26 June, 2013

BBC Big Read Top 100 - The List

On Monday I posted the momentous news that I had finally finished reading the BBC Big Read Top 100 books, 10 years after the list was produced by public vote. So here is the full list in all its glory.

As I read the books, I rated them out of 10. The score wasn't based on how well-written I thought the book was, but on how much I enjoyed it (though the quality of the writing must have had some effect on enjoyment). Therefore there are frivolous books that rank a lot higher for me than classic novels I think are much better written. A big part of the ranking will be affected by how old I was when I read the book. I'm sure, for example, Bleak House would score much higher now than it did when I read it at 17 years-old, and Jaqueline Wilson books wouldn't entertain me nearly so much now. I'm also going soft in my old age - giving a book a 6/10 now I would consider quite condemning, whereas I thought it was quite reasonable in my teens. What I'm saying is... this ranking is to be taken with a pinch of salt!

So, I've listed the books below according to my own ratings - with the score to match. The number in brackets at the end is the official Big Read ranking.

How many of these have you read? Any favourites or ones you'd happily never see again?

   1984 - George Orwell (8)
   The Stand - Stephen King (53)
   Emma - Jane Austen (40)
   A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (63)
   Holes - Louis Sachar (83)
   Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons (88)
   Lord of the Flies - William Golding (70)
   His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (3)
   To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (6)
   A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (28)
   Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks (13)

   The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (1)
   Animal Farm - George Orwell (46)
   I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith (82)
   Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (87)
   Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman (61)
   Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (62)
   Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (10)
   Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell (21)
   The Pillars of the Earth  - Ken Follet (33)
   The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett (93)
   The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (4)
   A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth (55)
   The Magus - John Fowles (67)
   Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (97)
   Night Watch - Terry Pratchett (26)
   Katherine - Anya Seton (95)

   The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (29)
   The Secret History - Donna Tartt (76)
   One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (32)
   Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (60)
   Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (2)
   Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (41)
   The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (51)
   Persuasion - Jane Austen (38)
   The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (25)
   Perfume - Patrick Suskind (71)
   The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (15)
   Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier (14)
   The Magic Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton (66)
   The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham (16)
   The Godfather - Mario Puzo (91)
   Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (7)
   Goodnight Mr. Tom - Michelle Magorian (49)
   The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (9)
   Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding (75)
   The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M Auel (92)
   Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome (57)
   Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (18)
   Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling (22)
   Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling (24)
   Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (35)
   A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute (37)
   Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Caroll (30)
   A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (47)
   Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (68)
   Watership Down - Richard Adams (42)
   The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot (99)

   Gormenghast -Mervyn Peake (84)
   Dune  - Frank Herbert (39)
   The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (77)
   Matilda  - Roald Dahl (74)
   Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (12)
   David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (34)
   The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho (94)
   The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCollough (64)
   The BFG - Roald Dahl (56)
   The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (44)
   Girls in Love - Jaqueline Wilson (98)
   Kane and Abel - Jeffrey Archer (96)
   Anna Karenina  - Leo Tolstoy (54)

   Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (52)
   Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (17)
   Magician - Raymond E Feist (89)
   The Shell Seekers - Rosamund Pilcher (50)
   Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (26)
   Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling (23)
   Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres (19)
   Mort - Terry Pratchett (65)
   Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling (5)
   The Twits - Roald Dahl (81)
   Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett (69)
   Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (48)
   The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (43)
   Black Beauty - Anna Sewell (58)

   Middlemarch - George Eliot (27)
   War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (20)
   Vicky Angel - Jaqueline Wilson (86)
   Double Act - Jaqueline Wilson (80)
   Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh (45)
   The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy (85)
   The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists - Robert Tressell (72)
   The Story of Tracey Beaker - Jaqueline Wilson (31)
   Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie (100)
   Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson (36)

   Bleak House - Charles Dickens (79)
   Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer (59)
   Catch-22 - Joseph Heller (11)

   Ulysses - James Joyce (78)

   On the Road - Jack Kerouac (90)


  1. I've read 50 of them - unfortunately, I've mostly read the 50 easy ones, lots of kids books, and have a lot of classics and more obscure books left to read. Still, half way to having read all of them isn't too shabby :)

    1. I think that's pretty good! I got to the final 10 or 15 and still had all the longest and hardest books to go. Though one or two of my last ones were really good.

  2. What an achievement! You have a couple of my all time favourites in your top group - Cold Comfort Farm and Birdsong. Have to agree about On The Road as well - thought it would never end. Love the list and have realised that I haven't actually read A Tale of Two Cities. Must get that sorted I think!

    1. Thank-you! I totally didn't get Cold Comfort Farm at 17 years-old. At 25 I adored it! Yes - find Charles Dickens quite variable (not his writing, which is always fabulous, but just how much I enjoy the stories), but A Tale of Two Cities is incredible. I didn't even know anything about the French Revolution but it's just so well-written and the characters are wonderful that didn't seem to matter.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. When I totted it up, I was surprised to reach 22 that I've read, plus several that I tried to read but gave up on. I must admit, two or three were ones I was made to read at school, and two or three more I know I read but can remember absolutely nothing about!

    1. I can remember very little about most of them. I'm so ashamed of how poor my memory for plots is - even for books I really like!


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