  91. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  92. Emma by Jane Austen
  93. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  94. Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
  95. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
  96. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  97. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  98. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  99. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  100. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

So…if I’ve counted correctly…I’ve read 22 (and a half) from the Brits list and 26 (and 2 halves) from the online compendium.  There are, not surprisingly many shared titles between the lists.

Obviously there can never be any such thing as a true “Must Read” or “Classics” list as literature is an art and therefore as such is subjective by definition.

However, I do find it interesting to see what other people have evidently enjoyed reading and that I’ve read 20-25% of each of the compiled lists.  I can see several that I may add to my TBR list as well as several that I honestly never plan to read.

How would you fair with these lists? How many have you read??

Are there any here that you feel are must reads? Or conversely any with which  you’ve been disappointed??

Advertisements

About Melissa's Meanderings

Interests: Green Living, The Environment, Animal Rights, Reading, Gardening, Home Improvement, Pets, Vegetarianism, Photography.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Reading and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Top 100 Book Lists

  1. susannye says:

    Unless I’ve forgotten 1 or 2 – 37 on the BBC list and 52 on the Best 100. Happy reading! … Susan

  2. What a great list!!! Definitely most of the best!!

  3. Vixter2010 says:

    28 on the Brit list and 17 on the other. Pride and prejudice is my favourite!

  4. Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are two favorites of mine! Read one of those!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Oh wow! Some really good books on there! My favorites are:(been wanting to read to kill a mocking bird!)Lord of the rings, and the Harry Potter are good! I also Loved, The Scarlet Letter!

  6. suzicate says:

    I’m surprised at how many of those I have read. You really must read “To Kill a Mockingbird”…it is one of my all time favorites. I’ve read it several times over the years!

  7. Krys says:

    Wow, I thought I actually haven’t read most of those on the list, but I’ve read 23 of the best 100 (and was surprised at some of the ones listed – Twilight?!) and 16 on the BBC list. There are definitely a lot that I need to read still – I just feel like most “classic” literature goes over my head so I am afraid to even start!

  8. soozling says:

    I remember finding an old copy of Wuthering Heights at a used bookstore in Italy and spending the day reading by a fountain while my friends were off sightseeing. It’s one of my most favorite memories to this day. Whenever I think about that book or see that title (like on your blog!), that’s what I remember. 🙂

  9. Wendy S. says:

    Wow, this is a great list, Melissa…I think I’ve read about seventy % of them, but some of them were so long ago. I have a book journal (books you’ve read, books you want to read…) that has a lot of lists that are “top books” given awards. We’ll have to swap lists! I’m definitely going to save this one.

    • I’d love to see your list! And hear any recommendations you may have… I used to keep a journal of books I’d read but was so heartbroken when it was lost in a move in my 20s that I never started another!

  10. hope you’re sitting down for these numbers…5 from the first list and 9 from the second. two books i tried to read but couldn’t finish were gone with the wind and the poisonwood bible.

    now, if we were counting how many of the movie version i’ve seen then i’d be rocking those lists!

  11. Pingback: The top 100 books – what I want to try to read. « Ramblings of a Lost Dancer

  12. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Books I had Trouble Getting Through | Sourcerer

Share your thoughts

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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