My Beautiful Wickedness

Book meme
June 2, 2008, 1:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

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
Ulysses(working on it, dammit…)
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
(though I think it’s really overrated)
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad

The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (does having a copy count for something?)
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

(yuck, would have never read this if left to my own devices)

The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange

Anansi Boys (there should also be a category of “on my list of things to read soon”)
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible
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
(What’s with all the Woolf? Are people really that into buying VW?)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
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
Neverwhere (nope, but I have read “Erewhon” and that should count for something)
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
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values (God, the dull)
The Aeneid
Watership Down

Gravity’s Rainbow (hmmm…a curious oversight on my part. I’ve never read any Pynchon. Does listening to Laurie Anderson a lot in my youth count?)
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I think a better meme might be “books you’ve read all the way through for fun since becoming a parent.” Nearly everything on that list above I read more than a decade ago.


13 Comments so far
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Not ONE Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey in the lot?

Great list but I gotta admit to having read almost none of them, well, okay, maybe 20, but none of the real literary ones.

Until I was diagnosed with ADD for the second time I didn’t know why a lot of books, particularly textbooks, put me to sleep. My second diagnosis involved a test that made me drowsy and, when I asked the psychologist about it, he said it was a sort of defense/avoidance mechanism.

I don’t know if you read Ed Brayton over on science blogs or if you heard about the teacher in FL who got her five yo’s to vote one of their class members, “off the island”; if not you might want to check it out.

The reason I didn’t tell you which books I read is because I get a feeling you’d want a report on each one with footnotes and those snazzy report covers!

Comment by democommie

Nawwww…I just went with the list that they gave. I guess that this means these are the books that people think that they “should” read — versus what they like to read and do read, which is why there is no Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey (or John McPhee on the list…)

I was both a driven working-class kid who imagined that the key to social mobility was cultural literacy (everyone else will have read these books, I have to read them too…naive, huh?) and also, I was originally planning to be an English teacher. I had read most of the “classic” canon before I got out of high school to be extra-super-prepared for college. And then my plans changed. However, I did double-major, so it came in handy…although my honors thesis was about Sam Shepard’s use of food in his early plays, so I specialized in US contemporary drama rather than 17th English poetry or 19th century British women novelists.

No book reports and certainly no covers — those plasticy things are a waste of resources and they make the report slippery and hard to handle when you want to grade them in a stack.

Comment by bridgett

That list is *awfully* heavily slanted toward fiction, which means I’ve read practically none of it–basically, if it’s fiction and I’ve read it in the last 20 years, it’s by Nicholson Baker, Harlan Ellison, or Haruki Murakami.

In high school, I read almost nothing *but* fiction; since either becoming an adult or becoming a computer nerd (take your pick), I’ve read almost nothing but nonfiction. Go figure…

Comment by John Gruver

What John said.

I have a giant bookcase full of non-fiction and textbooks.

I think my aversion to fiction might have to do with my own arrogance; I don’t want to go where someone else wants to take me, I’d rather my own (supposedly superior) imagination do the driving.

But I eat biographies like so many chocolate chip cookies.

Comment by Slartibartfast

Yes, well, I think that list tells you what adults don’t read among that select set of anal bibliophiles who would rather catalogue their books than read. Hardly representative of book readers as a whole, since I own eleventy-billion books but I don’t feel the need to index or alphabetize or even really get on proper shelve nary a one.

So, what they don’t read is august canonical works or the big thing ten years ago that they thought they should pick up (Umberto Eco? Arundhati Roy? Not to bust on either, but it was what all the smart set was reading, “lowest common denominator for people who read the New Yorker” sort of book…)

Meanwhile, everyone is actually reading J.K. Rowling and the Traveling Pants books…

Comment by bridgett

Gah. What is the deal with the emoticonage? I am so not a smiley-winker.

Comment by bridgett

Name of the Rose has the distinction of being one of the few works of fiction set in the middle ages that medievalists actually like. It gives you the fine paranoid flavor of certain aspects of the late m.a. And, of course, it’s all about putting books in the proper order.

Comment by nm

Emoticonage – I’ve noticed the same thing of late. I think it is because you, like me, enjoy a good semi-colon and that has become the e-signal for smiley-winkey.

I think listening to Laurie Anderson definitely counts as a substitute for reading Pynchon.

I’ve rediscovered fiction reading over the last two weeks. Except for starting “The Historian” I’ve not read a novel in months. I’m currently working on “The Kite Runner” and due to heavy recommendations I’m working myself up to read “The Road.”

Comment by Gerald

I read lots of fiction by authors that are featured on the “Real Deal Dollar Store” book club.

I have most recently read

“True Cross”–T.R. Pearson
“In The Province Of The Saints”–Thomas O’Malley
“Miracle At St.Anna”–James McBride

Comment by democommie

I hate it when that happens.

I’m working my way through (also $ Store finds):

“The Portrait”–Iain Pears
“The Inner Circle”–T.C.Boyle (does he write anything that is NOT an emotional train wreck?)
“Oh, Play That Thing”–Roddy Doyle

Here’s one that’s not on most folks’ list:

“The Scavenger’s Guide To Haute Cuisine”–Steven Rinella.

Comment by democommie

I must agree–T.R. Pearson is a *genius*; I still recommend him highly.

Comment by John Gruver

I went to hear TR Pearson read out in Iowa City at Prairie Lights. Is The Portrait another of Pears’ art history detective novels?

Comment by bridgett

I don’t know about the Pears novel, I’m not that far into it. It seems to be a bit of something like that. Pearson’s take on rural northern VA, if not spot on, is hilarious.

Comment by democommie

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