Books
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The big read

The top 100 from BBC’s search for UK’s best-loved novel. Of course, we Indians will have a totally different list, but since we don’t as of now, here it is:

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
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
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
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
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
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer | Live chat
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
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
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
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
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
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
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
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
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’ve read 34 out of the 100. Most of the classics were during school and college days and I find it increasingly taxing to read them now. But, it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! All the more reason to get myself a library membership quickly. Stop watching movies and read more instead! Hope you’ve scored a little better than I have!

[Link via Aashish]

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12 Comments

  1. Shail: Actually, I love books. And since my favourite position while reading is reclining, I doubt I will find as much joy reading books online.

  2. I scored a measly 17 out of the 100. Anita: you are definitely well read!

    Well: I am happy to see Vikram Seth’s “A suitable Boy” in the top 100 list! I finished that very recently. It is apparently the longest novel ever written in the the English language. Is this one of your 34?

  3. Jag: Yes, the bold ones are on my read list. I am currently reading Seth’s An Equal Music. Maybe, I’ll try A Suitable Boy after that. Is it really the longest English novel?

  4. dont read the suitable boy.

    it has the capacity to hurt.and u know, it does seem like the longest novel in the universe!

    read nos. 6,15 and 29.they seem similar.

    where the hell is hemingway? and 1984?

    so much harry potter. we have very short memories. fortunately.

  5. yellowsign says

    these are just uk’s most loved books based on those who cared just enuf to carelessly vote the princess diaries above midnight’s children, rowling above Márquez.

    here’s another list from the same country: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1061037,00.html

    much better? they should have included hesse’s siddhartha. a good afternoon read that you’ll come back to at night.

    keep reading!

    congrats for the award. you write well.

  6. yellowsign says

    When making the list at Observer, they started with emailing the 10 best. and they had rules.

    “… This rule also eliminated the Iliad and the Odyssey, both of which are, by any standards, books for a desert island. In that category we also included the Authorised Version of the Bible.”

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1061036,00.html

    maybe you could start a list. i’ll send in my favs. with the reach your site has, maybe it will grow and be contextual – reflecting our tastes, not borrowed ones. maybe.

  7. Ramona Fernandes says

    Dear Anita,

    Enjoy reading your medium of expression…..when I find myself stressed out. Could you please tell how to get started with these online personalised diaries…I mean the Blogs….???

    Please do reply me at ramonaf999@yahoo.com

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