I couldn't resist playing with this list. And I couldn't resist commenting.
Here are the rules (I first found this list in the form of this game here
; I first saw the list some time ago, before I was blogging).
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Reprint this list and leave a comment
And here's what I'm doing too, because I'm interested--I'm listing the books I had as required reading in high school, college, or grad school. I'm a bit startled at how many of these books I would likely not have read, if I hadn't been in school. There are only a few on the list which I read in the last 10 years. Hmm.
And interesting to see how few of these books I plan to read. It would be fun to create alternate lists. Some other day--I've already spent lots of time on this list
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
I read this in high school, when I increased my reading, for fear of being unprepared for college
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
I read about 50 pages--not my thing
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
I first attempted this when I was 12, and couldn't get very far. But I loved it in high school, in college, in grad school, when I taught it. I love the main character. I love her commitment to herself.
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
I feel like I've read this.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
I read this in high school and undergraduate school. I recently reread it--it holds up well.
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
I loved this in college and grad school; when I taught it in 2001 and 2002, I found myself losing patience with all the characters.
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
read in high school and grad school--if I reread it now, would it seem that these things we've feared have come true? Big Brother is watching--all sorts of big brothers.
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
The first book that made me cry--I read this on a family trip west. I wept through the Rockies as Beth died.
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
I don't remember all the works. But as I look at my anthology from undergraduate school, I see notes that I made in the margins of all the plays. Did I read them all or just take notes as my professor pontificated?
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The only Tolkien I've ever been able to read.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
I read this in grad school, and required my students to read it in a Victorian Lit class. It's a slog, but after the first 100 pages, I couldn't put it down (only about a quarter of the class I taught agreed with me).
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
I read this as a teenager, expecting a dirty book because it had been banned--but I found it tame, compared to the bodice ripper romances I was reading.
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
required in college and high school.
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
I've only completed it once (attempted at least twice before I finally finished it--it showed up on a lot of grad school syllabi). I recognize the brilliance of this novel, but my goodness, it's long and involved.
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Ah, the Russians--the huge gaping hole in my education. I must read them some day. But first on my list would be Anna Karenina
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
I read this in high school. My whole class came to English class unprepared, with the book unread. My English teacher told us to start reading, because we'd have a test the next day. I read the whole book in one day.
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahme
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 - C. S. Lewis
Why repeat this book, when it's included in #33?
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
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
I read half this book and wasn't impressed.
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
Such a perfect book. I may reread this soon. The Sunday School pageant chapter is perfect for this time of year.
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
I read this book periodically--ever since its publication, it's always seemed pressingly important, as a tale of what can go wrong, if we're not vigilant. Atwood said that she didn't put anything in the book that wasn't happening somewhere in the world, and unfortunately, she can still say that.
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
I read half this book before losing patience.
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
Ah, the books we read during our Sci Fi geeky phase
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
I read this one after seeing the 1995 movie; I think it's her best (although Northanger Abbey
is great fun, if you've been reading Gothic novels and you're in the mood for a satire of them).
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz
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
Not as bleak as her memoir, Lucky
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
required reading in high school. We all complained bitterly, except for a punk rock guy, who claimed it was the best book he'd ever read. And he had read a lot of books.
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
required in grad school. My favorite Dickens (except, maybe for Hard Times
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
I read part of this book, but it's no Frankenstein
, which is curiously absent from this list.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
I've read this several times since my grad school class, but not since I finished my M.A. thesis, which focused on Joyce.
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
required for grad school--blhhh
80 Possession - AS Byatt
I read this during the summer when I was fairly strict with my reading--I was studying for PhD Comprehensive exams, and I had told myself that I could only read the books that would fill in the gaps in my knowledge. But I allowed myself this one for a treat. I'm in awe of what Byatt was able to do. When my own Vic Lit students were reading it on their own, and raving about it, I envied them their experience of reading it for the first time.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
I will always love Alice Walker's essays best, but this book led me to those essays, so I'll always be grateful.
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
I've read some of these tales--could I have read them all?
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
I read this in grad school and again, as I've taught it--it's short, so Survey of Brit Lit students might read it--and it seems to sum up much of the 20th century, even though it was written early in the century--and the 19th.
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
I read this while desperately homesick at summer camp. My mom had slipped it in my suitcase. I was only away for a week, but it seemed like the longest week of my 8 year old life. This book helped me through.
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
I read this book in high school (but it wasn't required)--it's the first book that sensitized me to animal rights issues.
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
Why does this one get a separate entry? It's included in the complete works! I hate this play--so much dithering about, and so little action. I suspect it's because I have had so many Hamlets in my life.
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo