Alison (bohemiancoast) wrote,

Oooh, a meme!

It's the unread books meme; the top 106 unread books from library thing. The normal, bold those you've read, italicise those you've started but haven't finished; the number in brackets is the number of library thing users who have these on their unread shelf.

I do think this is rather an interesting list; notably few books that I've had trouble finishing. I have very low tolerance, these days, for books I don't like; there are a few on this list that I read a long time ago and suspect I wouldn't finish if I were reading them for the first time; the Dickens stands out here. By comparison there are many that I read right through in an engulfing way, and several that I have read many times. Two of the 'unfinished' are actually books that I think of myself as being currently reading, though to be fair very slowly; Collapse is the book in the glove compartment at the moment, and Quicksilver is a book on my Nokia 770. Quicksilver certainly risks becoming a book I don't ever finish, but I'm pretty sure I'll finish Collapse. Anna Karenina and Freakonomics are both on my list of 'books I sort of ought to get round to sometime'; none of the other unreads are as far as I know.

What's really striking is how much better the books are on this list than on most meme-lists; I think people must have a really good sense of what Improving Books would be like, but never get round to reading them. But these books aren't just Improving; most of them are also jolly good reads.

Of course, quite a lot of these were not written originally in English, and the translation is critical here. For example, I am pretty sure I'd never have got through Inferno were it not for Dorothy Sayers; and I'm pretty sure that the dreadful translation we were given in school of Don Quixote was the cause of my getting totally bogged down in it at a time when I pretty much still read anything I was given to read.

I bet the pile of unwatched DVDs is similarly interesting. (My champion is Buena Vista Social Club; I think we're almost certain to enjoy it hugely, but I really don't think it will ever be the right time to watch it). In many ways DVDs are worse because, at least in this house, it requires a confluence of more than one person to have an Improving Mood before the Improving DVD gets watched.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (149)
Anna Karenina (132)
Crime and punishment (121)
Catch-22 (117)
One hundred years of solitude (115)
Wuthering Heights (110)
The Silmarillion (104)
Life of Pi : a novel (94)
The name of the rose (91)
Don Quixote (91)
Moby Dick (86)
Ulysses (84)
Madame Bovary (83)
The Odyssey (83)
Pride and prejudice (83)
Jane Eyre (80)
A tale of two cities (80)
The brothers Karamazov (80)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (79)
War and peace (78)
Vanity fair (74)
The time traveler's wife (73)
The Iliad (73)
Emma (73)
The Blind Assassin (73)
The kite runner (71)
Mrs. Dalloway (70)
Great expectations (70)
American gods : a novel (68)
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius (67)
Atlas shrugged (67)
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books (66)
Memoirs of a Geisha (66)
Middlesex (66)
Quicksilver (66)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West … (65)
The Canterbury tales (64)
The historian : a novel (63)
A portrait of the artist as a young man (63)
Love in the time of cholera (62)
Brave new world (61)
The Fountainhead (61)
Foucault's pendulum (61)
Middlemarch (61)
Frankenstein (59)
The Count of Monte Cristo (59)
Dracula (59)
A clockwork orange (59)
Anansi boys : a novel (58)
The once and future king (57)
The grapes of wrath (57)
The poisonwood Bible : a novel (57)
1984 (57)
Angels & demons (56)
The inferno (56)
The satanic verses (55)
Sense and sensibility (55)
The picture of Dorian Gray (55)
Mansfield Park (55)
One flew over the cuckoo's nest (54)
To the lighthouse (54)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (54)
Oliver Twist (54)
Gulliver's travels (53)
Les misérables (53)
The corrections (53)
The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay : a novel (52)
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time (52)
Dune (51)
The prince (51)
The sound and the fury (51)
Angela's ashes : a memoir (51)
The god of small things (51)
A people's history of the United States : 1492-present (51)
Cryptonomicon (50)
Neverwhere (50)
A confederacy of dunces (50)
A short history of nearly everything (50)
Dubliners (50)
The unbearable lightness of being (49)
Beloved : a novel (49)
Slaughterhouse-five (49)
The scarlet letter (48)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Pu… (48)
The mists of Avalon (47)
Oryx and Crake : a novel (47)
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed (47)
Cloud atlas : a novel (47)
The confusion (46)
Lolita (46)
Persuasion (46)
Northanger abbey (46)
The catcher in the rye (46)
On the road (46)
The hunchback of Notre Dame (45)
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of… (45)
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance : an inquiry into … (45)
The Aeneid (45)
Watership Down (44)
Gravity's rainbow (44)
The Hobbit (44)
In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its … (44)
White teeth (44)
Treasure Island (44)
David Copperfield (44)
The three musketeers (44)

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