Channelising my OCD

I got into reading when I was about 12 or 13 years old and stumbled upon a dubious Sydney Sheldon novel in our school library. I was never a voracious reader or a very intellectual reader. My interest have always been in stories, the more relatable they are, the more enjoyable I find them. Its a kind of escapism for me. But somewhere along the way, life took over and I lost my connection with books & stories. I made several lame attempts to get back to reading but it didn’t really work out. I tried branching out into non-fiction and read a popular marketing book (Purple Cow) and it is one of the very few books that I gave up half-way through.

It was after my second daughter was born when I was stuck at home in perpetual cycle of breastfeeding, diaper changing and napping that I discovered the BBC The Big Read. It’s a list that was published in 2003 after BBC ran a public poll to discover the nations best loved novels. It has 200 books ranging from children’s books like Winnie the Pooh, high fantasy works like Lord of the rings, classics like The Great Expectations and absurdist humour like Catch-22. I decided to read through the list.

Now I have always had specific OCD issues; I am generally decently organised in my life but give me a list or a order of things to do and I just can’t go off the plan. For example, if I go into a supermarket I have to go aisle by aisle and even though I don’t own a pet, I still have to walk through the pet food aisle. The only way I can stop myself from doing this is by carrying a list of things to buy, then suddenly I need to follow my shopping list and the order of the aisles doesn’t matter anymore.

So having a reading list has been perfect for me. I am reading through it meticulously and really enjoying working my way through it. Sometimes, I have to read books which I have read in the past, sometimes I have to read slightly silly kids books, sometimes I have to read books that I absolutely hate but then sometimes I get to read extraordinary stories like His Dark Material.

I am at number 25 and look forward to sharing my reflections on some of these books.

BBC The Big Read (1-50)

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

For the full list :



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