106 books

25 Nov

I haven’t done a meme in quite a while, and I find myself in need of some lighthearted amusement today so I have turned to my friend Helen, who did this book meme some time ago.

My reading has been kind of stale these past few months. I am stuck on The People’s History of the United States, it’s a long book and it’s going very slowly, but I did manage to read the first two books in the Inspector Lynley mysteries a few weeks ago.

This meme, in Helen’s words, “is about LibraryThing’s list of the top 106 books that lie unread on people’s shelves. You have to bold the ones you’ve read of your own accord, underline the ones you had to read for school or university, and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.” I will also follow Helen and put a star by the books I own but haven’t read, and I think I should strike the ones I will probably never read.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell♦ I have to be honest and say I know nothing about this book. I’ll have to do a search on it.

Anna Karenina♦I had to take a break in the middle of this one, but it is a very powerful story. In the end I felt sorry for the heroine and I thought two things: that she did it all for nought and that she deserved better treatment, from others and from herself.

**Crime and Punishment**♦ I bought this book in England a couple of years ago and it is still waiting for me. I’ll read it one day when I feel I can handle its depth and subject matter.

Catch-22♦ Well, this is not a good beginning. I haven’t read this one either.

One Hundred Years of Solitude♦ A great favorite. I’ve written about it here.

Wuthering Heights♦ Despise me if you dare, but I am not a Bronte fan. I know what the book is about and nothing about it appeals to me.

The Silmarillion♦ I am not a reader of fantasy stories as a rule, but I will probably read Tolkien at some point. I read all the Harry Potters, but the last two were really disappointing to me, and in the end found them gimmicky and I thought all the secrecy a little annoying, especially as there really was no big secret at all in my opinion.

Life of Pi : a novel♦ I have this on my wish list at Amazon.

The Name of the Rose♦ I enjoyed this very much.

Don Quixote♦ Another one that is on the wish list. I’ll read it in Spanish of course.

Moby Dick♦ Does the movie count?

Ulysses♦ No thank you, I’ve heard about it and I have no desire to subject myself to it.

Madame Bovary♦ A very sad, disturbing story. I failed to identify with the heroine. I couldn’t understand her at all. Do people like her really exist? Tragically, they do.

The Odyssey♦ I read the Samuel Butler translation, which I didn’t like much. I’d like to try a different version some time.

Pride and Prejudice♦ My favorite book in the world. I’ve written a little about it here.

**Jane Eyre**♦ I’ve seen part of one of the adaptations. I can’t remember which. I am not particularly interested but I guess I could pick it up one day, so I won’t scratch it off. It’s highly unlikely, as I don’t like Lifetime Television-type stories. I have decided to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall which will, in all probability, be my only Bronte book.

The [A] Tale of Two Cities♦ I like Dickens, and I’m slowly going through all his works.

The Brothers Karamazov♦ I plan to read this at some point in my life, although Russian literature is never my first choice.

Guns, Germs, and Steel♦ Something new for the wish list.

The Time Traveler’s Wife♦ For some reason I tend to stay away from current fiction.

**The Iliad**♦ I’ll get to this one eventually.

Emma♦ Many scholars think this is Jane Austen’s finest book. Out of the six, this is number four or five on my list. It changes position between readings.

The Blind Assassin♦ Again, another contemporary fiction book that I have simply not been compelled to read.

The Kite Runner♦  

Mrs. Dalloway♦ I liked it.

Great Expectations♦ Probably my favorite Dickens.

American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius♦

Atlas Shrugged♦ I have a feeling I will probably not like this book, but I think I should at least give it a try.

Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books♦ A very moving book.

Memoirs of a Geisha♦ I saw a little bit of the movie. I hope the book is better. I’m not very interested I’m afraid.


Quicksilver♦ I don’t have this book but it seems very interesting.

Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales♦ I’ve read parts of it.

The Historian: a novel♦

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Love in the Time of Cholera♦ My second favorite GGM.

Brave New World♦ I don’t like to read books like this. There is enough despair and unhappiness in real life as it is. All I need to do to get a dose of it is to turn on the news.

The Fountainhead♦ It seems like a very interesting, thought-provoking book, although I have to say that I normally don’t like novels that are used as propaganda tools, which this may well be.

Foucault’s Pendulum♦ I read it’s a difficult book, but based on my enjoyment of The Name of the Rose, I would try it.

Middlemarch♦ My favorite Eliot.


The Count of Monte Cristo♦ Loved it.


A Clockwork Orange♦

Anansi Boys♦

The Once and Future King♦ I’ve always loved the legend of King Arthur, so I will probably read this at some point.

The Grapes of Wrath♦

The Poisonwood Bible♦ I’ve never read Barbara Kingsolver, but the plot seems very original and interesting.

1984♦ I like George Orwell. I think he was a genius

Angels & Demons♦The Da Vinci Code was enough for me.

Inferno♦ I will assume this is Dante’s Inferno and not the science fiction novel. If not, insert strikethrough.

The Satanic Verses♦ We have Midnight’s Children, which I’ve never read. I’d like to read this just to see what all the fuss is about. My husband thought it was much ado about nothing, and he’s a Muslim.

Sense and Sensibility♦ My number two of the six major novels. I wrote a little about it here.

The Picture of Dorian Gray♦ I saw the black and white movie. It doesn’t appeal to me much, but I won’t reject it out of hand.

Mansfield Park♦ I wrote a review here.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest♦

To the Lighthouse♦ I like Virgina Woolf, so this is a future read, to be sure.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles♦ I don’t particularly like Hardy, but I read a great review of this book, so I’ll give it a try based on that recommendation.

Oliver Twist♦

**Gulliver’s Travels**♦ I started reading this book but gave up. I’ll give it another go at some point.

Les Misérables♦

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay♦

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time♦ The reviews are great, so I would like to read this.

Dune♦ I saw the movie and that was enough.

**The Prince**♦

The Sound and the Fury♦

Angela’s Ashes: a memoir

The God of Small Things♦ A half-hearted maybe. There are so many other books I’d like to read.

A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present♦ I’m reading this at the moment.



A Confederacy of Dunces♦

A Short History of Nearly Everything♦ I enjoy non-fiction books about topics like this one.


The Unbearable Lightness of Being♦ Not particularly appealing, but a maybe.

Beloved♦ Too tragic by half.


The Scarlet Letter♦

Eats, Shoots & Leaves♦ I enjoyed it. I thought it was really clever and funny at times.

The Mists of Avalon♦

Oryx and Crake♦

Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed♦

Cloud Atlas♦ The reviews are good, and the plot seems very interesting so I would give this a try.

The Confusion♦ Maybe.

Lolita♦ I’ve almost bought this book several times and probably will read it some day.

Persuasion♦ Number three of the six for me. It makes me sad to think that Jane Austen was dying as she wrote every word.

Northanger Abbey♦ Perhaps the Austen I like the least, if that is possible. I treasure all her writing, but this is the one book that I re-read less often than the others.

The Catcher in the Rye♦ This book is so famous that I feel I should read it, so I will.

On the Road

The Hunchback of Notre Dame♦ Maybe.

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♦ I bought an animated movie as a gift for a child and I didn’t like it.

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Hobbit♦ It’s on my wish list.

In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences♦ It’s not my kind of book.

White teeth♦ Seems interesting. I would give it a try.

Treasure Island♦ I read this a few years ago. I still remember an animated movie of this book that was on television when I was a child.

David Copperfield♦

So what does this meme tell me about my reading choices? Well, two things: it’s obvious that my taste in books is very different from most people’s, and there are few books I own that I haven’t read.


One Response to “106 books”

  1. Natalian November 28, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    I have also been slumming a bit in the literary sense! This meme has highlighted my need to pull up my socks and get reading again! Impressive list!

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