Sunday, March 23, 2008

List #23: Book Meme IV

These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users [AVS note: according to someone on the internet; and I can't seem to find this one's origin either. So I don't know if these are still the top 106 unread.] As usual, bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.***********

I think it would be interesting to know which ones people also own but have not read since that is the point of this list. If I don't own it, I shouldn't be responsible for reading it, right? How can we mark that? There's nothing left! I'll use a + at the beginning of the title. But then, a lot of these books are one's we own but have been read by the dude; if he buys and reads them, am I responsible for reading them too?

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
+ Anna Karenina (I read a paragraph but they didn’t ask us to read any more of it, so I didn’t. So it’s not so much that I couldn’t finish as I just didn’t.)
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
+ Life of Pi
+ The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
+ Ulysses
+ Madame Bovary
+ The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre

+ A Tale of Two Cities This was one of the books I took out of the library during my "summer of improvement reading" between high school and college. The only book I actually made it through was Old Man and the Sea. And a couple of chapters about American history.
The Brothers Karamazov
+ Guns, Germs, and Steel
+ War and Peace
+ Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
+ The Iliad
The Blind Assassin*
(dissertation material)
+ The Kite Runner (My MIL bought this for me. Maybe someday.)
Mrs. Dalloway
+ Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
+ Middlesex
+ Wicked
+ The Canterbury Tales
(Again, they only asked me to read parts.)
+ The Historian
+ A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
+ Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World*
The Fountainhead
+ Foucault’s Pendulum
+ Middlemarch
+ The Count of Monte Cristo
+ A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
+ The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
+ The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles

+ Oliver Twist (But I read the dude’s dissertation about it…)
+ Gulliver’s Travels
+ The Corrections
Les Misérables
+ The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (The dude liked this so maybe I’ll read it.)
+ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (See above.)
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury If it wasn’t this one it was another Faulkner.
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces A boyfriend read this to me, but I always fell asleep. We broke up. I never finished.
+ A Short History of Nearly Everything (It’s not short enough. Still, I have that challenge of completing his oeuvre.)
+ Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (It was unbearable.)
Beloved* (dissertation)
Eats, Shoots and Leaves
The Scarlet Letter
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
+ Lolita
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
* (undergraduate thesis)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
+ Freakonomics
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
+ Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow I want to finish this. I love Pynchon, but it’s so damn long. Though not as long as Against the Day which the dude is reading now. He has a theory about reading Pynchon—just push through and don’t worry that you can’t keep track of what is going on.
The Hobbit (I had this read to me in third or fourth grade and I didn’t really like it.)
+ In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

I can’t believe how many of these books I have never heard of. I’m just going to assume they are on the best seller list now and completely unworthy of my attention. Or, they are science fiction. Or maybe historical novels.

What's curious about this list, all these lists really, is the total randomness of it. I don't own all these books; they're not on my Library Thing. Should I be embarrassed about not reading them?


Barbara said...

I also own Life of Pi and cannot seem to make myself read it.

Kathryn said...

My LibraryThing List (kd9) is ONLY books that I have read in about the past year. There are probably less than a dozen books that I own and have not read. I'll read almost anything and read several books a week. I've read all the SF on that list (The Silmarillion [dreadful], [The Time Traveler's Wife [wretched], American Gods [terrific], Quicksilver [very well written but annoying], Brave New World [dated], Anansi Boys [nowhere near as good as American Gods], The once and Future King [OK], 1984 [meh], The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time [never, never, never read Connie Willis' long fiction], Dune [a rereadable classic], Cyptonomicon [very good, but much like Pynchon], Neverwhere [very, very lovely fantasy], Slaughterhouse-Five [the BEST Vonnegut, except maybe Cat's Cradle], The Mists of Avalon [good for teenage girls], Cloud Atlas [BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT -- one of my favorite books in the last decade], and The Hobbit [OK].)

Of the rest I recommend Germs, Guns, and Steel; fascinating and much better than Collapse, and all the Dickens (love Dickens). AVOID The Illiad. The Odyssey is somewhat better (but not much).

The only three books I have started and not finished are Wicked, Treasure Island (in my teens), and Absurdistan.