May 17

(No title)

Following mckenzee‘s lead:

I’m listing the BBC’s top 100, since I do much better on it than I did the US list :)

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis

10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Permanent link to this article: http://ginalikins.com/2004/05/17/277/


  1. ex_shemaiah

    This is a great canon list! OUr book club just finished number 14 Rebecca. I highly reccommend it.

  2. ex_shemaiah

    Also I just counted and I’ve read 23 of these books. Not too bad.

  3. jklgoduke

    Woah. I’ve read 46. Guess my attempt over the past several years to reed “great books” or “classics” or what you will has served me well. Not to mention my addiction to Pratchett. What was the original link for this list? And you said that there was a US version too? (The link to McKenzee is “down for database maintenance” right now)

    1. gina

      I’m not sure where the original meme came from, but here’s the BBC page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml

  4. vineofcrescendo


    (hi, i’m kathryn) my grandma dee lives in north carolina- grew up in asheville. she and my grandfather now travel up and down the east coast inn-sitting, as they owned one in New Bern, NC for five years. I am going to get that shirt for her- the Bed&Breakfast Inn painting (of course)…it’s adorable. just wanted to let you know, i’ll be getting it soon :O)

    1. gina

      Re: Asheville

      I’m confused… which shirt?

      1. vineofcrescendo

        Re: Asheville

        I’m sorry-…you have a shop?…

        1. gina

          Re: Asheville

          Oh good heavens I am SUCH a dork —

          Yes, I do — it’s actually been aout two years since I made that shirt & I had completely forgotten about it!

          I hope your grandma really enjoys it! (And if you want to know more about the manipulated polaroid process, go here: http://home.nc.rr.com/lintqueen/manprint.html)

          Aye yi yi — sometimes I am such a ninny!

          Thanks for the kind words!

          1. vineofcrescendo

            Re: Asheville

            No problemo. :O) Happy Friday.

  5. tekaytalks

    it be me…

    I’m looking over the list now….

    friends don’t let friends read crap.


  6. Anonymous

    too much Roald Dahl…

    … and kids’ books obviously had a strong influence on this list. I disagree pretty strongly with the idea that the Twits, Mathilda or the BFG belong in a list of best books, unless one is 13. Despite my objections, I’ve read 37, including all the Dahl, Holes, & Harry Potter. Saved (?) by children’s lit!


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