bunn (bunn) wrote,
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Books read and not

What we have here is the top 106 (which is an unusual number, but it's not my meme) 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, italicise the ones you started but didn't finish.

Further to the official instructions, are any of the ones I've not read things I absolutely should read ...?

One thing that struck me about this, is that I have a clearer impression of someth of the things I've not read, than some of the things that I definitely have read. Which probably says something about the relative power of different stories?


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell -     meh.  It was OK, but the characters were somehow not engaging.  I like likeable people in my books.
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights -                         can't remember if I read this in school or just read it randomly, or read it under the desk unofficially when I was supposed to be doing something more boring. Probably the last.
The Silmarillion -                             
until it fell to pieces and I had to buy a new one, if I remember rightly.
Life of Pi : a novel   -                         never 'eard of it!
The Name of the Rose - not sure whether to underline this one or not, I read it on the recommendation of a tutor
Don Quixote
Moby Dick  -                                     I distinctly remember reading this in my first year at secondary school, but I don't think it was a set book.  I can't actually remember that much about it now, but I remember the book being printed on that incredibly thin paper with a leathery binding.  Odd thing to remember.
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey -                                 I don't think I've ever actually read this, even in translation, but it sort of feels like something I've read because it crops up in so many other things and I've read a few retellings.
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
-                                      though frankly it was so long ago I get it muddled up with other things now.
A Tale of Two Cities -                   For some reason I can remember small chunks of this as terribly vivid visualisations, but the whole escapes me.
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace -                             excellent value for a long train journey, I remember thinking, but  most of it has flown away from me alas. Which is odd, because I read it twice.
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad -                                         as per Odyssey, it's the sort of thing that you feel you've read because it's such a universal story.
Emma  -                                             if I remember correctly, I read it, then I studied it. By which time I was heartily sick of it.
The Blind Assassin -                     Never heard of this but purely from the title it sounds entertaining.
The Kite Runner
Mrs Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods   -                         Not bad, but not something I'll re-read unless I am feeling particularly cheery and up-beat because of its extreme grimness.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex -                                     Middlesex is a book?  I thought it was a defunct county!
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales -                Pretty sure this is only on this list because it's so old.  If it were in modern English, a lot of it would surely be seen as terribly populist and vulgar.  I've underlined and bolded it, because I first read it in class, but I've re-read it independently since.
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man -  I distinctly remember having read this, but I'm buggered if I can remember a thing about it.
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch   - YAWN!
Frankenstein -                                 good fun that, even if I did first read it as a school text.  At least.  I think I did.
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula -                                           I have actually read this, but it's the kind of thing that has so many echoes that I think I'd probably feel as if I'd read it even if I hadn't.
A Clockwork Orange -                     though I read it at school, it was in an informal book club context rather than actually for an exam.
Anansi Boys -                                   Hum.  Not as good as American Gods I thought, though I should probably re-read it to make sure.
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
1984 -                                                Glad I've read it, but emphatically don't want to read it again!
Angels & Demons
The Divine Comedy: The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility -                 I don't think I read this as a school book, but I may have.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 
Hum. Again, can't remember where or how I read this. I do know I don't want to read it again.  It's far too grim.
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles -             Yawn.  I read it.  I regretted it. 
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables-                              A disturbingly depressing book. I seem to remember wanting to slap several of the main characters.
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince -                                       I can't remember if the class was history, English or politics though.   Assuming we are talking about the Machiavelli The Prince, not any other one,that is.
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
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere   -                                  Is this the only novelisation of a tv drama on the list?
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 -                     I can only assume that people started this and just couldn't be bothered because it's not very good. It's certainly not a difficult read.
Oryx and Crake : a novel -             got this for Christmas, but haven't read it yet.
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas -                                    pif.  A vague and woolly book: it sounds good on the blurb but just doesn't justify reading to the end if you have anything else in the house to read other than cereal packets.
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye -                 I have a feeling that I've read this, but I can't remember anything about it at all, so I'm not sure that counts.
On the Road -                                     always meant to, never quite got round to it because it was never in the library. I read a lot of books by Thomas Keneally instead, which took my eye whenever I went to the 'k' section of the library looking for 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
Watership Down -                         people buy but don't read Watership Down? What planet are they from!
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit -                                     as for Watership Down, only  +1
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth -                                     vague impression of having read this, but if I have it went in and out again.
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers -                 Yay!
 -
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