Saturday, July 26, 2008

reading meme's

The National Endowment for the Arts has an initiative they are calling the big read. The website states its purpose is to "restore reading to the center of American culture."The premise of this little exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

what to do:

1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2. Italicize those you intend to read.
3. Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE
4. Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them

the list

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Bible
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (I've tried and tried...)
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (I tried to read this, couldn't finish it)
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick - Herman Melville (in HS, we cut a deal to watch the movie instead - does that count?)
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web - EB White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

So, I've read 33/100. Not too bad. I am like 5 1/2 average people, or just one lonely geek who read a lot in high school. I have to say, looking at this list, that the nuns at the academy must have known something, because they made me read a lot of this stuff. I am kind of surprised that Gulliver's Travel's isn't on the list, but again, keep in mind that I am a geek.


spcoleman said...

You’ve probably discovered by now that this list is NOT the Big Read list from the National Endowment for the Arts but rather is a list compiled in the U.K. by the BBC. This list has someone gotten combined by the NEA Big Read program and has spread virally through the internet. The NEA gives grants to communities across the U.S for “one book, one community” programs. The communities then provide free resources and materials for book groups and classroom discussions. Just thought the NEA ( should get its just due.

Liz said...

fair enough. I wondered who at the NEA thought Bridget Jones' Diary was literature. But, it's a list of books and if someone bothers to read a book because someone else did, then it's worth wasting the space on the list. And I agree, the NEA deserves its due.

Olive Lucy said...

interesting... comment from spcoleman.

i saw the meme on many many list and the list is similar to the UK's BBC list but it is not the same list.

either way reading is reading right!

you got me beat liz i have only read 28/100 and i know i am a geek.