Sunday, March 29, 2015


(I am stealing this meme from bt, by the way, because I cannot resist a good book meme.)

bt's post about the "unread books" meme that went around in 2008 jogged a vague memory for me. That was not too long after I joined facebook & several of my bookish-type friends had posted it, and while I was well and truly over all the quizzes that purported to tell me Which Backstreet Boy's Left Nut I am, I was kind of into this.

The idea is that someone had made this list of the top 106 books listed in Library Thing as "unread," and then you go through & annotate the list as follows:

  • Bold any books you've finished.
  • Italicize any you've started but not finished.
  • Underline any you read as a school assignment (optional - I did not because what difference does it make).

bt made an updated list for 2015, and going through the list to mark up my progress was way more satisfying than it had any right to be:

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (262 times). Loved this book! But, it is long and not exactly a page turner, so I'm not totally surprised it tops the list.
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (254 times). Just read this last year & enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (227 times). On my list for this year.
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (222 times). Just read last year; didn't love.
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (193 times). Just read last year. Glad I read it, but in the tasty vegetable salad way, not the ice cream sundae way. Funny but a tough read in places.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (190 times). Uggghhh I just cannot muster enthusiasm for this book.
  • The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien (183 times). Read in college. Meh. I think you have to be a die-hard Tolkein fan to love this book and I'm not, really.
  • Ulysses by James Joyce (181 times). On my list!
  • War and Peace by Léon Tolstoï (178 times). People keep telling me how worth it is but man, I just can't get up the enthusiasm.
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fedor Mikhaïlovitch Dostoïevski (173 times). On my list.
  • The Odyssey by Homer (168 times). Middle school.
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (162 times). 11th grade.
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (159 times). I actually read this in Spanish when I took AP Spanish. I doubt I could now.
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (157 times). This book does not call to me.
  • The Iliad by Homer (157 times). 9th grade. Loved way more than I should have, I think.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (154 times). Happening this year!
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (147 times). Meh.
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel (146 times). 2010, I think? Weird.
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (146 times). Just read this past year. Not that bad, actually.
  • Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (145 times). I am not yet ready for more of the strange, strange jelly that is GGM.
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville (143 times). Another one that just does not call to me.
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (136 times). College.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (135 times). This year!
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (133 times). 2005. One of my favorite books ever.
  • Emma by Jane Austen (133 times). #parlorbook
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (129 times). #parlorbook
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (129 times). 2006. Fantastic!
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (126 times). I know I read parts of this in high school but I don't remember whether we read it all or not.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (126 times). Spring of my senior year, so not shocking I don't remember much about it. I should probably read it again sometime.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (125 times). #parlorbook
  • Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (125 times). I've read this pretty reliably once ever five years or so starting in the 8th grade (when it made *NO* sense to me whatsoever). In fact I'm probably about due for it.
  • The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (125 times). On this year's list!
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (121 times). Just finished a few weeks ago. Didn't love every bit of it (a tough read in places), but really good.
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (121 times). On the list to be read at some yet-to-be-determined point in the misty future.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (121 times). High school. I read all those creepy dystopian books.
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot (120 times). On the list.
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (120 times). #parlorbook
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (120 times). AP US History.
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (120 times). 2006ish? LOVED.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (119 times). 11th grade.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (118 times). I actually only read this for the first time a few years ago.
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (118 times). Ugggh I can't get into VW.
  • The Inferno by Dante Alighieri (117 times). I went through a very academic snooty literary phase in high school & fancied this was how I would spend my summer. Hahahaha no.
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (117 times). This has been recommended to me so many times but the description/blurb/thing always bores me.
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (117 times). Not calling to me.
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (116 times). I know the basic gyst but I'd be kind of curious to actually read it. There are some, um, interesting connections to Lululemon, though. (Quotable quotes: "I was so shocked by being handed this bag today at your Portland, Ore., store that I literally WALKED BACK to return this horrific bag." True story.)
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (115 times). This is probably not happening, ever.
  • Lolita (115 times). Vaguely curious because it's so iconic.
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan (115 times). Trailers for the movie made me depressed so I doubt I'll be reading this any time soon.
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (114 times). Maybe? Someday?
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (114 times). High school, but I barely remember it so should probably read it again.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (113 times). I got this book as a gift & probably would not have picked it up otherwise. It was a tough read & didn't really call to me.
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (112 times). This year!
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (112 times). Maybe some day.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (112 times). 9th grade. A literary highlight at that point in my life. And probably still, actually.
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (111 times). I do want to read this because it's been recommended by so many people with good taste.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (111 times). I'm trying to work up the fortitude to put this one on my "to read" list.
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (110 times). I guess I should read the book having watched the movie, but it just doesn't seem urgent.
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (109 times). Anansi was my least favorite character in American Gods (LOVED) so I am somewhat unfairly biased against this book, I suppose.
  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (109 times). Just read this past year, AMAZEBALLS.
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White (109 times). On my list.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (107 times). 2008 maybe? Fantastic!
  • The Aeneid by Virgil (107 times). Not really a priority.
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (106 times). This one I have never heard of.
  • Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (105 times). Two words: Dog torture.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (105 times). The marketing blurb for this book made me want to shoot myself in the face so that was a big fat nope.
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (105 times). Someday!
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (105 times). 2010, when I was way too old to appreciate it.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen (105 times). #parlorbook
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (105 times). Not bad but not obsessed either.
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (105 times). Uggggh VW.
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (104 times). To quote bt: "Who does this? The COMPLETE WORKS? Pick some works!"
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (104 times). 11th grade. Should probably reread.
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (103 times). See "Atlas Shrugged" above.
  • The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (102 times). I guess I should probably read this at same point as it's just not all that long.
  • Dubliners by James Joyce (102 times). Not too familiar.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (101 times). Meh.
  • Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (101 times). 12th grade
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (101 times). Ohhhhh so good.
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac (99 times). Meh, doesn't call to me much (though I luvs me Kerouac cocktail).
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (99 times). Never been much interested in Stevenson.
  • The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (98 times). Same with Defoe.
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (98 times). No strong compulsion to read this one.
  • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (98 times). In 2010 in Alaska. AMAZING!
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (98 times). This year!
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (97 times). #parlorbook
  • Possession by A. S. Byatt (97 times). Not familiar.
  • Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (96 times). This year!
  • Ivanhoe by Walter Scott (95 times). I read this when I was like 12 so I should probably reread it.
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (95 times). Another one I feel like I SHOULD read but just not that interested in, frankly?
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams (95 times) A couple of years ago. Did not really speak to me.
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (95 times). This whole trilogy is amazing, READ IT!
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (93 times). In college, in one sitting.
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence (93 times). I'll admit I'm vaguely curious.
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (93 times)> Meh.
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (92 times). I tried. I tried so hard.
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy (92 times). Another one I keep skipping over because it sounds so damned depressing.
  • Underworld by Don DeLillo (92 times). Not familiar.
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (92 times). Not interested. At all.
  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (91 times). A tough one, but hilarious in parts.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (90 times). Maybe someday?
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (90 times). I want to read this one someday.
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (89 times). I feel like having read "Guns, Germs, & Steel" & attended college, I could probably predict a solid 85% of this book.
  • The Idiot by Fedor Mikhaïlovitch Dostoïevski (89 times). Not familiar.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (89 times). On my list.



  1. Little known fact: Hosseini is actually not a great writer. Sorry. It's true. I don't get all the hype!

    1. Good to know! I have to say, I can't get that excited about reading The Kite Runner.