The BBC says you’ve only read 6 of these books!

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? Post your tallies as a comment below this note.

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 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
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 Carrol
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
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 – 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
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 – 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

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16 Comments on “The BBC says you’ve only read 6 of these books!”

  1. Chauncey Mabe Says:

    I generally look askance at lists like this, as they always include books I disapprove of as essential, and leave out books I have found of importance, as least for myself. This, for example, is a deranged list, with no coherent criteria. Dan Brown and Mitch Albom alongside Nabokov and C.S. Lewis? I could devise a list as impressive as this, composed only of books I have read.

    And most people have read only six? I find that hard to believe, if the set of “most people” means people who read for pleasure. I’ve read nine of the top 10, and 14 of the top 20, and 49 of the entire 100.

    This is pointless exercise.

    • Pierre Says:

      What makes me smile is the rather sweet yet half-hearted attempt at making it inclusive (as in “ever so slightly less culturally biased”). Still a few points to the BBC on that front; I shudder to think what the New York Times would have come up with! 😉

  2. infloox Says:

    I think they probably tried to incorporate a mix of old classics as well as the new bestsellers (aka Oprah favourites).

  3. Lorna Says:

    I’ve read 35 of them with 2 sitting on my to be read shelf.

  4. Teresa Says:

    I have read 54.

  5. Jenny Says:

    I’ve read 65 all the way through, and there are at least 5 more than I’ve started and not been able to get through. 6, says the Beeb? That’s a bit pessimistic of them!

  6. cburrell Says:

    I have read 50.

  7. Maggie Walsh Says:

    I’ve read 37. And had been pissed off at 26 of them for being overrated. Now am pissed at myself for reading them because they were on someone else’s list. Ha!

  8. infloox Says:

    haha what were some of the ones that you thought were overrated Maggie?

  9. Christina A. Says:

    Somewhere around 36-40 I’ve read. Only about 10 I’ve never heard of before.

  10. Nicole Says:

    I’ve read a lot of these, 60 something, but have steadfastly refused to read a few of them.

    • infloox Says:

      Which were the ones you refused to read? Actually I think I’m more curious to know why you refused those ones. There are some authors who I’ve read once and strongly disliked, and then just avoided those in future…

  11. sherby57 Says:

    I feel somewhat ill read having completed 30 of the titles. It’s quite an odd list though, on what basis was it selected??

  12. carriem Says:

    41. A few I’m not proud of. But hey, they were on the list, that makes them canon, right?

  13. Rachel Says:

    I have read 64, although some seemed very random to be included in the list. And some were repetitious, like if you haven’t read the Hobbit, you probably haven’t read Lord of the Rings and vice versa.

  14. Chauncey Mabe Says:

    Sorry to come late to this party, but I’ve been distracted by, you know, living, loving, reading. Must say, this is an incoherent list, a farago of conflicting flavors and qualities. Many of these books I would never read under any circumstances (but don’t assume you can guess which ones), while others are nonsensical. Why does it list the Works of Shakespeare and then also Hamlet? Do I get extra credit?

    By the way, I’ve read 45.

    I have a suspicion the list was put together by a intern from Eton or something.


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