10 Jul 2016


I love lists. Honestly I have lists listing my lists so its hardly surprising that I found these bookish lists compelling and having had many of them sitting in my 'Imported From IE' file for a while now thought it as good a time as any to share them with you in the hope that you too love a good list.

First up, from February.

Apparently someone somewhere - not sure who or where ('new research' being as big a clue as we get) but hey its in the Mirror so it has to be true - has compiled a list of the top twenty books us Brits most lie about having read which counting down from 20 looks like this ...
  • The Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger
  • Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  • The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  • And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
  • Fifty Shades (trilogy) - E.L. James
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  • The Diary Of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
  • Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  • Harry Potter (series) - JK Rowling
  • Bleak House - Charles Dickens
  • Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  • To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  • War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  • The Lord Of The Rings (trilogy) - JRR Tolkien
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Lewis Carrol
Care to share which books (if any) you have ever lied about reading, saying you have read them when you haven't or, as I suspect with the Harry Potter series and possibly the Fifty Shades trilogy saying you haven't read them when you in fact have? 

For those of you who are interested, the books I have read (honest) are in bold.


Perhaps a list better shared come Banned Book Week but from The Reading Room way back in April we have, in no particular order (that I know of), the top 10 most challenged books of 2015.

  • Looking For Alaska - John Green (Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James (Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, concerns that 'minors might want to try it')
  • I Am Jazz - Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings (Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group)
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out - Susan Kuklin ( Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group)
  • The Curious Incident Of the Dog In The Night-Time - Mark Haddon (Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group)
  • The Holy Bible (Religious viewpoint)
  • Fun Home - Alison Bechdel (Violence, graphic images)
  • Habibi - Craig Thompson (Nudity, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group)
  • Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan - Jeanette Winter  (Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, violence)
  • Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan (Homosexuality, condones public displays of affection).
Read any of these? Apart from the odd verse from the Bible and the first few pages of 50 Shades Of Grey (the first and only time I've read anything on an e-reader) .... oh! and The Curious Incident Of the Dog In The Night-Time I can't say I have though having read this review of Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings over at Shooting Star Mag I've added it to my 'library List'.

And last but by no means least, with thanks to Brian at Babbling Books for the link, we have The Guardian's 1000 novels everyone must read.

Hmm! Listed below should you be interested, with 8 from comedy, 10 from Crime, 17 from Family & Self, 12 from Love, 26 in Science Fiction & Fantasy, 8 from State Of The Nation and 15 from War & Travel according to my reckoning that's a mere 96 books out of 1000.

Care to share how many  of the 1000 you have read?

  • Comedy ..
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
The Little World of Don Camillo - Giovanni Guareschi
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Puckoon - Spike Milligan
Blott on the Landscape - Tom Sharpe
  • Crime ..
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
Fatherland - Robert Harris
Red Dragon - Thomas Harris
Misery - Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King
Kim - Rudyard Kipling
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Dissolution - CJ Sansom 
Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey

  • Family & Self ..
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood
The Crow Road - Iain Banks
My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence
Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
How Green was My Valley - Richard Llewellyn
The Shipping News - E Annie Proulx
The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 - Sue Townsend
The Color Purple - Alice Walker 
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson
Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss
  • Love ..
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Emma - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
The Blue Flower - Penelope Fitzgerald
The Far Pavillions - Mary Margaret Kaye
Lady Chatterley's Lover - DH Lawrence
The Rainbow - DH Lawrence
Women in Love - DH Lawrence
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
The Reader - Benhardq Schlink
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy ..
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There - Lewis Carroll
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
The Shining - Stephen King
The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
The Famished Road - Ben Okri
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
The Time Machine - HG Wells
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
  • State Of The Nation ..
Moll Flanders - Daniel Defoe
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
A Passage to India - EM Forster
The Grass is Singing - Doris Lessing
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists - Robert Tressell
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
  • War & Travel ..
Empire of the Sun - JG Ballard
An Ice-Cream War - William Boyd
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Enigma - Robert Harris
Schindler's Ark - Thomas Keneally
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
Moby-Dick/The Whale - Herman Melville
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
The Island of Dr Moreau - HG Wells.


Joan Robertson said...

Great book reading or not list , why lie about reading a book ,, baffles me , as I went thro the lists I kept saying yup read that , read that , and does it count if you read them years ago at school , nice to have you back on FB , have you missed us , we have missed you

Gina R said...

Hmm, I'll have to go over the 1000 in detail, but I've not lied about reading or not reading a book... but I've also not read the books on the recent banned list. Got to fix that...

LL Cool Joe said...

I think the only 2 books I have read from all your lists are the Diary of Anne Frank, and large chunks of the Bible, but probably not all of it. I never lie about the books I've read because apart true crime I don't read books!

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks for the mention Tracy.

I am somewhat obsessed with book lists. That Guardian List is a great one. Though I have picked through it and counted I do not recall how many I read. I do remember that my total was not that impressive.

From the most challenged list I have only read the Bible.

I love your point about Fifty Shades of Grey readers not admitted that they have read the series :)

Kelly said...

I love lists, but prefer those I make myself to ones like this. So often they don't include books I think should be there!

I never consciously lie about reading something, but sometimes I'll forget if I actually read it or just saw a film or stage version. And some I studied in school, but might have only read snippets of. I think I can only claim three from the first list.

From that second list, I've only read the Bible.

The 1000 book list sometimes had authors I've read, but I'm not sure whether I read what was listed. (it's been years ago for many of them). To the best of my knowledge, though, my numbers for each category are: Comedy: only three (Don Quixote was in the original and I only read portions and I hated Confederacy of Dunces) Crime: Too many to keep track of but having read all of PD James, I wonder how they narrowed down the ones the listed. Family & Self: 4 Love: 5 Sci-fi & Fantasy: 16! State of the Nation: 3 War & Travel: 5 I was surprised they didn't list Ayn Rand anywhere (maybe under State of the Nation).

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I don't remember lying that I've read a book I haven't but I've had people think that I've read a book I haven't. It was just assumption and nothing on my part. Always took me by surprise, but also honored me as I know they know I love to read. :)

Btw, I've seen a lot of those as movies so I wasn't motivated to read them. A few in school and a few I hated listed there... as well as some I loved. :)

Suko said...

Tracy, you are so organized! I make lists myself, but they are much shorter. So I truly appreciate the great effort that went into this post.

I've read many of these books, in school and one my own. I do think it is fairly easy to "forget" if you have actually read a book as the years pass, especially if the book's readily available as a film, and/or if you have read a lot about the book. Anyway, excellent post today! I will certainly keep these lists in mind, and refer to them as needed.

Barbara Fisher said...

I love a good list! I don’t think I’ve ever lied and said I’ve read something when I haven’t, but I do feel guilty about not reading some of the classics. Catch 22 is one I’ve tried to read but just can’t get enthusiastic about. I have read The catcher in they rye, The Great Gatsby, Fifty shades (all of them) The diary of Anne Frank, Harry Potter (all of them), Pride and Prejudice, To kill a mockingbird, 1984 and Alice’s adventures in wonderland. I feel I should read David Copperfield, Anna Kerenina and War and peace and maybe I will one day – but there again...