Posted by: Kirsty | February 19, 2009

BBC Book List Meme

I do like a good meme, as you all know, and here’s one I’ve seen on a few blogs recently, most recently An Open Letter by a Feminist. It seems to be based on the Top 100 Books from the BBC Big Read a few years ago, though a few titles are different. I have also altered how you highlight the titles you have read etc, but because I thought it looked better that way. Do feel free to have a go yourselves.

BBC Book List

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.


1) Look at the list and make those you have read bold.
2) Star (*) the ones you LOVE.
3) Italicize those you plan on reading.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen *
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (I have absolutely no desire to read this whatever. Or to see the films.)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte *
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible (I’ve read bits of it. I was brought up Christian, y’know.)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte*
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
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 (tried and failed three times)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (I’ve read quite a few Shakespeare plays, but not the Complete Works. I do aim to read the rest at some point in my life though.)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (see LOTR)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (and HATED it)
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 (mostly just to say that I have)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh (started it and will finish it one day)
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (I didn’t much care for Of Mice and Men but I’m assured by several trustworthy sources that I’ll like this.)
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 (I’ve read the first three books, but not the whole series.)
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 (The shame! It really was as bad as they say, you know. In my defence, I was on holiday, and I’d run out of books, and my sister had it…)
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 (ugh)
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 (second most-overrated book I’ve ever read, beaten only by The Catcher in the Rye.)
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 (Have started it and stalled. One day I swear I will finish it.)
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

That’s not a bad result: 57 out of 100. More than half. I think that’s pretty respectable, frankly. Do have a go everyone, then let me know and I’ll take a peek at your efforts.



  1. I managed 57 too, with 32 still to read, quite a few differences to your list though – will post in due course – it was a fun exercise!

  2. I got 47 read so far, but I’m part way through Bleak House and am listening to War and Peace as an unabridged audio book, so will soon be 49. 🙂 Tis sad to see a book like the Da Vinci Code rubbing shoulders with the Complete Works of Shakespeare though. Oh how short-sighted we are.

  3. This is great fun! I am shamed by how many classics I’ve not read … It’s interesting how many modern classics seem to have been ommitted from the list too.

    Thanks for posting this, it was a great way to pass the time!

  4. You have to give Gone With the Wind a shot! It’s a hell of a romp – you’ll read it in about a week, knowing you, but I think you’d enjoy it in an odd sort of way!

    Also – get going on A Tale of Two Cities, it’s FAB.

    Other than that there’s nothing on here that you haven’t read that I have that’s any good!

  5. You’ve beaten me – I have read 54 of them not including partial reads like the complete Shakespeare and the Bible.

  6. I come in at 54 but have not included the Bible and complete Shakespeare though I have read huge chunks of both


%d bloggers like this: