Tuesday, July 28, 2009

List of the Day: The BBC's Big Read



In April 2003, the BBC's Big Read began the search for Britain’s best-loved novel. Viewers voted for their favorite book until December 13, 2003, when the final list was complete.

The Top 100 list is below. The contest tallied the top 200 vote-getters, with the books ranked 101 to 200 sometimes referred to as the Bigger Read. This is definitely a people’s choice list that, while it includes many very good books, reflects popular tastes as much as literary merits.

I have read 51 of the 100. I may never get through all of these because the list includes four Harry Potter books, too many kids books, and a lot of sci-fi. There are at least 29 that I do not plan to read. Those I have read are in red. Those currently on my TBR shelf are in blue.

If anyone else is tracking this list, please feel free to leave comment with a link to your progress report and I will add it to this post.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (reviewed here)

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier (reviewed here)

15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (reviewed here)

17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (reviewed here)

18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling

23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling

24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

26. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch, George Eliot

28. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

29. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

30. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

31. The Story of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

32. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

33. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett

34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

38. Persuasion, Jane Austen

39. Dune, Frank Herbert

40. Emma, Jane Austen

41. Anne of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

42. Watership Down, Richard Adams

43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

44. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

46. Animal Farm, George Orwell

47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

48. Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher (reviewed here)

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

52. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck

53. The Stand, Stephen King

54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

56. The BFG, Roald Dahl

57. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome

58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

60. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

61. Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman

62. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden

63. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough

65. Mort, Terry Pratchett

66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

67. The Magus, John Fowles (notes here)

68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

70. Lord of the Flies, William Golding

71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind

72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell

73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

74. Matilda, Roald Dahl

75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt

77. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

78. Ulysses, James Joyce

79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens

80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson

81. The Twits, Roald Dahl

82. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

83. Holes, Louis Sachar

84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake (reviewed here)

85. The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons (reviewed here)

89. Magician, Raymond E Feist

90. On the Road, Jack Kerouac

91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

92. The Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

93. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett

94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

95. Katherine, Anya Seton

96. Kane and Abel, Jeffrey Archer

97. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

98. Girls in Love, Jacqueline Wilson

99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie (reviewed here)


NOTES
 

List updated on December 20, 2011.

OTHERS READING THESE BOOKS

(If you would like to be listed here, please leave a comment with your links to any progress reports or reviews and I will add them here.) .


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