Sunday, November 28, 2010

13) Read all the BBC Top 100 Reads

Well, it has taken me a while to do this (this was one of the original tasks I started over three years ago!) but finally today I have read the last page of A Suitable Boy and therefore completed reading all of the BBC Top 100 reads. It hasn't been an easy task. There have been some books that were personal favourites that took little to no time to complete, there were others that within the first chapters I found them tedious and incredibly difficult to complete and then there were others that complete took me by surprise, that I wouldn't have thought that I would have enjoyed but I did.
It has been a long task, one that I thought would never complete but it has taught me a lesson that I can't love all books, even though my premise of completing the task was to push myself into reading books I wouldn't otherwise have chosen, sometimes that didn't work when I felt like throwing some out of the window.

Below is my list of the books that stood out for me:-

The Ones That Surprised Me
1. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
2. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
3. The Pillars Of The Earth - Ken Follett
4. A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
5. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
6. The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher
7. The Stand - Stephen King
8. The Clan Of The Cave Bear - Jean M Auel
9. Kane & Abel - Jeffrey Archer
10. Holes - Louis Sachar

The Ones That I Nearly Threw Out Of The Window
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
3. Middlemarch - George Eliot
4. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
6. Dune - Frank Herbert
7. The Count Of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
8. Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9. The Magus - John Fowles
10. The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins

And now, quite happily I can attack my to be read shelf and as for my tasks, I'm on to the learning a new language next.


bikerted said...

I have also read The Stand but found it too long. King tends to use a paragraph when a sentance will do.

If Dune, the novel, is as slow and tedious as the film, I will give that a wide berth.

How did you find The Magician JJ?

bikerted said...

Well done for sticking this task out JJ. I assume the long tasks can be more challenging.

Janette said...

I know what you mean about Stephen King but The Stand was quite good. Dune was incredibly tedious and just about understood The Magician!

Things to Do said...

This is super inspiring. I have 100 books to read, but I keep finding something else to read instead. This makes me want to head back to my list! Congratulations!

Janette said...

I must admit I did nearly give up on several occasions but so glad I've finished and can now choose any books to read!

Karen said...

Congratulations on completing the reading list, a phenomenal achievement. I've been lurking for months, & finally thought I'd say something. As an avid reader, it's been so interesting reading your comments on the 100 book list - most of which I haven't attempted, & probably never will. I was amused to read that 2 of my all time favourites - Woman in White (I have read most of Wilkie Collins) & Pride & Prejudice were not to your liking, but I agree with you about 2 others from your 'wanting to throw out of the window' list - The Magus (I managed 10 pages) & Middlemarch (unreadable). That's what is always so hard when suggesting books to others - you can never predict what appeals to someone.

Good luck with the rest of your 'Before 40' list - I'll just be happy if I accomplish my 'must do before the end of the year' lists, which never make much progress as I've either got my nose stuck in a book, at close to a camera!

Jessica said...

I started and stopped reading Pride and Prejudice 3 times before finally picking it up once and discovering that it was my favorite book. I think when I was younger, I didn't have enough life experience to understand or sympathize with the characters. Hopefully, that's why I haven't been able to finish others I've tried; perhaps I'll pick them up later and be able to appreciate them.

I only have 8 more on my list BUT that includes The Illiad, The Odyssey, and...The Complete Works of Shakespeare. I've said that if I get the other 7, I'll count it as done!

Janette said...

Hi Karen - good to hear from you! Mmmm love Jane Austen on tv/film but can't stand to read her novels, not sure why and really wanted to like Woman In White as I usually like the classics but no couldn't get on with it at all! Since completing the list (as of yesterday) already completed one book (Like Bees To Honey) and currently reading Eat, Pray, Love - have another 26 books waiting for me on my shelves!

Jessica - which list are you doing - sounds intense! Good luck! I found splitting my reading up in sections helped a lot for the bigger novels i.e. 50 pages first thing, 50 pages at dinner, 100 at night etc.

Tim said...

Well done on completing that task! You've done amazing to read all those books.

I've also attempted Dune but I tried my hardest to finish it but just couldn't find the motivation to do it.

Janette said...

Thanks Tim, but I have to say if it wasn't for this list then I probably wouldn't have completed quite a few of them! Though it was nice to find ones that I enjoyed.

Clover said...

What a massive achievement, congratulations :)

Janette said...

Thanks Clover! I can now read my own books - yeah!!

Phil Lowe said...

well done you!

Janette said...

Thanks Mr Phil! Only problem is I now can't stop buying books!

trousers said...

Quite an achievement in itself, without even considering the fact that it's but one of 40 tasks.

But...The Magus! I loved that book! (I can remember not being sure about the ending but I found it to be really compelling overall).

Just one of those things I suppose - I often talk with a friend about what books we're reading, to the extent that we thought we'd got a lot of common ground. However, the books I've lent to her, and vice versa, have left each of us utterly nonplussed and unable to get beyond the first chapter.

Janette said...

I'm wondering if I leave it for a few years and then pick some of these books up again, whether I will have the same impression? I run the local book club and it's quite interesting to see so many different views on one book - guess we all have different tastes!

Anonymous said...

Great blog concept! Although, I must say, having just finished Catch-22 a few months ago myself - and absolutely loving it - I was surprised to see that one in your list of books you'd toss out the window. But at least The Stand ranked higher! Good luck with the rest of your tasks.

Janette said...

Thanks for your comments and yes I was quite disappointed that some of the great novels like Catch 22 didn't 'do it' for me, although there were a few others that I didn't think I would like but did!

Terra Shield said...

Crime and Punishment was a torture! Oh, wow... you actually set yourself to reading all the books in the list and did it.

Janette said...

I sure did! Some i had to force myself to read! I'm now quite strict with myself if I don't like a book after the first couple of chapters then I don't carry on reading it.