Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How Many Have You Read???

Hey all,

This went around FACEBOOK a couple weeks ago and the question intrigued me.  I know I'm a total bibliophile and probably have read more than the average person, but I have to admit when I saw that the BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here, I was shocked.

Now, granted, I've never even heard of many of these and I think if they expanded the list to more like Harry Potter and less of the I-had-to-read-it-in-English-class-and-really-wanted-to-throw-up kind, the number would go up, but still...some of these ARE classics and  IMHO should be read and enjoyed by everyone.  So, have you read more than 6 of these books?

Let's find out.

Here are the instructions...

1.   Copy the list below into a word document to make it easy.  (You don't have to do this, but I tried going through the list and just counting each one and I kept messing up.) Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or you've read an excerpt of. Then, count up the ones you've read.  Do a separate count of the ones you started or have nibbled at.  Then tell us how you did in the comments below.

2.  Next, if you want to, give me a list of books you think SHOULD be on this list.  What books do you think the majority of people would enjoy reading or you think should be read by everyone.

Okay...that's it.  You can see my list below and what I've read and nibbled on.  I wound up with 55 full reads, which is a little over half.  Let's see what you come up with.  If nothing else, it's a good way to learn about some alternative reading material!

Ready?  Let's Go!!!! 


1  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien 
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry potter Series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 
The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien 
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
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 - CS Lewis 
34 Emma -Jane Austen
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
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. 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
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
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
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 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
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
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
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 - E.B. 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
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Now, don't forget to leave your answers in the comments below.  Let's see if we can prove to the BBC that we are a more reading people than they figure!

I'll see you on Friday with another Guest Blogger!  Mila Jackson will be here to tell us all what's on her mind!  And don't forget to check out my FREE READ.  Macau is starting to look a little like a war zone.  LOL


CJ England  

Follow Your Dreams


lisa avila said...

I have read 18 of them, there are bbooks listed that I wouldn't have put on there (even though I've read some of them). I think the number of books you read counts more that what it is you read.

Ray said...

I've read 21, but how is it I am not a reader when I read as many as 300 books a year while I was at sea or staying away from home when our headquarters was in New Jersey? I have now slowed down to about four to ten books a month, but still that is more than many people read.


Unknown said...

something like 47, but it's a very poor list I think - too many repeats - Narnia and the lion the witch and the wardrboe, etc, not a broad enough basis in terms of international fiction, too much recently fashionable (Bridget Jones, Dan Brown...) more than one title by the same author. Winnie the Pooh is great, but I don't think he makes you a reader, reallly... there have been some great alternative lists doing the rounds. Mine would ahve at least one classic erotic text on it - possibly The Tale of O.

Ray said...

I agree with Brynneth on why are some of these books on the list. Not this particular list, but high school and college reading lists no longer stress the "Great Books." They go more for what is politically correct.


Susan said...

I've read 53 of them and have another 10 or so of them in my TBR pile. Some of them I plan to never read. Many of them were required reading in either high school or college. It's an odd set of books, I don't think it is necessarily a good way to determine who is a reader or not.

Julie said...

I don't even want to say how few of them I've read. :) According to this I'm practically illiterate.

CJ England said...


Exactly. When I was homeschooling my kids, as long as they were reading, I didn't care if it was The Hobbit or the Bernstein Bears. I just wanted them to enjoy the written word.

CJ England said...


I think that's what bugged me about the article. Who are they to say that these are the books you HAVE to read? And how did they come up with an average of 6? Did they do a poll? And if they did, who did they question?

CJ England said...


I'm such a rebel that if they tell me these are the books I should read, I'd go to the ones that WEREN'T on the list.

I hate being told what I should be reading. Irritates me to no end.

CJ England said...


I wish they wouldn't worry about "Great Books" or ones that are politically correct.

Why not just make a list of books that people love. Whether it be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or as Brynneth mentioned, The Tale of O.

Any book can give you joy if you enjoy it. Why is one more "worthy" than another?

CJ England said...


Agree totally. A reader is someone who reads. Period. And if it's a graphic comic book or Moby Dick, it's still reading!

CJ England said...


And since we know you aren't, it just shows how ridiculous this list is.

Unknown said...

I have read 48, I've read a lot of Shakespear, but not the complete works so couldn't count it.

This was a very odd list of books, I was a little disappointed in it!

I love to read, it is my favorite hobbie. I read for pure enjoyment now - but don't limit myself as to what I will choose. I love romance, paranormal and historical right now - But I have to pepper it with other genres to keep myself from becoming bored. My average is 30 books a month - I've fallen behind due to NCIS and CSI shows LOL

Phylis said...

If I remember right, I've read about 21 of them. There are some I could never finish, including Lord of the Rings. Shameful, I know. lol I have never heard of some of them. I agree about being forced to read something. I read to learn or to escape into another world. Reading Harry Potter to my kids helped get them into reading. They aren't like their Mother but at least they read!

CJ England said...


I agree it's an odd list. I didn't know a lot of them and I'm well read.

I switch stuff up too. I'm an eclectic reader. But I enjoy romance in all my genres.

CJ England said...

Want to make sure your kid hates reading? Force him to read one of the classics that he has absolutely NO interest in.

Surround him with books that interest him and he will discover the joy of reading all on his own.

nipps said...

I've read 15 but started many more!!

Anonymous said...

Do I get partial credit for having read SOME of Shakespeare? I've read 21 of these, which doesn't sound too great. many "classics" one has read, really depends on what's on the list. Books I have read, that are NOT on the list are Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn, The Red Badge of Courage, The Scarlet Letter, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Tell-Tale Heart, Pygmalion, Gulliver's Travels.

I'd also put more contemporary works on the list such as The Poisonwood Bible, I Know This Much Is True, and the Prince of Tides.

As the saying many books, so little time.

CJ England said...


I'd started quite a few as well, but some I just couldn't get into.

CJ England said...


Those are great suggestions. I think they should do a classic list and a contemporary one.

It would be interesting to see what they come up with.

Dragonlady said...

I was a little crazed by the list. Do you count the Harry Potter Books as 7 read or 1 since it only has one spot on the list? Then you have the Complete Works of Shakespeare...then Hamlet? So how many is that?

Sigh, it you just go by the numbers I'm at about 35 BUT if you count 7 HP's then that number goes up by 6, and if you count all the Shakespeare I've read.....well, that number just skyrockets.

Not a very accurate way to determine if you are a reader or not. LOL

CJ England said...


It's very inaccurate. I'd wondered the same thing about the series when I read it. I guess the PTBs consider it's all or nothing.


Ray said...

With all the disagreement over the legitimacy of the list I am wondering if it was written as a joke on BBC's high opinion of itself.


CJ England said...

Good point, Ray.

Do they have that type of sense of humor I wonder? LOL