BBC: 100 Novels That Shaped Our World

BBC Arts are running a year long celebration of literature, which includes a list of 100 novels which have had an impact over the last 300 years. “Stories have the power to change us. We asked a panel of leading writers, curators and critics to choose 100 genre-busting novels that have had an impact on their lives, and this is the result. These English language novels, written over the last 300 years, range from children’s classics to popular page turners. Organised into themes, they reflect the ways books help shape and influence our thinking.” – BBC.

In partnership with Libraries Connected, Arts Council England and BBC Arts, Leeds Libraries are delivering a range of events and programmes supporting this celebration. Scroll down to view BBC’s list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Please note: By submitting work for any of the activities below, the author gives permission for Leeds Libraries to post their work online. Extracts may also be used for promotion of the BBC Novels that Shaped Our World social media campaign. All entries are subject to censorship from library staff as we are unable to post any work that contains material or language that may be considered offensive. Thank you for your cooperation and we look forward to your entries! Please join us in the activities below, and email your entries in either Word or PDF format to leeds.libraries@leeds.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘Novels That Shaped Our World’. The author will be accredited in all cases, therefore ensure you state your name on your work. Please submit your entries by May 3rd 2021.

Author Event

Thurs. April 15th 6pm – 8pm: Writer’s Masterclass with Ali Harper – Fan Fiction
Join Ali Harper, Leeds’ own feminist crime fiction writer, for a two hour evening class to learn how to write stories featuring your favourite characters. Create new stories while remaining true to the essence of the characters you are writing about. Using the BBC’s list of 100 novels that shaped our world we will look to create a Barbary Lane (Tales of The City) of our own imagining – bringing together characters from a wide range of different fictional backgrounds. Visit TicketSource to book your free place on the Writer’s Masterclass with Ali Harper.

Storytelling

  • Share the novel that’s shaped you on social media. Tag @leedslibraries using the hashtags #MyBookLife and #NovelsThatShapedOurWorld
  • We challenge you to read as many books as possible from BBC’s list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World, before the end of May 2021 (see the list below)! Send us your reviews! The maximum word count is 2,000.
  • Choose a book from the list and write a prologue or an epilogue to the book. Consider what you think should have happened before or after the main plot and how this fits in with the original story. The maximum word count is 2,000.
  • Choose a book from the list and write a piece about what is happening to a character when they are ‘off screen’ and absent from the main plot of the story. Is what they are doing related to the main plot, or could the character have a separate plot line of their own? The maximum word count is 2,000.

Poetry / Zines

Using a novel from the list, construct a Found Poem on the theme that the novel comes under. You can submit it as a poem, or get creative and present it as a zine! If you’d like to email your creative zine as a PDF to leeds.libraries@leeds.gov.uk we will endeavour to publish it online! Alternatively you can post your zine to Leeds Central Library and we will add it to our physical Zine Library! Address: Zine Library, Leeds Central Library, Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 3AB. The maximum word count is 500.
Visit the Your Dictionary website for examples of Found poems.
Visit YouTube to see videos with creative zine ideas.

Look out for lots of other fun ways to get involved by following @leedslibraries on social media, and you are warmly invited to join our monthly book club! Visit the Leeds Reads website for more information about the Leeds Reads Book Club.

Theme: Identity

Beloved by Toni Morrison. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or audio book.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Small Island by Andrea Levy. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Theme: Love, Sex & Romance

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Forever by Judy Blume. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Riders by Jilly Cooper. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Theme: Adventure

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman.
Northern Lights: Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook
The Subtle Knife: Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.
The Amber Spyglass: Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Mr Standfast by John Buchan. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

The Jack Aubrey Novels by Patrick O’Brian. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, eAudiobooks or eBooks.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Fellowship of the Ring. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.
The Two Towers. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.
The Return of the King. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Theme: Life, Death & Other Worlds

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Dune by Frank Herbert. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the eAudiobook or book.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, eAudiobooks or eBooks.

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, eAudiobooks or eBooks.

The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin.
Wizard of Earthsea. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.
The Tombs of Atuan. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.
The Farthest Shore. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, eAudiobooks or eBooks.

Theme: Politics, Power & Protest

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Strumpet City by James Plunkett. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eAudiobook.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Unless by Carol Shields. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Theme: Class & Society

A House for Mr Biswas by V. S. Naipaul. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Poor Cow by Nell Dunn. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Theme: Coming of Age

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Golden Child by Claire Adam. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Swami and Friends by R. K. Narayan. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, eAudiobooks or eBooks.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the books, or eAudiobook.

Theme: Family & Friendship

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eAudiobook.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Middlemarch by George Eliot. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Witches by Roald Dahl. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

Theme: Crime & Conflict

American Tabloid by James Ellroy. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

American War by Omar El Akkad. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Ice Candy Man by Bapsi Sidhwa. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eAudiobook.

Regeneration by Pat Barker. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

The Children of Men by P.D. James. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book, eAudiobook or eBook.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Theme: Rule Breakers

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the eBook.

Habibi by Craig Thompson. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

How to be Both by Ali Smith. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Psmith, Journalist by P. G. Wodehouse. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book.

The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook.

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde. Visit the Leeds Libraries catalogue to borrow the book or eBook

The Leeds Libraries BBC Novels programme is made possible thanks to Libraries Connected, Arts Council England and BBC Arts funding.