Bringing WSBG into the 21st century


Let it be said that not all the members of the World’s Smallest Book Group are as excited about the wonders of technology as this member is… witness this:  when I suggested we record our book ratings as comments on the book reviews on this blog, these were their responses:

Reba: I think I should just talk about my opinions and you take copious notes and post them on the blog.

Joyce: I prefer to make my notes on paper and store said paper in my closet.

Darcy: Total silence.

But I am not deterred!! I have a new plan: there’s a meme going around that just might lure them in… Please check back to see if I am successful.  Here’s the meme:

The BBC book reading list

The BBC believes most people will have read, on average, only 6 of the 100 books listed here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Look at the list and put an ‘x’ or a ‘*’, or otherwise highlight the ones you have read. Tag some people. 

(I put the ones I’ve read in bold)

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 May 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 Faulk
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 Hitchhiker’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 – C.S. Lewis 

34 Emma – Jane Austen 
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen 
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. 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 – A.A. Milne 
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell 

42 The Da Vinci Code –
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 (half of it)
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 – E.B. 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 

I think my score is 76.5.  Of course I’ve lived a pretty long life and some of these are books I read a looooooooong looooooooong time ago, so please don’t ask me to take a quiz on their characters, themes, or plots.  Interesting to note that a number are books we read in WSBG! Some are my most favorite books of all time, like One Hundred Years of Solitude, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Confederacy of Dunces, etc. etc.

I am quite certain the book group’s other members will have considerably higher scores!  At least one of them might approach 100.

Readers who are not part of WSBG are welcome to participate too!

Go for it sisters!!


4 responses

  1. er, i am almost done with Dune, at which point i will have read one more book than the average pornographer.

    did i miss what the order was based on?

  2. Your note next to James Joyce’s Ulysses saved me. I have read half of many things! I also took the liberty of giving myself two points for books I have read twice to get to my eight points.

    Isn’t Jane Austen just a little over-represented here? I mean, she has four works in the 100 and, for instance, Hemingway, Twain, and Proust get none. Of course, I can sleep well knowing that JK Rowling technically has seven books on the list.

    Also, isn’t it cheating to list the Complete Works of Shakespeare at number 14 and then Hamlet at 98? It kind of makes me wonder whether the bookworms who wrote this list actually read it. Do I read Hamlet twice to get both points?

    I was amused that the Bible had no author. But then I noticed that The Da Vinci Code also has no author! Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.

  3. Totally agree! It’s a very weird list.

    I choose to believe it’s a conspiracy. And I bet the BBC actually had nothing to do with the list… more likely someone sitting in a dirty bathrobe after too many days watching made for tv movies.

    So what was your score?

  4. What is the scoring for #14, and #98 ?
    Owen Meany is one of my most memorable reads. I got lost in it. There was a movie made which did not share the title, but was clearly the same story. Simon something. The list is weighted with British authors, no? Or maybe it is just an English thing, language not nationality.