Friday, May 09, 2008

Unread Book Meme

From What If No One's Watching?

Below is a list of the top 106 books tagged "unread" on LibraryThing. The rules:
bold = what you've read,
italics = books you started but couldn't finish
crossed out = books you hated
* = you've read more than once
underline = books you own but haven't read yourself
??? = books you might own, unread, but can't recall (I've added this one in myself, obviously!)

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy ???
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller ???
7. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien ???
8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
9. The Odyssey by Homer - For the first time when I was in highschool, then I was assigned the pleasure of reading it in at least 4 classes, but I don't believe I've read the whole thing. I might have, but if so, not in order. I have translated significant portions too.
10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
11. Ulysses by James Joyce ???
12. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
13. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - Loved it and would have finished, but it was too big and heavy to take hiking on the West Highland Way.
14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ???
16. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
18. The Iliad by Homer - Same as the Iliad.
19. Emma by Jane Austen ???
20. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
21. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
22. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
23. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
24. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Started it three times before I finished.
25. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
26. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens ???
27. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
28. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
29. Life of Pi by Yann Martel - I even own copies in both Canada and Korea!
30. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
31. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
32. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
33. Dracula by Bram Stoker
34. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck ???
35. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
36. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
37. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
38. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
39. Middlemarch by George Eliot
40. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen ???
41. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
42. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
43. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
44. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
45. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
46. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
47. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
48. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
49. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
50. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
51. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
52. Dune by Frank Herbert
53. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
54. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
55. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
56. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
57. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
58. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
59. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
60. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
61. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf ???
62. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess ???
63. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
64. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
65. Persuasion by Jane Austen
66. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
68. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
69. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
70. The Once and Future King by T.H. White ???
71. Atonement by Ian McEwan
72. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
73. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
74. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
75. Dubliners by James Joyce
76. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
77. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt - I might have read this, I can't recall now if I have or if I just saw the movie.
78. Beloved by Toni Morrison
79. Collapse by Jared Diamond
80. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
81. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
82. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence * (sort of, in that I've read three slightly different versions of it.
83. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
84. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo ???
85. Watership Down by Richard Adams
86. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli *
87. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
88. Beowulf by Anonymous
89. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
90. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
91. The Aeneid by Virgil - Same as Iliad and Oddysey
92. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
93. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
94. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
95. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
96. Possession by A.S. Byatt
97. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
98. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ???
99. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
100. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
101. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
102. Candide, or Optimism by Voltaire
103. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
104. The Plague by Albert Camus *
105. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
106. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

And what can I conclude? I buy books at about 5 times the rate I can read them and the only books on this list I haven't heard of are both by Neal Stephenson. Also, I still feel bad/guilty about admitting to my dislike of Toni Morrison. Everyone bloody likes her, including many people whose literary tastes I normally feel are similar to my own. I have never wanted to have liked something so much in my life, but I just really didn't.


Sofiya said...

I've never been able to finish a book by Toni Morrison, either. I really, really wanted to read Beloved, since everyone I know loved it, but for some reason I kept falling asleep during the first ten pages and it never got finished.

I refuse to do book quizzes like this. They seem like a mish-mash of things people think they ought to have read, plus whatever's trendy this year. I refuse to feel inadequate when I have read at least 3 million books in my life. So what if most of them are Buffy criticism? At least I'm reading, aren't I? And reading is by its very nature educational.

Jen said...

I didn't like Beloved either. I even studied it in Uni and learned all about how deep it was, and still just didn't enjoy it. It also scared me a little--there's no way I'd watch the movie or I don't think I'd ever sleep again.

I agree with Sofiya, though, with regard to these lists and designating books as 'classics'. For example, I've read all Austen's books, and I enjoyed them, but I thought they were fluff. I've never felt them to be literary masterpieces. Yet they seem to show up on every list of books you SHOULD read...

antijen said...

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of Beloved either. I finished it, but wasn't particularly impressed by it.

Amanda said...

I find these quizzes curious - I mean, I own more unread books than read books, and I don't think that says anything about the quality of the books. I just buy at an alarming rate and I have a very hard time ever picking what to read next. Sometimes I read books 5 years after buying them that are wonderful - the fact that it took me 5 years to read it just doesn't seem relavent.

I was saddened that Swiss Family Robinson wasn't on there. I seldom actually hate books and that one I hated.

By PhoenixStorm said...

I love this list amanda im going to steal it from you! I can't believe you dont like Toni! Cry.