Have you read more than six of these books?

I found this list on a friend’s blog: It is a list created by the National Endowment for the Arts, and she writes that they claim most American adults have read only six of these hundred books. SIX! That is almost nothing. I tried to find evidence for this claim on the internets, but my librarian skills aren’t working very well this morning. I’ll update when I find something. Anyway, someone has turned it into a fun bloggy game.

Here’s what you do:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list on your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible (um, how many people have actually sat down to read the Bible? Like, straight through?)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (the COMPLETE works? Really? No, but I’ve read a significant number of the plays.)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden-
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (Um, why is this on the list? My confidence in the NEA is faltering.)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (Again: Really? Bridget Jones get on here?)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola (Hmm, not this one, but I’ve read tons of other Zola.)
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – A. S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (Yeah, I concur with Katy: I’m not reading this, ever.)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (Many, many times.)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery-en francais, too
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (Didn’t we cover this one in the Complete Works? I’m starting to have my doubts about this list…)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Am I a snob because I’m surprised I’ve only read 49 of these?

Whatever, I have my doubts about the reputability of this list anyway. But I do love lists. And I have been reminded of some more books I really want to read.

8 thoughts on “Have you read more than six of these books?

  1. Kirsten

    I’ve read 50-some-odd of those listed, but also have my doubts about the list being attributed to the NEA. In addition to the ones you’ve pointed out, I doubt they’d list The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (36) separately from The Chronicles of Narnia (33).

    Reply
  2. Alison

    That looks a lot like a list I posted a while ago that purported to be something like the 100 books in libraries on Library Thing that had the most “to-read” tags applied. Or something like that indicating that people owned them but hadn’t read them.

    Makes me wonder where this really came from.

    Reply
  3. westwardbound

    I swear, some of the modern bestsellers on there are just throwaways to boost the spirits of the public. ;P
    I also have no idea if this really came from the NEA. Look at me, passing along unresearched memes. For shame!

    Reply
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  5. Emily

    4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
    5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
    16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
    21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
    22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
    24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
    28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
    29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
    36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
    37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
    40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
    41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
    46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
    49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
    61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
    65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
    70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
    73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
    76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
    81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
    83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
    87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
    88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (Yeah, I concur with Katy: I’m not reading this, ever.)
    98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (Didn’t we cover this one in the Complete Works? I’m starting to have my doubts about this list…)
    99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
    100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

    Reply
  6. kim e.

    Six?! Geez I wonder how many American adults consider US Weekly/People/TV Guide as their main source of literature. I’ve read about 36 of these books but I liked the list because I am going to use it to get me some books at the library. Yay!

    Reply
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