Sunday, November 21, 2010

The BBC Book List and Me

(edit: I am sure that this isn't the official BBC booklist... it's just what is floating around on facebook at the moment. See the comments for further information.)

I've seen this list a couple times now on facebook, and decided to do it here, as a blogpost.

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. 

Bold those books you've read in their entirety. 
Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt. 
Underline those that you want to read. 
Star (*) those you absolutely love. 
If you've read a book more than once, but the number of times you've read it in brackets. 
If you've seen a movie adaption of a book, or just want to say something about it, put that in brackets too.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (And have seen and love the BBC series)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein (have seen the movie... hate it.)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (3, and have seen a movie of it)
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (have seen all the movies so far)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee  (have seen the movie)
6. The Bible*
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (have seen part of the movie)
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott* (6 or so - lots!) (love the movie in which Katherine Hepburn plays Jo)
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (and have seen various screen adaptions)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (I'd like to hear the movie, but hear that it's crap)
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (managed to make it halfway through the movie)
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (this is a really strange book)
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (seen the movie)
(There is NO number 26!)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll* (have seen the cartoon and the latest movie - the one with Johnny Depp in)
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (I think I've read this twice)
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (sort of... I've read two, and listened to the rest. That counts, doesn't it? I also have the BBC series and have seen all the movies that are out so far.)
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen (at least, I don't think I've read it...)
36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (sort of: I've listened to it and I've watched the movie)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini*
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden* (I've also seen the movie a couple of times)
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne*(read it a few times, and have an audio book of it)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I never want to read this.)
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* (I've read this at least three times. I own the whole series except Rainbow Valley. I love them.)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (seen the movie.)
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel (I was meant to read this for uni, but couldn't get into it)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (have seen the movie with Hugh Grant and the BBC adaption)
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 - Joen 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 (and seen the movie... the book is crap, the movie is slightly better)
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (I think. I've seen the movie and a play of it for sure though)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett* (Hate the movie, LOVE the book)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome* (have also seen the movie. LOVE)
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (seen the movie)
80. Possession - AS Byatt (Why does this sound familiar?) 
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (would like to see the latest movie, the one with Jim Carrey in it.)
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 - E.B. White*
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I've read The Sign of Four, and have seen a couple of movies, including the latest one, with Robert Downey Jr. (love him) and Jude Law.)
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery******* (I cannot recommend this highly enough)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (so sad yet beautiful... I had a gorgeous copy but sold it because I didn't really like some aspects of it)
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 (have seen both movies, prefer the latest one)
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (but I did see the play!)

So in summary:
I have read 24 of the books on this list (but a couple of these were series)
I have read BITS of six books.
I want to read another seven books.
I have seen lots of movies.
I love children's books.
I think one of H. Rider Haggard's books should be on here. I've read King Solomon's Mines 3 or 4 times and it is a classic.
I might have read the Jane Austen book Northanger Abbey... why couldn't it be on the list :(
I don't understand why there are some series down, and then an individual book from that series. (For example, numbers 14 and 98, and numbers 33 and 36.)

If you also do this list on your blog, please tell me in the comments so I can take a look!


  1. I'm not sure this is the official BBC book list. I searched for the BBC's book list and found something from 2003, but the list is vastly different from this. I think someone just made it up - number 26 is missing, and there are inconsistencies with single books from series listed alongside their series.
    Here's the list I referred to:
    I doubt this is an official BBC list, and I doubt they would go so far as to say that on average people only read 6 of them. People who don't read, maybe. People who live under a rock, certainly.
    I also don't think Australians are represented in a BBC poll. I think we tend to read different books as children from English children.

  2. Yes, I don't think it's the official one either... all the ones I looked up were different. This is just the one that's been floating around facebook... maybe I should put an edit up the top?

  3. I did this on FB, and had read 27 on the list. The Mr and I were talking about this and I decided that 6 books was most likely right per that list and an average population. My brother reads Louis Lamour wetserns and Dick Francis, my sister reads thrillers, Mum has read Jane Austin's everything about 100 times, but not much else on the list. It would average out...

  4. I could count 46 I have read in total, none of the only-half-read cultprits were on there. I do have a copy of a couple of those on my shelf awaiting reading too. But then again, I was a Lit major at Uni and am and English teacher by trade :) Major reader here! I hope you enjoy reading many more!

  5. Possesesion sounded familiar because Lisa wrote part of her PHD on it. Its quite good - sadly I left my copy in a hostle in London - on purpose - still makes me sad though



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