Top 100 Books list (BBC)

I saw this over on the Game Dame’s blog, and thought I’d put it here for my own posterity. And posterior if I sat down and read these end to end. Yikes!

Originally from the BBC. Now let’s be real: this seems to be a very current list. I mean, back in myyyyyy day, *puts on long beard and becomes cantankerous* we didn’t have fancy boy wizards or time travelers’ wives. We had Shakespeare! We had Dickens! And we liked it! *back to normal* Ok, ok. So my literature degree is basically crap at this point. I get that. Sigh.

But as much as I love Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchet… really?  Top 100?  I mean, maybe pop culture references.  Maybe one book, each.  But top 100?  Huh. Well, I guess with the OBVIOUS exception of some of these stinkers (hey, where the hell is moby whale, anyway?) I can’t really complain that these aren’t 100 must-reads until I must-read them.  And they ain’t love handles if no one loves em.  Ok, here goes, then.  I’ve got nothing better to do for the next few years.

*Edit: Oh, irony.  You are not misplaced on my watch.  When I actually READ the list’s description it turns out to be the “best loved” books.  So if literature is a popularity contest, here are your cheerleader books.  I guess all those I had to read for class were the band nerds and beefy shot-putters of the high school class.  Also, I’d probably have comprehended the list’s reason for existing more if they’d had a purdy picher.  See?  I have an almost-wholly unrelated picture.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien big-assed duh!
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 Oh, HELL no.

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 *  started reading this over the weekend.
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Yes, Ol’ Alex Dumbass.
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
Yes, the book not the movie. Nyah.
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
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 ** For realsie?
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce **Shame. I’m sorry, Irish Lit degree. I’m sorry.
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 Whoa! Progressive list! Of course, they are British, so maybe it’s like rooting for the home team..
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 **Does the movie count?
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie


6 thoughts on “Top 100 Books list (BBC)

  1. I’m surprised you never found the Raymond Feist series in your various sci-fi wanderings. Magician is really good, and the start of a great core series. The later additions, not so much. Happy reading!

  2. so i’m ever-so-slightly related to margaret mitchell…and haven’t read the book, either. blah. southern bitchy bells and the men who are retarded enough to want them? nah, i have better things to read.

    prayer for owen meany is great — the movie (simon birch) was a crappy remake — left out all the goodness.

    and where the hell is tom robbins? jesus, people.


    this is a shitty list.


    palin says also too much.

    and for those of you playing at home….


  3. and you should read the alchemist. it’s a good time to read it.

    shit. i’ve just doubled your comments.


    and i think you should add a “for realsie?” after the stephen king entry, too. what’s next, dean koontz? judith krantz?

    actually, judith might make a good addition….

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