The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six. According to another blogger, they encourage us to:

*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Underline the books we LOVE

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
9 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
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 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
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 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
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (abriged)

I figure 38/100 isn’t bad!

How many have you read?
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13 thoughts on “How many have you read?

  • August 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Wow – I’m impressed! Your list looks *way* better than mine! It seems like more than 38, though. Lots of bold text there!

  • August 15, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I took several literature courses in college and have always been a bookworm; plus I did a liberal arts program instead of General Studies – so most of that was read for class! But the vast majority of them I’m very glad I read.

  • August 16, 2008 at 8:30 am

    28 of them here. Really suprised and glad at some of the books listed!

  • August 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Hmmm, only 34 I think. I love Jane Austen, but she seems overrepresented here, especially with nothing from the Nobel Prize winning Toni Morrison. And, Hamlet is surely one of the Complete works of Shakespeare? Still an interesting list with a few things that I would never have thought of including.

  • August 17, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Why the FUCK is the Da Vinci Choad on there. This angers me more than I can say, and then makes me contemplate why I am so easily angered by petty nerd things.

    Only 32, which is a little surprising until I remember I hate Victorian literature, which is truly over-represented. I’m really satisfied that Confederacy of Dunces is on there, and surprised but pleased at the presence of The Secret History and Dune.

  • August 17, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Yeah – I have my own issues with several books (including that some of them are included in other collections, like the shakespeare thing) – and I definitely agree that the Victorians are rather overrepresented.

    That said, finding Le Petit Prince on there made me VERY happy!

  • August 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    AG has A LOT of reading to do. Could I have two points for having read the Little Prince in French, not English!

  • August 21, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    You can, if I can too! It’s much better in French anyway!

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  • August 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Tarq, the Da Vinci Code is on there because it is one of the best selling books of all time (and on the best seller’s list for one of the longest periods of time). It is there not necessarily because of good writing (it’s very poorly written from a technical standpoint), but you cannot argue that it is a page-turner and definitely a book that people talk about. I could argue that pieces of schlock like “The Remains of the Day” don’t belong on this list either. But that is the point of these lists: to get people talking.

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