the-hunger-games-books-1-3I consider myself well(ish) read.  In fact, of the Top 100 books (see below) listed by the BBC, they believe that most people have only read six of them.  I have in fact read 47, which I think is quite good.  It might be in part due to me being British and we were forced to read quite a few of them at school.  Every now and again I get completely and utterly sucked into books that don’t really challenge me intellectually but every part of my being cannot put that book down, almost to the point that I will read non-stop until my eyes are drooping, my head is lolling and the sun starts to shine through my bedroom window and I realize I started reading at 10pm and didn’t stop until 5.30am. 

The last few series of books that had this effect on me was the “Twilight Series” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy.  I suppose the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” books did challenge me with regards to my knowledge of the Swedish secret police.  I now know more about them that I ever really wanted to. I even watched all three movies in Swedish because I loved the books so much. Of course, I watched the Twilight movies!

What, you ask am I reading?  Well, if you haven’t worked it out, I am reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy.  I only dream of having an imagination like these wonderful writers.  I am now almost finished with book two, “Catching Fire.”  Suzanne Collins the author has increased my appetite for non-stop reading again.  I read the first book in only two days!  These books are engrossing and violent and completely compulsive.  There is also an innocence about them as their main characters are teenagers, so they can make it feel like you are reading a novel for children.  However, the feelings that they evoke due to the brutality and the message makes them translate into an amazing read for an older teenager or adult.  At least they do for me.
A very brief overview so that I don’t spoil the books for you.  The Hunger Games take place the future in a place known as Panem.The Capitol of Panem has 12 surrounding, poorer districts.  District 12, one of the poorest districts is where the book begins with the main characters, Katniss, Peeta and Gale.

Because of the rebellion against the capital many year’s earlier, every year one boy and one girl from each District is sent to the capital to participate in the Hunger Games.  The Hunger Games is a show that is televised and has mandatory viewing for all districts.  At the Hunger Games, the children/tributes have to fight to the death until only one survives. 

Book two takes you to the world of the Quarter Quell, where the Hunger Games are heightened to an even bigger spectacle every 25 years.  

In order for me to go on will just ruin the books.  If you haven’t already, go buy them immediately and stay in for the weekend to read.  Oh, and now they are being made into movies.  See the trailer below…

By the way if you want the list of books, here they are.  Check how many you have read, mine are 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 First 3 only

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6 The Bible – partly read to me in church

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials trilogy – 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 – never really understood this book

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare Only some – I am British so had no choice in school 🙂

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger – one of my favorites

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – I have seen the movie 🙂

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy I tried, really I did

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

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky I also tried!

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 series – CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS not exactly sure why this is here given #33

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini – Balled my eyes out!

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 The 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 – Didnt understand it!

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 – my favorite book as a child!

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – some of them

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 – so sad

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