Good Reads: How Many Can You Claim?

Barbara Vey -- August 13th, 2009

Facebook has become a part of my life strictly by accident.  I was asked to join an author’s chat and the next thing I knew, I had a Facebook page. 

Now, I do enjoy seeing the pictures posted, connecting with family and friends that I don’t always do with phone calls.  (Congrats Sarah on your engagement and wedding date announced on Facebook!)  But it does surprise me how much people use it as entertainment. 

Although I don’t like getting a lot of the application invites (they really clutter up my mail box and I just don’t have time), I did get one from Debbie Richardson that I couldn’t resist:

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – (saw the movie several times, although I might try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – (saw all the movies, but couldn’t get past The Hobbit book)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – (movie)
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling  (Read them all!)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee  (Read the book and saw the movie several times…outstanding)
6 The Bible (Maybe didn’t read it cover to cover, but over the years I managed to finish it)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – (Movie)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell – (Book excellent, movie ok)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – (School read…boring)
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – (Loved the book and different versions of the movie)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy – 6
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller – (Frustrating subject matter, but enjoyed the movie)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – (ok, not all of them, but fave movie…Much Ado About Nothing
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier- (Book and movie)
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien – (Started it 5 times, but couldn’t get through it…not even the cartoon)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – (Required for school, boring at the time)
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife (Never read it, but the movie previews look interesting)
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – (Book and movie, both amazing)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – (Can’t believe I missed a Robert Redford movie)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy-
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – (Another one I couldn’t get through)
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky-
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – (Way too depressing for me)
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – (Book and movies)
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame -
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens -
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis- (Saw Prince Caspian)
34 Emma – Jane Austen (Loved the book and movie…even Clueless)
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 (Read it, but didn’t like it.  Too sad for me)
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne – (Read it, pictures and all)
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell – (Another school read that gave me nighmares)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – (Read it twice so I could understand it better. Helped when I saw the movie)
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 – (Movie only)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (Movie)
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – (Read for a book club…very haunting. Movie pretty much sucked)
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding – (School read…hated it)
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 (Loved the movie)
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 it several times an am always amazed by Huxley’s vision of the future)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – 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 (Book club selection…everyone hated it)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – (Movie only)
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (Read book, but adored the movie)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville-
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (Saw the musical)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker (Saw the movie when I was a kid and always covered my neck when I slept)
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett -
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (Saw the movie and didn’t care for it)
80 Possession – AS Byatt-
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – (Read and saw all versions of movie…fave…Scrooged)
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 – (Read)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom -
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Read every one and saw every movie.  Basil Rathbone was brilliant)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad -
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery- (My son, Andrew, was in the play)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams – (Book and Movie)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (Several versions of movie)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare -
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – (Movie)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – (Read and saw play…too depressing for me)

Of course, this was the BBC list.  So let’s start our own list.  What would you like to see on it?

Bottom Line:  Well, I did read more than 6 of the books, so it looks like I’m ahead of the BBC curve.

48 thoughts on “Good Reads: How Many Can You Claim?

  1. leeannewat

    Hey Barb, I’ve seen this list before… Would love to see some more romance on there…lol U know some of or all of Catherine Anderson and Debbie Macomber and Linda Lael Miller and Jill Marie Landis and Jodi Thomas and Norah Hess and Alexis Harrington… U know the story the list could just go on and on…lol Lee

  2. KathyC

    I’ve missed 34 of those, so I’m messing up the curve :) My list would include Anne of Green Gables series, Twilight series, A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray), Green Darkness (Anya Seton). Would love to see books by some of my favorite romance authors, too :)

  3. mary s

    Hello Barb! This was so much fun to go thru–I too read alot for school/classes but many for pleasure too! I was surprised that I had read so many on the list! Thanks for the blog!

  4. Jody W.

    The BBC is wrong. I’m at 42. Although it does make me wonder if they’re still reading so many of those as school assignments? If they didn’t assign them in school, my numbers would drop!

  5. Eileen

    It’s really a pretty good list. I’ve read 27 of them, only a handful in school–but they do inculde popular fictions as well as classis. (And I loved Lovely Bones–obviously don’t belong in your bookclub, lol.) I’d add Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. They ought to join the literary cannon. Probably won’t, but they should.

  6. Gayle Carline

    I read 35, but I don’t understand why they have Hamlet separate from the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe separate from The Chronicles of Narnia. Where’s Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? How about some of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower stories? Edgar Rice Burroughs? Somerset Maugham?

  7. Vicky Dreiling

    I’ve taken this test before and have read 32 of the 100. I would add: Girl with a Pearl Earring (Chevalier), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf), and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn (Twain).

  8. Reader524

    32 out of the 100 but I think Ulysses should over be on these lists. Also, do you really have to read the complete works of Shakespeare to check it off the list? What about just his major works?

  9. Dave Sloane

    Well, I managed to get 21, so I guess I’m not all that illiterate. I was, however, surprised by some notable omissions: L. Frank Baum – The Wizard of Oz (and the entire series) Edgar Rice Burroughs – Tarzan (again, the whole series) Mary Shelley – Frankenstein Robert A. Heinlein – Stranger in a Strange Land Thomas Wolfe – A Man in Full of course I also would like to include works by Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, John Grisham, Jonathan Kellerman and Janet Evanovitch. oh yes, and my two favorites – Colony VII by J. H. Long and Blue Vendetta by Hugh Ellis. Dave Sloane (

  10. Dawn Chartier

    Sadly, I can’t say I’ve read many of those. All though I did start reading about 20 of them, but I never finished.. Guess, I could say I truly read a dozen. And the Kite Runner was probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. (other than my favorite paranormal reads, of course). Dawn C

  11. Edie Ramer

    I read 26. There were others I started, but I couldn’t remember if I finished them. I think we could have a couple Jennifer Crusie books on the list, including WELCOME TO TEMPTATION.

  12. Blythe Gifford

    I’ve read 32, plus portions of the Bible, Shakespeare’s plays, and Ulysses. A strange list. Not sure so many Jane Austens are truly needed. (No offense!) and Hamlet should actually be considered part of Shakespeare. But interesting!

  13. AmyW

    I’ve read 32 — and like others, a lot from my English university courses. I call foul on the complete works of Shakespeare, though — only serious scholars would have gotten through them all. How many people even know he wrote a play about King John? I had no clue until I saw it my uni book store!


    what the heck do they read in the British educational system? I’m with a lot of the other commenters–a number of these were ‘standard’ reading assignments in various English classes from junior high through college. Now how many I actually enjoyed is completely different matter.

  15. Susan in AZ

    What is item number 26? I guess that is up to me, so I’ve read 20 of them, including The Little Prince in its original French in High School. Barbara, if you haven’t seen Cold Comfort Farm, try to rent it – it’s very funny, about a young woman’s academic pretensions crashing into real life at her uncle’s farm. Every time I reread The Secret Garden, I get something new out of it; it’s a romance for readers of all ages about a small unwanted orphan. In England, they still sell Secret Garden child dolls (the story is so beloved). Not so beloved in this country, though. I just thought; why don’t we see the Complete Stories of Hans Christian Anderson? Could it be because he was not British? Certainly, those stories all have unhappy endings (forget Disney rewriting the endings…) so they would fit in with all those depressing Irish writers on the list.


    Looking over the list again it’s fun to check out how many have been made into movies and miniseries and how many different versions there are–A Christmas Carol (a new animated Disney version is out this year); the endless Sherlock Holmes (my favorite is still Jeremey Brett but Robert Downey Jr. is giving it a go in a December movie release); impossible to count Shakespeare productions; all the BBC Austens, Brontes, and Dickens they’ve done over the years; Dracula of course; and other too numerous to mention.

  17. Brandy

    I’ve read at least 18 of these. (What? I’m sure I’ll read more later.) I wonder why Shakespeare was under complete collections and then counted Hamlet as a separate listing? I think Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Fahrenheit 451, Emily of New Moon, Anything by Oscar Wilde, and any Shakespeare should be on a new list. *G*

  18. Grace Fonseca

    I’ve read 26 of those, I’m pretty sure 20 of the 26 were school reads and I hated them as well. How about Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice, Clan of The Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel and some others I can’t think of at the moment.

  19. Gina

    22 whew, I hate to be on par with anything the “experts” say. Maybe their staff only read a combined 6 which is why their list is so seriously lacking? If I could add a book it would be The Last Lecture. I’m not big on reality TV or reality books but this one grabs you, holds you and knocks you out with its message.

  20. EAG

    I’ve read 28 – some were required reading, which reminds me of some other favorites from my high school reading list that I would add to the BBC’s list, like: Maya Angelou Toni Morrison Pearl Buck Richard Wright Zora Neale Hurston Candide by Voltaire The Awakening by Kate Chopin And more of my favorites: Marguerite Duras William Burroughs James Baldwin Herman Hesse I don’t know, the BBC’s list just seemed so… Anglo.

  21. Chris J.

    Interesting list and makes you wonder what their required reading list are. As most I have read is due to this reason and the fact my daughter loved some of them, so I have read some of them more than twice. I have a total of 20. I would add Little Lord Fauntleroy, Wizard of Oz and some poets, though a top 100 Paranormal Romance list would be rocking. I read Lovely Bones, did not hate it and another from Oprahs list. Didn’t go any futher as they are sad, not inspiring and when I read I choose to for an escape not a reminder of the bad, sad or wrongs in life. Thanks Barbara.

  22. Mirta Thierauf

    Gongrats to the young couple! Thank god Kate is good looking.Until she cuts her hair, ala Emma Watson, and then her looks will go downhill. William you’re the king of England, make it a royal edict, my wife can’t cut her hair, or the marriage is annulled.

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