Sunday, February 22, 2009

BBC's "The Big Read"

Like many other Facebook users, I took the bait and made a note for the "What does the BBC know?" meme. The instructions stated: "Apparently the BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?". When I read it I wondered about the utter randomness of the books on the list. It includes "Complete Works of Shakespeare" and then separately has "Hamlet." I could not reconoiter a rhyme or a reason for the books on the list. So I began googling and discovered that it seems to be impossible to track down this list Someone created it on a whim.

However, there is a BBC list of 100 books which exists. It is called "The Big Read" and according to the BBC:

In April 2003 the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel, and we asked you to nominate your favourite books.

Here is the real BBC list. Like the Facebook meme I have included

X for the books that I have read
/ for books that I started but did not finish
* for books that I would like to read
@ for books that I strongly disliked

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien /
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen X
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman X
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams X
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling X
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee X
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne X
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell X
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis X
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë X
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller /
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë X
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier X
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger X
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens X
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott X
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres *
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell X
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling X
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling X
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling X
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 X
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 X
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl X
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen X
39. Dune, Frank Herbert X
40. Emma, Jane Austen X
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery X
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams /
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald X@
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell X
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

51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King X
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy /
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth X
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer X
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden X
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens X
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman X
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding X
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 X
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 X
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley X
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
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 X
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett X
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

I have never heard of Jacqueline Wilson, but she must be popular in Britain.
I have read 39 books on this list.

1 comment:

Rev Elizabeth said...

Thanks ... I too noticed (while doing) the list ... that Narnia (complete works) and The Lion ... are listed with the Shakespeare ... The most recent list has someone's name at the bottom and I'd assumed he'd created it.
Like many Facebook things ... I would be wiser to ignore them!!! Then I could read some of those that haven't made it onto my list!