BBC’s List of Top 100 Books – I’ve Read 40 – How Many Have You Read?

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

*Edit* I have been made aware that the above link to the BBC list isn’t actually the same as the one here. I took this one from a note I had saved on Facebook copied from someone else’s note. The list does however seem to be identical to this one at LibraryThing BBC Meme. *Edit*


The Royal Danish LIbrary

I’m a very avid reader, so I was actually surprised I hadn’t read more books. Guess I have some more books to add to my ever-growing list of books to read.

Put an ‘x’ next to those you have read.

[X] 1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
[X ] 2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

[X] 3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
[X] 4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
[X] 5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
[X ] 6 The Bible – God
[X] 7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
[X] 8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
[X ] 9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
[X ] 10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Total: 10

[X] 11 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
[ ] 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
[ ] 13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
[] 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
[] 15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
[X] 16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
[ ] 17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
[X] 18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
[X] 19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
[ ] 20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

Total: 4

[X ] 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
[X] 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

Total: 2

[ ] 31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
[ ] 32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
[X ] 33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
[X ] 34 Emma – Jane Austen
[X ] 35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
[X] 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
[X] 37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
[X ] 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
[X ] 39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
[] 40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

Total: 7

[X] 41 Animal Farm – George Orwellx
[X ] 42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
[] 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[ ] 44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
[ ] 45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
[X] 46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
[ ] 47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
X[] 48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
[X ] 49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
[X] 50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

Total: 6

[] 51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
[ ] 52 Dune – Frank Herbert
[ ] 53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
[X ] 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 – Mark Haddon
[X ] 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Total: 2

[] 61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
[X] 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
[X] 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
[ ] 69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
[ ] 70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Total: 2

[ ] 71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
[] 72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
[X ] 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
[X ] 79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
[ ] 80 Possession – AS Byatt

Total: 2

[X ] 81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
[ ] 82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
[] 83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
[X ] 84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
[ ] 85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
[ ] 86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mxistry
[] 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

Total: 2

[ ] 91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
[X ] 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
[X ] 98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
[] 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
[X ] 100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo *

Total: 3

Total read ~ 40

How many have you read? What do you think of the list?


  1. Very eurocentric list. I have read only 16! 😦

    By the way, which list have you used? Because I didn’t notice “Time Traveller’s wife”, “The Kite Runner” and “The life of Pi” and few other books on BBC list (Top 100) that you’ve linked. *confused*


    • Oh wow, that is strange! Well, I actually posted this on my old blog, and before that, I had taken it from my notes on FB – so it’s taken from someone else’s notes. I didn’t have a link at the time, so yesterday I just googled, that page came up and I gave it a quick glance and it looked fine 😛 but I guess it’s not the same list. I shall investigate! Thank you for letting me know!


    • I don’t know why they’re different, but my list seems to be identical to the one on Library Thing’s BBC Meme . Weird 😛


  2. 38.

    On top of that I’ve started reading several on the list above but have become derailed for one reason or the other, e.g. boredom (The Bible, Vanity Fair, Persuasion, Sherlock Holmes), bafflement (Ulysses), wrong age segment (Harry Potter, Winnie the Poo, A Christmas Carol), miscelaneous distractions (A Confederacy of Dunces, Les Miserables) and – not least – a congenital inability to disentangle the ever-changing Slavic names of more than fifty characters from one another at any one time. (Here’s looking at you, Tolstoy!)

    Oddly enough, I did manage to plod my way through the Quran, even though it is so intensely boring that it makes even The Bible seem positively riveting. The only reason I got through it was because someone bet me I wouldn’t. (Note to myself: In future, when reading the works of deities, wait for the DVD).

    Having said that, I find it impressive that you, a person of such tender age, have already devoured so many important books. Oodles of respect from me to you.


    • The Bible is definitely difficult to get through! I think I wanted to be able to honestly say that I had read it all (finished it when I was 12). Well, the Qur’an is about one third the length of the Bible 😉 That being said, I still haven’t actually read all of the Qur’an, I’ve read the vast majority of it, but not everything. And as for the Bible being riveting… well, reading Leviticus and the various prophets, I fell asleep many times.

      Well, I’m an avid reader, minimum one book a week on average 😉

      I want to get a Kindle, but I’m just not sure if it’s really worth it… I do all of my “online” reading on my iPhone. I have an app called ‘Pocket’ (Previously Read It Later). I have a button on my browser, and when I open new articles in my reader I just click ‘read it later’ and it automatically syncs with my app. Then I read while on the bus, waiting in line etc. And that’s how you read 40-50 blog posts and articles every day 😛


  3. PS! Just bought a Kindle a week ago, and in that brief span of time I’ve already read five novels. It’s a brilliant device which I cannot praise highly enough. Suddenly, you have a gazillion books at your disposal that you can read everywhere. The web is virtually afloat with free books, and these days you can even borrow them from public libraries in Denmark. Check out if you don’t know it already.


  4. Well, the Qur’an is about one third the length of the Bible.

    Yes, at least it has brevity going for it, a fact for which I am eternally grateful (and which goes a long way towards explaining why I won my bet). Still, if I had been the editor I would probably have recommended further emendations – such as, say, organizing the suras according to content or chronology rather than length, and skipping all the stuff about waging war on the infidels until they are dead or convert or pay the jizya. Also, I would have suggested toning down the bits about Noah gloating when all those who consider him a basket case are drowned by God, who – we’re otherwise told – is supposed to be one hell of a merciful guy. Also, the stuff about men having the right to practice non-consensual sex with their wives because they are their own personal “ploughing fields” is a PR disaster. I mean, what will God come up with next – allowing men to rape their female slaves and prisoners of war? Letting them marry prepubescent girls? Prohibiting Muslim women from marrying infidels whilst encouraging polygyny among Muslim males? Naw, He wouldn’t do that. Allah’s way too mellow for that, no? 😦

    But of course these aren’t stylistic criticisms of the Quran but moral ones. And my major gripe remains that it is boring. Boring as in excruciatingly dull, uninteresting, repetitive and dreary. All the morally reprehensible bits actually liven it up a bit, so I suppose I should be grateful for them. And I am – honest! I mean, horror fiction was always my thing. 😉

    I want to get a Kindle, but I’m just not sure if it’s really worth it… I do all of my “online” reading on my iPhone.

    The cool thing about the Kindle is that it has the feel of a real book: No backlit screen, no glare, no interminable rechargings, no distractions to draw your attention away from the business at hand – i.e. to read books. This isn’t a device well suited for playing games, checking your Facebook status, updating your feeds or surfing the web (although it will allow you to do all those things in a pinch, if rather poorly). I’ve had mine for two weeks now and I have yet to recharge it. Even with wifi turned on the battery will last you a month, and if you elect to turn it off it’ll last you two. Just fill it up with books in .mobi format via usb (believe me, the net is awash with them if you know where to look – nod-nod, wink-wink 😉 ), or shop in the Kindle store which is available directly from your Kindle. They have tons of free books, and if those don’t interest you, you can set search parameters, e.g. “find all books by author X on subject Y that cost no more than a dollar.”

    It’s bloody brilliant and I loooves my Kindle. But of course, it all depends on your needs.


    • Oh I agree with you completely, although honestly I think the Bible could do with some heavy editing too!

      Hmmmm but the problem with the kindle is that I can’t do my online reading on it, because I can’t use my app. And I’m not sure I can justify paying for it right now, especially since I would either have to pay for books or continue to borrow most of my books from the library (since the selection is still fairly limited). I do really want one though and I am seriously considering it, maybe once I have a “proper” job 😛 Thanks for the review though, you sound kinda like I did once I got my first iPhone 😛


  5. Yup. Us gadget worshippers have a lot in common with those religious types. Hail Kindle! Praised be Steve Jobs! We prostrate ourselves before you! 😛


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