106 books of pretension

I haven’t posted in a while. To remedy this, I’ve decided to use some memetically generated content, rather than bothering to actually write something original. I noticed this particular meme on some of the science blogs I read. It’s a bit stale now, but it’s my kind of fun.

Below are “106 books of pretension,” compiled from the books most frequently marked unread by Library Thing users.

Books I’ve read are in bold; books I’ve stared but haven’t finished are in italics; books I own but haven’t read are marked with an dagger (†). I was tempted to annotate all the books, but you can probably read about books I love
elsewhere on this blog. So I’ll only annotate (*ahem* make excuses about) the books I haven’t finished or the books I own but haven’t read yet†.

Here is the executive summary for those of you who don’t want to slog through all of the titles:

  • Read: 55
  • Haven’t finished: 5
  • Own, but haven’t read†: 9

And here’s the list:

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell† – Joanne started reading this, but she found it pretty boring. If anyone out there read this and enjoyed it, let me know. If you’re convincing enough, I’ll give it a go.
  2. Anna Karenina
  3. Crime and Punishment
  4. Catch-22
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  6. Wuthering Heights
  7. The Silmarillion – I could never really get into this. I’ve read Lord of the Rings three times, but I’ve never managed to finish this
  8. Life of Pi : a novel
  9. The Name of the Rose
  10. Don Quixote
  11. Moby Dick – I got most of the way through this book, then I got to an incredibly vivid description of whale carcasses floating abandoned in the sea. It made me sick to my stomach. I put the book down, and I’ve never picked it up again. This is a book I really need to finish.
  12. Ulysses – I started this one summer when I was in University. I had at least two books of annotations, and I was ready for anything. I got close to halfway through, then the fall semester started. I never quite had the time to finish it.
  13. Madame Bovary
  14. The Odyssey
  15. Pride and Prejudice
  16. Jane Eyre
  17. The Tale of Two Cities
  18. The Brothers Karamazov
  19. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies† – I bought this a while ago in at the used book stall on the beach in Brighton. I keep coming across references to this and other books by Jared M. Diamond in a number of books I’m readying (usually biology related), so it’s quite likely I’ll actually read this soon.
  20. War and Peace
  21. Vanity Fair
  22. The Time Traveler’s Wife† – Joanne read this and liked it a lot. I think it’s currently on loan to someone. If we ever get it back, I’ll read it.
  23. The Iliad
  24. Emma
  25. The Blind Assassin† – I need to read this. I like Margaret Atwood a lot, but I just haven’t gotten around to reading this one. Actually, this one may be on loan, too. I couldn’t find it on our shelves, but I’m pretty sure it was at one point.
  26. The Kite Runner
  27. Mrs. Dalloway
  28. Great Expectations
  29. American Gods
  30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  31. Atlas Shrugged
  32. Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
  33. Memoirs of a Geisha† – Another one that Joanne has read (twice). She says that it’s a much better book than the movie they made out of it. I’d like to read it to find out if that’s true.
  34. Middlesex
  35. Quicksilver
  36. Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
  37. The Canterbury tales
  38. The Historian : a novel
  39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  40. Love in the Time of Cholera
  41. Brave New world
  42. The Fountainhead
  43. Foucault’s Pendulum
  44. Middlemarch
  45. Frankenstein
  46. The Count of Monte Cristo
  47. Dracula
  48. A Clockwork Orange
  49. Anansi Boys
  50. The Once and Future King
  51. The Grapes of Wrath
  52. The Poisonwood Bible : a novel† – This was in a £1 book bin at Eridge station, which means it’s been sitting unread on my shelf for about three years. The shame.
  53. 1984
  54. Angels & Demons
  55. The Inferno
  56. The Satanic Verses† – Of all the Rushdie I’ve read, how have I not read this one? One day, very soon, I’m going to read this.
  57. Sense and Sensibility
  58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  59. Mansfield Park
  60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  61. To the Lighthouse
  62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  63. Oliver Twist
  64. Gulliver’s Travels
  65. Les Misérables
  66. The Corrections
  67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  69. Dune
  70. The Prince
  71. The Sound and the Fury – I may have actually finished this. I was a bit preoccupied at the time. Most of it was read on a plane between the France and the U.S. In any case, I need to reread this.
  72. Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
  73. The God of Small Things
  74. A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
  75. Cryptonomicon
  76. Neverwhere
  77. A Confederacy of Dunces† – I think we own this, though I couldn’t find it on our shelves. I know Joanne has read it. I guess I should probably read it, but I really don’t want to. I think I just got sick of hearing about it in the early ’90s. In fact, I feel like I’ve read it already. If you’ve read this one, and think I should read it, let me know.
  78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
  79. Dubliners
  80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  81. Beloved
  82. Slaughterhouse-five
  83. The Scarlet Letter
  84. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
  85. The Mists of Avalon
  86. Oryx and Crake : a novel
  87. Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
  88. Cloud Atlas
  89. The Confusion
  90. Lolita
  91. Persuasion
  92. Northanger Abbey
  93. The Catcher in the Rye
  94. On the Road
  95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  96. Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
  97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
  98. The Aeneid
  99. Watership Down
  100. Gravity’s Rainbow† – I picked this up at the gift shop at Herstmonceux Castle. That was almost a year ago. It’s probably time to actually read the book.
  101. The Hobbit
  102. In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
  103. White Teeth
  104. Treasure Island
  105. David Copperfield
  106. The Three Musketeers – Technically, this one is unfinished, but I’m reading it right now.

If you’ve made it this far, you are obviously at least as pretentious as I am, and are hereby tagged. Which of these books have you read? Which didn’t you finished? Which do you own, but have yet to read?

Update: I’ve closed comments on this post due to excessive spam, but if you have something to say, you can always send me a message directly.

3 thoughts on “106 books of pretension

  1. 1. I will make my list too. I never get to read anymore!

    2. Read A Confederacy of Dunces you dork. It’s highly enjoyable!

  2. The PoisonWood Bible is a great book …a compelling story, if only to learn what happened in the Congo . Just finished Animal Vegetable Miracle and liked that also. Maybe I just like Barbara Kingsolver.
    On the other hand, I found a hard cover copy of A Confederacy of Dunces in a free box, and read it because of all the hype. Parts of it are pretty funny, but though I read it to the end, did not really enjoy it. Nor did I find The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time lived up to the glowing reviews.

Comments are closed.