Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The BBC's top 100 books

The BBC's top 100 books, which have you read?  I consider myself a prolific reader but have only read just over half of these

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien(I tried; I just couldn't get into it.  One of the few cases where I prefer the film to the book)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 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 (See 2)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller'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 Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (wish I hadn't)
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 Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
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

Sunday, 22 March 2009

N is for Noose: Sue Grafton - Book 17,2009

N is for Noose: Sue Grafton
Rating: 7/10
Comments: Another solid offering from Sue Grafton in her alphabet series. It starts with the rather weak premises where PI Kinsey Millhone agrees to investigate what was troubling a straight-shooting police officer prior to his (natural) death but unravels with a complex series of twists and turns. I don't like very much the excessive violence Millhone is subjected to but there is no doubt that Grafton can write a compelling page-turner.

S is for Silince: Sue Grafton - Book 16, 2009

S is for Silince: Sue Grafton
Genre: Crime/Mystery/Detective
Rating: 8/10
Comments: Possibly the best of Grafton's alphabet series that I have read. PI Kinsey Millhone agrees to examine the 35-year-old disappearance of Violet Sullivan, a young mother and good-time girl who was also the victim of domestic violence and may - of may not - have been in possession of a significant amount of cash at the time of her disappearance. Originally doubtful of her ability to unravel the mystery, Millhone soon discovers that someone today does not want her disturbing the ghosts of the past.

The Slap: Christos Tsiolkas - Book 15, 2009

The Slap: Christos Tsiolkas
Genre: Australian literature
Rating: 8/10
Comments: Lauded by the Australian (Melbourne) literati, The Slap uses the starting point of a suburban BBQ where a man slaps a bratty and misbehaving kid that is not his own to explore the the varied and multicultural lives and families of all the participants, all of whom live in northern inner city Melbourne. He creates extremely real and believable - but not particularly likeable characters. It's hard to say what the point of the book is all about but I found myself thinking about all the characters as if they were real people for many days afterwards.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Striding Folly: Dorothy L Sayers - Book 14, 2009

Striding Folly: Dorothy L Sayers
Genre: Detective
Rating: 8/10
Comments: The last three cases in Lord Peter Wimsey's career. One of the best parts of this book was the introduction by Janet Hitchman giving an insight into the life and times of his creator, Dorothy Sayers.

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl: Shauna Reid - Book 13, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl: Shauna Reid
Topic: Memoir/diet/chick-lit
Rating: 10/10
Comments: One of the funniest and most heart-wrenching books I've ever read. The true story of how Shauna Reid lost half her body weight and found out what an amazing person she is - warts, depression and all. I started reading and couldn't stop. Shauna Reid is a true super hero and this book should be required reading for all.