Books People Don’t Read

Taken from

These are the 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.

Here’s the twist: add (*) beside the ones you liked and would (or did) read again or rec­om­mend. Even if you read them for school in the first place.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karen­i­na
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hun­dred Years of Solitude
Wuther­ing Heights
The Sil­mar­il­lion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby-Dick
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey*
Pride and Prejudice
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 Trav­el­er’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: A Mem­oir in Books
Mem­oirs of a Geisha
Mid­dle­sex
Quick­sil­ver
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Can­ter­bury Tales
The His­to­ri­anl
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
Anan­si Boys
The Once and Future King*
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poi­son­wood Bible: A Novel
1984
Angels & Demons
The Divine Com­e­dy (The Infer­no, The Pur­ga­to­rio, and The Paradiso)
The Satan­ic Verses
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
The Cor­rec­tions
The Amaz­ing Adven­tures of Kava­lier & Clay
The Curi­ous Inci­dent of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune* (and the rest of the series, except the most recent one by his son, I think)
The Prince
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*
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 Zero Tol­er­ance Approach to Punc­tu­a­tion*
The Mists of Aval­on*
Oryx and Crake
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: A Rogue Econ­o­mist Explores the Hid­den Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motor­cy­cle Main­te­nance: An Inquiry Into Val­ues*
The Aeneid
Water­ship Down
Grav­i­ty’s Rainbow
The Hob­bitt*
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Trea­sure Island
David Cop­per­field
The Three Mus­ke­teers*

For what it’s worth, I haven’t even heard of a few of these. Oth­ers, I’ve pur­pose­ly avoid­ed (like Moby Dick–I was very hap­py that the advanced Eng­lish class­es in my high school did­n’t have to do that one!). The ones I liked, we prob­a­bly own. We have A People’s His­to­ry of the Unit­ed States and used it a bit for home­school­ing, but I haven’t read it front to back. I keep mean­ing to.

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
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3 thoughts on “Books People Don’t Read

  1. It’s kind of spooky — how much my list cor­re­sponds to yours. One you missed, how­ev­er, that is real­ly worth read­ing is “The Curi­ous Inci­dent of the Dog In The Night­time”. I have a son with Asberg­ers Syn­drome, an afflic­tion con­sid­ered by some to be on the Autis­tic Spec­trum. This book did more to help me under­stand my son than any­thing any doc­tor has ever told me.
  2. Thanks for the tip. Maaybe I should have marked the books that I want to read, too. There are several.

    Have you read Eliz­a­beth Moon’s Speed of Dark? It’s writ­ten from the point of view of a high-func­tion­ing autis­tic per­son. I did­n’t get very far in it, honestly–I was so much in the man’s head that I felt uncom­fort­able. It’s one that I intend to go back to, though–Moon is a won­der­ful writer.

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