Monday, August 11, 2008

home to my books

Back in the States. I have actually gone up to my book depository and simply sat there admiring them. I missed having my books for those 8 months. This means I better jump on the bandwagon I've been seeing around the Interwebs and put up the list of the top 100 books that's been floating around.

Everybody is supposed to do post this on their blog for reasons unknown to me. I just wanted to show off that I read more than half of them. The Big Read says that US adults have only read an average of 6 books on this list.

The Legend:
Read it

Started it

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 (great movie too)

6. The Bible (I don’t want to ruin the ending but the bad guys lose)

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (see London, England)

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 (the funniest book I know)

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

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 (I might have the Jabberwocky tattooed on my back)

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (my parents got all of our names from this book)

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (we read these together out loud after dinner for a long time)

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 (I stole it from a nice little restaurant in India and got my only food poisoning of the India trip, damn karma)

40. Winnie the Pooh -

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (not only should this not be on the list, it shouldn’t be in public libraries)

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (one of the best I know if you can keep the names straight, it gets tough as he travels through a few generations of a family where every male has the same name as his father and grandfather)

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (I like Irving but he repeats his themes way too much, enough about wrestling, open marriages and the guy letting the animals out of the Vienna zoo in WWI only to get eaten by the lion)

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (a master of characterization)

48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan (second worst book on the list)

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 (another great movie, I love Peter Sellers)

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (with the only opium induced wet dream I have ever read, three greek godess statues coming to life sounds pretty great to me)

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac (captured the go go go spirit of the 50’s in Neal Cassady, I liked his Dharma Bums best which captured the spirit of the 60’s in Gary Snyder)

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones' 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 (for some reason we have three copies of this depressing book floating around our house, who keeps buying it?)

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 (another master of characters with an amazing eye for the details of India)

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 (gets a little repetitive)

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 (inspired the wonderful Redwall series)

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (a damn funny book published after the kid who wrote it died and his mother got lucky enough to find an editor who bothered to read the manuscript that turned out to be quite clever)

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


Neal said...

Welcome back, give a shout sometime

anna said...

Dad gave me The Bell Jar on Christmas morning when I was fourteen. Life has kinda been down hill since.

Ned said...

Oh quit your whining. It's only by comparing our lives to the truly miserable that we gain perspective.

Neal said...

I believe I was told this would "Build Character" ... which as history notes, was a complete and utter failure

Ned said...

Leave the cows out of this.

Waldeck Dry Goods said...

Hi Lex--
I posted this list on my blog too. Welcome back.

Anonymous said...

I always remember you whining about "nothing to read in the John Beck elementary library." Then Mrs. H. recommended reading the entire Newbery medal list and you were hooked. We couldn't believe you actually made it through the Story of Mankind. Found some new things to try on your list but was disappointed not to see any Kurt Vonnegut (my favorite author) Jane S-former library aide