Monday, February 23, 2009

BBC Book meme

As seen at Sciencewoman.... (thanks for the idea!)

BBC Book List

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.
1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. (I'll bold those I've read and italicize those of which I only read part.)
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 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 (I think?)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - I seem incapable of reading this book I started it multiple times
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 - I think I may have read in school, but don't remember
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
34 Emma - Jane Austen - I'm not sure, I think I have though....
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 Berniere*
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 ++ (I'm a big John Irving fan)
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery ++ (I've read the whole collection many times, and lots of her other books too... the Emily series, short stories, etc)
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 - I'm about half way through, but started another book and didn't finish yet
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 - Want to finish this one someday...
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding ++ (funny stuff! Also read the sequel)
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (I'm afraid of vampires, no way!)
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 - abandoned part way through
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute (no, but I read some of his others)
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - started on vacation last fall, but didn't get very far

So that's 28 I've read, and lots more I've read part of... I have a bad habit of starting a book, then remembering I wanted to read another one, then forgetting the original one... I need to start finishing books!

Looks like a good reading list. Anyone have a favorite book that's not on here to recommend?

At the moment I'm reading 2 books of essays from women PhDs about combining work and family. I just finished Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory, and I just started Mama, PhD. I think I'll write a review on these when I've finished both.


  1. If you liked Harry Potter, you might try the His Dark Materials collection. The first book is "The Golden Compass" (I've read the book but not seen the movie - I've heard the book is way better.)

    I've read Mama PhD but not the Elephant in the Lab. I've been meaning to review Mama PhD for ages but still haven't managed. I'd be very interested to see your reviews. (Maybe a cross guest-post at ScienceWomen?)

  2. Hmm - you did pretty well on that list! I'll have to do it and see how many I get. Motherhood and Mama, PhD sound like great books! I'll have to put them on my "to read" list. I look forward to reading your reviews on them.

    One of my favorite books is Contact by Carl Sagan - and I'm surprised not one of his books is on the list (but The Da Vinci Code is? gah.).

  3. Thanks for the suggestions! I don't think I've come across "Contact" or the "His Dark Materials" collection before...

  4. Geez. 61! No wonder I don't have tenure yet.

  5. Nice! I'm looking forward to your reviews.

  6. I think we should be looking at who is absent. The absence of certain authors from a list drawn up by the BBC speaks to the political nature of what is considered important and great literature.

    Only 4/100 entries listed are from an eastern tradition and all these authors are male. There is no presence of the female voice from an eastern culture. Moreover, I counted less than 20% representation by female authors. If I were to make another list representing authors from around the globe, my guess is that a. the average person will likely not have heard of these individuals and b. read less than 3 books on the list.

    Just a side note - if you have read all of Shakespeare's works then you will have read Hamlet.

  7. Good Point GirlPostdoc. Actually, though I should point out that after I posted this, SW and others pointed out that this is not the REAL BBC list, but a modification (which explains things like the doubled-up Narnia and Shakespeare entries). And since it's based on popular literature, there is probably an over-representation of British authors popular in the local area...