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Thu, May. 1st, 2008, 02:01 pm
That Book Meme

You guys know how to tempt me to do a meme: make it about books!

These are 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, and italicize the ones you own but have not read. I’m adding one more innovation of my own - placing an X by the books that I probably wouldn’t read if you bought me a copy and then hit me with a stick.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion

X Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote

Moby Dick (I never made it more than halfway!)
X Ulysses
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
Emma
The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods

X A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha

Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales (Oh, how I have tried yet failed to make it through the whole thing!)
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
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange

Anansi Boys (I just can’t bring myself to read any more Gaiman; maybe someday I’ll be less irritated by his newer work)
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984
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
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
X A People’s History of the United States
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-five
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
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye

X On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
X Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

X White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

So that’s a total of … 81 read of 106. Of course, there are seven of those books that I have absolutely no interest in reading, so there are only eighteen books on that list I haven’t read but might. Of those, there are a couple that I am really excited about but am saving for a rainy day, so to speak - a time in my life when I really need something wonderful to read. Kavalier and Clay, for example, probably won’t get read until a really dark point in the dissertation process. Of the rest, some are on my to-read list, like Collapse; some I am kind of blah about, like Anansi Boys (Neil Gaiman, please get a new shtick!); and a few I haven’t heard of.

I’m just glad I didn’t have more X-marks. I guess people have good taste in books they don’t-read.