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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.

3 comments

  1. lceel says:

    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. cyn says:

    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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