Because I’m verbose, I’ll also include why I read it and what I thought. Let me also say I don’t get this list. Why would you list both The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Complete Works of Shakespeare and Hamlet? Furthermore, why so much Dickens and Austen? Where are the Crichton books? Dave Barry? I would have dominated that list.
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and indicate those you have read. Tag 20 other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses.
1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – No
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – Yes. On my own. I remember liking it, but not as much as everyone else did. It was a wee bit long for me at that age and I vaguely recall that I felt it spent too much time on details. It was a long time ago.
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – No
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling – Yes. The last book I read a digital scan before it came out (we had already pre-ordered so I didn’t feel bad about it). Some of the scans were horrible, so I had to read it with inverted colors, squinting my eyes at an angle. Maybe it’s just me, but the last book was just eh. The story ended. That’s it.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – Yes. For high school, frosh year. It was alright.
6. The Bible (in entirety) – Yes
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – No
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell – Yes. For high school, frosh year. I remember doing research for a paper I had to write about it and all the critics wanted to make sexual connections to the book. They’re all sickos.
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman – No
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – No
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – Yes. On my own. Kind of. My mom used to bribe me as a kid, paying me $1 for each “classic” I read. I read a ton of ones I generally disliked because of that. E.g. National Velvet. Boring.
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy – No
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller – Yes, high school. My favorite book in high school. Made me laugh out loud multiple times.
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare – No. And no real desire to. I know Shakespeare underpins all English literature. But it’s just too much work to read. I’m lazy.
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – No
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien – Yes. On my own. I liked it better than The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (ducking to avoid outrage from Tolkien fans).
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk – No
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger – Yes. Freshman year of high school. At the time, I totally resonated with him. I read it again in my 20s and found him to be a total loser. I started thinking how you view Holden is a reflection of where you are in life. Because of that, it disturbs me that Winona Ryder carries a copy of this book around.
19. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger – No
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot – No
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – No
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – Yes. Sophomore year. It was my English teacher’s favorite book. I found it boring.
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens – No
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – No
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – Yes, on my own. I was too young to appreciate the British satire, I think, but all the geeks were so high on it, I felt I was obligated to read it. I think I read 3 in the series until I realized that I didn’t like it. That was a common theme in my childhood – I’d read a lot stuff that was “supposed” to be good, even a whole series, even if I didn’t really like it. I’ve changed. Which is why I gave up on Mad Men. I don’t care how good it’s supposed to be. I think it’s boring.
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh – No
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – No. I’ve started about 4 times, never got past the 3rd chapter.
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – Yes, in high school. I actually prefer Of Mice And Men. Dunno why, but I thought the language was too overwrought in this one.
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – Yes. On my own as a kid. Cuckoo. These books and the Wizard of Oz books (a bunch of which I also read), maybe it’s just me, but they’re a lot weirder than the movie versions.
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame – No
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – No
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens – No
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis – Yes. Loved it as a kid, haven’t read it since.
34. Emma – Jane Austen – No
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen – No
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis – Yes. I actually read The Silver Chair first (happened to see it in my dad’s bookshelves). I think I read Prince Caspian next. Then this one.
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini – No
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres – No
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden – Yes. I loved this book. I thought it did a good job of transporting me into another world, the world of the old Far East. As imagined by an old white guy.
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne – Yes
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell – No
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – Yes. I started reading at 9 PM, intending to read just a chapter or two and ended up reading the whole thing. I kept saying, just one more chapter, just one more, then at 4 AM I was just like forget it, I’ll finish it. It’s trash, but a good page-turner. Unlike Angels and Demons, which completely sucked.
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – No
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving – No
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins – No
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery – Yes. The influence of Houston folks. I think I went through a “sensitive” stage in high school where I read like Anne and other non-masculine stories like random Salinger books (which are boring). Then I realized I’m not sensitive. Minho’s still in that stage.
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy – No
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – No
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding – Yes. Frosh year. Again, the critics all made sexual connections to the book, like equating the attack on Piggy to a gang rape. In this case, they’re right, and it forever changed my views of literature. I started thinking of most authors as deviants.
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan – No
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel – Yes. I’ve ranted elsewhere about how much I hate this book. I hate this book. Hate hate hate. I’m getting angry right now just thinking about it.
52. Dune – Frank Herbert – No
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons – No
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen – No
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth – No
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon – No
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – No
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – No
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon – No
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – No
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck – Yes, in high school. That thing about Curly and the vaseline glove also stuck with me. Man, I don’t know why I get so traumatized by sexual references, but I do.
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – No
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt – No
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold – No
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – Yes, on my own. Dumas was by far my favorite classic author as a kid. This was a little too revenge-focused, but I loved him.
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac – No
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy – No. But I love Jieun’s story of watching the movie (and its sex scenes) with her brothers. Awwwwkward.
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding – No
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie – No
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville – Yes. Sophomore year. Eh. (I love how easy it is to dismiss great works of literature. Eh.)
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – No
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker – No
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett – No
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson – No
75. Ulysses – James Joyce – No. I read one Joyce book and that was more than enough. Same with Faulkner.
76. The Inferno – Dante – No
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome – No
78. Germinal – Emile Zola – No
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray -No
80. Possession – AS Byatt – No
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – No
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – No
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker – No
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro – No
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert – No
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry – No
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White – Yes. I only recently learned that White was a man. I’m shocked.
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom – No
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Yes. As a kid. Good stuff.
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton – No
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad – No
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery – Yes. As a kid. Hated it. Re-read it recently. Hated it. I think my mind is too literal. I kept thinking, how does he breathe? What does he eat? What about the gravity? I remember finding it depressing also.
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks – No
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams – No
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – No
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute – No
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas – Yes, as a kid. One of my favorite books.
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare – Yes. Junior year? We had this great kid in class who would always say what was on his mind, no matter how dumb or inappropriate, and I remember him expressing surprise when he found out “to be or not to be” is in this play. Everyone laughed at him. But in truth, I didn’t know that at the time either.
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl – Yes. As a kid. I read a bunch of his books.
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – Yes. The unabridged version during the summer of ’95 in Korea. I thought I would have a lot of free time so I went to the bookstore and purposely chose a really long book. I almost took a Tom Clancy but decided on this one instead. Glad I did. One of the best, most moving books I’ve ever read.
That’s 31 books on the list I’ve read. 21 on my own, 10 for school.