Friday, May 23, 2008

Nerd meme

I swiped this meme from Jody--basically, it's a list of the top 100 books marked "unread" by LibraryThing users. You're supposed to bold ones you've read, underline ones you've read for school, and italicize ones you started but didn't finish. But since I have so much overlap between books I've read for pleasure and ones I read for school (English major with a focus on the 19th century novel, anyone?), I'm going to bold everything I've read, italicize ones I started but didn't finish, and underline ones I'm pretty sure I've read at least part of but can't really remember. Other notes as warranted.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell [sitting on my shelf uncracked]
Anna Karenina
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Crime and Punishment
Wuthering Heights
Catch-22

The Silmarillion
Don Quixote
The Odyssey

The Brothers Karamazov
Ulysses [but did I enjoy it or remember anything about it? NO]
War and Peace
Madame Bovary
A Tale of Two Cities
Jane Eyre

The Name of the Rose
Moby Dick
Emma
The Iliad
Vanity Fair
Love in the Time of Cholera

The Blind Assassin
Pride and Prejudice
The Historian: A Novel [sitting on my bookshelf untouched]
The Canterbury Tales
The Kite Runner [Amazon.com keeps trying to get me to buy this]
Great Expectations
Life of Pi [another one Amazon recommendations keeps pushing]
The Time Traveler's Wife
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Atlas Shrugged
Foucault's Pendulum
Dracula

The Grapes of Wrath
Frankenstein
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Mrs. Dalloway
Sense and Sensibility
Middlemarch

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Sound and The Fury
Memoirs of a Geisha
Brave New World

Quicksilver
American Gods
Middlesex
The Poisonwood Bible
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dune
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Satanic Verses
Mansfield Park
Gulliver's Travels

The Three Musketeers
The Inferno
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Fountainhead
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
To the Lighthouse

A Clockwork Orange
Robinson Crusoe
Persuasion
The Scarlet Letter

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Once and Future King
Anansi Boys
Atonement
The God of Small Things
[I think I finished this one...]
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cryptonomicon
Dubliners
Oryx and Crake
Angela's Ashes
Beloved

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
In Cold Blood
Lady Chatterley's Lover

A Confederacy of Dunces
Les Misérables
The Amber Spyglass
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Watership Down
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
The Aeneid
A Farewell to Arms
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
Sons and Lovers
Possession

The Book Thief
The History of Tom Jones
The Road
Tender is the Night
The War of the Worlds

I was surprised at first by how many Jane Austen books were on here, but I guess it makes sense, really, that this list has so much overlap with any list of the Best Books or Most Important Classics or what have you--these are books that people think they ought to read, or at least to own. And so the more people there are who love a book, the more people there are who pick it up because everyone else loved it, even if they might not love it themselves.

I was also surprised by how few books I marked unfinished--or, well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given that until fairly recently I had a complex about leaving books unfinished and would FORCE myself to slog through books I hated just to finish. I guess I thought it was a test of character or something. I'm a much happier reader now that I've realized life is too short to waste on books you don't enjoy.

By the way, should I read The Kite Runner or Life of Pi as Amazon keeps trying to convince me to do? At this point I am almost resistant to doing so because of being told so many times how great they are.

4 Comments:

Blogger Erin said...

Life of Pi was pretty good--I read it for my book club, then my MIL bought it for J (which is pretty funny, since it's completely NOT his kind of book--he's into historical nonfiction). Do you want our copy of it? I'll be happy to send it and then you can thumb your nose at Amazon.

I have The Kite Runner on reserve at the library, so will read it eventually.

Am I the only one who doesn't like Jane Austen? I've read several of her books and just cannot get into them!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

I actually think both these books are quite over-rated. Kite Runner has a really schmaltsy unbelievable ending, and I couldn't finish Life of Pi.

If you must read one from the list, read "The Book Thief" - Marcus Zusac - amazing Australian author. I read it when I was pregnant and cried for about half an hour at the end. Just warning that it's hard to get past the narrator's voice in the beginning though.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

I was tempted to asterisk the books that I had read but couldn't remember, but was way too embarrassed! A surprising number of the books on the list that I had read, I read more than ten years ago, when I was living in England. I should get cracking!

8:10 AM  
Blogger sara said...

Wow, you still have read a lot more than I have! I'm currently in the middle of Eat Love Pray and it's pretty good. That's one of my goals is to definitely get back on the reading band wagon before the little one gets here. Hopefully you're having a great weekend!

9:44 AM  

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