11.24.2010

Meme-ing

Since roundabout 2009, there's been a list of books floating around the internet as a meme (For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an internet meme is kind of like an inside joke...on the internet. Myspace quizzes (does anyone even have myspace anymore??), the silliness of icanhascheezburger, email forwards, and especially fabulous youtube videos i.e. Sassy Gay Friend, care of Second City - these are all prime examples of memes.) from BBC - a list of 100 books, only 6 of which the average person is meant to have read.

As far as I, and many of my fellow bloggers can tell, the current list doesn't seem to have any relation to BBC. And as far as I, and many of my fellow bloggers can tell, the whole thing is hogwash. If you've only read 6 or fewer of these books, then you must have skipped high school to live under a very large rock. Or maybe you just went to a Catholic high school in Central Florida. But be that as it may, you *must* have read at least 7 of these books. I mean, come on. Once you see the list, you'll understand.

But moving forward a bit, I did manage to find a list from the BBC *ON* BBC's website (last update on the page was in 2004) under the heading of "The Big Read" and saying: "In April 2003 the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel, and we asked you to nominate your favourite books." Obviously, since it's from the BBC and since they spelled favourite with a u, you can tell that this particular list is meant for Brits. Which is not to say that it does not have Universal connotations, but it makes more sense that, with list like this, maybe a person will have only read 6 or fewer of those listed.

Pushing forward, I found still another list which I believe may have been the source for the current meme, only it's not from the BBC, it's from The Guardian, and it's still slightly different! And even it doesn't say anything about the 6/100 rule, and its purpose was to create a list of "books you can't live without."

So what's a meme-minded girl to do? How about tackle all three. I think it's only fair.

Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish, or of which you read an excerpt. 

First, the fake meme:


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 Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

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 --> see, this is why I don't trust this meme. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe are contained within #33, the Chronicles of Narnia, and should not have their own slot! Bad form, meme!

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 - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - 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 - A.S. 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
Read: 31
Attempted: 7


Next, "The Big Read"

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling

25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith *I saw the movie! LOL
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie 

Read
: 27
Attempted: 3


And, finally, the list on which the meme was based: The Guardian's Books You Can't Live Without:

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

8 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 William 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 Traveler'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 Bernières

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 Meaney 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 Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

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 Misérables Victor Hugo

Read: 31
Attempted: 6

Now, with few exceptions, my already-read books are mostly the same from each list. But in any case, I've still read about five times as many books as the meme cites for the average person. But it really doesn't seem extraordinary to me, since in the first list alone, 12 of the books were required reading when I was in high school...

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