Sunday, 20 May 2007

One hundred books meme

To keep the blog ticking over until I get around to my next topic blog, here is a quick meme contribution. I picked this up from Grrlscientist at Living the Scientific Life. The idea is to take this list of 100 books (how was it originally chosen?) and record it with all the ones you have read in bold, and the ones you want to read in italic. The ones in which you are not interested stay unemphasized. Please check my list and draw my attention to those I SHOULD want to read, but have failed to emphasize!

I've left unchanged any I did not recognize; and this is bound to include some serious omissions. I propose that commenters should please single out any one (or more) that I SHOULD want to read!

It is also amusing to click back through the history of the meme. Grrlscientist links to her source, and you can keep going back.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) unabridged, thank you very much!
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)


  1. I guess I could repeat my suggestion of A Fine Balance. Other than that, I have a choice of suggesting Rowling or Marquez. Hmmm.

    Incidentally, someone once mis-translated Les Miserables as "The Glums".


  2. James Joyce is certainly worth the read. I would suggest Dostoevsky's _Crime and Punishment_ and _The Brothers Karamazov_.

  3. Ya gotta read Life of Pi. It's short and an easy read and I thought it was excellent.

  4. Thanks for the suggestions!

    I recently read an essay by Walter Murdoch, from 72 Essays: A Selection (1970). The essay was "On Rag-Bags" (pp 312-316). In it, he advises:

    don't limit yourself to little books. The little book is so apt to give you a quite false impression that you really know something about the subject when you have read it. Possess, and read, not once only, at least one big book -- big in every sense of the word. I remember Henry Drummond, when he was in Australia, advising us University students to take such a book as Gibbon's "Decline and Fall" and master it, not for the sake of the subject, but for an exercise in steady, sustained reading and attention. I don't know that I would choose that particular book; but the principle was sound. To take one great book, to read it steadily and read it whole, to make it your own, is about the best beginning you can make if you want to give your mind the discipline that produces, not mere nimbleness, but strength and steadiness, keeping you sane amid a world of mass-hysteria.

    Those who are advising me to take up Marquez or Joyce or Dostoevsky appear to be of this mind.

    Friends, my thanks! I shall stir myself to try some of these. But I shall start with "Life of Pi"... ☺

  5. In addition to many of those you've already read, I liked:

    Count of Monte Christo: "a trial, sir, I ask only for a trial; that, surely, cannot be denied to one who is accused!"

    The Poisonwood Bible (anything by Kingsolver is good)

    The Time Traveler's Wife: "he's dead, but he's not continuously dead"

    I'm not sure if it matters what rational people think or say about religion (demography may swamp debate) but I liked your essay.