And Another Thing…

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How many of these have you read?

According to The Big Read the average adult American has only read 6 of the books below. I guess that they think the number should be higher. If you are interested, copy the list below, bolding the ones you have read and italicizing the ones you are currently reading or intend to read. Feel free to insert commentary.

[H/T: The Corban Chronicles]

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (I cannot think of any circumstances in which I would read anything by Jane Austen)

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible

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

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (Over-rated; Holden Caulfied strikes me as a pissy, narcissistic little poseur)

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (but the movie did put me to sleep)

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

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

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
– CS Lewis
(didn’t 33 cover this?)

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving (one of my favorites; made into an execrable movie)

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

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

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 (I have never heard anyone who doesn’t teach English say anything good about this book)

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

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 (Does seeing Apocalypse Now count?)

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 (Never seen the musical, but I don’t believe anything can top the book)

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16 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    I think these lists are moronic, created by people to look down on others. I know many learned people who may not have read so much of this list but have read more than the fools who create such drivel. Anyway, that’s what we think at http://www.bentpage.wordpress.com.

  2. David B says:

    I can’t believe that Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley isn’t on there, considering your previous post. Now that’s a great book.

    Considering the illiteracy of many people I know, I’m surprised the number is 6. I’ve read at least 20 of those books, maybe more. Some of them I’m not sure about…did I read the book or see the movie?

    Some of them I’ve never heard of before, and a few I started but couldn’t get into (Dune for one). I’d say your intentions to read the Russian classics is good…but my advice is to keep beside you a character list so as to keep them all straight.

  3. andy says:

    No Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn? Why is Hamlet the only Shakespeare that makes it?

    I came up with 17, but obviously there are a few that I’ve read that I think should be on there.

  4. Jr says:

    Hey Odgie – what is your email? I’d like to shoot you an inquiry! You can email me directly (if you don’t feel like giving it out here) through my site via the e-mail link. Thanks bro!

  5. Micah says:

    I don’ read enough I guess. I only got three. I’ve read more books than that. Just not on that list.

  6. odgie says:

    Yeah, many of these I have never heard of either, and the absence of anything by Mark Twain strikes me as odd.

    The list struck me as arbitrary. One man’s classic is another man’s cure for insomnia.

  7. Jerri Harrington says:

    1 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE- Jane Austen

    2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

    3 JANE EYRE- Charlotte Bronte

    4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

    5 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD- Harper Lee

    6 THE BIBLE
    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

    14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

    15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

    16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

    17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

    18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

    19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

    20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

    21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (but the movie did put me to sleep)

    22 THE GREAT GATSBY- F Scott Fitzgerald

    23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

    24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

    25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

    26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

    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

    31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

    32 DAVID COPPERFIELD- Charles Dickens

    33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

    34 Emma – Jane Austen

    35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

    36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
    – CS Lewis (didn’t 33 cover this?)

    37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

    38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

    40 WINNIE THE POOH- AA Milne

    41 ANIMAL FARM- George Orwell

    42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

    43 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving (one of my favorites; made into an execrable movie)

    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

    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

    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 ULYSSIS – James Joyce (Neither have I)

    76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

    77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

    78 Germinal – Emile Zola

    79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

    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 (Does seeing Apocalypse Now count?)

    92 THE LITTLE PRINCE (IN FRENCH)- 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 (Never seen the musical, but I don’t believe anything can top the book)

    By the way, how do you embolden print when there is no key to do so?

  8. Roland says:

    I agree with Daniel. I have read about 20 of those books but many of the books on that list(such as Harry Potter) are actually 7 books.

    No Stephen King on there? Michale Criton? Tom Clancy? Many of the most popular 20th Century writers are not on there at all. I mean, The Stand should be required reading for everyone.

  9. erinlcox says:

    I’m impressed with how well-read you are, but not surprised. I am, however, surprised that while you snub your nose at Miss Austen, you have read Anne of Green Gables. Tell me it was required reading, or else my image of Odgie may be forever tainted. 🙂

  10. odgie says:

    Erin,

    I’ll go you one better and change it. I copied this list from your blog to Word and then back into my blog, and it has been glitching up ever since. This is like the umpteenth correction I have had to make.

    Hope my Odgieness is secure in your eyes.

  11. I have read a lot these works. True, I have had to teach a number of them. Only 6. That seems a bit low.

  12. Matthew says:

    Hey, this is a cool list, as a big reader it was super interesting.

    http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org

  13. Kelly says:

    I know this list is compiled by idiots, as they have included Charles Dickens, who was a lousy hack.

  14. odgie says:

    Kelly – read the last sentence of comment 6.

  15. Kelly says:

    I know, I know, but Dickens is still a punishment!

  16. Kathi says:

    I’ve read fifteen (if I counted right – I’m distracted), and I was surprised to find that several of them I read thanks to the Houston Independent School District (in high school).

    Funny to see the Bible and Bridget Jones on the same list. Also so much by the Brontes but not other certain authors.

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