Thursday, August 6, 2009

The BBC List, improved

I've been tagged on Facebook again with this fake BBC book list. The conceit is that these are great books that everyone should have read and most people have only read 6. Probably anyone participating has read more than that, and thus gets to feel well-read, which might account for the success of the meme, but the list is a maddening mishmash of pop trash and classics, wih sort of seems to focus on British literature but then doesn't really, includes 'Hamlet' twice, etc. I am hereby amending it to be a better list of must-reads, including books by Brits and their subjects (Australia! Canada!). Caveat that I'm working off the original list, so it's not really MY 100 top reads, but my interpretation of what their British popular classics should have been. And I'm tweaking it a bit to make it more vacation-read friendly, to go with the theme of the blog.

Original list (with my x's indicating what I've read, below my list).


1. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (original list had many Austen; I love her, but one represents just fine)
3. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy (ditto Hardy)
4. Dracula, Bram Stoker
5. Middlemarch, George Eliot
6. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
7. Vilette, Charlotte Bronte
8. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
9. The Bible (this was on the original list and I'm not going to remove it, though it doesn't much seem to fit)
10. A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare (complete works was on the other list; I'm making it easier to check that box & picking my favorite play.)
11. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
12. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
13. Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
14. Ulysses, James Joyce
15. The Inferno, Dante
16. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
17. Germinal, Emile Zola
18. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
19. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
20. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
21. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
22. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
23. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
24. Under the Volcano, Malcom Lowry (Replacing Madame Bovary, since there shouldn't be any Frenchies on a British list!)
25. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry (I haven't read this but it was on the original list)
26. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (I haven't read this but it was on the original list)
27. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (have cut out most Americans but, at random, left a few)
28. Collected Stories, Flannery O'Connor (to replace To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee)
29. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
30. Notes From A Small Island, Bill Bryson
31. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
32. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
33. Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
34. Catch 22, Joseph Heller
35. The Regeneration Trilogy, Pat Barker
36. Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers
37. Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell (1984 and Animal Farm were on the original list)
38. Burmese Days, George Orwell
39. Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves
40. I, Claudius, Robert Graves
41. The Sea, The Sea, Iris Murdoch
42. The Magus, John Fowles
43. A Maggot, John Fowles
44. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
45. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
46. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy (to replace A Confederacy of Dunces; John Kennedy Toole)
47. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute (?)
48. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
49. Lady Chatterly's Lover, D.H. Lawrence
50. Of Human Bondage, Somerset Maugham
51. The Return of Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse
52. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulk
53. The Swimming Pool Library, Alan Hollinghurst
54. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
55. The World According to Garp, John Irving
56. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
57. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons (haven't read this)
58. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
59. The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureshi
60. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (haven't read this)
61. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (this was on the original list!)
62. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
63. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
64. Arlington Park, Rachel Cusk
65. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
66. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
67. Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
68. Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
69. Ken Follett, Pillars of the Earth
70. Possession, AS Byatt (also a dubious stet from original list); possible replace with Night Watch by Sarah Waters
71. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
72. In the Place of Fallen Leaves, Tim Pears
73. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
74. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
75. Atonement, Ian McEwan
76. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
77. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
78. Crime and Punishment, Fydor Dostoevsky
79. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
80.(Ok, because they included some Russians, I'm going to do my Russian must-read list, starting here): The Brothers Karamazov, Fydor Dostoevsky
81. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
82. Evgeny Onegin, Alexsander Pushkin
83. Collected Stories, Nikolai Gogol
84. The Compromise, Sergei Dovlatov
85. Moscow to Petushki, Venedikt Erofeev
86. Heart of a Dog, Mikhail Bulgakov
87. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien (original list had this huge children's section)
88. His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman
89. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
90. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
91. A Grief Observed, CS Lewis (Substituting for the Chronicles of Narnia, which really fall apart towards the end)
92. Anne of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
93. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
94. Dune, Frank Herbert
95. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
96. Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
98. Watership Down, Richard Adams
99. Charlotte’s Web, EB White
100. The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper


1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte -x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee -x
6 The Bible - x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell -x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman x
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens-x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott -x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - x
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk x
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -x
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot (Augie March, and it was a real drag!) x
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens x
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - x
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - x
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky x
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma- Jane Austen-x
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen-x
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - X (seriously? jesus!)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres x
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne -
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - x
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving x
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy -x
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood -x
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding -x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - x
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen-x
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 x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -x
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov -x
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt x
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold _ x
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac -x
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy- x
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce x
76 The Inferno – Dante - x
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt-x
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell x
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - x
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert x
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - x
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 -x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery -x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks x
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -x
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for The Magus, even tho I really only loved the first 50 pages or so (before he leaves for the island).