Amazon 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime – the UK version

Hello Bookworms!

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!