Wednesday, 6 August 2008

An irresistible meme

This meme appeared in the blog A Gaping Silence, and I just have to do it, knowing that I will be exposed to ridicule if Phil Edwards' erudite crowd ever finds this and discover that I actually like Bill Bryson:

The Big Read (whatever that is) reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you love.
4) Strike out the books you have no intention of ever reading, or for whatever reason loathe.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 The Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
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
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
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
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
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
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
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
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
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
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

I realize that with the background and text I've picked for this blog it's rather difficult to see which ones I've bolded (there are about 37). Actually, there are several books on this list that I probably have read, but don't remember well enough to claim them. And yes, I have read all of Shakespeare and the Bible, even King John in the former and the Apocrypha in the latter. Don't actually remember them that well, but it was required, okay? I have been sparing with the "strike" html, because I hate to say that I will never read a book. All three of those I chose to strike are books I've read enough of to know I wouldn't like them.

Now, tags. Hmmn. Let's try Bluestalking Reader (surely this is the ultimate reader's meme); Maniac Mum (cuz we know Jane likes nothing better than to confronted by a meme after a holiday); Poetry in Motion (because we haven't heard from Jonas in over a month); Stopping to Eat the Roses (because I think Vanessa secretly likes memes); The Woman Who Talked Too Much (because Marie didn't do the last one I sent her); What Possessed Me (because I don't think I've tagged P. yet); and Belgian Waffle (because Jaywalker's blog is fast becoming a favourite).

Update: I've read Possession and A Fine Balance this summer, bringing my total to 39, I think. My reviews are at Goodreads, if you're interested...


Jane Henry said...

Hello will do it when I get back!! No time today. For once I've read rather a lot of those books... I have only two I'd strike off - Ulysses, tried and failed to read it at uni, can't stand it. And I agree about Confederacy of Dunces, quite possibly the most overhyped book in history. I will have a lot of underlinings too... To Kill a Mocking Bird obviously, but also Lord of the Flies and several others.

What a great (if rather time consuming!) meme.

Must go... too much to do!!!

Vanessa said...

I will definitely give this a go! And what kind of authority is this Big Read anyway? ;-) Thanks for tagging.

Marie said...

I am very bad at memes but I will do this one! Sorry about the one before... Only question: what's the html for underlining and striking out?

Stevyn Colgan said...

I had a go at this and scored 24/100. But I did have some issues with the choices. I mean ... 'the Da Vinci Code'? Eek! And four Jane Austen Books listed but 'His Dark Materials' counting as one book? And isn't 'The lion, the witch and the wardrobe' part of 'The Chronicles of Narnia'? Still, a bit of fun.

Persephone said...

Stevyn, I think this list rather reeks of votings and committees, don't you? I think the reason that TLTWaTW is listed separately from The Chronicles of Narnia (and why Hamlet is listed separately from The Complete Works) is so those who have read the lot can indicate so, and those who have only read the most famous can also be registered. Does that make any sense?