Friday, June 14, 2013

How Well Read Are You?

I came across this list over at Book Riot, "From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books".  I was intrigued to see how well-read I was.  If you asked me before I read the list, I would say I was very well-read.  I read a wide range of books from classics to zombies, genre to award-winning literary fiction.  I've read books from around the world - though always in English.

I've copy and pasted the Book Riot list and I've crossed off the books I've read.  I've put in bold the books I own, but haven't read yet and I've italicized books I want to read, but don't own.  Not too complicated, I hope.
  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front by Eric Maria Remarque
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay  by Michael Chabon
  6. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Beowulf
  13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  14. Brave New World by Alduos Huxley
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  16. The Call of the Wild  by Jack London
  17. Candide by Voltaire
  18. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  19. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  21. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  22. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  23. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  24. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. The Complete Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
  26. The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor 
  27. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  28. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  29. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  30. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Dream of Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  33. Dune by Frank Herbert
  34. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  35. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  36. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  37. Faust by Goethe
  38. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  39. Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  40. The Golden Bowl by Henry James
  41. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  42. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  43. The Gospels
  44. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  45. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  46. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  47. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  49. Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  50. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  51. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  52. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  53. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  54. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  55. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  56. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  57. if on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  58. The Iliad by Homer
  59. The Inferno by Dante
  60. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  61. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  62. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  63. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  64. The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  65. The Little Prince by Antoine  de Saint-Exepury
  66. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  67. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  68. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  69. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  71. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  72. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  73. The Odyssey by Homer
  74. Oedipus, King by Sophocles
  75. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  76. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  77. The Pentateuch
  78. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  79. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  80. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  81. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  82. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  83. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  84. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
  85. The Stand by Stephen King
  86. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  87. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  88. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  89. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  90. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  92. Ulysses by James Joyce
  93. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  94. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  95. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
  96. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  97. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  98. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  99. 1984 by George Orwell
  100. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Read: 26
Own, un-read: 14
Want to read: 21
Not-interested: 39

These were not the results I was expecting.  I'm going to be honest and say there are definitely 39 books on this list I have no interest in reading right now.  I may change my mind in the future and say to myself, what was I thinking, I absolutely have to read 50 Shades of Grey (for example), but not now.  I want to mention, after just quickly reading through the list, there seems to be an okay amount of women on the list, and a few minorities.  Could there be more?  Maybe, maybe not.  Culture was taken into account when creating this list, that means including who is on his best-sellers list and what authors have impacted the world around the list's creator.

I'm certain my list would be different.  If I made a list like this, there would likely be a lot more Canadians on the list, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje and Douglas Coupland.  Again, that's culture.  (I have to say that I love that Their Eyes Were Watching God is on this list.  It's an amazing story.)  There are a lot of American authors on the list, great ones like Faulkner and Hemingway, both of whom I've read, just not the books on the list.  If this list were made in England, Australia, Japan or India, I'm sure it would be different too.  Though there would definitely be some cross-over.  Maybe I'm being too analytical.  Maybe not analytical enough.

Do you think you are well-read?  What books would be on your list?


  1. I've read 46 of them. (Possibly 48, but there are 2 I'm unsure whether or not I didn't just read abridged versions way back in the day). My wheels are turning for an all Canadian version...

  2. Interesting list--I appreciate that it includes both popular works (Dan Brown, EL James) as well as the upper echelons of literary works, like James Joyce. You don't often see all of them on the same list, you know? I've read 41 of those. There would be another 5-6 that I've tried reading and didn't get anywhere with (Ulysses by Joyce for one). And like you, there are some on this list that I have no interest in and will likely never read (EL James again, for one. I did actually read the Dan Brown).

    1. There are authors I've read, but not the books that are listed. I think the varied authors, topics and genres are part of what makes it so interesting.

      I might read Ulysses one day.

  3. Hooray lists! I'm (if you don't mind) going to do a similar list. I like the way you marked off those you own but haven't read and those that you really have no interest in

    1. Can't wait to see your list!
      (I have so many books, unread, it can alternate between depressing and exciting.)

    2. Consider it all of the GREAT books that you get to eventually one day read! Glass half full and all that jazz

    3. Glass overflowing :)