On My Bookshelf · Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books Everyone I Expect Everyone To Have Read

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! Don’t forget to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl and join the linkup!


The official prompt for today is: Freebie (create your own topic). So, my topic for this week will be:

Top Ten Books I Expect Everyone To Have Read

It comes up now and then. I mention a book to someone and they haven’t read it, and I just can’t imagine how that’s possible. It’s happened in reverse, too; there are books I haven’t read which other people find equally impossible. (Until recently, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of those books. I didn’t study it in school, while everyone else seems to have. It happens.) So here’s a list of the ten books that first come to my mind as ones I’ve read and just expect everyone else to have read, also.

1. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle ~ I had always assumed that everyone read this book. And then the movie came out and I started finding out that a lot of people hadn’t read it. I still can’t imagine this. It’s one of my absolute favorite books.

2. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding ~ This one is not one of my favorite books, but I had to study it twice in school and so I’d assumed everyone else did, too. Turns out that’s a “no”.

3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis ~ Another book that I read young and always assumed everyone else had. I don’t expect people to have read the whole series, but I do expect that they’ve read the first one.

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling ~ I was a holdout on this book for a long time. I guess that’s part of why I expect everyone to have already read it, though: by the time I read it, it seemed like everyone I’d talked to already loved the series. So it felt like I was one of the last people to read the book, which means everyone has read it now.

5. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie ~ So many people only know the Disney version of Peter. And while I loved the Disney movie (I haven’t watched it lately because I’m afraid I’ll notice that it hasn’t aged well, and I’d rather remember loving it) it pales in comparison to the original story.

6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ~ As with Peter Pan, it blows my mind when people have only seen the Disney version of this story.

7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ I don’t expect people to have read other Tolkien — and actually, I don’t even expect everyone to have finished The Hobbit. But I am surprised when I find someone who hasn’t even tried to read it.

8 & 9. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ~ These are two other ones that it just seems like everyone has read, and yet I know that’s not true. Oddly, I can’t even tell you much of either plot or what I thought of them. I just know that I’ve read them, and I think everyone else has too.

10. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ~ I suspect it’s safe to say that everyone knows the basic plot, but not everyone has read the book. It’s a relatively easy Dickens to read (in part because it’s short) but that still doesn’t mean everyone actually has.

And there you go! Have you read all — or any — of these? What books do you assume everyone has read?

29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books Everyone I Expect Everyone To Have Read

  1. The only one on this list that I haven’t read is Peter Pan…. but now I’ll have to add it to my TBR! 🙂 Really great idea for a TTT topic!

    1. See, I don’t think I’ve ever read Oliver Twist. I’ve seen the musical Oliver, so I always think I know the story, but I’m sure there’s so much more to the book than the musical.

  2. I love your topic choice for the freebie week! I took this week off of TTT, but I’ve read all but one of your list – I haven’t read Lord of the Flies!

    I’m always surprised when people haven’t read The Giver, since it was both required reading at my middle school AND made a big impact on a lot of my classmates.

    1. I haven’t read The Giver — it wasn’t required reading for me, and it didn’t even get on my radar as a book I might enjoy. I’ll have to check it out, though!

    1. LOL, and yet your top reads are often not ones that I’ve read, either. You tend to like your books a lot creepier than I do… 😉 I love how the blogs are proof of different reading preferences!

        1. LOL, and the name alone makes me shy away from that one! I am curious about reading Rosemary’s Baby, though, since everyone says it’s better than the movie and I thought the movie was great.

  3. This is a great topic for a post! I’ve read all of these except Lord of the Flies and Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn. (I was supposed to read either Sawyer or Finn for school but I never finished it and I can’t remember which one it was. Oops.)

    I think most people are familiar with the books on your list (like A Christmas Carol or Peter Pan), but they haven’t read them. Most of these have been adapted into movies or some other form that people are familiar with. Or they were forced to read them in school and, like me, didn’t!

    I think I expect everybody to have read (or tried to read) Beowulf, Little House on the Prairie (at least one of the books), and Shakespeare (in some form, though probably Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet).

    1. Thanks! I had fun with this topic. And oooh, good point on the Shakespeare. I expect that as well but forgot to add it. I’ve read all the Little House books (all of them up to The First Five Years, anyway) but haven’t tried Beowulf yet. It’s on my “hopefully someday” list, but it’s a little scary to approach outside of school… 😉

      1. If you ever decide to read Beowulf (it’s not long), do the Seamus Heaney translation. He’s a poet so he makes it beautiful. I want to read Tolkien’s translation but just haven’t found the chance yet.

        I loved the Little House books. When I was younger I used to read them over and over. I reread them more recently and definitely appreciated the books when Laura is older much more. XD

        1. Awesome, I’ve added that version of Beowulf to my TBR list.

          I haven’t re-read the Little House books in ages. I blame that mostly on not knowing where my copies ended up. Actually… now that I think about it I think I know where they ended up: lost in my parents garage. Big SNAFU when we moved into that house, and the movers got lazy and put some of my (and my sister’s) boxes in the garage instead of taking them to the rooms indicated on the boxes. Then feral cats got into the garage, and destroyed several things in the process, and… well. I think at least one of my boxes of books was in that destruction. And I don’t even know what books were in the box(es?) so that I can replace them. 😦

  4. Really great list- but I’m sorry, I’ve not read anything by Mark Twain yet (my excuse is that I’m British… but yeah it’s still a big deal over here, so I’m still slacking 😉 ) Other than that, a lot of these are my faves 😀 Especially Hobbit and peter pan 😀 I love all the others as well!

    1. Mark Twain isn’t on here because those works are among my favorites, but because it seems everyone has read them (one or both) in school. But int he UK I doubt you have the same reading lists as we do in the US. 😉

    1. LOL! Yes, that helps. I don’t remember being that traumatized by The Old Man and the Sea when I read it for school. (I don’t remember LIKING it, either.)

  5. I tend to assume everyone has read these, too… except Lord of the Flies. I didn’t have to read that in school, though I know many people did, so I’ve never thought of it as either essential or culturally impossible to miss. I’ve read all the others, though, and loved many of them. Not on your list are Winnie the Pooh and Little Women. I’m always surprised when someone hasn’t read those. (Well, I get why a lot of men haven’t read Little Women, since it’s not the type of book one usually pushes at boys, but I’m surprised when women haven’t.)

    1. I’ve met enough people who are only familiar with the animated version of Winnie the Pooh that it no longer surprises me when people tell me they haven’t read it. Lord of the Flies, though, was one that I had to read twice for school, so it always surprises me when someone lucks out of not reading it for an assignment. 😉

        1. Oh, that sounds neat. Especially that you didn’t just read Shakespeare but also performed it, since that’s how the plays were meant to be enjoyed.

          1. Yes. We got a lot more out of Shakespeare through arguing interpretation and really digging into word meanings, the ways he plays with words, discovering how the meter affects the way a line is spoken (particularly when a syllable violates the rhythm. We focused deeply on one play per year, with many of the main parts double-cast (so some of us learned two parts) and then performed it at our school for several weekends, and also took it on the road to other schools. It was a fabulous experience.

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