unread, unread

This here is a meme (or whatever you like to think of it as) based on the top 106 unread books from Library Thing. (At least as of the date when this was started. The earliest I could find was a post from October 1st at Once Upon a Booshelf, saying the meme had been found at Lady Strange. I couldn’t find, it there though.) I myself found this at Lori’s Book Nook, and then re-found it shortly thereafter at casa az.

Here are the instructions, as found chez az:

Bold what you have read, italicize your DNFs, strikethrough the ones you hated, put *asterisks next to those you’ve read more than once, and put a + cross in front of the books that are on your bookshelf.

(Note that DNF=”did not finish”)

My Reads of the Unread

+ Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
+ Anna Karenina
+Crime and Punishment
+ Catch-22
One hundred years of solitude
+ Wuthering Heights
+ The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
+ The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
+ Moby Dick
+ Ulysses
+ Madame Bovary
+ The Odyssey
+ *Pride and Prejudice
+ Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
+ The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
+ War and Peace
+ Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
+ The Iliad
+ *Emma
+ The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
+ Great Expectations
American Gods
+ A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
+ Memoirs of a Geisha
+ Quicksilver
+ * Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
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
+ Dracula
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
+ 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
+ The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
+ Cryptonomicon
+ A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
+ The Unbearable Lightness of Being
+ Beloved
+ 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
On the Road
+The Hunchback of Notre Dame
+ Freakonomics
+ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
+ *Watership Down
+ Gravity’s Rainbow
+ The Hobbit
+ In Cold Blood
+ White Teeth
Treasure Island
+ David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Notice that I haven’t crossed out any books to mean “I hated them.” It’s hard for me to say that I hate a book. The only book I can think of, off the top of my head, that I really hated was The Horse Whisperer. Piece of total crap. I wanted my time back.

On this list, there were a couple of books that I found painful to read, though I could appreciate the writing and the storytelling: Crime and Punishment and Confederacy of Dunces. I seem to have trouble with anti-heroes. I had the same problem with The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Notice also that I have marked a lot of books with a plus (+) that I have not read. This is partially John’s fault. I have marked them as “on our bookshelf”, even if they are not books that are ones that I selected. And even if they are not technically on a bookshelf. (We have a lot of books. Some of them live in stacks on the floor.)

19 responses to “unread, unread

  1. Dude. You guys have a lot of books, yo. I’m afraid I’d have a buttload of DNFs in there.

  2. KC-
    Yeah, we do have a lot of books. When we moved up here from Providence (after Brown) we had 80 boxes full of books. And that was before I spent 4+ years working in a bookstore. And you know, it’s fairly rare for me not to finish a novel. I tend to plow on through to the end, even if I don’t like it.

  3. found this list fascinating… want to go explore who came up with and how. The book I HATED was She’s Come Undone. Hated, hated, hated. and yet read from start to finish, because I am incapable of not finishing a book. I was pregnant and it totally depressed me and I cried angry tears at how much I hated it. I wondered if it was my pregnancy hormones and the general hard time I was going through in my life that made me hate it, but I talked to another friend who said to me “No, you were right, it was wretched and mean.” I also greatly disliked The Nanny Diaries.

    Loved 100 Years of Solitude, which is on that list. That book totally changed how I view Time and the Omnipresence of God.

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  5. I love these lists…I love knowing what people read and why.

    And, oy, I’m usually one who slogs through a book just so that I know that I have read it, but I have to admit that Confederacy of Dunces has kicked my butt in this regard. I’m sure I’ll come back to it someday, though. I don’t like having my butt kicked.

  6. I’ve seen this in other places too….I may have to do this.

    I remember liking a Confederacy of Dunces. Hmm.

  7. i’ve never even heard of a confederacy of dunces. and i was truly surprised at how many of those books i had to read in high school.

  8. Painted-
    From what I understand, the list was created from looking up the “unread” tag on Library Thing, which gives a list of titles sorted by number of people who have used that tag for that book. I’m not sure who came up with it, or when.
    I’m happy that I was spared She’s Come Undone. It doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all. (Which reminds me of another book that was awful. A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron. It was drivel. But on the upside, it was very short, and fun to mock.)

    Yeah, it is interesting to know why people read (particular) books. Jenny got more elaborate with her post, and added commentary for many of the titles.
    I also tend to slog through to the finish. Usually if I don’t finish a book, it’s because I’ve barely started it. (As in have only read a few pages.) There are a couple of noteworth exceptions: War and Peace, which I read through halfway twice, and Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto. I think the second was a translation problem. Maybe both were, come to think of it.

    I’m curious where else you’ve seen it. I’d actually seen a slightly different book list, the “100 books” one. Which I meant to do, but hadn’t gotten around to. It has some overlapping titles, but a lot more contemporary popular stuff. (This unread list has some more quirky contemporary stuff.)
    As for Confederacy of Dunces, I know a lot of people who like it. I had a strong aversion to it. Maybe it’s because I don’t eat hotdogs…

    I don’t think I’d head of Confederacy of Dunces till I worked in the bookstore. It’s a book with a kind of interesting backstory, though. The book was published , largely due to his mother’s efforts, 10 years after the authors suicide. The author also won a Pulitzer posthumously. (There’s a bit on Wiki I didn’t read all the way through. I remembered bits of the story from when I read this for a book group.)
    As for the high school bit, it would be interesting to tally up those we “had” to read…

  9. One of these days I’ll meet someone who has actually read Ulysses…

    (oh, and it’s ‘casa az’, no caps)

  10. azahar-
    I mean to read Ulysses…it’s been on my to-read list for many a year. Maybe someone will come out with an illustrated, abridged boardbook version I can read with Phoebe. (And Sorry AbOUt tHe caPs. They are GonE.)

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  12. I totally plan on reading Ulysses, too. It’s online. Perhaps we should read a chapter a week together or something…As I understand it, it’s best read aloud, really more for the rhythm and words than the meaning. Then we can all power through it, get it from our TBR to DONE! piles. :)

  13. I’ve never been able to get past about page 42 of Ulysses – I think I’ve tried about 3 or 4 times.

    Reading that monster online! I can’t even get through extra long blog posts – there’s something about reading long text on a screen that makes me lose concentration.

    But how about reading it together online, out loud, a page each at a time (s0, three pages a ‘session’)? I’ve done voice ‘conference calls’ on Skype before and it’s pretty easy to set up.

    Obvious drawbacks are that it would be tricky to arrange times since I’m 6-9 hours ahead of you guys, not to mention that it would probably take about ten years to finish it this way. But it’ll probably remain unread in ten years time anyhow. Well, just a thought.

    (tHAnkS, AleJNa)

  14. “Maybe someone will come out with an illustrated, abridged boardbook version I can read with Phoebe”

    Or maybe we should extend our reading project and make our own, like The Brick Testament did with the bible.

  15. lori, azahar-
    I like the idea of a group reading (and maybe abridging) project, but I can’t envision having time for such a creature before next Spring. And right now, if I fit in some non-school reading, I want to re-read the His Dark Materials trilogy before “The Golden Compass” movie comes out.

  16. Ah, well.

    Never did read the final volume of His Dark Materials…by the time I got to the end of the 2nd book, I was thrilled with it all, but then right at the end, all I could think was “Okay, suddenly this is no longer imaginative!” No spoilers for others here, but man! Such brilliant imagination, then wham! Mundane. Argh.

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  18. What is that famous quote about Classics being books that everyone talks about, but noone has read? :-)

  19. nice theme and good article info about read and unread

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