October 10, 2008

Book Meme

I saw this meme on Krista's blog. The gist of it is that the NEA recently (?) came out with this list of important works, and their studies show that the average American has only read six of the books on the list. I can't find anything online to confirm this NEA thing (is it possibly related to The Big Read?) but it seems like an interesting exercise, so here goes.

Here's how the meme works:

1) Reprint the list in your blog.
2) Mark in bold the books you have read.
3) Italicize those you intend to read.
4) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE (I used a star)

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 - Phillip 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 (I don't know about ALL of them, but I've definitely read several plays.)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier*
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers 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 & Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime & 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 (isn't this the same as # 33?)
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 Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins*
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery* (Oh, I loved these when I was young! I read them all.)
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 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 Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
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 Colour 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 (again - isn't this sort of included in #14? What's with the duplications? Seems a little messy, NEA.)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl*
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

There. Well, I feel pretty good about my list. I have a hard time imagining that Americans who have been educated through high school haven't read more than six of these, but then again, maybe I am overestimating the quality of our high schools.

2 comments:

Linda said...

#1 - you HAVE to read On The Road;
#2 - The DaVinci Code? Seriously? Maybe they should step AWAY from the list! and let it gel a little. Then revise.

Jennifer Pinkerton said...

Like I said, I never found anything actually from the NEA that talked about the criteria for being on this list (I did hear somewhere that The Da Vinci Code is THE most-read book, ever) so who knows how they came up with it. Really, that is pretty important info that I should have known before posting anything, but... I just got carried away.