These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of today). As usual, bold what you have read, italicise what you started but couldn’t finish, and
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I will give this another shot; I think you have to be in the right mood to get through this book. And someone on Badger’s list just reiterated what I have heard a thousand times: the first 100 pages SUCK. Oh, great.
Anna Karenina. I want to love this book; I just can’t seem to.
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22. The movie was brilliant.
One Hundred Years of Solitude. I think Marquez is a genius; see Love in the Time of Cholera.
Wuthering Heights* I have read it more than once but I still hate it.
Life of Pi. Someone explain all the fuss about this book to me, please?
The Name of the Rose
Moby Dick. Melville bores the crap out of me.
Ulysses. Had to read it for a class; it was all right, and parts were terrific.
The Odyssey. How did I get thru college not having to read this?
Pride and Prejudice* Total comfort reading.
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov. My Russian reading experience is woefully pathetic; I’ve read some Chekhov and Gogol, and parts of Doctor Zhivago, but that’s it.
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace. I had a friend who ripped his copy into thirds so he didn’t have to carry the whole thing around with him; this might be smart.
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad. See The Odyssey.
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
American Gods. I love Gaiman’s Sandman but his novels…eh.
Atlas Shrugged. I read The Fountainhead; I don’t need to read this, too. Sorry.
Reading Lolita in Tehran. See Life of Pi.
Middlesex. GREAT book, when the hell is Eugenides going to get on the stick and write another?
Wicked. Oh how I wanted to love this. But I didn’t.
The Canterbury Tales. Funny and totally irreverent.
The Historian. I really liked this.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera* One of my favorite books ever.
Brave New World. Dated but still interesting.
The Fountainhead. I remember really liking this but I don’t think I will ever reread it.
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King. H thinks this book is brilliant. The Arthurian legends have never really done it for me though.
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons. If you’ve read this, you don’t need to read Da Vinci Code, and vice versa.
The Inferno. I have the Pinsky translation on my shelf.
The Satanic Verses* In my top ten favorite books, ever. Admittedly, the first time I read it, I had an amazingly brilliant and patient prof walking us through all the nuances and history, and that made a huge difference to my reading experience of this book.
Sense and Sensibility. My least favorite Austen.
The Picture of Dorian Gray*
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Did anyone else want to slap Tess silly?
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I think Chabon is one of the most overrated contemporary writers. And his wife is a lunatic.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince. As a junior high schooler, I developed a wholly inappropriate crush on Machiavelli. So sue me.
The Sound and the Fury. I’ve read other Faulkner; he was ok but I have no pressing need to read more.
The God of Small Things. It’s not often a Booker prize winner disappoints but I have never gotten past the first chapter about the family’s pickle business….
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything. I love Bryson but this one just doesn’t pique my interest.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas. Mitchell is brilliant, a contemporary writer to watch, right up there with Byatt.
The Confusion. Have never heard of this.
Lolita. BRILLIANT. If you haven’t read it, you do not know what you are missing.
Northanger Abbey. What is WRONG with all these people who haven’t read any Austen, hmmmm?
The Catcher in the Rye*
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Aeneid. See Odyssey & Iliad.
Watership Down. I think I read this as a teenager but I can’t recall a damn thing about it so it doesn’t count.
The Hobbit. Tried to reread this recently with the boys but they are too young right now and it scared them. Maybe in a few years.
In Cold Blood. I should have loved this book; someone please tell me why I didn’t.
Treasure Island. Will probably read this with the boys at some point.
The Three Musketeers. Will probably read this with the boys at some point.
* Cole Porter, "Let's Do It"