A couple of weeks ago I did the Amazon.com’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime and I was quite surprised at how few books I’d read.
“I’m a reading failure!” I cried. “Will Netgalley take my special virtual badge off me?” (I’m really attached to that badge – I think this is the third post where it’s had a mention).
Thankfully, the wonderful Liz@travelinretrospect saved my bacon by pointing out that the Amazon.co.uk list is weirdly…easier? More relevant? More reflective of UK reader’s tastes? Whatever, I’ve read more novels on this slightly sinister, nudge theory approach to getting you to buy more books (from a company with a terrible history of employment legislation infringements) so with the caveat that EVERYONE SHOULD SUPPORT LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLERSAND LIBRARIES…off we go!
1. Include a link back to Amazon’s official 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime (I sense this might come back to haunt me in some dystopian future)
2. Tag Perfectly Tolerable, the creator of this meme
3. Tag the person who nominated you
4. Copy the list of books and indicate which titles you have read.
5. Tally up your total.
6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and share your total count.
7. Tag five new people and comment on one of their posts to let them know.
Let’s get on with the list:
1984 George Orwell (oh the irony)
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
A History of the World in 100 Objects Neil MacGregor
All Quiet on the Western Front Erich Maria Remarque
American Gods Neil Gaiman American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer
Atonement Ian McKewan Bad Science Ben Goldacre
Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
Brideshead Revisted Evelyn Waugh
Bridget Jones’s Diary Helen Fielding Brighton Rock Graham Greene
Casino Royale Ian Fleming
Catch 22 Joseph Hellier Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
Cider with Rosie Laurie Lee
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevesky
Dissolution C J Sansom
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Philip K. Dick Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Frankenstein Mary Shelley
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J K Rowling High Fidelity Nick Hornby
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Knots and Crosses Ian Rankin
Last Orders Graham Swift
Little Women Louise May Alcott Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
London Fields Martin Amis
London: The Biography Peter Akroyd
Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela
Lord of the Flies William Golding
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
My Man Jeeves P G Woodhouse
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami Notes From A Small Island Bill Bryson
Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz
Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne The Colour of Magic Terry Pratchett
The Commitments Roddy Doyle
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
The Enchanted Wood Enid Blyton
The English Patient Michael Ondaatje
The Fellowship of the Ring J R R Tolkien The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Gruffalo Julia Donaldson
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The Hare with Amber Eyes Edmund de Waal The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
The Hound of the Baskervilles Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Oliver Sacks
The Mill on the Floss George Eliot
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Sue Townsend
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins
The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes
The Stand Stephen King
The Story of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson
The Tale of Peter Rabbit Beatrix Potter The Tiger Who Came to Tea Judith Kerr
The Time Machine H G Wells
The Worst Witch Jill Murphy
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John Le Carré
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
The Wasp Factory Iain Banks
Trainspotting Irvine Welsh
Venice Jan Morris
Watchmen Alan Moore
Watership Down Richard Adams
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Helen Oxenbury
White Teeth Zadie Smith
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China Jung Chang
Winnie the Pooh A A Milne
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
Much better; 42 books out of 100. Yay me!
There’s quite a few books on here that I can’t remember if I’ve read or not (Pride and Prejudice – did we study that at school? Lord of the Flies – I have vague recollections but I could be thinking of any number of films/tv series. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – did I read that to my cousins when they were little?) I haven’t included them, just in case. Also, I never know whether to include The Gruffalo – I’ve seen the animated version where the book is literally read out – does that count?
Favourites on the list included Rebecca, 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Harry Potter, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Game of Thrones. I also have very fond memories of reading The Worst Witch, Goodnight Mr Tom, Peter Rabbit, Little Women and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a child.
Books that bored me to tears (despite being very well written) include The Hare With Amber Eyes, American Gods (despite my undying love of Neil Gaiman and everything else he has written), One Hundred Years of Solitude, Midnights Children (controversial), Lolita (not so much bored as utterly disgusted and angry – I would actually recommend reading this but be warned) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Atonement (found it a bit meh).
Books I’m in the middle of reading/on my immediate TBD include Watchmen, the Handmaid’s Tale, The Diary of a Young Girl, Birdsong and The Poisonwood Bible.
Books I’ve started and not finished (but will do at some point) include Crime and Punishment (heavy going but really good – I must get a copy that isn’t printed in a font designed for hawks) and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (think I was too young the first time I tried to read it).
Books I’ve started and will very definitely not finish include Winnie the Pooh (he’s not wearing trousers! All kinds of wrong) The Stand (too scary) and Trainspotting (what are they saying?)
It would be really interesting to see if any US readers fare better with this list than the Amazon.com one – is there really that much difference between us?
I tag everyone that’s had a go at the Amazon.com list!