exactly that


What we have here is the top 106 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, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

hey, i have read a lot of books.  let’s take a looksee shall we?

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Kareninabut i have meant to finish it
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22 i first read it for school, and have read it at least two other time.
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
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair *want to read
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 
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Canterbury Tales i have also read this a few times.
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
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath this book has the special privilege of winning my trifecta award.  it may be the best book i have never finished.  dear gods i tried.  twice.  but seriously, Steinbeck could yammer on and on and on.
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest i should read this again.  i loved it.
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables dear. FSM.  for the record, i loved the musical, hated the movie.  
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 
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present  this was the required text for the required two consecutive US history classes when i was a history major.  does that count?
Cryptonomicon  i read the Necronomicron.
Neverwhere  *i should read this.  i liked Stardust so much.
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything 
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Slaughterhouse-five one of my favorite books ever
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon  *NEED to read
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road *wow.  this might be the only Kerouac book i haven’t read.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 
The Aeneid 
Watership Down  i am apparently supposed to read this.
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit  i want to read this w/ the Kid.  she likes the LOTR movies.
In Cold Blood 
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield


apparently i am not that smart.  *shrugs*  i have read a lot of books by those same authors.  for instance, i don’t think Slaughterhouse-five is the best Vonnegut book out there.  i much preferred Mother Night, but loved all of the Vonnegut I have read.  i consider myself fairly well read, even if i haven’t read everything on this list.  i would rather chew tinfoil than read Ayn Rand.  i read a lot in school b/c i may not have had access to a lot of “great” books otherwise.  i remember starting War and Peace, and don’t think i got far enough into it to say i “started but didn’t finish”.  i ended up reading Russian historical non-fiction instead.


i can read.


Comments on: "books make us look smart!" (14)

  1. “I would rather chew tinfoil than read Ayn Rand”


    I’ll send you the complete works of Jane Austen. You will like them I promise. Vanity Fair is a fun quick read. You need to read some Gabriel Garcia Marquez just because you will love magical realism (you little pagan you). Oh and as feminist I demand that you read more Margaret Atwood. I love the Blind Assassin and Oryx and Crake (blind assassin more though) . You should also read the Handmaids Tale and the Edible Woman.

  2. paisleyandplaid said:

    Yes to the Atwood. I have 2 posts on her at http://www.paisleyandplaid.wordpress.com. Search for “Works every time” and “Deconstruction Fun with ‘there was once.'”

  3. To the list I would add The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Those are two of my favorite books. I have read a few on the list and a few of them with regret, as I will never get back the time I devoted to reading them.

  4. Crap, i know i have read something by Toni Morrison.

    i must consult the Wiki gods…

    *throws poppy petals*

    no, i haven’t. i suck. i wanted to read Beloved, and i think someone has re commended The Color Purple to me before.

    i need to read more fastly. ;)

  5. PS…i want to design a new page…i want poppies all over.


    i will add that to things i will probably never do.

    stupid migraines.

  6. I might be able to help with the poppy part. Find me a pic of the poppies that you like

  7. funny tonights random python is the semifore version of wuthering heights

  8. I would skip Beloved if I were you. It reminded me of Roots meets X-files. I do seriously recommend The Color Purple. I can almost recite the movie. It touched me on so many levels. I felt the same way about The Bluest Eye. I forgot to mention in my first response Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston.
    When ever I see these best of literary list they always seem to be missing critical works by WOC.

  9. Auntie Audree said:

    I’m bringing you Watership Down when I come out there. It’s one of my favorite books. EVER. And perhaps I shall also bring you Mists of Avalon….b/c I don’t know if we can still be friends if you don’t read it.

  10. i absolutely have read and loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. that was actually on the suggested reading for the AP exam i took my senior year of high school. i should re read it, i remember loving it, and i think i would appreciate it more w/ my more open, liberal mind.

    audee…that is a pretty bold statement. i must now read it. the movie was OK…as much as i saw…that was the movie we were watching on the fateful “get back together” night.

    it’s a long movie.

  11. I agree with Audee if for no other reason than ALLLL the fantasy loving geek boys I know hate (I mean HATE) Avalon because the women are the heroes. It just rocks their little brains too hard to think that a powerful witchy woman could be GOOD and Aurthur could be a dick.

  12. actually, last night the Guy told me that he has it and would loan it to me if i wanted to read it. he said he loves it, and agreed w/ Audree.

    i have always meant to read it.

  13. Karebear said:

    i’m at 25% on this list! many are on my favorites of all time list. looks like i’ve got some more reading to do:) all of barbara kingsolver should be on here tho, not only poisonwood bible! she is great

  14. A book must have a very good start to keep me interested. I think at present I have around 7 different books going.. bored easily

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