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Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Books, books, books

I've suddenly realised how far behind I am at reviewing the books I've been reading. The last one I started writing about was Stand and Deliver which I finished in June (I still have a half written review sitting in my draft posts). I'm going to try to catch up but I'll probably do them as auto posts so that they are spread out rather than all at once.

In the mean time I thought I'd post this book meme I found at Buffy's Salon:

The list is from a survey done by the BBC in 2003. They asked everyone in Britain to nominate their favourite books and compiled a list of the top 100. Apparently the average adult has only read 6 of them.

In bold are books I have read.
In italics are books I intend to read.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. I reread this quite recently so there's a review in the pipeline.
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman. At the time I didn't realise that it was deliberately anti-Church, anti-God and anti-Christianity - I wouldn't read it again)
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. My head of year used to read random parts of this out in assemblies. They never made any sense and it kind of put me off a bit.
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling. I read the first four Harry Potter books in 2001 because my brother was really into them and I wanted to be able to have intelligent conversations about it with him. To be honest I didn't think they were that amazing and never bothered to read the rest. The only good thing I can say is that they got my brother reading (albeit only seven books in a continuous loop).
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. I can't remember much about this but I did read it when my brother was studying it at school because we watched a film of it.
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne I have no idea why I never read Winnie the Pooh - we had the books on the shelf at home when I was growing up.
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell I'm not so keen on it now but when I first read it this along with Tess of the D'Urbervilles was one of my favourite books. I actually did a piece of GCSE coursework when I was 15 comparing them.
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë. This is one of my mum's favourite books.
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks. I have never heard of this book.
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame. Well technically I think I may not have read the whole thing as I found it incredibly boring.
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. I read the first chapter of this when I was about 8 or 9. It seemed to be all about a boy called Pip Pip who was running through a graveyard so I stopped reading it. I eventually read it after watching a TV adaptation (probably by the BBC) when I was a student.
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres. I've seen the film but apparently they changed quite a bit.
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. Not heard of this one either.
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson. I have read other books by Jacqueline Wilson and have seen Tracy Beaker on the TV. That is sufficient for me to know I do not want either me or any of my children to read any of her books.
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez. Not heard of this.
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett. Or this.
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson. This is on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I think I may possibly have read it years ago but I'm not sure.
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute. Not heard of this.
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen. I'll have to buy it first but I like the Jane Austen books I know so want to read this one too.
39. Dune, Frank Herbert Not heard of this.
40. Emma, Jane Austen. As Persuasion.
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery. I did get a bit bored earlier in the book by Anne's incessant monologues but if I remember correctly it did improve. I may try to get hold of the subsequent books but I want to finish reading all my current books first.
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. I actually read this online in a couple of hours when I was a student. I have a friend who wouldn't consider reading 1984 because of how much he disliked Animal Farm so he e-mailed me a copy. It wasn't as bad as he made out but he had been shown a cartoon of it when he was about 7 which was quite traumatic and quite understandably put him off it.
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy. I have a review of this in the pipeline as I reread it last year.
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. Not the most pleasant of books - I read it after watching the film with my brothers (who were studying it at school).
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth. Not heard of this.
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell. I did own this as a child but for some reason never read it (I would have unreasonable and arbitrary prejudices against certain books) but more recently I acquired a copy in a job lot of books and really enjoyed reading it.
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer. Not heard of this.
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman. Not heard of this.
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough. Not heard of this.
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton. I used to love reading all my Enid Blyton books again and again as a child.
67. The Magus, John Fowles. Not heard of this.
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding. I had to study this book for GCSE. It was a horrible book and whilst not wishing to offend anyone who likes it, I cannot understand why anyone would choose it as their favourite book.
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind. Not heard of this.
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell. Not heard of this.
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding. I saw the film of this - it did not give me any desire to read the book.
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt. Not heard of this.
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins. I really like this book.
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. Not heard of this.
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake. I was given this for Christmas one year but gave it to a charity shop as I didn't really like the sound of it.
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy. Not heard of this.
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons. Not heard of this.
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist. Not heard of this.
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac. Not heard of this.
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel. Not heard of this.
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho. Not heard of this.
95. Katherine, Anya Seton. Not heard of this.
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer.
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez. Not heard of this.
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot. I've seen the film of this and would not choose to read the book.
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

I am surprised that the average person has only read 6 as I have read 34 (and intend to read another 4) and 7 of them were in the course of my education.

If you do this book meme be sure to leave a link in the comments.


Buffy said...

I was glad to see you left comments about some of the books. I've found reading through this list most interesting.

I really hate the Lord of the Flies. I read it when I was 11 and it deeply disturbed me. These days I wouldn't even have it in the same house as me. I feel sorry for you having to study it for GCSE. I had to study Nineteen Eighty Four which, whilst bleak, is nowhere near is distressing IMHO. I do think that this book and Animal Farm should be read by anyone who thinks Communism is a good thing!

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