The Latest Meme

From Scibbling Woman (via The Little Professor), and at the risk of revealing how illiterate I am, bold the titles you’ve read. Nope, I’ve never read Beowulf, Dante, or Goethe. Been meaning to. Really. 71 out of 100. That’s a C-, right?

Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua — Things Fall Apart
Agee, James — A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane — Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James — Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel — Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul — The Adventures of Augie March
Brontλ, Charlotte — Jane Eyre
Brontλ, Emily — Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert — The Stranger
Cather, Willa — Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey — The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton — The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate — The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph — Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore — The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen — The Red Badge of Courage
Dante — Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel — Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel — Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles — A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor — Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick — Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore — An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre — The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George — The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph — Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo — Selected Essays
Faulkner, William — As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William — The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry — Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave — Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox — The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von — Faust
Golding, William — Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas — Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel — The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph — Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest — A Farewell to Arms
Homer — The Iliad
Homer — The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor — The Hunchback of Notre Dame [But I've read Les Miserables!]
Hurston, Zora Neale — Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous — Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik — A Doll’s House
James, Henry — The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry — The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James — A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz — The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong — The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper — To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair — Babbitt
London, Jack — The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas — The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcνa — One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman — Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman — Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur — The Crucible
Morrison, Toni — Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery — A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene — Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George — Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris — Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia — The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan — Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel — Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas — The Crying of Lot 49 [But I've read everything else! Bonus points for saving unread Pynchon for some much needed later time in life?]
Remarque, Erich Maria — All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond — Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry — Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. — The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William — Hamlet
Shakespeare, William — Macbeth
Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William — Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard — Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary — Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon — Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander — One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles — Antigone
Sophocles — Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John — The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis — Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher — Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan — Gulliver’s Travels
Thackeray, William — Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David — Walden
Tolstoy, Leo — War and Peace [But I've read Anna Karenina!]
Turgenev, Ivan — Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark — The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire — Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. — Slaughterhouse—Five
Walker, Alice — The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith — The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora — Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt — Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar — The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee — The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia — To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard — Native Son

Further: Pulitzer Winners

1918 His Family by Ernest Poole
1919 The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1921 The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1922 Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1923 One of Ours by Willa Cather
1924 The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1925 So Big by Edna Ferber
1926 Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1927 Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1928 Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1929 Scarlet Sister Maryby Julia M. Peterkin
1930 Laughing Boy by Oliver LA Farge
1931 Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932 The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1933 The Store by T. S. Stribling
1934 Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1935 Now in November by Josephine W. Johnson
1936 Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1937 Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1938 The Late George Apley by John P. Marquand
1939 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940 The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1942 In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1943 Dragon’s Teeth by Upton Sinclair
1944 Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1945 A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1947 All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
1948 Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1949 Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1950 The Way West by A.B. Guthrie, Jr.
1951 The Town by Conrad Richter
1952 The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1955 A Fable by William Faulkner
1956 Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1958 A Death in the Family by James Agee
1959 The Travels of Jaimie by Robert Lewis Taylor
1960 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1961 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1962 The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor
1963 The Reivers by William Faulkner
1965 The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1966 Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1968 The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1969 House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
1970 Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
1972 Angle Of Repose by Wallace Earle Stegner
1973 The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
1975 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1976 Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
1978 Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
1979 The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1980 The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1982 Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1984 Ironweed by William J. Kennedy
1985 Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1987 A Summons to Memphis by Peter Hillsman Taylor
1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison
1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1990 The Mambo Kings Play by Oscar Hijuelos
1991 Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1993 A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories by Robert Olen Butler
1994 The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1995 The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1996 Independence Day by Richard Ford
1997 Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser
1998 American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1999 The Hours by Michael Cunningham
2000 Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2002 Empire Falls by Richard Russo
2003 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2004 The Known World by Edward P. Jones

More numbers:

Larry McCaffery list: 42
Phobos Top 100: 40
Modern Library Top 100: 46
National Book Ward Winners (since 1950, total possible is 54): 16

Gotta get reading, it looks like.

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9 Comments

  1. Well, I’d hardly say “illiterate” could possibly apply…is there anything special about the top grouping of books other than their popularity? The second group I see are Pulitzer prize winners.

    Here’s what I’ve read – some of them are favorites of mine and some of them I found dreadfully boring (ugh…Faulkner). I have nowhere near 71.

    Dante — Inferno
    Defoe, Daniel — Robinson Crusoe
    Douglass, Frederick — Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
    Faulkner, William — The Sound and the Fury
    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von — Faust
    Golding, William — Lord of the Flies
    Hawthorne, Nathaniel — The Scarlet Letter
    Heller, Joseph — Catch 22
    Homer — The Iliad
    Homer — The Odyssey
    Hugo, Victor — The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Joyce, James — A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Kafka, Franz — The Metamorphosis
    Lee, Harper — To Kill a Mockingbird
    London, Jack — The Call of the Wild
    Morrison, Toni — Beloved
    Orwell, George — Animal Farm
    Plath, Sylvia — The Bell Jar
    Poe, Edgar Allan — Selected Tales
    Salinger, J.D. — The Catcher in the Rye
    Shakespeare, William — Hamlet
    Shakespeare, William — Romeo and Juliet
    Sophocles — Antigone
    Sophocles — Oedipus Rex
    Steinbeck, John — The Grapes of Wrath
    Stevenson, Robert Louis — Treasure Island
    Stowe, Harriet Beecher — Uncle Tom’s Cabin
    Swift, Jonathan — Gulliver’s Travels
    Thoreau, Henry David — Walden
    Twain, Mark — The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. — Slaughterhouse—Five
    Walker, Alice — The Color Purple
    Wright, Richard — Native Son

    Further: Pulitzer Winners

    1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    1961 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison

  2. Ha! I’m sure you probably among the top 2% of well-read Americans. How you’ve missed One Hundred Years of Solitude is the only real surprising one. I put it in my top 5 novels of all time, maybe top 3.
    There are a few I’d have thought you’d have read in school: The Awakening, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Uncle Tom’s Cabin . . . if it wasn’t for high school, I doubt I would have read those. Overall you have me beat. I didn’t count, but it looks like I’ve probably read about half.

  3. With grade inflation, I think 71 is closer to a B-. Now don’t you feel better? (I know I do).

  4. Anyone know where I can read up on more info on this

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