Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer reading list??

OK, I've seen this on a couple of people's blogs recently & -- being an avid reader (with a lifetime iRewards membership at Chapters!) -- decided it would be fun to do myself. (That said, my book reading volume has sadly diminished with the advent of the Internet to occupy my time... thank goodness for Mel's Barren Bitches Book Tour...!)

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red

4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-) (I copied the rules from Mrs. X -- not sure if this is actually part of the rules or her wonderful sense of humour, lol!). (And by the way, Mrs. X, I'm totally with you on Thomas Hardy...!)

The premise of this little exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below. I've read 23, which is not bad, but not as many as I might have thought (especially being an English major in university...!). There are several on the list that I honestly can't remember -- did I actually read them? Am I just thinking I read them? Did I see the movie & thus think I actually the read book?? lol -- so the total could actually be higher. And a few, such as the Harry Potter series -- I have them all, have read two -- do you have to read all of them to count? I haven't read the complete works of Shakespeare but, being an English major, I have probably read more of them than the average citizen.

Anyway, here's my list:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien -- I never could get into Tolkien. But the movies were good...!

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling -- have them all, but have only read the first two so far...

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (have never seen the movie all the way through either -- GASP!!!)

6 The Bible -- not entirely, no!
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 Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger -- it's in my "to read" pile...!

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -- I studied this twice while in university! I had my doubts... but it really is a good book. It was my prof's favourite & I guess his enthusiasm was catching!

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell -- read this when I was 11!
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -- I tried to read this one summer when I was at university -- managed about 35 pages before giving up, lol.

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh -- I think I liked the mini-series (with Jeremy Irons) better than the book. There's a movie version coming out shortly!

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -- love the movie!!
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 -- I have this, just haven't read it!
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -- ditto above!
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell -- read in high school
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery -- I have & love just about everything the woman ever wrote... my favourites are Rilla of Ingleside & The Blue Castle.

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 -- also in the reading pile...!
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 -- another one from high school...!
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt -- amazing first novel written by a university student!

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold -- did I ever tell you I have this big pile of books "to read"? lol

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy -- read at university. Totally depressing!!

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding -- I read this one right after Katie was stillborn. It gave me some much-needed laughs!!

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 -- but I did read & love "A Little Princess"
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
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


  1. Yeah! I have another Thomas Hardy vote! Everyone seems to be so caught up on me not liking Jane Austen. What can I say?

  2. Read: 1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 16, 21, 22, 29, 39, 40, 41, 43, 48, 54, 57, 62, 64, 65, 71, 89, 92, 97, 98.

    Not bad, 24. But that really is a weird mixture on that list. And I too have a few I wasn't sure about. Felt like I may have read them, but can't be sure. (There is also a few that are in the to read pile. Someday, someday.)

    Thanks-- this was fun.

  3. I'm doing this meme, pronto.

  4. GASP! I have read more than YOU??!! 47!! Sadly - most of that before I graduated high school. When I said voracious reader . . . What helps too - is that I had a tendency that once I read one book I liked, I usually read ALL of that particular author's books. "Tale of Two Cities" rocked my world in 5th grade and then I went on a Dickens kick. Dumas was 3rd grade - Man in the Iron Mask, wow. I got to Steinback in Jr. High - his books affected me on such a profound level - I could not stop thinking about "The Pearl" for weeks.

    "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a great book - I also liked Leslie Kagen's "Whistling in the Dark" which reminded me quite of a bit of "TKAM". I wanted to name a little girl Harper - but dh put the kabosh on that. I think you will like it. I was very disappointed in "Time-Traveler's Wife" started off great and then I struggled near the end to finish it.

    Ugh - could go on and on. You and I have such a similar mind about some things; I would truly enjoy being in a reading group with you!

    Like a PP, I agree, it is quite an eclectic list and I think there are some definite should reads that are missing.

  5. Thought of a book that I think should have made the list - Stephen Crane's "Red Badge of Courage"


    Happy Reading!

  6. Did this on my blog just now! Normally I don't do memes but I love to read so this was a good one for me!

  7. What an interesting mix of books! There are at least 5 you don't have italicized that I would love to recommend, but I'll make do with one: if you loved Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, then I think you will also adore A Suitable Boy.


  8. I have read 39 of them (as an english major I was hoping to top 50 I guess I need to get cracking!).

    To see my blog email me at mkdsmall[at]gmail[dot]com