Monday, 19 January 2009

Books, Books, Books

A friend of mine was talking to me about the list of essential reads that's doing the rounds at the moment, I hadn't seen it so he sent it on to me and I thought I'd put it here as I do so love to read and I'm curious about everyone else's opinion of it.

The ones I've read are in bold and the ones in italics are on the shelf waiting to be read!

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (the first part is on the shelf!)
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
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
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
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
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
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
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
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
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

So here's my questions; there are a lot of duplications on there to my mind, in fact I counted and if we were to just select a single novel by each author, there'd be 25 spaces in that list. I realise it's almost impossible to choose which one to keep, but my question here is, if there were 25 empty spaces, what would fill them?
I really think that The Reader by Bernhard Schlink should be there. I love that book and will be avoiding the movie as I'm not sure that it can live up to my imagination, no matter how great the actors involved.
I also wish that Iain Banks, Jeanette Winterson and Margaret Atwood were featured somewhere in the list.
Who else is missing? Which books did you look for and were surprised not to see in the list?

Another question; of the books that I haven't changed to bold or italics, which should I absolutely be placing on my nightstand and preparing to read?

And another question, are there any in the list that you've read and hated? Are there any that you feel really don't deserve a place?

I do have to say that I am absolutely loving reading The Pillars of the Earth, it's just brilliant, excellent, wonderful. I'm on the edge of my seat at times and was almost in tears earlier whilst completely engaged in the story.
If you get chance, pick it up and read it, you can thank me later!

UPDATE: 24.01.09 Finished The Pillars Of The Earth. Awesome. That's all I have. I want to read it again and I am deeply envious of everyone that hasn't read it. I even went to the Oprah site to do the quizzes on the book. Shut up. I'm addicted.

UPDATE: 22.05.09 Finished (11) Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, (13) Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, (37) A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute and have started Anna Karenina!

UPDATE: 15.08.09
I got a new list of books after the lovely Sleepydumpling mentioned it on Twitter.
So here goes:

01 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
02 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
03 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
04 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
05 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
06 The Bible
07 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
08 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
09 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 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
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 Nighttime - 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

I had a count up. In the first list I've read 37 and in the second I've read 38 of the books. I also counted that the two lists share 62 of the same titles.
I have similar niggles to the first list that some authors make repeat showings, well Dickens does but hey ho and also that both The complete works of Shakespeare and Hamlet feature. Surely the first encompasses the second?

I do love that the second list has The Wasp Factory, The Time Traveller's Wife, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Notes From a Small Island as I do so love those books!


Carrie said...

You must really read numbers 3, 27, 34, 38, 39, 40, 42, 45, 47, 51, 54, 64, 77, 92, 93 and 96 and I must read 65 myself. You especially should read number 19 Capt Correlli's Mandolin. Any book that starts with "Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse. He had attended a surprisingly easy calving, lanced one abscess, extracted a molar, dosed one lady of easy virtue with salvarsan, performed an unpleasant but spectacularly fruitful enema, and had produced a miracle by a feat of medical prestidigitation." MUST be read! :o) Enjoy!

Flibbertigibbet said...

Thank you, thank you! I have a huge pile of PG Wodehouse too!

I saw the movie of Captain Correllis Mandolin and wish I'd read the book first as I do try to do it that way round!

I've said this like a hundred times in my blog - but you must read The Pillars of the Earth if you haven't already. I miss it. Which is weird I know, but I miss reading it. Reading new books feels like cheating!

However, I have discovered which of these books I have in stock and will be taking them into my private collection for reading!! I'm looking forward to it, and with personal recommendations, you know where to start!

Anonymous said...

There's quite a few authors and books I've loved and enjoyed and it's sometimes a wonder how a book can escape mass appeal. I guess it's just like music. There's the mainstream artists that everyone seems to know about and then there are the gems that only a knowing crowd are aware of and appreciate. Anyway I quite like the style of Kent Haruf. For me the book "the tie that binds" is his best effort. Like my music I like my stories a little dark and sombre. This is a story of love and commitment which is so compelling and sad you can't help but be affected by it. Anyway I hope that just 1 person reads this and takes a chance on it. Enjoy. But make sure you read it with a tissue.

Stu (vanye)

Lesley said...

The one book you have to read is Good Omens - Pratchett and Gaiman. I hadn't read any of either of them but Paul found one in a box of books and I was hooked - have lent my copy to friends but will let you have it when I get it back. Clan of the Cave Bear was good but subsequent books a bit tedious. I love Raymond Feist but you will only like if you are into fantasy type novels. The Woman in White was a book I read at school but recently read again and really enjoyed. The Secret History - pretty good. Memoirs of a Geisha - better than the film. A Suitable Boy - good but such a big book that difficult to hold it without your wrists hurting! A Prayer for Owen Meaney - I love all of John Irving's books - my favourite is The Hotel New Hampshire. Finally, Atonement - loved it and couldn't see how they could make into a film but actually they did a pretty good job of it. Have read Twilight and just starting on Pillars of the Earth - enjoying both, thanks.