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Book meme

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish, and (h/t to maisfeeka) bracket the books you own but haven't read yet.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
[Crime and Punishment]
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
[Madame Bovary]
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
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 (And dude, if I were going to start any book and not finish it? This would have been it. Urk.)
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo (In French.)
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King (Fixed this. Remembered that I did read it when I was 10 or 11, and have been meaning to read it as an adult for years.)
The Grapes of Wrath
1984 (I had a mini-obsession with negative utopias when I was about 15.)
Angels & Demons
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 (Chuck. Dude. How many times does the kid have to be kidnapped and rescued??)
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables (All the way through in English. About half in French. My not caring about five chapters of Marius' father at Waterloo, let me show you it.)
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune (Took a couple of tries. Have yet to get through any of the rest.)
[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
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 (French again. Victor again. Slightly less headdesky digression.)
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down (Was obsessed in about sixth grade, but haven't reread.)
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island (Again with not-since-I-was-a-kid.)
David Copperfield

I think I'm just glad to have heard of most of them. :-)



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 1st, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
We own A Confederacy of Dunces? I got it out from the library a few years back.
May. 1st, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure mattchanning gave it to us once. Maybe I'm thinking of something else.
May. 1st, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
You live in the same house, and Live Journal to each other about something IN the HOUSE? Just a little too modern, ya know?
May. 2nd, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
Only when we're not both in the house. Erm, usually. :-D

The other option would be writing down to remember to ask about it...
May. 1st, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
I've actually read most of these. No clue what that means beyond "she teaches literature for a living" but ...
May. 1st, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
That's probably exactly what it means. :-)

There are a lot I have to stop and think about before realizing I haven't actually read them, but am merely culturally familiar with them.
May. 1st, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
It's almost tempting to do this meme just so I could note that I've finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (so insanely weird!) but I've only read a tiny handful, so I'll pass...

Interesting list, though.
May. 1st, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
My mom has it -- I think she originally got it for a class -- and I meant to read it at some point while I was living at home, but never did.

Also, your icon? Am ded of lulz.

Edited at 2008-05-01 05:50 pm (UTC)
May. 1st, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
I got the icon from knitting_hobbit because it's totally awesome and I couldn't resist!
May. 1st, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Middlemarch is not marked on your list. Neither are the works of Jane Austen.

Um. Would you read these if someone gave them to you?
May. 1st, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
Erm, someday? Austen is in the "should get from the library someday" column, and I'm actually reasonably certain I read at least P&P at some point in my teen years. As I indicated in another comment, there are areas where I'm honestly not sure whether I've read something or am just culturally familiar with it, and have erred on the side of caution.

Middlemarch, to be honest, I've vaguely heard of, and have no idea who wrote it.

Considering I've just passed the halfway point (i.e., am a chapter into the second book) of the first of the two volumes you already gave me... *sheepish g*

Maybe if I get a job in the Loop and manage to train myself to read on the train without getting motion sick, I'll get back to something more akin to my youthful reading habits. Otherwise, a chapter a night while breathing steam is likely to remain pretty much it.

The thought is, however, greatly appreciated.

Edited at 2008-05-01 06:59 pm (UTC)
May. 2nd, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
>"Middlemarch, to be honest, I've vaguely heard of, and have no idea who wrote it."

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) wrote Middlemarch (and The Mill on the Floss, and Daniel Deronda, and Felix Holt: The Radical, and Adam Bede, and Scenes of Clerical Life, and Romola, and Theophrastus Such, and many essays, and -- admittedly -- also Silas Marner, which people get assigned to read in school because it's short, not because it's great, and then skip all her other books ever after).

[ People Besides Val: Did I omit any? :-) ]

Middlemarch is on the standard short list for Greatest Novel Yet Written in English. I favor it for the title. (Eliot and Dickens are the two most serious contenders for All Time Greatest English Novelist, of course.)
May. 2nd, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Middlemarch
Ah, okay. I'm glancingly culturally familiar with Mill on the Floss and Daniel Deronda, and of course with Eliot herself.

Reading random genre-overview or social-science-spun lit-crit will do that. Hence my occasional confusion about what I may or may not have actually read.

Any time I stop to actually think about my reading habits, I realize that they're really quite bizarre. I blame Half Price Books. Mostly I wander aimless around the store going "Huh, that sounds interesting," and take home ~80% nonfiction that may or may not serve a particular research purpose at the moment.
May. 2nd, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
a chapter a night
I did enjoy getting to read on the train, when I was commuting by train years ago. It's a wonderful option, when the opportunities (and motion tolerance) are there! I recommend it. Much better than audio while driving. And such a delight and comfort, to have ensured reading periods every day...

One of the many things about adult life that are All Wrong is that we are not all required under pain of censure to spend half an hour free-reading after lunch every weekday. :-) The values of childhood, in which reading is a virtue, versus adulthood, in which it is a luxury!

>"Otherwise, a chapter a night while breathing steam is likely to remain pretty much it."

I was speaking with someone a week or so ago about how everything we choose to do also forces a choice to not do something else, at least not right then. (She has just stopped freelancing and begun a regular job at a single location, and is having a hard time adjusting.) I can't both work late on Tuesdays and be at fencing class on time, for a happy example. I can't both keep my time-consuming job and do all the fannish things I'd like, for a less happy example. Can't stay up late and also get enough sleep! for a silly example.

When I read your reply, my brain clicked, "Oh, that's how she does so many activities! She's nearly given up reading novels!" After the click, I laughed at my construction. Wide over-rationalization. :-) But I thought I'd share that click, and hope it amused you!

(I usually read through my lunch break during the week, and sometimes dinner, and most meals on the weekends. Associating reading with eating isn't healthy, I'm sure -- potential Pavlovian consequences -- but it's probably an inevitable consequence of a bookworm living alone.)

>"i.e., am a chapter into the second book"

;-) Yeah, we'll see how long that pace lasts as you get into the action there. ;-)

I hope you enjoy it! No rush. :-)
May. 2nd, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: a chapter a night
"Oh, that's how she does so many activities! She's nearly given up reading novels!" After the click, I laughed at my construction. Wide over-rationalization. :-)

But not entirely unjustified. Moviegoing and, erm, housekeeping have also suffered serious detriment.

but it's probably an inevitable consequence of a bookworm living alone.)

I did much the same while I was in my apartment and brainiacfive was still in the house in Columbus. And therefore did a lot more reading in that year and a half than at any other time since moving out of my parents' house.

I read during lunch when I go out, but when I eat in my office I generally either surf or write. And I try to eat lunch out no more than once a week.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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