I Got It From My Mama

A Facebook meme I got yesterday states: The BBC doesn't think we read!

(now I have looked at the BBC website The Big Read and I did not find any evidence the BBC believes only a few of us will have read over 6 of the books listed. So - grain of salt time...)

Anyway - the list is interesting and I had fun checking off those I've read and those I'm pretty certain I've read, (because surely (!) I read Hamlet in high school! Didn't we all? Or am I just having Mel Gibson movie flash backs?) This is not a list of the greatest books of all time, the BBC compiled this list in 2003, to determine the 100 best loved books.

Here's the meme:

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

Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. (I added an m for "saw the movie" as well)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x m
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x m
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x m
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x m
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x m
6 The Bible m
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x m
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman x m
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x m (LOVE Ms. Havisham!)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x m
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x m
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (can't say I've read them ALL) m
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x m
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x (m - can't wait! eeek!)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot x
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x m
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x m
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x m
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh x m
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x m
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma - Jane Austen x m
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen x m
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x m (sort of a repeat of 33?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x m
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden m only (I know...)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x m
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x m
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving x m-sort of, if you can call it a movie
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x m
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy x m
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan m only...sigh..
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons x m
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen x m
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon x
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov x m
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas m...
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x m
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville m surely...
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x m
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker m...
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x m
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 x m
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x m
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x m
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro m only..
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert x
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x m
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom x
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x (m soon!)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas m...
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x m
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x m m
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

MY TOTAL = 57 Hmmm – 43 to go!

I already have several of my non-read books on the shelf, but for some reason have not picked them up - Catch-22 and A Confederacy of Dunces come to mind. Doh! It's OK - I plan to have them all read (and those on the greatest novels of all time list) by the time I am 90. My epitaph on the wall at James Coney Island? "She was well read and ate a ton of popcorn to boot"

So are we Dunces? (I mean in the sense that we don't read..) I like to think not! However, the stats for the "general population" are sobering... Minnesota Matron (one of my everyday blog reads - I am a big fan!) recently posted a link to a very disturbing article from Truthdig. Is it really possible that 80% of American Families did not buy one single book last year? Suffused with disbelief and drama -because I certainly don't know anyone like that! - I recited my horror to one of my work buddies who admitted that yes, she was one of the 80%. After gnawing on my foot for a while, making references to how much ROOM books take up in the house, we hung up and I decided that my book clutter was not so annoying after all.
Thanks to my wonderful book-aholic Mom! I have you to thank for the countless hours of adventure, romance, mystery, wonder and awe I have gleaned from my library. I hope I can promote the same passions in my children.


Susan said…
I certainly could have made the same assumption when talking to people - not buy a book? I have to limit myself to only 5 unread books before I allow myself to buy another. although, when we were going through a financial crisis I did use the library and cut out buying books.

I am going to borrow your list and do my own post - thanks for the great post!
Colleen said…
Not buying books? Not in our family! I'm so glad I was blessed with a family that reads for pleasure. I have met so many people that say to me, "I'm just not that into reading," or worse, "I don't really listen to music." (!!???!!)
phd in yogurtry said…
80%?! Even me, the dedicated library borrower, will buy a book, or two, or three, every now and again.

I could not get through life if I weren't reading a novel or memoir. Life's blood.

I read somewhere in the vacinity of 48-50 books in the list. I befuddled my count toward the end. Too lazy to go back and start again.

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