Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Unread Books" Meme

Like Padre Mickey, I spent a lot of time inside reading while the other kids were playing outside. Many on the list which are considered classic works of fiction, I read at a rather young age on my own.

From Paul, who got it from Padre Mickey, who got it from Caminante, and on and on, but that's as far as I'll go:

What we have below is a list of the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing users. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
The Brothers Karamazov (?)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad (excerpts in school)
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations

American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum

The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
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
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye

On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid (excerpts in school)
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers


  1. Hey there, I just found your blog from a link on Fran's, and I have become a fan! I don't blog about the same things (my blog is a personal blog about my kids, family, crazy life--in a humorous light(usually), but I am absolutely interested in the subject matter that you and Fran write about, and love to be part of the dialogue too (truth be told, I don't feel knowledgeable enough to write too much about those things.)
    Anyway, I'm a new fan of the blog and new to blogging in general actually...but I'm glad I found you! :)

  2. Hi Christy. Welcome. Don't fear. I'm not all that knowledgeable, either. I'm glad you found my blog. I'll check yours out.

  3. The funny part of lists like this is that I've often read other works by the same author (Absalom! Absalom!, not The Sound and the Fury, or, currently, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Llama, not Foucault's Pendulum, or 100 Years of Solitude, and so on).

    Besides that, it's too fiction heavy. And Jane R's retrospective this week reminds me, Mimi, what did you recommend for the Austen Beginner?

  4. Johnieb, I'd recommend my favorite, Pride and Prejudice. It's "novel of manners" type fiction, which is not everyone's cup of tea. Austen writes with wit and grace, and, to me, her for gift for writing dialogue is unsurpassed.

  5. Yes, I'd like to know WHY people read the books, and why they stopped reading some, and which they really loved ... JohnieB, I LOVE 100 Years of Solitude, but I've never read anything else by Gabriel Garcia, and I don't know why.

    Mimi -- I've seen this on other blogs this week, but I picked it up after I read it here -- I've linked to you here, and to Paul and Padre Mickey and Caminante ... It was fun.

  6. Kate, I tried twice with War and Peace and never made it through. I kept getting the characters mixed up with the first names, their diminutives, and then their address by their last names, and I gave up both times. Once, when I tried to read it I was ill with a fever, I dreamed about the jumble of characters in my sleep.

    With Ulysses, I gave it a mighty try on my own and then with my roommate in graduate school, reading aloud to each other, but we never made it through. On the other hand, I loved The Dubliners.

  7. I am not as well read as the rest of you but I thought that every single sentence of the Poisonwood bible was a little work of art.

  8. It is fascinating what people read and why and what does not work for them and why not, etc. What intrigues me now is all the other things NOT on this list that folks have read and how they responded to it. Thanks for playing along.

  9. I agree, Paul; there is nothing on this list by Fernand Braudel or Marc Bloch, WEB Du Bois, , Tim O'Brien or Flannery O'Connor, and NO poets! I really found it unconscionably narrow.

  10. Tsk, tsk, tsk, Paul and Johnieb, don't y'all get it? The puzzles and most memes are not serious. They are mostly silly, just for fun, a break from the bad news.

  11. JohnieB, I've been reading poetry like never before this year. I've fallen completely in love with Ted Kooser, and I've been finding some really good stuff in my local, indie bookstore.

  12. I thought that every single sentence of the Poisonwood bible was a little work of art.

    Lindy, that's on my never read, but need to read list.


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