Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The BBC List of 100 books to read!

Disclaimer: This post has been derived from Aakanshaa's blog. Do go there and read some fabulous reviews :) 

Top 100 books chosen by viewers (re-edited and remastered from the BBC site). The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed hereSee the original list here.

Copy this, Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice  - Jane Austin 

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  (Some of it)
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  (Some of it)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
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
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
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 (Btw this should  be in the Chronicles of Narnia)
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 – A.A. 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 The 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
76 The Inferno – Dante
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 – E.B. 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 (English)
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 (Unabridged and all three volumes)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Additional books that seemed to have been excised from the list above and replaced with some others.
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
53. The Stand, Stephen King (Some of it)
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
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
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
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
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
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
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie


  1. Interesting - Jane Eyre and Animal Farm were the first two books of literature I had to study at school, and I still rate Jane Eyre very very highly to this day. About to read 'Birdsong' for the second time. The chapter about the tunneling gave me the shivers for months afterwards. Hope you are well out there.

  2. i have managed to read only 12 to 13 of the list! lol.

  3. @Phil: I need to read Jane Eyre and Birdsong in that case :) It only needs a small recommendation from a friend to make my buy and read a book :)

    @4thosewhocare: That's good I think, most people have read only 6!

  4. Well, of course a British list; rather few non-Englsih speaking authors! But interesting. I would be happy to see a similar French, German, Indian, Spanish ... lists. Many of these books would anyhow still be there.

  5. Very true indeed Peter...the list is completely British. I am really inspired now to compile an Indian list too with whatever limited experience I have...

  6. I've seen this list do the rounds in Fb as well. Every time I saw this, it made me stop and stare wistfully! I have read just a few of them. I wish I could rewind 15 yrs back to school, live through those summer hols once more and read, without cribbing about about getting bored :)

  7. I agree, even I wish I could go back to school and read many many many more books! I started late, but thank God I did start :)

  8. This is what Phil wrote to me again and my reply to it...

    'Oooh – Talk about ‘Déjà Vu’. I’m sure I’ve already been on a blog post just like this one, earlier today. Someone just like you, masquerading as you too. Hmmm.

    Okay then, I'll have another go:-

    Interestingly, these book lists keep making their annual pre-Christmas appearances in the UK in various forms, and they always attract a seismic number of comments. The commenter’s that make me sad are the ‘literature snobs’ – the often pseudo intellectuals who love to impress with their alternative listings of obscure, high brow writers who are hard to find in even the most ‘off piste’ corners of a decent book shop.

    A semi definitive list of commercially/historically popular mass print literature this may well be, but it’s all world class literature never the less. What ever your tastes or book panderings, if you never read anything but half the work from this lot you’ll become substantially richer because of it…and to hell with the smug crowings of the pedants.

    I love these lists because they do such a great job in promoting the reading of really well written literature full stop. Doesn’t matter what age you start or where you start, as long as you give it a go at some point and go your own way when you do.

    There’s another very popular reading list in the UK run by a couple of well known British talk show TV presenters called ‘Richard & Judy’. Here’s a link to their book club site:

    Keep on travelling SJ – and keep on writing it all down the way you do. It makes for a fascinating reading journey. And ‘thanks’ for your comments earlier too Siddhartha.

    P.S. Add this one to your own list of ‘look ups’: ‘Winter in Madrid’ by CJ Sansom.

    That’s it. Can I go now please?... "

  9. Hey Phil I completely agree with you, a list like this promotes good literature and books in general, which I believe should be promoted especially now...

    And thanks a lot for the suggestion, I should surely look it up...just hope that we get it in India!

    And you can surely go now :) :) :)

  10. 10+... i had vowed to watch the top 100 i will devour this list in comin time

  11. hey sid thanks for the info....will surely read some ...:)

  12. @Jon: Thats a great idea :)

    @Vishakha: You are read some, maybe I can also lend u some :)

  13. I'm at 38!!!!

    If this list were to be made only for the last 15 years, Contemporary Indian writers could give the Brits a serious run for their money.

  14. 38 is cool Aman! You are right...some really good books are missing here from the Indian Subcontinent, and am sure from many other parts of the world as well.

    And no Tagore at all...that's quite odd!

  15. Hi Siddhartha – I keep forgetting to pass these Indian literature writer/book ‘links’ over to you to mull through when you have the time. Once you’ve had a chance to read through them and filter out some of the dross, you ought to consider assembling your very own reading list of good & great contemporary Indian literature writers in their various genres. See what kind of constructive comments and feedback you can provoke – and to hell with our well hackneyed British BBC version for once!

    And if you don’t hear from me again after this, it’s cos MI5 have spirited me away for a bit of a serious bollocking about my treasonous scribblings above.

    Ooops, there’s someone knocking at my door. That didn’t take them long then did it. I’d better be off then. Have a long and healthy life…and send me a post card now and again to: British Security Service, Thames House, Millbank, London, England. It will find its way to my cell, so don’t worry.

  16. Great to hear again from you Phil :) I will surely go through the lists and compile something of my own...certainly sounds like a great idea!

    Hope MI5 is treating you well...I understand life inside prison may not be so easy :)

  17. Hey, thanks Siddhartha !!! I will surely post this list on my blog. I wonder what my count would be...

  18. oh God..i have read only one book in this list which is the princess diaries..what a fail ;/
    btw,thanks for the info:)


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