BBC Top 100 Book List

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. I’ve bolded the books I’ve read. I disagree with some books on this list and completely agree with others. I’ll compile my own lists of must reads soon. Here’s my question for you. What books do you think should have been on this list but weren’t, and what books shouldn’t be on the list? Please leave comments on this. It will be fun to hear your opinions. I’ve added mine.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (deserves to be on the list)

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (long and wordy, but still a good read, deserves to be on the list)

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (deserves to be on the list)

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible  (This is the book everyone should read.)

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (deserves to be on the list)

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell (One of my favorite sci-fi novels)

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (I love Charles Dickens, but there are other novels of his that I like better.)

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – (love this book)

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (deserves to be on the list)

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare  (No list would be complete without it.)

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien   (better than “Lord of the Rings” in my opinion)

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (the best Fitgerald novel)

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (great read, but doesn’t belong on this list)

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky  (one of my favorites)

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck  (a must read)

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (very good book)

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (a must read)

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (I love this series.)

34 Emma-Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen 

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (This is the first novel of the Chronicles of Narnia series already listed.) 

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 (I don’t think this one should be on the list although it’s good.)

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (No list like this would be complete without this one.)

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 (good series, not sure it’s good enough to be on the list)

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 (good, but not good enough to be on the list)

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (The compliler of this list seems to be heavily into regency romances and British authors. Jane Austen is great and deserves to be on the list, but she shouldn’t have every book she ever wrote on here.)

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (oh yes, but should have been higher up)

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (great read)

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck  (deserves to be on list)

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas  (one of my favorites)

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 (boring)

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (deserves to be on list)

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (good novel, but not good enought for list)

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante (not sure this should be on list) 

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 (my all time favorite, should be number 1)

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 (great children’s story)

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of course)

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 (good book)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (deserves to be on list)

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (Isn’t his part of the Complete Works of Shakespeare listed above?)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (should be on list)

Where’s Hawthorne, Hemingway, and Graham Greene? Of course BBC would lean heavily toward european authors. So give me some ideas. I’ll compile a list based on your choices soon. Then I’ll post my list in a few weeks. This should be fun.

This entry was posted in Book Lists, Lists and More Lists and tagged by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

4 thoughts on “BBC Top 100 Book List

  1. While I haven’t read about 25 of these, I have read others by the authors. It is not based on quality, but upon popularity. I liked War and Peace better than Crime and Punishment or The Idiot. I think Jane Austen, like Dickens captures human frailty while making them appealing. I prefer Sense and Sensibility to Persuasion. It might have been a better list, had they simply listed the authors and suggested any works by the author–rather than listing Shakespeare and Dickens and Austen so many times. Many of the authors have multiple masterpieces. Nice list though. I saw a couple I should read and haven’t.

  2. Where are these?

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Paradise Lost by John Milton
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe

    My goodness, those are some major, major works. No Twain, no Hemingway, no Faulkner. Robert Louis Stevenson, nowhere to be found. Yikes!

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