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27 April 2008 @ 01:54 pm
meme from wellinghall  
What we have here is the top 106 (which is an unusual number, but it's not my meme) 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, italicise the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
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
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
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
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Divine Comedy: The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
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
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 : a novel
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
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

What this reveals, in particular, is a strange aversion to Dickens, which is odd since the only Dickens I've read (Tale of Two Cities) I very much enjoyed but I somehow can't shake the conviction I won't like the others. I also recall my second cousin's horror on discovering I had given up on Anna Karenina because I thought she was a silly woman. I don't remember his exact words but they were to the effect of "I can't believe you've just called one of the greatest tragic heroines in literature a silly woman".
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bunnbunn on April 27th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
Do people really buy all those Neil Gaimans to make themselves look clever? I'd previously considered Gaiman's an indulgent pleasure, like Pratchetts, though I suppose those listed are a lot grimmer.
louisedennislouisedennis on April 27th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
I don't know, I'd say ditto with the Neal Stephenson's. I don't read his work because I consider it classic literature in any sense.

Meme wording isn't mine and I just cut and paste without a thought. I'm guessing these books are unread for a variety of reasons. The "classics" probably are ones people bought because they thought they were worthy and that intelligent people should read them. But some are probably more books that get talked about a lot and so bought - Eats, Shoots and Leaves for instance, I can't imagine people thinking that they would look clever by having that on their shelves.
bunnbunn on April 27th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that.

The only one that is on my personal 'bought, never read' is Cloud Atlas - started that and never finished it, it just seemed a vague blob of a book that was going nowhere.
philmophlegm: NFL draftphilmophlegm on April 28th, 2008 08:45 am (UTC)
We've actually got two copies of the thing because your mother bought it you for christmas too.
sophievdennis on April 29th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I have this memory it does go somewhere in the end, but for the life of me can't remember where. I still quite liked it though.