The Book Challenge – The BBC Booklist


In 2009 I did a Book Challenge. That was reading a book every week for a year, and you can read more about it here.

I’ve been looking for another reading challenge, and came across the BBC list again when it re-surfaced late 2010.  I think the first time I did it was before The Book Challenge (TM) but I was a bit disappointed to see that my count of books  had only increased by four since then. That, coupled with my kindle which gives me access to lots of these books for free, as they are deemed as ‘classics’,  gives me the foundations for a new challenge.

In 2011 I set myself the challenge of reading 90 of the books on the list. I failed. Life got in the way. For 2014,  I’m going to give it a go and read the slightly more realistic 70 books on the list. I’ve already read 44. I’ll also be better at reviewing the books I read.

In the interest of full disclosure, I set this last year and then completely failed to do it. So I’m getting an early resolution in!

So, let’s get some success criteria on this:

A) I need to review every book I read (whether on the list or not)

B) By midnight June 24th 2014 I will have read and reviewed 70 of the books on the list. This is to account for ridiculous entries (The Bible?) of which there may be many versions, out of print or basically they’re too long.

Thanks for reading!

Red – books I don’t have and need to read

Grey – books I have read

Green – books I have and need to read

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 (%)

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 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 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 Meany – 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 Inferno – Dante (%)

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 (*)

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 (%)

First Round:

Read: 40

Started but didn’t finish: 16

Second Round:

Read: 44

Started but didn’t finish: 17


8 thoughts on “The Book Challenge – The BBC Booklist

  1. L

    i stumbled across this post when searching for the bbc 100 list. i, too, am working my way through the list. i have to wonder, though, why you consider the bible to be a ridiculous entry. even if you do not agree with its religious affiliations, it would still be one of the most long-lasting and also prevalent pieces of literature to have ever been written.

    • Ah, interesting how easy it is to leap to the wrong conclusion, isn’t it? The BIble is a ridiculous entry because it’s quite long and there are lots of different versions. I can’t read them all.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment though, and I do like how you refer to it as literature.

  2. Jacquelynn

    My teacher posted this list on Facebook a while back. So far I have read three of these books (To Kill a Mockingbird, DaVinci Code, and The Great Gatsby), in the last year for school, but I have planned to read most of these on my own. I’ve tried reading Harry Potter though, but I was in first grade, and i got bored easily. Anyways, good luck with this. I hope you have fun!

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