Monday, 10 June 2013

Books & A Sub Project

Last week one of those ‘quizzes’ did the rounds on Facebook where it tests how many of the ‘Top 100’ books you have read. I enjoy doing these because I am an avid reader and am curious about what makes the top 100. Interestingly, there are a number of different variants of the ‘Top 100’ – the current facebook one is more recent as it includes Life of Pi and The Kite Runner and Cloud Atlas, none of which are on the BBC one I have referred to below.

The BBC one was done in 2003 so is probably due an update this year to reflect a decade’s worth of new books which deserve the recognition. I, however, have been meaning to make my way through the original list since 2003 and have made some progress since then (I only read The Great Gatsby for the first time last year).

So this will be a sub-project for my blog ‘Observations of Ali’ and I want to get to having read half of this list by the end of 2013 – I have currently read 36 so this may be a little ambitious – but let’s see how we get on. Once I have completed this 100 I can try to mop up those which appear on one list but not others, like the books mentioned above. For now I want to concentrate on this list.

Some of the books on this list I read as a child, like Black Beauty, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Matilda – others I have always meant to read and never got round to, like Treasure Island, War and Peace and To Kill a Mockingbird. There are some which I am surprised have made the list at all – there seems to be a lot of Terry Pratchett on here and whilst I have read a number of his books and found them amusing, I am amazed he merits 4 separate entries on this list.

Anyway, I spend an hour a day on trams at this point in my life – commuting in and out of the city for work. I figure this is a prime opportunity for dedication to the project. I also tend to read before I sleep at night but thanks to the Kindle app being on my iPad I can keep it all synced. 

I embarked on my first foray into the list (aiming to hit 50 by the end of 2013) this weekend, picking Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and I have to say I am massively struggling with it. I have started it three times but keep mentally losing the thread and switching off. I do not know why this is, I have read Tolstoy and Turganev previously with no such issues so it’s not just a Russian issue – but I may have to put this one down and come back to it, not a great start to my latest project! I will try for a bit longer to break through the mental wall though…

My intention is to blog about the books as I read them, with 14 to read over the next 6 months I guess I should get on with it!
So - as at 10th June 2013 - the list stands at:

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
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

36/100 read