May 22, 2012

It's a page turner.

I like to think I am an avid reader. I am a member of two different book clubs and I read the books 90% of the time. I also read for pleasure and I spend almost everyday reading on the train. However, I recently came across this list of books that most adults should have read and I was astonished at how many classics I have not read. Of the few, in red, that I have read, they come mainly from high school. I think that I am going to try to spend this Summer catching up to the average adult.

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

The Bible - Council of Nicea
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (I've read as much as I care too of this book)
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
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
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
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
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 Meaney - 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 

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 - Enid Blyton
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

Where do you stand? 


  1. When I was 17 and I had to read 'Wuthering Heights' in high school, I could barely get through it. Ten or so years later when I re-read it, I LOVED it!! Now, I think it is my favorite book ever.

    The one you've really got to get around to is 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' I can't imagine not liking that book.

    You can probably skip 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' I know of people who love it to death, but I've also heard that 'Three Musketeers' is the much, much better Dumas novel. Just watch the movie; you'll feel like you read the book, and also Jim Caviezel is pretty.

  2. Oh you have to read 'To Kill a Mockingbird" it's my all time favorite book ever in the history of books... Then watch the movie... Gregory Peck kills it. :)

  3. This is someone's idea of what adults should have read. if five percent of the population even knows Ulysses as a book by James Joyce and not just someone in a Titans movie I would be amazed. Brideshead Revisited is good but I thought the Masterpiece Theater series was better. Jane Austen is great for her ability to peg characters--you'll see people you know in her books. The Handmaid's Tale is a necessity. But, here's the deal, some of these books just don't translate into real life. I am dubious that Ulysses ever did. A better piece by Joyce is "The Dead." It's also much shorter and makes syntactic sense. And some of these books are just yawns, some are the Fifty Shades of their time. THEIR TIME.