May 7, 2008

Of things "unread"

BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION - OK, we are down to the finals of Ookami Snow's Favorite New Blog of 2008. It's me against Liz in a steel cage match. If you wanna be involved in the process, you gotta go here to do it - the rules for voting are included in the post. He put up an actual survey now, so if you left your vote in the comments sections before ya gotta go back and vote the proper way now. It doesn't matter who you vote for, as long as it is me. - Earl

Nicked this from Steph of Incurable Insomniac fame. I've also nicked the term "nicked" from Andrew of White Rabbit fame. That's how I roll.

Here goes:

"What we have here is the top 106 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, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish." I've added a little flourish, as I often do, with some wise-ass comments. Once again, that's how I roll.

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - and it wasn't easy. Very long book.

  2. Anna Karenina

  3. Crime and Punishment - don't even know why I tried.

  4. Catch-22 - not even a Vonneg..., oops, Heller fan (Thanks Downtown Guy!).

  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude

  6. Wuthering Heights - wound up really liking it.

  7. The Silmarillion - but I tried. I really tried. Over. And over again.

  8. Life of Pi: a novel

  9. The Name of the Rose - after I saw the film.

  10. Don Quixote - read it in college, but turns out I didn't have to.

  11. Moby Dick - finally two years ago.

  12. Ulysses - ugh!

  13. Madame Bovary - I like saying "Gustave Flaubert". It's fun!

  14. The Odyssey - read it first on my own and then later for school.

  15. Pride and Prejudice

  16. Jane Eyre

  17. The Tale of Two Cities - my favorite Dickens work.

  18. The Brothers Karamazov

  19. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

  20. War and Peace - impossible!

  21. Vanity Fair - don't remember much though.

  22. The Time Traveler’s Wife

  23. The Iliad - same with The Odyssey. First on my own...later for school.

  24. Emma - This was made into the movie with Alicia Silverstone, right?

  25. The Blind Assassin

  26. The Kite Runner

  27. Mrs. Dalloway

  28. Great Expectations - my least favorite Dickens work.

  29. American Gods - hard to believe this is on the list. Are there really a bunch of people out there buying Neil Gaiman novels and not reading them?

  30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

  31. Atlas Shrugged - I tried reading Rand when researching Objectivism, but I found her to be fucking ponderous.

  32. Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books

  33. Memoirs of a Geisha - I stopped when I realized it wasn't Asian erotica. Very sad.

  34. Middlesex

  35. Quicksilver - I've wanted to read Stephenson, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

  36. Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West - couldn't get through the sequel, though.

  37. The Canterbury Tales - Love me some Chaucer.

  38. The Historian: a novel

  39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  40. Love in the Time of Cholera - "It's about girls, right?" - Rob Gordon.

  41. Brave New World

  42. The Fountainhead - See Atlas Shrugged.

  43. Foucault’s Pendulum - One Eco book is quite enough for me, thank you.

  44. Middlemarch

  45. Frankenstein

  46. The Count of Monte Cristo - I think for school. Can't imagine reading it on my own.

  47. Dracula - read a lot of Stoker in my teen years. Also attempted to read Feast of Blood (Varney the Vampire) in those days, but never made it all the way through.

  48. A Clockwork Orange - once again, after I saw the film.

  49. Anansi Boys - what's with all the Neil Gaiman?

  50. The Once and Future King - I really wanted to like this series of books, but I found them boring as hell.

  51. The Grapes of Wrath

  52. The Poisonwood Bible : a novel - how could I have missed out on one of Oprah's book club selections?

  53. 1984

  54. Angels & Demons - why would someone own this and not read it?

  55. The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise) - I own a copy from the 1870's. My oldest book.

  56. The Satanic Verses - wasn't Rushdie the guy from the sauna who called himself Sal Bass?

  57. Sense and Sensibility

  58. The Picture of Dorian Gray

  59. Mansfield Park

  60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey is a freak. This and Demon Box are his only novels I have made it through.

  61. To the Lighthouse

  62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  63. Oliver Twist

  64. Gulliver’s Travels

  65. Les Misérables

  66. The Corrections

  67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - never heard of it.

  68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - ditto.

  69. Dune - Frank Herbert bores the shit out of me.

  70. The Prince

  71. The Sound and the Fury - managed to avoid Faulkner thus far.

  72. Angela's Ashes: a memoir - ugh!

  73. The God of Small Things

  74. A People's History of the United States: 1492-present - I tried.

  75. Cryptonomicon - more Stephenson, eh?

  76. Neverwhere - even more Neil Gaiman??? I really don't understand this.

  77. A Confederacy of Dunces - it's on my bookshelf...just waiting for me.

  78. A Short History of Nearly Everything

  79. Dubliners - I wanna know who out there has actually read Joyce.

  80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - "It's about girls, right?" - Rob Gordon

  81. Beloved - another Oprah selection.

  82. Slaughterhouse-Five.

  83. The Scarlet Letter

  84. Eats, Shoots & Leaves - there is a joke about pandas or koalas in there someplace.

  85. The Mists of Avalon

  86. Oryx and Crake: a novel - never heard of it.

  87. Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed

  88. Cloud Atlas

  89. The Confusion

  90. Lolita - read this during my Kubrick phase. Not for the under-aged girl. Really.

  91. Persuasion

  92. Northanger Abbey

  93. The Catcher in the Rye - I thought everyone but me had read this.

  94. On the Road

  95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  96. Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything

  97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values

  98. The Aeneid

  99. Watership Down

  100. Gravity's Rainbow

  101. The Hobbit

  102. In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

  103. White Teeth - White Fang...yes. White

  104. Treasure Island

  105. David Copperfield

  106. The Three Musketeers

So I've read a lot more books for school back in the day then I thought I would have, apparently. I would never have remembered reading all of these had I not done this meme. Cool!

My totals out of the 106 books:
Read on my own - 27
Read for school - 24
Started but never finished - 15
Never read - 40

That translates into 62% of the books that I've either read or partially read. Not bad, but it should be higher. Gotta give me credit for trying on some of those. I've noticed that a lot of the books that I haven't read are more recent works, and I don't read nearly as much now as I did when I was younger.

How did you do?


Suzi Q said...

Aw crap 106 books! I'm thinkin' for an English major I ain't gonna do good. I'll give it a try, I've printed your post so I can go through it easier... I'm suck a dork.

white rabbit said...

Yikes - I've actually read quite a few of these. Memo to self: get out more

Avitable said...

I wouldn't be able to remember which of those I've read for school and which I've read for pleasure.

Isn't 106 a weird number for a list? And I think the reason people buy Angels and Demons and don't read it is because they realize how shitty of an author Dan Brown is.

Verdant Earl said...

Paige - Hey you may do better than you think.

White Rabbit - nothing wrong with staying in with a good book. Or a good movie. Or a good bottle of bourbon.

Avi - I thought the same thing about the number of books. And I agree about Dan Brown...which is why I can't figure out why someone would buy it and then not read it.

Slyde said...

ive only read 14 of these...

thats pretty sad, i know.

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - they don't do some books on Audio CD so you may be missing out. ;)

Bruce Johnson said...

I am too important to spend time reading books. I pay others to read books to me. But most of the time I am not paying attention, since I am dreaming of Pamela Anderson. If I have seen the movies based on the books, does that count?

Verdant Earl said...

Lotus - this Pam Anderbot fascination you have is...fascinating!

Anonymous said...

I'm nicking this from you!

jiggs said...

Jerry Caysey here. Some of the books on that list are children's books. why would people buy the hobbit to make themselves look smart?

Artful Kisser said...

Why anyone would put Angels and Demons on their shelf to look "smart and well rounded" is beyond me. DAN BROWN MAKES ME FROWN...Avitable is right. He's just shit. I do however recommend the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Verdant Earl said...

bobgirrl - nick away.

Jerry - they may buy it to make themselves look tall.

Artful Kisser - Dan Brown is popcorn. There is nothing wrong with popcorn, it's just not literature.

elizabeth said...

I love the hobbit. And I is smart. Most smartest person here.

elizabeth said...

PS Grapes of Wrath is nowhere as good as East of Eden.

Oh yes, and Watership Down? They made me read that in grade 5. GRADE 5! It made me sad. I may have been able to read it...doesn't mean they should have made me. It still makes my tummy hurt to think about it.

Good list though.

Verdant Earl said...

Liz - You most definitely is the smartest person here. ;)

That Hank said...

You do know that Vonnegut didn't write Catch-22, right? (And, oddly enough, I had a discussion about exactly that with a friend last night.)

Verdant Earl said...

Downtown Guy - yeah, it was bad. Read it so long ago, I couldn't remember.

That Hank said...

I just thought it was funny, because, like I said, the same thing came up last night. I'd never considered mistaking the two before that, but I guess it's an easy wire to get crossed.

Verdant Earl said...

For some reasons, I confuse it with Slaughterhouse Five all the time. Maybe because both were adapted to film in the early 70's and both dealt with WWII.

Could be all the tequila I've had over the years. ;)