Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I love any bandwagon where I can make myself feel smart. There is a book meme going on that states that most people have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

I have placed an * after the ones I have read and added a + if I loved the book.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen *
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien *+
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte *+
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling *+
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee *+
The Bible *
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte *+
1984 by George Orwell *+
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman *+
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens *+
Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott *
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy *
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller *+
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien *+
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger *
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger *+
Middlemarch by George Eliot *+
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House by Charles Dickens *+
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy *+
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams *+
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky *+
Grapes of Wrath by Jon Steinbeck *+
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame *+
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy *+
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens *+
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis *
Emma by Jane Austen *
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis *
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini *+
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden *
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne *
Animal Farm by George Orwell *+
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown *
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez *+
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving *+
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood *+
Lord of the Flies by William Golding *+
Atonement by Ian McEwan *
Life of Pi by Yann Martel *
Dune by Frank Herbert *+
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen *
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth *+
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens *+
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley *+
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon *
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez *+
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck *+
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov *+
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold *+
Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas *+
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy *
Bridget Jone’s Diary by Helen Fielding *
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie *+
Moby Dick by Herman Melville *+
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens *
Dracula by Bram Stoker *+
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
Ulysses by James Joyce *
The Inferno by Dante *
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Germinal by Emile Zola
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray *
Possession by A.S. Byatt *
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens *+
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Color Purple by Alice Walker *
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert *
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry *+
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White *+
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom *
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection by Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad *
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery *+
The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks
Watership Down by Richard Adams *+
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole *+
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute *
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas *
Hamlet by William Shakespeare *
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo *+

Since I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer I have not really read as I use too. I have gone from a few books a week to maybe a book a month. I need to escape again.


yoborobo said...

Thank God for books, I love escaping into other worlds. I haven't been reading as much lately either. I need to find a good book and curl up somewhere and read. :) I hope you get to do that, too, even for just a little while. We have read a lot of the same books! I am happy to say I have read lots that are on this list. YAY US!!! I'll take that little victory. :) Love you, Pam

Marion said...

A fabulous list, Renee, and congrats on reading so many great books! I counted 68 of the books that I've read. I have to highly recommend "A Confederacy of Dunces" to you. It's quintessential New Orleans and a joy, full of laughter and quirkiness.

I also read a great coming of age book this week, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett set in 1960's Mississippi. I couldn't put it down. Wishing you JOY, LOVE and HAPPY READING! Blessings!

pRiyA said...

Does having seen the movie count? I guess not.
Who makes this list anyway? I'd like to remove some books and add my own faves.

word verification is 'banish' - a REAL word.
yup, i know what i what to banish.

Caroline said...

Dear Renee - It would be good for you. I do the same thing though - read, read ,read, then nothing for ages! I feel smart now too! Loads of classics here - some I've never heard of, but not too many I can't put a cross after! Thinking of you. Caroline x0x

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

No wonder you're so wise! I 'recognize' a few of those books from high school but can't honestly remember if I actually read them as was required!
If they had a few trashy novels on this list I'd at least be able to check off one or two :)
I'm not a reader I guess....other than blogs!
Love, Darla

Sarah said...

I saw this list a while ago and enjoyed the feeling of achievement it gave me. It is a strange list-a lot of classics and also things like the Da Vinci code and Harry Potter. I have read more than I normally do this summer-I used to read so much more before the internet and blogs and I miss it a lot so mean to go back to it too. I hope you manage to go back to it a bit more too. x

Caio Fernandes said...

i love this ilustration !!!
about the list , i counted 19 ... yeah , a shame , hahahh!!
but in my defence , this is a very anglo-saxan list . if i make a list of the 100 best books of the world i have ever read , the autor of this list will count just 5 or 6 . and say that never heard about the the writers of the others . it is sad ....

glorv1 said...

Congratulations on your being able to read alot of these books. Yay for you. I wish I could say the same for me. Anyway, I hope you have a great day and now I'm off to exercise is about 1/2 hour. Take care.

Sarah said...

Wow girl!!! I loved this I have read about 36 of them..yikes gotta get reading! Although in my own defense..The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the works of William Shakespeare each contain several books...LOL. Looove Shakespeare!! What a fun list!!!
Hugs to you hon! Love, Sarah

Elizabeth said...

I love the marks for the ones you love. Keep reading!

♥ Braja said...

Ahhh....the Faraway Tree series. Loved it. Still do :)

Deborah said...

My, my, you certainly are well-read. I miss not having enough time to fall into a book. Reading is one of the greatest joys in life. However, reading blogs of extremely clever and intelligent women such as yourself fills my short-term need. All my love to you, my darling Renee. **kisskiss* Deb

karengberger said...

You have read so many of these! I read a lot, but I haven't read nearly as many from this list as you have. (I am a biography- and European history-hound.) XO

Beth said...

Since I've been diagnosed, I've been reading and reading. I've been using shelfari to put the books on my blog as I read them.

I'm pleased to see I've read a number of books on the list, and I'll go looking for some of the others.

I have a question though - not to question your taste in books because we love some of the same ones, but one book I just didn't get was 'Of Mice and Men'. I read it again last year because my son had to read it for school and I still don't get it. My question is, what did you love about it?

Love the list!

K said...

a few books a WEEK...wow! you go girl!! I probably can do 2-4 a month! I definitely have read more than 6 on the list but there are many I haven't read...funny I had just posted about a good book to read! Thank you for your suggestion and comment on my blog...this list gives me MANY MANY more!! Blessings on you! xoxoxoxox

Rikkij said...

wow! you've done some reading! I think you'd like Anne of green gables. Love ya! ~rick

Meghann LittleStudio said...

Wow, what an interesting mix of literature! I've read quite a few, though not as many of the newer ones....many of them are, however on my 14 page Amazon wish list!
I love reading - it is the most affordable and best vacation you'll ever have :)

soulbrush said...

what an impressive list. since i nowlisten to audio books i hardly read at all, but still love my books.

studio lolo said...


I've read 2 books in the past 2 years. I miss it terribly but I don't take the time to read during the day. When I read at bedtime I fall asleep after one paragraph.
How can I ever finish a book that way?

love and hugs...are you doing okay today?


secret agent woman said...

I got 40 of those, which I suppose places me squarely between illiterate and well-read! I love books, too, but tend to wax and wane with reading. I'm trying to re-kindle that in myself right now, although there are many "classics" I'll pass over in favor of thinsg that interest me more.

Ces said...

Where is Voltaire? Where is Voltaire?! They have Emile Zola but not Jean Jacques Rousseau? Nooooooooooooooo!

A regular Easton Press, Franklin Library and Classics Illustrated Comics Series!

Alas! Where are the philosophers, mathematicians and historians?

And where is Pearl S. Buck, Edgar Alan Poe, Stephen Crane, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson...?

And how come Mother Goose Rhymes is not included? Don't they know Mother Goose Rules among those who don't eat their hearts - the Politically Incorrect like me!

And Where is Peter Rabbit? They have Harry Potter but not Peter Rabbit? And no Norman Mailer or Sinclair Lewis?

What about a list of all the tabloid magazines we were dying to read but afraid to be caught dead with them in our hands? The book list is seems so frigid to me, I want to read a tabloid magazine with headlines like "Is Al Gore A Gay Martian?" or "Found! 350 Year Old Woman In Cave" or "Woman Delivers 50 Year Old Fetus With Full Set of Teeth!"


Great list Renee. They should also inclued Pauline Reage's "The Story of O" or at least Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" Everyone seemed to have read those!

At least they included DRACULA!

Anonymous said...

Renee, your avid reading skills, certainly shine through in your writing.
Mark is an avid reader also, dropped the amount of books he reads since he met me. He also speaks a few badly pronouced words also, tut, tut, tut on me!
If you go on the bus here and read a book, sometimes you get asked why are you reading a book? What reading! Not video games, hugh!
He, he, he!
Books are fantastic! Reading one a month is also great!
You do what you want to do Renee!
Have you read Terry Pratchet novels, these are funny.
Monstrous Regiment is recommened.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

This is a great list, Renee. I have been trying to escape in books too. Now that autumn is right around the corner I hope to escape even more. Thinking of you.

Debbie said...

You know I wrote a post about this list and others like it just last week. Happily, I have read, and loved, quite a few on there. I need to start reading more too.

Baino said...

Renee I have read more than I thought 30 from your list albeit some time ago. I'm a shocker for reading. I love to read in the summer during the Christmas break then barely touch a book for the rest of the year. I need to immerse myself and just can't read a few chapters each night

Sarah said...

Absolutely. I did try to cook the other night-I was ambitious and decided on vegetable curry-horrible-I curdled the coconut milk. Is Wahid a good cook?
I see you have not read Cloud Atlas-I really enjoyed that book once I had got into it.

Michelle said...

Ive read pretty much all the ones you have, plus a few you haven't....does that make me smart :)?

One more sleep!


lakeviewer said...

Love your list. Hang in there; more leasure, peaceful weather expected soon.

YayaOrchid said...

Wow, Renee, that is some impressive list! I guess I'm one of the people from that meme. I'm afraid I've only read a few. Do magazines count? LOL!

I'm glad to hear you're going to be reading. It's a good way to escape and feel refreshed. And I continue to pray that you will see many miracles and blessings in your life yet!

Yoli said...

Wonderful list and the Dodo bird had me at hello! You should start reading again my friend. It is an escapist oasis and a balm to the soul.

one little acorn said...

I love this list. I'm a little bit embarasssed to admit I have only read 14, though I have many more of them waiting in my bookshelf for a quiet day. I really must make more time for reading... and writing... and art... and exercise... and being with family... and being with myself... and blogging... and photography... so many things to do, it's hardly surprising that quiet days are so rare.
Lots of love to you Renee. xx

one little acorn said...

Actually having just re-read the list, it's 18. That's a bit better... though still way short of your achievements. You are awesome Renee.

vintage moon studio said...

Great list but my two favorites, "Return of the Native" (Thomas Hardy) and Portrait of an Artist (James Joyce)didn't make it... good reads if you are looking for more titles! Enjoy the evening ~

Sue said...

I love reading! Never watch tv, but have to read at least before bed. This list was interesting, I've read 43 of the books on the list, some I loved, some I didn't so much. One series of books I've never read is Harry Potter
(yes, I'm a freak). Don't know why, but the first one didn't appeal to me and I never got into them.

Any of the vampire series
though (Twilight, etc), love them!

Renee, you really should try and get into reading more again - it is such an escape, and lord knows you could do with an escape!


Jeanne said...

45 down, 55 to go!

kenflett said...

what a prolific reader you are Renee. :) there are some wonderful books there. l've read all of steinbeck, he's my favorite. For awhile l use to listen to this late night radio show where they put on The shadow and other old old talk, it was just like reading as you had to just sit and listen. anyways sorry to plug up your blog with my babble. I hope your doing well Renee, fall is coming, that is good.
I really like what you wrote at the end of your last post.

"Invest your life energy on the people you love because in the end they are all that matter"
Your pretty wise Renee, and pretty lovely. :)

Arija said...

Books are wonders of escape from our daily life..we can concentrate on the story and let our subconscious take care of the other issues.
Your list and mine are much the same with a few variants in the midern department. I don't read heart wrencingly tragic books any more...seen too much of that in real life.

Angela Recada said...

I have to agree with Marion. "A Confederacy of Dunces" is a terrific book. I read it decades ago, and it's still one of my favorites. I think you'd like it.

kj said...

53 on the list read by me, renee. i think thomas hardy gave me a running start.

caio makes a good point.

i used to walk into a book store, go to the fiction section, and point to every third book (or so) on the shelves, saying to myself or my friends, 'i've read that, and that, and that." no longer.i still read alot and often, but good books seem reserved for rainy days and vacations

moon sister, i loved seeing what you've read. you surprise me every day. xoxo

Mary Ellen said...

Hmmm. . . maybe it's time for me to do some intentional reading, instead of grabbing magazine / newspaper / back of cereal box. I've seen this list but now perhaps I'll pack it with me to the library. (BTW, I've had good fun downloading recorded books from my library - for free - and playing them on my MP3 player, which might work for you as a way to revisit some of these you have loved.)

Maithri said...

Wow! Love the books you've read... Loved 'A suitable boy' ;) Vikram Seth is one of my faves..

Much love to you my friend, M

Chrisy said...

Yes life looks different if you've got a good book to escape to. But I know what you mean about not reading since you've been ill...my reading habits change when I'm really ill...and my tastes in books changes too...I can't cope with anything heavy so rely on light detective stories....love and hugs to you and yours dearest...

Silver said...

i love what you wrote in your post before this. strong words by a strong woman. i couldn't agree more.

maybe it's age. maybe it's all the tough stuff that has been thrown in our way as pilgrims on the journey of life.

i am glad to be walking with you, that's for sure.


jenjen said...

Wonderful list. There are many on there that I have been meaning to read. Isn't reading wonderful!

Hope you are having a good week!


Lori ann said...

Where are all the travel books and field guides? I can see this list does not make me feel smart at all, well maybe a 1/4 smart. I think you would like Kerouac and The Shadow of the Wind.
I see I am going to have to get busy if i want to catch up with you!
You are amazing how can you read that fast?

Debra said...

Oh dear, I feel so illiterate? I haven't read but a mere handful of these books, although I have seen a lot of them in movie form. (You have to see Cold Comfort Farm, I loved it and its is so well done and funny). I have read a lot of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and some Edith Wharton (Age of Innocence, House of Mirth). To be honest when I read I like to escape and I do not like to read real sad books(yet I read Edith Wharton and her stories can be sad, go figure?), you know the whole human drama. I know how shallow am I? Well I have enough drama in my life I don't want to read more.
Lately though I prefer the movies I can watch/listen to while doing artwork.

A Cuban In London said...

Just back from my fantastic holidays in Spain and doing my usual blog round. It's so nice to see that the good quality has not diminished one bit. Many thanks for your fantastic post and yes, escape again!

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

I ticked off 33 as having read for sure, though I have to confess there were quite a few I was not sure about - can you believe?

I can understand your dip in reading. I have to feel reasonably good about myself to concentrate on books. Failing that, poetry is my salvation - not a lot of that in your list.

You don't say what the prognosis is for you, so I will just wish you every blessing.

Annie said...

Oh, you must read Alice! It is one of my favorites as are many on this list. Reading is a wonderful way to leave your troubles behind.
It saved me when I was a child.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Renee,

What a wonderful list of books you have read.
I have read quite a few of the same books and will need to get reading some more.
Can I say again, how much I love your sweet Avatar illustration.


Anonymous said...

No, its not true Renee, your the best there is! Super women!

Clarity said...

A beautiful collection and we share so many favourites. I love it that you are so well read - God bless the open hearted readers forever :)

It's funny how the Bible is on there but not the Torah or the Quran - me thinks the list originated in London.

I love the Orwells, The Little Prince and I think you will adore Alice in Wonderland and laugh at Cold Comfort Farm. I think I shall follow your cue and expand my horizons by reading some fiction on there and religious texts that aren't on the list. Mind opening time.

Anonymous me said...

I am with Ces on this one ... so many gaps. Even so I do love this list and found that I am more widely read than I realised ... which makes me feel smarter than I am. (Must confess to a weakness for those trashy mags as well though!). How are you doing Renee? I hope today is a good day. Prayers, wishes, hopes and more prayers, as ever xx Jos

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Wow... You are one of the most well-read people I know (er, almost know, I feel like I know you, tee hee).
Reading is a wonderful thing & I am not reading quite as much as I have in the past. I second Marion's recommendation of "A Confederacy of Dunces"; the author received the Pulitzer posthumously... that in itself is interesting. I think I have this right, John Kennedy Toole was a graduate of LSU, wrote this manuscript, his mother found it after he committed suicide & took it to his professor at LSU who got it published.
The characters in it are so vivid!