Thursday, March 29, 2007


Following hot on the heels of the SF Book Meme is this new Great Big List o’ Literature, picked up from Richard over at Shadowscope.

The drill - you know it by now - is to boldface the titles you’ve read. Some folks italicize the ones they want to read (but have not read yet) - but I will not bother with that.

I’m not sure what the selection criteria were for this list, either for inclusion or relative ranking. They’re not all classics, but I suspect that all were, at one point or another, best sellers.

  1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
  2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
  9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
  10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J. K. Rowling)
  12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J. K. Rowling)
  14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
  16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J. K. Rowling)
  17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
  18. The Stand (Stephen King)
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
  20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
  21. The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
  23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
  25. The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
  28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
  29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
  31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
  32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
  33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
  34. 1984 (George Orwell)
  35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
  36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
  37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
  38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
  39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
  40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
  41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
  42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
  44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
  45. The Bible
  46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
  47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
  48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
  49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
  51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
  52. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
  54. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
  55. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
  57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J. K. Rowling)
  58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
  59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
  61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
  63. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
  64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
  65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
  66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
  68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
  70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
  71. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Helen Fielding)
  72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Márquez)
  73. Shogun (James Clavell)
  74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
  75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
  76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
  79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
  80. Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)
  81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
  82. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
  83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
  84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
  85. Emma (Jane Austen)
  86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
  87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
  89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
  90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
  91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
  92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
  94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
  95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
  96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
  97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
  98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
  99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
  100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Hrm. 47 out of 100; less than half. Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing? I dunno.

Richard and I agree: The Bible really does not belong on this list. But I have read both the Hebrew and Christian versions (preferring the JTS and King James translations, respectively), and substantial chunks of the former in the original it gets the Boldface Treatment.

I read James Clavell’s Shogun when I was in Japan...King Rat when I was in Singapore...and Tai-Pan when I was in Hong Kong. Knowing the settings made those novels stand out much more than they otherwise would have.

The only frustrating thing about these damnèd lists is that they remind me that there is a world of Great Literature out there that I have yet to experience. Classics, as yet untouched. Steinbeck...Ayn Rand...Dickens...James Joyce...I have got to get on the stick and read me a few more Good Books.

Meanwhile, I have two of Steve H.’s tomes on their way to me at this very moment. Great Literature? Maybe...but fun, certainly.

Read any good books lately?

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