The Big Read – The BBC’s Top 100 Books

The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the UK* in 2003. Apparently, most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. I’d like to believe that it’s more. But maybe you want to give it a try yourself…

Instructions:

Struck Through= I’ve read it
Italicized = I’ve started the book and/or read excerpts
Bold = Would like to read

(Obviously there is quite a number of books that I believe are missing on this list. But maybe we’ll have time to discuss those in another post.)


*Le Monde did a similar survey in 1999 with somewhat different results, in case you want to double-check.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

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 Orwel

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

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

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 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

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 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

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. 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

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 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

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*

*reading it right now

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One thought on “The Big Read – The BBC’s Top 100 Books

  1. 1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen, check
    2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien, check
    3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte, check
    4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling, check
    5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, not read yet
    6. The Bible, partly
    7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte, started but not finished
    8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwel, same
    9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman, not yet
    10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens, not yet
    11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott, no
    12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy, no
    13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller, no
    14. Complete Works of Shakespeare, parts
    15. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier, no
    16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien, check, supercool
    17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks, no
    18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger, check
    19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger, no
    20. Middlemarch – George Eliot, no
    21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell, no
    22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald, check, thanks to school 😉
    23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens, no
    24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy, no
    25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, check, hooray
    26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh, no
    27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, no
    28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck, no
    29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll, yeah
    30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame, think I started it once but don’t remember
    31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy, no
    32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens, first half
    33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis, parts
    34. Emma – Jane Austen, check
    35. Persuasion – Jane Austen, no
    36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis,no
    37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini, yep

    Those 6 out of 100 are easy to beat!! 🙂

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