Friday, October 12, 2007

more literary stuff

I figured I might as well stick with the whole literary thing after yesterdy's character kissing post

This is a meme I'm stealing from Alejna. The basic premise is that it takes the top 106 unread books from Library Thing, and you mark whether you've read them or not (and various other offshoots on that... see below).

I am very curious as to how and why these books are marked as unread - are they marked so because people want to read them and haven't yet? are they rated as books one SHOULD read, but people haven't? I haven't been able to figure this out. And why 106? And yet I am magnetically drawn to this list. I found myself thinking about the books and wondering about the list, and so, therefore, have stolen the meme.

The instructions are: Bold what you have read, italicize those you didn't finish, strikethrough the ones you hated, put *asterisks next to those you’ve read more than once, and put a + cross in front of the books that are on your bookshelf. Underline books that are on your "to read" list. (I learned how to underline in html for this post. Aren't you proud of me?)

and because I want to, I will add a few notes here and there.

the list, and my reactions to it:


Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22 (started this book before my first year of college. had to return it to the library in my home town before I finished. Meant to check it out once at school, never did. Finally finished it while I nursed MQ... 10 years later)
+*One hundred years of solitude (loved, loved, loved this book. Totally changed the way I view Time and the Omnipresence of God)
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose (I've seen the movie, does that count?)
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Ulysses
*Madame Bovary
+The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice (I have mentioned that I have read no Jane Austen. And yes, I'm working on that! Trip to library tomorrow.)
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 Traveller’s Wife
+The Iliad
Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
+Reading Lolita in Tehran(it's on the bookshelf, waiting to be read)
Memoirs of a Geisha (read this past summer. Really liked the narrative voice)
Middlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (read this summer, as well. Gave my copy away. Liked it, but don't recommend the sequel, Son of a Witch)
+The Canterbury Tales (I actually started listening to this on tape, and couldn't hack it. If i had actually READ it I would have finished it, since I am just about incapable of not finishing any book I begin, hence my tortured reading of She's Come Undone)
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
+Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange (I tried watching this movie in H.S. and could not hack the violence. Read the book on my own several years later, and then finally managed to watch the movie)
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible (loved this!)
1984
Angels & Demons

The Inferno
The Satanic Verses (eventually...)
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 (in HS. The unabridged addition. I had fallen in love with the musical, and I'm a geek)
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time (again, loved this!)
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
+Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-five
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
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
+The Hobbit
In Cold Blood (this is actually on hold for me at the library right now, along with To Kill a Mockingbird. I watched Capote last weekend)
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Want to play along? Steal this list if it interests you. Or don't. Whatever.

16 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

I might steal this since I have no time to actually create a post of my own, but my list is somewhat similar to yours. I have read a few you haven't because I was trying to work through the classics for a while and then quit. Time Traveller's Wife is one of my favorite books so I appreciated your tribute to Henry in your post below.

slouching mom said...

What a bizarre list. I can't figure our what holds those 106 books together. Some, like Ulysses, I understand, because they are tough tough tough to slog through. But others I don't get.

painted maypole said...

SM - i think that was part of my draw to the list, it just seems so RANDOM. Like...heres 106 books for no particular reason. Tell us if you've read them!

Diana said...

Two books on this that I think you would really like are Brave New World and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I loved both of them amoung many others on this list. Now I have many other books to add to my to read list (now all I need is oodles of freetime, you have any to spare?)

Suz said...

I might steal it as well, just because it's so random. There are known classics (Aeneid) alongside books that I can say that I honestly never heard of (Freakonomics? Is that like Reganomics??)

Furrow said...

Thanks. I was totally uninspired, so I snagged this.

Some of these books were so formative for me in late adolescence -- Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, Catch-22 -- that I'm sad that so many people have missed out on them.

carrie said...

So interesting . . . if only I could actually remember reading some of those - guess it's time for rereading!!!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, absolutely read Jane Eyre. I love Jane Austen, but Jane Eyre trumps everything in that ilk. Great list, and yes, I'm going to steal it!
THANKS!

thirtysomething said...

Wow. What an interesting list, and I agree--very random. Fun!

susiej said...

So many books -- and now that I look at them, I do want to read them again -- as they will mean very different things to me now, that I am a Mom, and much older.

In Cold Blood. We watched that in 8th grade I think -- it left a terrible impression on me. I was terrified. I don't think I could sit through that horrible book -- even though it's true. But, the setting is very much like the very town I grew up in.... But I'm that way with many scary things. Maybe that movie is why.

When my kids are older, I will steal this meme.

Chrissy said...

You're so well-read! You've sold me on Time Traveller's Wife. I'll have to go get it. Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? probably not.

Susanne said...

Weird list, I agree. Also, can somebody tell me why there are three Neil Gaiman books on there? And you seem to be well read. (I haven't read any Jane Austen too, and I probably never will. I have problems with anything older than 1940 or so.)

CuriousC said...

Hi, I have done this list, too... (http://bkclubcare.wordpress.com/2007/10/05/top-106-books-most-often-marked-unread/) I will have to go back to the 100 years of solitude... and I loved Catch-22. I do have a lot of friends who are afraid to start the Curious Incident of the Dog book because they think it will be depressing. I felt I had to read In Cold Blood because I'm from Kansas. I was still in HS and my friends thought I was wierd. Of course, you will love To Kill a Mockingbird. ah, so many books...

niobe said...

Interesting idea. Maybe I'll try to make my own lists of books I haven't read and want to read, and books I haven't read and don't want to read.

Alpha DogMa said...

This is the SCARIEST meme ever.

alejna said...

I'm glad you played along.

I think I may be able to shed some light on the weirdness of the list, which has to do with how Library Thing works. People who use Library Thing generally list either books that they own, or books that they've read. People can tag their book listings however they want, and for the "owned" books, there are often a lot of them tagged "unread." So the list above perhaps says a lot about the people who use Library Thing and the books they own: the genres they tend to gravitate towards, the books they think they should read, etc. It's effectively a self-selecting population of book-lovers, so not at all a random sample.

As for the choice of the number 106, I have no freakin' clue.