Jenny La Fleur
the big read - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
the big read
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've only read 6 and force books upon them :>

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 - God :>
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 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
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
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
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
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
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' 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
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

Not too shabby, but then I had lots of time for reading when I was homeschooled. I found it got me out of a lot of chores (oh Mom I'm doing school!) and then I grew to love reading for it's own sake. Still do.

This list is interesting. Several of my most favorites with several I would never even touch let alone read. Wierd.


9 comments | comment?
justawench From: justawench Date: June 25th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC) (link)
Which ones would you not touch? I'm curious why you would judge a classic you haven't read.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 25th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC) (link)
The ones that stood out to me were Lolita, Bridget Jones' Diary, and The Color Purple. The answer is simple, content. For the same reasons I won't watch the films based on them. My judgments are based on what I know of the content and reviews from trusted sources. Books labeled "classics" aren't always worth reading in my experience.
olde_fashioned From: olde_fashioned Date: June 25th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC) (link)
Amen, Jenny!! I couldn't have expressed it better myself. :-D
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 27th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks! :>
olde_fashioned From: olde_fashioned Date: June 27th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you for being brave enough to take a stand for what you believe in. All too often I see people wimp out and back down when pressed. :-)
viennabelle From: viennabelle Date: June 25th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC) (link)
That's kind of too bad--there are worthwhile components that might be worth reconsidation.

I'll grant you that Bridget Jones' Diary is a bit of fluff--no meaningful value there (aside from a faint plot parody of Pride & Prejudice), but it is very humorous. I wouldn't rate it an important book, either.

Lolita is a disturbing book, but meaningfully so--and Nabokov's prose is the most amazing modern writing I've ever read (and he wasn't even writing in his native language). The book shocked readers by taking them into the brain of a truly disturbed person--and generated a reaction of awareness that stopped complacency.

The Color Purple is a stunning story of a woman's triumph over abuse and lack of education. The book does briefly include a lesbian relationship, but that component is very minor & ancillary to the story (indeed, Spielberg skipped that component entirely when he made the movie). This is one of my favorite books, as it was the best portrayal of the complexity of achieving true redemption.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 27th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC) (link)
I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree. I'm sure there is a good component in any book on that list. I thoroughly enjoyed Memoirs of a Geisha despite some of it’s content. But for me the good doesn't outweigh the bad in these other instances. There has to be a balance and that's where I personally choose to draw the line.

(My sister actually read the Color Purple in college and while it sparked some interesting discussions between us at the time she disagreed with much of the book's content, graphic nature, view of God and conclusions.)
newmoonstar From: newmoonstar Date: June 25th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC) (link)
I agree completely. I think it's a disservice to both readers and authors to hold up a book as a classic, and proclaim it's perfection without questioning it at all. Every book is written by a human being, who brings their specific experiences, prejudices and agendas to the story they tell. We as readers bring the same, and we have the right to agree or disagree with an author the same as we have with any other person.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: June 27th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you. I really appreciate your words!

Every book is written by a human being, who brings their specific experiences, prejudices and agendas to the story they tell. We as readers bring the same, and we have the right to agree or disagree with an author the same as we have with any other person.

I completely agree. I think sometimes you have to read things for yourself to discover the agenda or "bent" of a book but sometimes a passing knowable is enough to tell you whether or not you completely disagree and will dislike the story or whether it contains the kind of content or images you want to have in your mind. Umm... I think that sentence is too long. Oh well! :>
9 comments | comment?