Saturday, November 15, 2008

100 Greatest Books

I got this list from Ryanne in this post and thought it would be fun to do. I am curious about who compiled the list, but it's still lots of fun to do these kinds of things. There are definitely some that I've never even heard of, and a few that are on my "To Read" list. And of course a few that I think should be included in this list that aren't. (the ones I've read are in bold)

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (my FAVORITE book and really should read this one if you haven't)

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 (well, I haven't read ALL of it, but I HAVE read quite a bit of it)

7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (yeah, I didn't really get this one)

8. 1984 – George Orwell (I actually had to look this one up, but I did read it in high school...kind of bizarre)

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (great books and ideas, but I definitely see how it can be offensive to the Catholic Church...and I'm Catholic...but if you read it with the right mindset, it's a great series)

10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

12. Tess of the D’Ubervilles – Thomas Hardy (never even heard of this one...but it made me think of The Hounds of Baskerville by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...another one that I didn't really get, but I WAS pretty young when I read it...)

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I haven't read all of them, but I've read my fair share: Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet...I feel like I'm forgetting some. I need to read Taming of the Shrew since one of my favorite movies is based off of it)

15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier (don't remember it, but I know I read it)

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (started this in jr. high, but it was over my head at the time. never went back to re-read it, it's on my "To Read" list)

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (another high school book that I thought was kind of stupid. The only book I read in high school that was worth my time was Pride and Prejudice, and I chose that instead of the shorter Ladder 49 or whatever everyone else read because I was actually interested in's now my favorite book)

19. The Time Traveller’s Wire – Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchel (on the "To Read" list)

22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (Another H.S. read that was okay until the end. Still don't understand how this is a favorite for some...)

23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (no, but my co-worker is starting it, it's ginormous!)

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (no but the movie was great :) )

26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll (does the animated movie count??)

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (I don't think I've read this...but I've been to hell on the ride at's hot in there!)

31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (absolutely! some of the best books ever written)

34. Emma – Jane Austen (I heart Jane Austen. The movie version with Gwyneth Paltrow is actually surprisingly close to the text)

35. Persuasion – Jane Austen (as much as I love Jane Austen and I HAVE this one in a collection book, I haven't gotten to read it. I did see the movie a long time ago, but I really need to read it)

36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis (umm, my favorite of the series, but isn't this a duplicate entry? See #33)

37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden (started this one in 10th grade on a recommend from my best friend at the time, but my parents decided that I couldn't finish it, still need to go re-read it)

40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41. Animal Farm – George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (no, but I have Angels and Demons, which I've heard is better and nearly the same story anyways...but I still have to read it)

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving (I almost finished this in 12th grade, but I went to NC for my uncle's wedding and got back and my teacher told me not to worry about taking the test so I didn't finish reading it)

45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (Great book AND movie, my mom got me the first three in the series, much to her dismay I only read the first one. But I brought them home with me and plan to read them soon)

47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (I cannot believe this was REQUIRED reading in 11th grade, seriously. It was a fairly good book though, I'd have preferred a more concrete ending, but, ya know, of the books I was forced to read that year, this was the best)

49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding (horrid book. enough said. I was okay till they killed Simon. But wow, can we talk about the symbolism of all kinds in that book?)

50. Atonement – Ian McEwan

51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52. Dune – Frank Herbert (saw the movie, does this count? It was odd, but good)

53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (another Austen great. The movie version with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant is pretty good, but I prefer the book much better)

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 (no, but I want to read it just because of it's appearance in the movie Serendipity)

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 (umm, I read it in French, does that count? I think it should since that's it's original language...)

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 (I was in the play and I loved Oliver and Company, does that count? I took it as a personal affront when they re-released it and made such a big deal about it, when I'd loved it since the first time around and seemed to be the only one who appreciated it. Of course I was about 9 at the time...)

72. Dracula – Bram Stoker

73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (great book and movie alike)

74. Notes From A Small Islany – 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 Bryatt

81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (I don't think I've read this one, but I've seen a whole variety of movie versions of it...maybe I'll put that on my list to read before Christmas)

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 (LOVED this book and the movie...the classic animated movie)

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (no but I've heard great things about this one)

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (only read The Hounds of Baskerville, which I'm not sure I was old enough to understand completely, the ending didn't make sense)

90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (very odd book, not sure I understood it completely, but dissecting it in English class in high school helped some)

92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (yes, but to me it was Le Petit Prince, the French version is SO much better, you lose a little something in translation, but still an excellent story)

93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94. Watership Down – Richard Adams

95. A Confederac y of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare (shouldn't this be part of the Complete Works of Shakespeare? I mean it's great and all, but it's still Shakespeare.)

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory– Roald Dahl (GREAT book. My 4th grade teacher always read to us with different accents for the different characters, we read this one and James and the Giant Peach. We watched the movie for this one after and got to bring in sweets to eat while we watched it)

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (no, but our field show my freshman year was comprised of Les Mis music)

There are a couple Jane Austen books missing, but we know that if it was up to me all of hers would be included, even her lesser known books. I would also include Eyes of the Dragon, a little known Stephen King novel....the only one of his I'll ever read. I know I had a few more to throw in here, but wouldn't you know I've forgotten them?

Which ones have you read? Feel free to copy the list and give me a link to your post, I'd love to see what everyone has read.


Petunia said...

What a great list! I've read less than half of that list. I'd love to take the time to read ALL of them. I, too, love Jane Austen!

Renie Burghardt said...

Hey Jaina,

Great List. I've read a lot of them, but then, I am kind a old! LOL. I always loved Jane Austen as well, Anne of Green Gables books were a favorite not only of mine, but later my daughters'. So many more. Don't have time to do the list now, but maybe one day. It was interesting to read it though. It surprised me how many you have read. :-)

Got to run for now. Going to put you on my blogs that I follow list, so I know when you post. Have a great Sunday.


Gramma Ann said...

Hi Jaina,

I have read quite a few of them, but, like Renie, I'm old. And then there are some listed I would never read, not my cup of tea. I don't know who decides what books are the best for us to read. Never understood that. We each have our own taste, so what appeals to me may not be to your or others liking. But it was fun to look it over. This month I am reading "Little Women". I am a Jane Austen fan also, and plan on reading some of her books in the next few months, along with some of the new biography and autobiography books in the bookstores now, well they are on my bookshelf now. Have you ever visited my "Reading Corner" blog? I talk about what I'm reading this week or month, depending on the book. So you will see why my choice is not deep and involved like the list you have posted. I just do what I call recreational reading. Loved the post, have a nice Sunday...

Long winded Gramma Ann says good night.

Momo Fali said...

I am embarrassed to say that I haven't read most of them!

Sarah Katie said...

The Charlie and the Chocolate thing is funny. My brother and I read The BFG by Roald Dahl together and when he would read he would give all of the characters accents.

I'm in the process of reading all the Jane Austen novels. I only have to finish Mansfield Park, and finish Emma, and then I have to read Sense and Sensibility, which I know I started a while ago.

Jaina said...

Petunia - Yay for another Jane Austen lover!

Renie - I was surprised by how many I've read too! Thanks for adding me to your blogs :) You're in my reader, so I get all the updates there and then click over to comment. I need to update my blog roll.

Gramma Ann - I agree with the some listed that I'd never read...and of course there are the ones listed that I've never even heard of, so there ya go. Haha. I've been in and out of your Reading Corner in the past, I'll have to check it out again.

MomoFali - See what I'd really like to know is who decided these were the best 100 books? I quarrel with the "classics" they make you read in high school. I'm fairly convinced that to be a classic you have to be boring and depressing. Because the majority of the books we were forced to read were.

Sarah Katie - Oh how fun, I love having voices when stories are told. I loved my 4th grade teacher doing that. :) I love Mansfield Park and Emma! Be sure to read Northanger Abbey...SO good, lesser known, but amazing. And DEFINITELY get your hands on Pride and Prejudice, it's her best one, in my opinion. :) Thanks for stopping by!

Trooper Thorn said...

You have won an award Jaina. Come on over to receive.

Jaina said...

Aww, thanks Trooper!!

Caffeine Court said...

Wow. I would love to read all of them. I used to read so much. I'm a huge F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway fan.

Now I just blog, listen to the radio and read tennis books.

My hubby just got the Kindle so maybe I can get back into reading.

Jaina said...

Jill - I hope you get a chance to read more. I'm trying to make time for it myself.

Ryanne said...

I had so much fun running through that list. I would add at least a few of the Timothy Zahn books to the list, but hey I didn't make it, so what do ya do.! Have you ever read Angel Mass? He also has a couple of non Star Wars trilogies that I love too. I am so glad I found another fan! Thanks for continuing to come by even during a slow time for me. Always love to read your posts. I admit, I often don't leave messages, but I do enjoy reading them nonetheless.

Jaina said...

Ryanne - Seriously! I have not read any of his non-Star Wars stuff, but I really want to. Where should I start? I'm glad you enjoy my posts :)