I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Challenge: How Many Have You Read

I wasn't planning to post today, but when I saw this challenge up on Jodi Henry's blog I had to give it a go.

The challenge is: Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

• Copy this list.
• Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
• Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
• Tag other book nerds.

I'm going to add another instruction (why not!): underline those books you plan to read in 2011. So here goes:

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell [I've been meaning to read this one for ages]
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold [I ordered this from The Book Depository last week actually]
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding [Does the movie count? LOL]
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
??? (Hmm, the list does appear to be missing book no. 100!)
So here's my addition to the list, to fill in missing #100 – The Illiad, Homer

Woot, 35 (I think I added it up right)!!!

Too many tags to be made. Take the list if you'd like to have a go at the challenge. Can't wait to see what you've read!

And, in the interests of furthering my literacy-ness (anyone else find the humor in making up a word when talking about whether or not you're well-read?), are there any books you'd recommend I read from the non-italicized, non-bolded, non-underlined books above?

Happy Reading. Happier Writing.


Unknown said...

The Kite Runner was very good, I'd recommend that... And I did enjoy The Count of Monte Cristo, but it's very long so you have to be committed :-)

There are some on the list that I couldn't remember whether I'd read them, or seen the movie, or they'd been read to me when I was younger...

There are many that I'd LIKE to say I've read (even though I don't feel like actually reading them!)

Christopher said...

I've read 19 (below) you beat me!

Plan on giving dickens and austen a try pretty soon.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Patricia A. Timms-McGehee said...

Okay, I completed your challenge on my blog. I came up with 20 read entirely and 10 partial reads, but then cited books I thought should be on the list. This was fun. Thank you.

It's funny how the list spans over different eras. My mom's list would be so different than mine and wouldn't include Bridget Jones' Diary. So the question I guess is by well-read how many eras do we have to go back and then which books do we choose from in each era? We shouldn't discount great books from recent eras but Bridget Jones' Diary, really? I might be more well-read than another if I've read this one (thank god I did, ha). Too funny. This makes me think a lot. I like that.

Adina West said...

I think the word might be literariness. :-)

I'm like Rachel M, there are some where the movie/book blur together and I think probably, in honesty, I've only seen the movie, not read the book. Vanity Fair for example!

But some other ones to add to your list:
Swallows and Amazons (for kids, very charming)
Hitchhikers Guide
Handmaid's Tale
The Secret History

Yeah, there are others - but all of the above suggestions have the virtue of being 'easy' reads. Which I can't say for Dostoyevsky! (or Evelyn Waugh. That man and I do not agree about what should be in a satisfying book. After reading A Handful of Dust - not on this list - I was so depressed I couldn't look at another book by him EVER!)

Though not on this list as they aren't novels, if you want to read some great Russian stuff and can't come at tomes like those by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, try reading Chekhov's plays instead. Plays are so short and easy to read in comparison...

Grandpa said...

Hi Rach, because of the way blogs appear on my dashboard (i.e those published later first) I read this on Patricia's blog first!
You are all very well read I see. I see a few familiar titles. I won't join the challenge obviously, but the list will perhaps become my shopping list

Denise Covey said...

Hi Rach. I've copied this and will post soon as. I recommend the following. I've read and loved them. They're all slow-moving, except the Colour Purple, so you need to be on a desert island, but you'll never forget them.

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Color Purple – Alice Walker

There's probably more but I'm just flitting by. Should be writing my final 14,000 words for NaNo. Takin' a break.

Joanna St. James said...

i have 29 or 30 that i recall reading
The color purple is definitely a good read, I would just dedicate a month and read em all or not! its up to u

Bast said...

You've read more than double my number. I've only read 15 of these books. I'll be posting the list myself either tomorrow or on Friday.

Bluestocking said...

Ooh! I read 39 but geez so many left over. Haven't touched Tolstoy or the Thomas Hardy's on the list. Too much commitment :)

Hart Johnson said...

Okay, I've seen this enough times now, that I am going to have to do one, too... maybe for Friday. I would echo YES on The Kite Runner, Yes on the Handmaid's Tale, Yes on the Count of Monte Cristo (BRILLIANT plotting) and I strongly recommend Lolita--all of them pretty easy to read. Then, when you are not distracted and have time to WORK AT IT, the best books in the Universe (other than Harry Potter, I mean) are War and Peace and Les Miserables. IMHO

Karen said...

I've read 20 and intend to finish The Handmaid's Tale, which I started ages ago and liked, then had to return to the library! The rest don't appeal or I've tried and not enjoyed.

(Is it ok to admit I'm not a Harry Potter fan?!)

Jodi Henry said...

I recommend any Ian McEwan book you can get you hands on. I've read both his Attonment and Black Dogs. I loved them and lierary fiction isn't my thing usually.


Stina said...

You're doing better than me. Does watching the movies count? :D

Abby Minard said...

34! I've seen a lot of those as movies too! I have seen this list going around FB too.

Anonymous said...

Wow now that is some list! I recognise a few I have read and a few I started but did not finish. My 11 yr old kittie and I have been frozen all day and cuddling up to share our body heat. It's soo cold, at last we can put the heat on now that it's after 4pm. ;O)

Jenny Beattie said...

Thanks for this Rachel. I'd seen it on Facebook too but I will give it a go on my blog in the next day or so.

Rachael Harrie said...

@Rachel, ooh, thanks for that. A few people around the blogosphere seem to like that book, might give it a go :)

@Christopher, great list. Good luck with Dickens and Austen, would be interested to see how you like them :)

@Patricia, great you took part. It was a dubious list (and I was shaking my head over that one too - I read that the list was the most popular books, not the best literary reads, which I'm glad about because Bridget Jones and literary in the same sentence!!!) :O Still fun though :)

@Adina, (*chortles*). It's interesting how they blur together sometimes isn't it. Thanks for the books to read, and great idea about the plays :)

@Grandpa, be interested to see what you think of some of them. I'm not sure they all should be "required reading" though. I'd be keen actually to put together a list of books we all think are required reading!

@L'Aussie, can't wait to see what you come up with, and thanks for the suggestions. Best of luck with the last NaNo words, I know you can do it!!!

@Joanna, well done you! Great idea about the month-long reading fest. And think I'll look up Color Purple :)

@Quinn, 15's still heaps :) I saw your list, and your comments about the books were so true!

@Bluestocking, I'm impressed!!! Looks like we need to hold a read-a-thon :O

@Hart, go you! I think I saw your total in someone else's comments, and you've read the most that I've seen so far (*claps*). Thanks for the suggestions. You might need to write your own "Naked List" ;)

@Karen, it's annoying to have to return books when you haven't finished, isn't it!!! And yeah, admit away :)

@Jodi, ooh, will keep my eye out :)

@Stina, I guess we can make the rules!!! ;)

@Abby, well done you! I'm way behind in the movie stakes :(

@Madeleine, gosh it sounds freezing. Um...can I say it's in the 30s (degrees celsius) here - over 94 deg F I think from memory!!! And summer's hardly even started :O

@Jenny, can't wait to read your list :)

DJ said...

I've read over 50 of them. In fact, I think I own over 50 of them. I went on a classics kick a few years back and reread the ones from HS & college, since I was probably paying more attention to the male sex than my classes.

Definite reads include Confederacy of Dunces, all five of the Hitchhiker Trilogy (or at least the first three), Cold Comfort Farm (and the movie), and Memoirs of a Geisha. Also Bridget Jones, which is absolutely hilarious and heads and tails above the awful movie, plus it spawned the chick lit genre (one could argue that Jane Austen spawned it, but I consider Austen deeper than today's chick lit).

As for Austen, Persuasion is second only to P & P. You should try it again, or get the audio version (it's a great bedtime story).

I hated Handmaiden's Tale with a passion. I also hated Grapes of Wrath, but I'm not into misery lit. Cannery Row and the sequel are my two favorite Steinbecks.

Les Miz, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Vanity Fair, War & Peace, etc. are all worth reading. I'd probably end my 100 with Water for Elephants, one of the best-written books I've ever read.

I've read The Christmas Carol, of course, but I much prefer the movie version "Scrooged". It's not Christmas until we see that fairy hit Bill Murry in the head with a toaster!

Rachael Harrie said...

Hey @DJ, well done you! Thanks heaps for your thoughts on the books, looks like I've got a lot of reading to do next year! Hmm, might have to watch Scrooged then, the toaster scene sounds pretty funny :)

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