Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And now...a list of must-reads from the National Endowment for the Arts

Special thanks to Chessa over at Ciao, Chessa for the inspiration for this post. I don't know the source of her list, but according to Chessa, "the National Endowment for the Arts estimates that the average adult in the United States has only read 6 out of the 100 books they've listed below.

Here's my version of the list. Here are the instructions:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize AND BOLD the books you LOVE.
3) Just italicize those you intend to read.

Okay...here goes:

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 (I've only read the first one and need to read the others. But first, I need to reread the first one to refresh my memory).

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (it's one of my top 10 favorites)

6. The Bible (not all of it but a significant portion)

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (I'm sure I'd like it more now that I'm older)

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (this has been in my bookcase for years--we're talking middle school here--and I've never read it)

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (I've read a good portion of his plays and sonnets, but not all of them)

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger (one of my favorite books in high school and is still a favorite)

19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (I tried reading this in the 8th grade and never made it past page 10...or was it page 5?)

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 (many people have told me I should read this one)

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (I preferred the Disney version; the original was just too weird when I first read it...but then again, if I read it now I may feel differently)

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (I've got this in my bookcase)

34. Emma - Jane Austen

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Another one in my bookcase that I haven't gotten around to reading yet)

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 (All together now..."Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland...")

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (I've had a lot of people tell me to read this one as well)

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 (Faithful readers of this blog are aware of my adoration for Anne)

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 (OMG, I MUST post a review on this!!! This book is simply amazing!!!)

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’ Diary - Helen Fielding (Sister Kitten named one of her cats after the Shazzer character)

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 (Another book I need to review! I read it for the first time last spring and absolutely adored it!)

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors!)

75. Ulysses - James Joyce

76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal - Emile Zola (I read this in college--in French!)

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession - AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (amazing how many people have seen all of the tv, movie, and theatrical versions but have never, ever picked up the book)

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (I read this in college--in French--as well).

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White (this became one of my top 10 favorites when my second grade teacher read this to us...oh, I feel another "Book That Changed My Life" post coming on!

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 (I first read the English version when Nickelodeon had an animated series based on this book, and a lot of the material was over my head. When I read it in French, when I was a junior in high school, I was amazed that our public library even considered it a children's book.)

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams (I have a friend who insists I should read this, but I can't get past the bunnies.)

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 (my second grade teacher read this one aloud, too).

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (I guess I feel obligated, but since I love the musical so much, I'll just keep making comparisons).

OK, so I just counted the ones in bold and I've read 26 of these books. That's a little more than a fourth of those that are listed, but I didn't count the ones that are simply italicized. I have to thank my high school teachers for contributing to this list; if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have read a lot of these books, like the Dickens ones, on my own!

And...I just realized that I haven't put some of these books on my Library Thing bookshelf yet! Off I go!


Anonymous said...

Da Vinci Code is one of my favs!

Don't watch the movie though-totally ruins it.

Secret Garden was one that I read over and over and over growing up. I should dig it out and read it again for nostalgia!

Kitten said...

I really can't believe it took me so long to discover Secret Garden. It is such a lovely book. Your heart really, really aches for Mary Lennox. The descriptions of the flowers are so beautiful!

Chessa said...

I got the idea from another blogger:) we all inspire each other! thanks for the link...
have a great weekend!