The Book List

For those of you who are my Facebook buddies, you're going to recognize this list as one of those trivial little quizzes that everyone publishes in their notes section. I apologize for the redundancy. However, I thought it was an interesting list, and I wanted to share it with the non-Facebookers (you know who you are).

So I found this list of 100 books. Perhaps they're classics. Perhaps they're just popular. Perhaps they're favorites of the person who made the list. I don't know. Both where the list came from and why it exists have been lost in the annals of Facebook's copy and paste history. The reason I bring it up is because it happens to be a good list of very good books, and I, for one, am always on the hunt for the next good book. Not that this list is exhaustive, obviously, but it's a good place to start. I've bolded the ones that I've already read, in case you were curious, or just looking for a reason to have me guest-speak at your next book club.

Without further ado, "The List":

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (read and reread...a favorite!)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (read in 8th grade)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (read starting in 2002)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (read in 6th grade)
6 The Bible (partially)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (read in 2009)
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 (partially...I've read all the comedies)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (first read in 7th grade...reread over and over since then)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (loooooved it!)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (read in 1995)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (tried it once...I couldn't keep all the characters straight)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (read in 2009)
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (read in 1996)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (can't remember...might be worth a reread)

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 Hossein
38 Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (10/11/09)
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 (on my library list)
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (read in the 7th grade)
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 (a favorite)
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 (read in 1998)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (reading it now)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (read in 1996)
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 (read on 10/1/09)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (partially)
76 The Inferno – Dante
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

For most of these, I can thank my English classes for assigning, but there are others that I managed to discover on my own. Some I loved (Austin, Tolkien) and some were decidedly less cherished (cough-Steinbeck-cough), but I wouldn't argue that each one isn't special in its own right. Feel free to comment about the ones you've read, or would like to read, or additional books that you would add to the list. You can never have too many books.

***Edited to add: I've continued to bold these as I read them. So at the time of the post, I had 25 read, but I've finished some others, so I've come back to bold them also.


Natalie said...

Like you, I can thank my AP teachers for encouraging(or forcing, however you look at it) me to read many of these books. Some of them, like Harry Potter, I've discovered on my own. I've often thought about rereading some of the ones from high school.

db said...

I read the TIme Traveler's Wife before we left Korea. It was AWESOME. Also, you may want to put A Prayer for Owen Meaney on your list. It's an incredible book. John Irving is simply a genius! (And I never made it all the way through Moby Dick. Hmmm... maybe he deserves a revisit?)

Nishant said...

It's an incredible book. John Irving is simply a genius!

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