Thursday, July 10, 2008

What've You Read Lately?

Cathy over at Homestretching blogged about the National Endowment for the Arts "The Big Read" and how of the top 100 books, most adults have only read 6!

The top 100 list is a bit speculative, but interesting, nevertheless. These are Cathy's directions:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them. :^)

The List:
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
The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (well maybe not the complete works but quite a few)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller'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
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
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
39. Memoirs of a Geisha- Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
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
Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale- Margaret Atwood
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. The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
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 Albom
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
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

It's funny, when you start thinking back to what you read in high school and college and on your own just for fun...I'm kind of suprised by how many I have read and by how many I haven't! I was very very pleased that A.S. Byatt's Possession was in there - god, I devoured that book! 3 TIMES! It was assigned reading for a Modern Lit. class in University and I loved every minute we discussed this book! Of course, on the flip side there was Ulysses, which I had to read for my Irish Lit. class - oh dear god this book dragged on and on and on! I liked Joyce...I read Portrait, and Dubliners, and enjoyed them both, but Ulysses...ugh!

One thing about this list, it made me realize that I don't read as much now as I used to. I was a readin' fiend - had to be, I was working on a degree in literature. I think it's time to renew my library card, make time to actually go down there (they don't have the best of hours for anyone who works 8 to 5!) and start picking up some of these books that I've never heard of. A Town Like Alice? Could be interesting! Who knows?


tasha said...

hey, have you been on ??? you enter your top 5 books and compare them with others', compiling a definitive global list of top books.
amongst a very ecclectic list of the top books of all time, Audrey niffenegger ranks highly - good to see something other than Harry Potter!
i'm working for the site this summer and i just got niffenegger's top five books which will be on the site soon so check up in a day or two!

Cathy said...

I will definitely add Possession to my must-read list on your recommendation. I will do the thing too.

Dust off that library card. I was an English major as well. After I finished my degree, I didn't read a real book for about five years. Just burnt out. But I enjoy it now and try to throw in a classic once in awhile.

The books that I liked the most (that you haven't read) are: Rebecca, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Secret History, and Remains of the Day.

Happy Reading!