Big Read

The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books. They estimate the average adult has read only six. Here’s what you are supposed to do: Look at the list and bold those you have read. Italicize those we intend to read.*Star the books we LOVE….Okay so as you all know I am into color coding my blog. Those in Blue I have read, and those in Green are on my TBR pile.

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 – have read parts but not all
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
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler’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 Hitch Hiker’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 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
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
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
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
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
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
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS 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
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery – in french even
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
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Okay so i have to say that if it wasn’t for amazing literature teachers both in high school and college I would never have read half of these books. So Thank You. Also there are a lot that are on my tbr pile…and a couple that you couldn’t pay me enough to read. I have read 33 if my counting is correct. I need to star the ones that I loved however I think that I will do that after I am done.



  1. aunt rowena

    Heather, where did this list of 100 books come from? I found the NEA Big Read website, and it doesn’t have this list. I googled and saw a lot of blogs but no source – do you know? thanks!!


  2. Heather's Books

    Melinda..I stole it from another blog, I have seen it elsewhere on blogs. It has to be somewhere as I know the person that posted it and she had only read about 10 of the books on the list. Now I am intrigued and will have to do some digging.

  3. aunt rowena

    OK I did find it – see this guy’s site where he located the source. I did a post on my blog about it too. Now I’m collecting Top 100 lists!!


  4. Trisha

    Oh my gosh! I have only read 6 1/2 of these. I don’ know what this list, its got a strange mix but I certainly expected as I started reading over it to have read more than 6 1/2. I guess that’s slightly above average though. hehe. There are lots more I would like to read. My to be read LIST is getting bigger then my TBR shelf. I started my list with your small list of favorite books and have been adding to it. I obviously need to read more, or find more time for reading..or something!

  5. Heather's Books

    Trisha….I know my tbr pile keeps getting bigger and bigger also. But hey that’s a good thing.

  6. Cher

    Kinda intresting isnt it? I have a lot of reading to do.

  7. Heather

    This is a great list… I will have to steal your post when I have more time. I have read about 20 of the titles. There are only a few of the remaining titles that I have even heard of and thought to read.

  8. Book Dragon

    I haven't blogged about this yet but I've looked over the list and it doesn't look good for me. LOL if I have to read all the books I own, and all the books I want to read before I can die; I'll live forever!


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