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24 September 2014
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British novels dominate public's top 100

British books are the nation's favourite, according to a poll of the British public to be revealed on The BBC Big Read Top 100 on BBC TWO tonight (Saturday 17 May) at 9.05pm.

Immediately afterwards on BBC FOUR, the list will be examined and debated by Andrew Marr and a panel of well-known faces.

Nearly 140,000 people nominated their favourite work of fiction as part of The BBC Big Read.

And they voted overwhelmingly for works by British authors and novels set in the UK.

Sixty-six of the top 100 books are written by British authors past and present from George Orwell and Charlotte Bronte to Roald Dahl and Douglas Adams.

Two iconic British writers - Charles Dickens and Terry Pratchett - are the most nominated authors in the list. Each have five works in the top 100.

While thousands nominated books that transport readers to a different world - 1950s underground America, jazz, sex and drugs in Jack Kerouac's On the Road; Vikram Seth's evocative portrait of India in A Suitable Boy; and the vast Russian landscape in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina - the public also love reading about the beauty of their own country with just over half of the top 100 novels set in the UK (51).

Children's novels did well in The BBC Big Read Top 100 list with 30 children's books making it into the Top 100.

Lord of the Rings and JK Rowling's Harry Potter books are joined by four works by Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and classic children's story Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

And fantastic fiction has a life beyond the page with 71% of the top 100 novels adapted for screen.

Jane Root, Controller of BBC TWO, says: "There has been a fantastic response to the nomination phase for The BBC Big Read, with over four times as many votes as Great Britons gained in its nomination period.

"On our website over 14,000 messages were posted by people engaging in heated, passionate and funny debates about why their book was the best choice.

"We hope this kind of contagious enthusiasm will spread over the summer and thousands of people will join book groups to discuss, debate and share the experience of books."

The public must wait until Autumn to discover the order of the top 100 novels, when The BBC Big Read returns to BBC TWO for a major documentary series.

The 20 most popular novels will be championed by celebrity advocates attempting to persuade viewers that their book is the best.

The public will then be asked to vote again for one of these top 20 to decide which book is the nation's favourite of favourites.

BBC Big Read activities will be taking place throughout the summer in schools, libraries and bookstores - see press release The Big Read beyond the BBC.

The BBC Big Read website - - has information on the top 100 list, literary quizzes and a message board for the public to share their thoughts about the nominated novels.

In The BBC Big Read Battle of the Books, a new weekly discussion programme on BBC FOUR starting in June, two literary advocates pick a book from the list and argue its case to a jury of readers.

Plus there will be special programmes on BBC national and local radio.

The Big Read Top 100, Saturday 17 May, BBC TWO at 9.05pm.

The Big Read Debate with Andrew Marr, Saturday 17 May, BBC FOUR, 10.05pm.

The BBC Big Read Top 100 best-loved books, in alphabetical order, are:

George Orwell
The Alchemist
Paul Coelho
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Animal Farm
George Orwell
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Anne of Green Gables
LM Montgomery
Artemis Fowl
Eoin Colfer
Roald Dahl
Sebastian Faulks
Black Beauty
Anna Sewell
Bleak House
Charles Dickens
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh
Bridget Jones' Diary
Helen Fielding
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Louis de Bernieres
Catch 22
Joseph L Heller
The Catcher in the Rye
JD Salinger
Charlie & Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Clan of the Cave Bear
Jean M Auel
Cold Comfort Farm
Stella Gibbons
The Colour of Magic
Terry Pratchett
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Copperfield
Charles Dickens
Double Act
Jacqueline Wilson
Frank Herbert
Jane Austen
Far From the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy
Girls in Love
Jacqueline Wilson
The God of Small Things
Arundhati Roy
The Godfather
Mario Puzo
Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens
Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Goodnight Mr Tom
Michelle Magorian
Mervyn Peake
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
Great Expectations
Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby
F Scott Fitzgerald
Guards! Guards!
Terry Pratchett
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
JK Rowling
His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
The Hobbit
JRR Tolkien
Louis Sachar
I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte
Kane and Abel
Jeffrey Archer
Anya Seton
The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe
CS Lewis
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
Lord of the Flies
William Golding
The Lord of the Rings
JRR Tolkien
Love in the time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Magic Faraway Tree
Enid Blyton
Raymond E Feist
The Magus
John Fowles
Roald Dahl
Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
George Eliot
Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie
Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett
Noughts and Crosses
Malorie Blackman
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
On the Road
Jack Kerouac
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick Suskind
Jane Austen
The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett
A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
The Princess Diaries
Meg Cabot
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Robert Tressell
Daphne du Maurier
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret History
Donna Tartt
The Shell Seekers
Rosamunde Pilcher
The Stand
Stephen King
The Story of Tracy Beaker
Jacqueline Wilson
A Suitable Boy
Vikram Seth
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
Tess of the D'Ubervilles
Thomas Hardy
The Thorn Birds
Colleen McCullough
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
A Town Like Alice
Nevil Shute
Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson
The Twits
Roald Dahl
James Joyce
Vicky Angel
Jacqueline Wilson
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy
Watership Down
Richard Adams
The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame
Winnie the Pooh
AA Milne
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins
Wuthering Heights
Emily Bronte

Notes to Editors

The Big Read - what they've been saying…

The Big Read television special to reveal Nation's Top 100 books (16.04.03)

The Big Read - Britain's biggest ever reading campaign (14.03.03)

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