Thursday, March 01, 2007

World Book Day - 100 Books You Can't Live Without

As Fragile Tender so perfectly puts it, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Jane Austen kicks ass!"

This article from The Guardian features a list of the 100 books people can't live without, as compiled for today's World Book Day.

"In the end, quality tells. People may have bought The Da Vinci Code in its millions but, when asked to name the most precious book they have read, they relegated it to 42nd place and chose Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice."

Glad to see my decision to leave The Da Vinci Code unread on my bookcase has been vindicated. Of course given the general lack of female authors historically, it is of course also rather pleasing to see a woman at number one, even if her gender remains somewhat under-represented through the fuller list (only 23%).

I'm also kind of surprised to see the Bible so high up. Apparently "The Bible was fourth favourite book for those aged over 60, a generation which would have compulsorily taught it at school. It only fell out of the top 10 for those aged 18-25 and was still rated 19th by those under 18. I guess though, it's the way the question is worded. It's not, what's the best book or read ever, it's what book could you not live without, which would rather focus people's minds in certain directions (though the prevalence of English language texts and the lack of key texts from other religions, suggests this poll was rather narrower than the title of World Book Day might suggest).

Anyway...picking up Fragile Tender's gauntlet, how many of the 100 have you read? Bold the ones you've read. Bold and underline the ones you've read more than once. If you've only read part of a book then put it in italics. Oh and adding a category from me, add a * at the end if it's sitting unread on your bookshelf.

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

8 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 William Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler'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 Bernières

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 Alborn

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 Misérables - Victor Hugo


Rob (the ergonomist). said...

There seems to be a little bit of overlap between collections and single items (eg Hamlet as well as the Complete Works) but I'm assuming that you can cout them either way, but reading Hamlet doesn't mean that you've read the whole of Shakespeare...

So I've read 22 out of the 100. Not bad I suppose, but not that good either: I should get cracking on the other nine that languish on my bookshelf.

Myn said...

(Counting started but never finished as halves)
Analysed by date of publication, though, only about 6 of those 43 were published after, say, 1960.

Marie said...

wow, it looks fun! I'm gonna try it myself, too.