The BBC 100 Books Meme

I lifted this from the blog of a friend of mine, and it came with the disclaimer that “The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?”

Because I have stopped believing anything I read on the Internet that can’t be substantiated, I’m not sure that I buy into this claim, but it was fun to go through the list and figure out what I had already read. I’ll be honest, this post is mostly for me, as a way to track how well I am doing at my goal to read the “classics”. What’s your total?

Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. I’m going to count both those I’ve read in physical form, and those I’ve listened to int he form of audiobooks.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee X
6 The Bible (definitely never cover to cover)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy X (Definitely one of my favorite books of all time)
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger X
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot X (I believe this book should be required for all engaged couples :) )

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
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 X
34 Emma – Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X (Absolutely fantastic! Another favorite of all time)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X
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 X
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 X
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 Nighttime – 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 X
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 Inferno – Dante X (Ohhh, another favorite. This list makes me so happy.)
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession

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 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
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 X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory X
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

TOTAL: 26. Quite sad actually. Makes me want to start reading! Maybe I’ll revisit this list in a year or so and see if I’ve made any progress.

26 thoughts on “The BBC 100 Books Meme

  1. I counted mine the other day (maybe we saw it on the same blog) and I had 30. And considering that some of those were classics I was forced to read at school/university, it’s not so great. The problem is, I rarely ever enjoy “classics”. Jane Austen is probably the only one of the big classic authors I’ve ever really loved. Oh, and I liked Jane Eyre, and if To Kill a Mockingbird counts, I liked that too.

    Do yourself a favour and read Rebecca – I think it’s the best book on that list. LOVE it. I see you’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife; how did you find the profanity? I ask because I swear all the time (it’s bad, I know) and profanity seldom bothers me, but it bothered me in that book because it seemed so UNNECESSARY. The book was a gorgeous, almost old-fashioned love story, and then it had all these jarring words, especially in the sex scenes. Very disconcerting. Whereas in a movie like Pulp Fiction, for instance, it doesn’t bother me at all – in fact I like it because it adds to the feeling of the film.

  2. Oh and I just went through the list again and discovered that I’ve never heard of #45, The Woman in White. If I haven’t heard of it, how famous can it be? :P

  3. I’ve read 42. I’m surprised I haven’t read more- I was an English major until my junior year of college! Although a lot of the books I read aren’t even on the list.

    If you loved Animal Farm then you’d definitely like 1984. A classic!!!!

  4. OK, I did a similar meme on my Facebook that claimed it was the BBC top 100 list, but it was different than this one.

    Anyway, on this list I’ve read 51. Out of the books I’ve read on this list that you haven’t, I recommend Rebecca, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Prayer for Owen Meany. All three are favorites of mine.

  5. I’ve read 49, and seriously, 100 Years of Solitude is amazing. Also Watership Down- and Vanity Fair is one of my absolute favorites!

  6. My husband gave me a kindle for my birthday!!! So I have been ‘collecting’ some free e-books- and many of the classics have run out of copyright… so are free!
    I feel like I read most of these (ok most would not be 30— but 30 is the magic number… oh wait!!! 31!!!!)- either because it was on a required reading list, or a ‘must-read list’ somewhere… or out of sheer curiosity.
    >sigh< I love books… My husband & I wish we had a room devoted to books and art and music… maybe someday. But for now we are slowly being suffocated by medical journals, medical texts, and boxes full of books we can’t bear to donate!

  7. I’m going to have to do this on my blog at some point. And as for your note on Middlemarch, Bennion would be proud. :) Was that the book you did that killer character powerpoint for?

  8. Dang…11 for me. Books I own on this list is more than 11 but ones I’ve actually red is only 11…and I READ! Sad!! I need to start reading as well!!

  9. Wow, books I’ve actually *read*
    I really do know how to spell
    Don’t mind me haha

  10. My degree is in English, and somehow I’ve only read 37. Try Winnie the Pooh. It is so adorable.

  11. This is a great list, Jenna! 27 for me! I like that it’s a good mix of classics and modern. Hmm… I think Middlemarch may be one of the next on my list… (so many of this growing list! makes me happy)

  12. I have read 31. Funnily enough I haven’t read many of the classics other than Austen – this has given me a great list to go and buy (I buy a LOT of books at thrift stores). I read a LOT but am not surprised by only having read 31 from this list.

    I am surprised that Camus’ The Outsider is missing…

    I am currently reading lots of political books – especially about the Obama campaign.

    Sophia Reply:

    That’s a good point about Camus’- loved that book!

    Sophia Reply:

    Um, I meant to type Camus. Just woke up :)

  13. Wow I’m not even going to say how many because it’s terrible. I read a lot, like a lot, a lot but apparently just none that are on the BBC list. :)

  14. I’ve read 35. Not bad- I own about 10 more of them, sitting on my shelves, collecting dust. I keep getting distracted by other, summery, fluffy reads.

  15. What a great list! I starred it on my reader to take with me on my next trip to the used book store (McKay’s, if you’re ever in Knoxville, TN–it’s a must visit!).

    I HIGHLY recommend Watership Down to move to the top of your list of books to read–it’s wonderful! I read it as part of coursework in college, and it was really, really good!

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. While I have read many of these (40ish), I take issue at Harry Potter being on a classic books list. I am sorry, but if the BBC really thinks these books can be listed with Of Mice and Men, et al that is just SAD.

    No my reasoning for not reading those books isn’t about them being “evil”, but rather they aren’t classics and I have never liked “sci-fi” kinda books.

    I think what would be interesting is to see how many of these books we(jenna’s readers) read in high school versus how many kids today are reading in high school!

  17. I’ve read 12 and started 4 that I mean to finish, as well as 1 that I never intend to finish. The rest I’ll get around to eventually.

  18. Oh this list is different from the one I saw. I got 19 read and 5 started on this one.

  19. I’ve got 23 on this list…. which initially made me sad until I went back and looked at some of the “classics” that were and werent included. How does Bridget Jone’s Diary make the list by no Tom Sawyer or Illiad?

  20. I know this is an old post, but I just had to comment. As part of my blog/challenges for this year, I am working my way through this list. Fingers crossed I’ll get at least 75 of them read before next March.

    Have you read any off of the list?

Comments are closed.