Monday, October 7, 2013

The BBC Top 100 Books

The BBC Top 100 Books

We like books. A lot.

And we like lists.

And we like all things British.

So a few years ago, when the BBC did a "search for the nation's best-loved novel" & released their Top 100 list, Jenny & I decided to have a go at reading them all.

So far I've made it to 30, with 70 to go.
  • I'm a little nervous about War & Peace. (#20) That book is long.
  • I've been wanting to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (#4) ever since I watched Julie & Julia. Julie's husband quotes from it: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
  • I read Matilda (#74) about 8 million times when I was a kid. My favourite part was in the beginning when it lists all the books she's been reading from the library.
  • Every Summer I make great plans to read Gone with the Wind. (#21) Sadly it hasn't happened yet.
  • Jane Eyre (#10) & Little Women (#18) get more then their fair share of my reading attention. I would happily re-read both books every year.
  • My dad read The Hobbit (#25) out loud to us when we were kids. We still regularly say things like "We wants it, my precious" & "Nasty little hobbitses."
Ok now, without further ado, here it is:

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

7. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

8. 1984 by George Orwell

10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

13. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

14. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

16. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

17. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

18. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

20. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy

21. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

25. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

26. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch by George Eliot

28. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

29. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

30. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

31. The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

33. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

34. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

36. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

38. Persuasion by Jane Austen

39. Dune by Frank Herbert

40. Emma by Jane Austen

41. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

42. Watership Down by Richard Adams

43. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

44. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

45. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

46. Animal Farm by George Orwell

47. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

48. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

49. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

50. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

51. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

52. Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck

53. The Stand by Stephen King

54. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

55. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

56. The BFG by Roald Dahl

57. Swallows & Amazons by Arthur Ransome

58. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

59. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

60. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

61. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

62. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

63. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

64. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough

65. Mort by Terry Pratchett

66. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

67. The Magus by John Fowles

68. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

69. Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

71. Perfume by Patrick Suskind

72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

73. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

74. Matilda by Roald Dahl

75. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

77. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

78. Ulysses by James Joyce

79. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

80. Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson

81. The Twits by Roald Dahl

82. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

83. Holes by Louis Sachar

84. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

85. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

86. Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

88. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

89. Magician by Raymond E. Feist

90. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

91. The Godfather by Mario Puzo

92. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

93. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

94. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

95. Katherine by Anya Seton

96. Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer

97. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

98. Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson

99. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

100. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

What about you?

How many have you read?

Any particular favourites?


  1. Sadly, only 10. Thanks for 100 great links.


  2. I got 22! Thanks for the great list. LOTR is amazing, get to it when you can :)

  3. I have read 18 of them, like a half of them are my favourites! I also own seven that I haven't read, I need to get to the asap!

    1. I've only read 18 too but at least now I have a list I can reference . . . although thinking now, I have read a lot of good books that aren't on this list like "do androids dream of electric sheep" and a hell of a lot of R.L. Stine books XD

  4. 43! I love all Harry Potter's and Jane Austen's books. And I highly recommend War and Peace. It's kind of scary because of the size bit it's easy to read and beautiful. Easier than Dostoiévski. Sad that the only brazilian book is Paulo Coelho, we havê a lot of better authors and books.

  5. 43 and I feel a little ashamed, as many of these have been on my to-read list for decades.

  6. 43 and I feel a little ashamed, as many of these have been on my to-read list for decades.

  7. You might easily pick up an addiction to Terry Pratchett, and a select few others. It would be interesting to see this survey redone, and see which books were only there in passing, rather than staying.

  8. How can anyone have Bridget Jones' Diary on the same list as War and Peace and Anna Karenina? And many of the other authors I have never heard of and I read quite extensively. For me, this was a very odd list!

  9. How come the Brothers Karamazove is missing...

  10. How come the Brothers Karamazove is missing...

  11. How come the Brothers Karamazove is missing...

  12. 39 and it's been years ago I read many of them. This is a good list for my book club


What do you think?