I always find it interesting to know what others are reading and I believe that finding a great book is one of the most authentic pleasures I’ve experienced in life. So I was thrilled this morning to see that Mick posted the following list of “unread” books, and I’m going to treat it like a meme . . .
I’ve bolded the ones I’ve read, underlined the ones read for school, italicized the ones I’ve started but not finished. For “future” I’ve highlighted in red the books that are on my to-do list. Of course, since it’s me I’ve also added my own two cents . . . where I’ve thought of it I’ve added ** spoiler alerts ** but since I’m known in my family for giving away the endings of things halfway through (“did she sleep with her brother yet?”) I want to make sure everyone has FAIR WARNING about the content below.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment – I read in two days for a Russian Lit class taken over the winter “one month long” term in college
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi: a novel – Long story but I’ve skimmed through much of Pi for a work-related project
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice – I almost feel like adding italics too . . . P&P is one of those books that I’ve read so many times that I now just pick up and put down whenever I’m in between things.
Jane Eyre – More than my own reading, I remember hearing from Adorable and my stepmom about their experience reading Jane Eyre and their hysterical frustration with the book’s conclusion . . . ** spoiler alert ** “Reader, I married him . . .”
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner – I found the incidents of ** spoiler alert ** sexual violence against children too overwhelming and I had to set this one aside.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – I loved this memoir, but I wish it had been broken into two parts — I’ve always felt that the beginning, when ** spoiler alert ** the parents are ailing and finally pass away, was so incredibly strong and somehow not as firmly connected to the second, longer section of the piece.
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha – I found this book totally forgettable and in the category of “beach reading”
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 – I hesitated to even include this one as “read” since I read it in the 6th grade and didn’t really get the whole book. I picked it up because all the grown-ups around me were reading it, and I remember the love story but not much else.
Brave New World
Frankenstein – Gothic Lit was one of the only courses for my major that I just plain hated . . .
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King – As a kid this was one of my ALL TIME favorite books. I absolutely loved it and read everything else I could get my hands on about King Arthur.
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel – I read this over two months I spent working in London and I really connected with the isolation and foreign-ness many of the characters experienced. Beautifully written!
1984 – This is one of those books where I know what it’s about, and I think it’s more about the ideas than about the language, so since I’ve got the idea already I don’t need to read it.
Angels & Demons – Ick. I’m not a fan of Dan Brown. DaVinci Code was ok but I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about.
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Corrections – The best thing I’ve read in the past several years. Masterful language and a prose style that hangs together like poetry at times. A contender for “the Great American Novel.”
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Up until I read THE CORRECTIONS, I would have said this was my most favorite recent book. Epic and sprawling and just, well, beautiful. Another contender for “the Great American Novel.”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
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 – Ok, so I have a problem with postmodernism. I really really love it (ie, THE CRYING OF LOT 49) or I really really don’t. I couldn’t hack it and had to set this book aside.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon – Part of my King Arthur obsession
Oryx and Crake : a novel – Just listened to this book and it was really cool.
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Northanger Abbey – This book is the only way I survived the above-mentioned Gothic Lit class . . .
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
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The Three Musketeers
If you’ve read down this far, consider yourself tagged and tell the world what you’ve read!