Alexander DumasThe BBC's Big Read -- BOOK LIST

The BBC’s Big Read — BOOK LIST



Starting in April 2003, the BBC began a search for Britain’s best-loved novel. Viewers voted for their favorite book and the top 100 books were compiled in a list called the BBC’s Big Read. The books ranked 101 – 200 are sometimes referred to as the Bigger Read.

The Top 100 list is below. This is definitely a people’s choice list. There are some excellent books here, but the list reflects the popular tastes of the early 2000s as much as literary merit.

So far, I’ve read 65 of the 100. I doubt I will finish all these because I do not see myself reading Harry Potter (with apologies to fans) and I am not a fan of sci-fi or fantasy. Now that I have grandkids, I may read some of the kids’ books I did not originally think I would. So never say never.

See any of your own favorites on here? What about personal clunkers, books you did not like?

Here’s the list, with notes about whether I’ve read it, it’s on my TBR shelf, or it’s available as an audiobook from my library. Not many of these are on my TBR shelves because if I have not read it it is most likely not my cup of tea. But I might give it a go as an audiobook.

1. The Lord of the RingsJRR Tolkien FINISHED

2. Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen FINISHED

3. His Dark MaterialsPhilip Pullman ON OVERDRIVE

4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the GalaxyDouglas Adams (reviewed here) FINISHED

5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireJK Rowling ON OVERDRIVE

6. To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee FINISHED

7. Winnie the PoohAA Milne FINISHED

8. Nineteen Eighty-FourGeorge Orwell FINISHED

9. The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeCS Lewis FINISHED

10. Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë FINISHED

11. Catch-22Joseph Heller FINISHED

12. Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë FINISHED

13. BirdsongSebastian Faulks FINISHED

14. RebeccaDaphne du Maurier (reviewed here) FINISHED

15. The Catcher in the RyeJD Salinger FINISHED

16. The Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame (reviewed here) FINISHED

17. Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens (reviewed here) FINISHED

18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott FINISHED

19. Captain Corelli’s MandolinLouis de Bernieres FINISHED

20. War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy TBR SHELF

21. Gone with the WindMargaret Mitchell FINISHED

22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneJK Rowling ON OVERDRIVE

23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsJK Rowling ON OVERDRIVE

24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanJK Rowling ON OVERDRIVE

25. The HobbitJRR Tolkien FINISHED

26. Tess of the D’UrbervillesThomas Hardy FINISHED

27. MiddlemarchGeorge Eliot FINISHED

28. A Prayer for Owen MeanyJohn Irving FINISHED

29. The Grapes of WrathJohn Steinbeck FINISHED

30. Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll FINISHED

31. The Story of Tracy BeakerJacqueline Wilson

32. One Hundred Years of SolitudeGabriel García Márquez FINISHED

33. The Pillars of the EarthKen Follett FINISHED

34. David CopperfieldCharles Dickens FINISHED

35. Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl ON OVERDRIVE

36. Treasure IslandRobert Louis Stevenson FINISHED

37. A Town Like AliceNevil Shute FINISHED

38. PersuasionJane Austen FINISHED

39. DuneFrank Herbert ON OVERDRIVE

40. EmmaJane Austen FINISHED

41. Anne of Green GablesLM Montgomery FINISHED

42. Watership DownRichard Adams ON OVERDRIVE

43. The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald FINISHED

44. The Count of Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas FINISHED

45. Brideshead RevisitedEvelyn Waugh FINISHED

46. Animal FarmGeorge Orwell FINISHED

47. A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens FINISHED

48. Far From the Madding CrowdThomas Hardy FINISHED

49. Goodnight Mister TomMichelle Magorian

50. The Shell SeekersRosamunde Pilcher (reviewed here) FINISHED

51. The Secret GardenFrances Hodgson Burnett FINISHED

52. Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck FINISHED

53. The StandStephen King ON OVERDRIVE

54. Anna KareninaLeo Tolstoy TBR SHELF

55. A Suitable BoyVikram Seth ON OVERDRIVE

56. The BFGRoald Dahl ON OVERDRIVE

57. Swallows and AmazonsArthur Ransome

58. Black BeautyAnna Sewell FINISHED

59. Artemis FowlEoin Colfer ON OVERDRIVE

60. Crime and PunishmentFyodor Dostoyevsky FINISHED

61. Noughts and CrossesMalorie Blackman ON OVERDRIVE

62. Memoirs of a GeishaArthur Golden FINISHED

63. A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens FINISHED

64. The Thorn BirdsColleen McCollough FINISHED

65. MortTerry Pratchett

66. The Magic Faraway TreeEnid Blyton

67. The MagusJohn Fowles FINISHED

68. Good OmensTerry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ON OVERDRIVE

sixty nine. Guards! Guards!Terry Pratchett

70. Lord of the FliesWilliam Golding FINISHED

71. PerfumePatrick Süskind ON OVERDRIVE

72. The Ragged Trousered PhilanthropistsRobert Tressell ON OVERDRIVE

73. Night WatchTerry Pratchett

74. MatildaRoald Dahl ON OVERDRIVE

75. Bridget Jones’s DiaryHelen Fielding FINISHED

76. The Secret HistoryDonna Tartt FINISHED

77. The Woman in WhiteWilkie Collins FINISHED

78. UlyssesJames Joyce FINISHED

79. Bleak HouseCharles Dickens FINISHED

80. Double ActJacqueline Wilson

81. The TwitsRoald Dahl ON OVERDRIVE

82. I Capture the CastleDodie Smith FINISHED

83. HolesLouis Sachar ON OVERDRIVE

84. GormenghastMervyn Peake (reviewed here) FINISHED

85. The God of Small ThingsArundhati Roy FINISHED

86. Vicky AngelJacqueline Wilson

87. Brave New WorldAldous Huxley FINISHED

88. Cold Comfort FarmStella Gibbons (reviewed here) FINISHED

89. MagicianRaymond E Feist ON OVERDRIVE

90. On the RoadJack Kerouac FINISHED

91. The GodfatherMario Puzo FINISHED

92. The Clan of the Cave BearJean M Auel

93. The Color of MagicTerry Pratchett

94. The AlchemistPaulo Coelho FINISHED

95. KatherineAnya Seton FINISHED

96. Kane and AbelJeffrey Archer FINISHED

97. Love in the Time of CholeraGabriel García Márquez FINISHED

98. Girls in LoveJacqueline Wilson

99. The Princess DiariesMeg Cabot ON OVERDRIVE

100. Midnight’s ChildrenSalman Rushdie (reviewed here) FINISHED


This is a reposting of a list I first posted in 2009. I needed to refresh all the links.



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