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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

How well read are you?

Thanks to Jodi at Turning the page for alerting us to the BBC's lack of faith in the reading public

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.

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 - why only the KJV?
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
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 SteinbeckLolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
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

Twenty eight - I guess that's better than six, but hardly well read when I look at all the classics I feel I ought to have read!

Why not copy the list and see how you shape up.
Do you exceed the BBC's not so Great Expectations?!


  1. Dominic,
    I'm exactly 28 too, and like you, I'm a little disappointed. I thought for sure I had read more than that...

  2. So many of my favorites are listed here. I love the classics. My kids joke that I'm stuck in another century when I'm reading. After looking over your list, I'm anxious to read Madame Bovary and The Color Purple again. Dominic, I like this idea. I need to try it too.

  3. This is interesting. I will have to try it.

  4. 32 for me but I really should read more . . .

  5. I'm surprised at myself, I made 22!!

  6. I saw this on another blog too. I've read 27 of the list and have read half of 10 more. I'll finish them eventually and a bunch of the others are on my list.

    The sad thing though is that I think the BBC is right. When you average out the people who never read with the people who do, you'd probably get to about 6 books each. Sad but true. That's why we have to work hard as writers to encourage others to read.


  7. I only read Hamlet. The rest I read only part of for school. I guess it depends on what books the person is into.

  8. There are some notable exceptions like Gulliver's Travels. Unless I missed it. I have read more than six, I didn't count. I have started some and couldn't continue. And there are some that I really love. Good post. Let BBC know that there are people who do read.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  9. Only 16 for me, but there are some on the list that I would probably never read any and don't understand why they would be considered for a list like this. And where's something by William Faulkner or Mark Twain?

    Tossing It Out

  10. Thanks for following my blog. I saw this list the other day. I wouldn't have too many bolds. Sigh.

  11. I've definitely read more than six! I'll have to sit down with that list...

  12. I'm inspired to do this over at my blog. Interesting to see that Lion Witch & Wardrobe is listed separately when its one of the Chronicles of Narnia, also Harry Potter series = 7 books, doesn't it?;O)


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