May 2, 2008

106 Books (pretension optional)

Posted in Books, Literature, Memes at 5:38 pm by The Lizard Queen

Snagged this from Evil Bender:

Via Stranger Fruit, I learn about an interesting book meme: “106 Books of Pretension,” which is really “the top 106 books most often marked as ‘unread’ by LibraryThing’s users.” I don’t think these books, as a group, are particularly pretentious.  There is a surprisingly wide range represented . . .

So, here we go — books I’ve read are in italics, books I began and never finished are struck through, and books in standard type I haven’t (yet) bothered with:

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment (I really enjoyed this book.  In other news, I’m a huge book nerd.)
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude (very much want to read this)
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose (another to-read)
* Don Quixote
* Moby Dick (I also enjoyed this one more than I expected to.)
* Ulysses (someday…)
* Madame Bovary (I was supposed to read this the summer before 12th grade.  Not so much.)
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov (I made it through the first 300 pages.  That’s only a third of the book.)
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods (I loves me some Neil Gaiman)
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (I want to read this, or at least I like the idea, but on more than one occasion I’ve picked it up at the bookstore, then put it down again…)
* The Canterbury tales (I can’t quite remember if I’ve definitely read all of the Tales, but I’m counting it anyway.)
* 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
* Middlemarch (I’d like to read this)
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
* Anansi Boys
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath (Had to read this in high school and found it dreadfully dull; had to read it in grad school and loved it.)
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses (would very much like to read this)
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray (ditto)
* Mansfield Park (dude, what’s with all the Jane Austen on this list?)
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse (the trouble with stream-of-consciousness prose, for me, is that it’s so easy to put down and forget to pick up again…)
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables (I’d like to get around to this someday.  I’ve poked at the beginning a few times, but never really started in on it.)
* The Corrections (on my shelf, just waiting for me!)
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury (Yeah, another nerdy love of mine…)
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present (currently reading — okay, maybe I’ve paused for a little while.  But I’ll finish it!)
* 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 (also want to read)
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* Cloud Atlas
* The Confusion
* Lolita (seriously, Nabokov’s prose is amazing)
* Persuasion
* 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 (kinda curious about this one)
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down (I seem to recall reading something in high school from the point of view of rabbits, which points to Watership Down, but… I just really don’t remember.)
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences (on the shelf!)
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers

Good grief, I think my total is 34.  Maybe I’m not as much of a book nerd as I claim to be…



  1. MPC said,

    Okay, so about To the Lighthouse. It’s one of my top three novels. Number One is Lolita. To the Lighthouse is #2, but sometimes it trades places with #3, which may be The Turn of the Screw, The Things They Carried, Orlando, and some other books that are way high up there in my life.

    I hope you’ll eventually have the experience with the book that I did. I didn’t want to read it, and then when I finally got around to it, I savored it. Almost every page made me want to cry–not because the story was sad but because the writing dazzled AND the story dazzled too. Jasper is named after the very minor character Jasper Ramsay (Ramsay is Jasper’s little-known middle name), who may appear only once in the book. He’s a lesser brother, I think.

    Now I’ve got a zillion books by Virginia Woolf, but it took me being in my 30s to enjoy/understand her.

  2. luaphacim said,

    Thanks for the correction on Three Musketeers! Alas, I thought I had conquered a Hugo, but it turns out I was something of a Dumas myself. 😉

    And the Jane Eyre comment was intentional. 🙂

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