Because you simply must know.

This is the book meme.

These are the top 106 (106??) books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of today). As usual, bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list. My comments where appropriate.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Nope, not reading this.

Anna Karenina - Yawn.

Crime and Punishment - Reading this book is the punishment.

Catch-22 - Overrated. Movie was "meh."

One Hundred Years of Solitude - In Spanish. Not bad.

Wuthering Heights - Meh.

The Silmarillion - What follows "a gazillion"

Life of Pi

The Name of the Rose - But I pretended I did, while a young man, to further my social life

Don Quijote* - Read it in the original. Very cool. Cervantes lost his arm in the naval battle of Lepanto, where the Muslim navy was soundly thrashed and they kind of lost interest in taking over Europe after that. Well, for a while, anyway.

Moby Dick - Anyone who read this outside of an academic setting needs watching.

Ulysses - Has almost every single element I hate in a book. See Moby Dick.

Madame Bovary - See Moby Dick.

The Odyssey - Can't get through a Jesuit education without it.

Pride and Prejudice - I only have one X chromosome. Meh.

Jane Eyre - See above.

A Tale of Two Cities - See Moby Dick.

The Brothers Karamazov - Russian literature is the real reason the Cold War had to be fought and won.

Guns, Germs, and Steel - Sounds like the sequel to Brokeback Mountain.

War and Peace - The list of Russian things I love is shorter than you thought.

Vanity Fair - Meh.

The Time Traveller’s Wife - The title fools you into thinking you'll get those hours back. (You won't.)

The Iliad - See The Odyssey.


The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway

Great Expectations - Cheery li'l tome, innit?

American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Nah. (Title's half right, though.)

Atlas Shrugged - Interesting philosophy, mediocre writing. Incidentally, anyone who thinks of Ayn Rand as either the Messiah or the Antichrist invariably turns out to be, frankly, a dick.

Reading Lolita in Tehran - Like I'd ever get all those hours back.

Memoirs of a Geisha - See above.

Middlesex - When I reach age 45, I'll let you know what it's like.

Quicksilver - Nice surfwear, though.

Wicked - Only one X chromosome. Sorry.

The Canterbury Tales - See Odyssey.

The Historian

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Yawn.

Love in the Time of Cholera - In the original. Not bad.

Brave New World - Yawn. Predictable.

The Fountainhead - See Atlas Shrugged.

Foucault’s Pendulum

Middlemarch - Is this when you get to have Middlesex? Because my birthday's in April.

Frankenstein - Meh.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Not bad if you skim it.

Dracula - Overrated.

A Clockwork Orange - Hell no. Hated the film.

Anansi Boys - Sounds like "A Nancy Boy's" which disqualifies it.

The Once and Future King - Meh. I saw and rather liked that close?

The Grapes of Wrath - Hated it. A lot.

The Poisonwood Bible

1984 - See Moby Dick.

Angels & Demons

The Inferno - Meh.

The Satanic Verses - Fail to see the point and thus fail to see the point of the Ayatolla's fatwa. Merits no more than a bitch slap or two.

Sense and Sensibility - Only one X chromosome, which I must guard carefully.

The Picture of Dorian Gray* - Unspeakably brilliant.

Mansfield Park

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - See Moby Dick.

To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Fell asleep through the film, though.

Oliver Twist - See Moby Dick.

Gulliver’s Travels*

Les Misérables - While reading it, I was tres misérable myself

The Corrections

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - It didn't actually suck.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - About which I 'm not that curious.

Dune - I dated in high school.

The Prince - See The Odyssey. Not bad, if a mite cynical.

The Sound and the Fury - You'd have to be faulked in the head to enjoy this.

Angela’s Ashes - I wish they had buried Angela instead and spared us all.

The God of Small Things - Sounds like a spam message.

A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present - I don't trust people.



A Confederacy of Dunces - Meh. Overrated.

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Not short enough. (Will Cuppy's Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody is far better.)

Dubliners - I can see why this one is unread.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Again, half right.

Beloved - Begone

Slaughterhouse-Five - Vonnegut. Overrated and a half.

The Scarlet Letter - See. The Odyssey. Yawn.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves* - I now parade my semicolon.

The Mists of Avalon - Seems a bit too...D&D, ifyaknowhatImean.

Oryx and Crake - Sounds like the special of the day as announced with a fake Chinese accent.


Cloud Atlas

The Confusion - This must be what prompts people to buy it.

Lolita - Yawn.


Northanger Abbey - Just not an Austen kinda guy.

The Catcher in the Rye - If I had written this, I'd be a recluse too.

On the Road - A death wish of a reading experience. The best thing that can be said for the Beat Generation is that they are mostly dead, not that this affects the quality of their work.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - See Moby Dick. See Les Miserables.

Freakonomics - Suckonomics.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - I have surprisingly little call for either.

Aeneid - See The Odyssey

Watership Down - A sad book about rabbits? You must be high.

Gravity’s Rainbow - Not even if it was Finian's.

The Hobbit - I dated in high school, sorry. (Is it just me or is it easy to confuse the names of Tolkien's characters with those for antibiotics and similar medicines?)

In Cold Blood - Is what it's like to foist this on the unsuspecting.

White Teeth - Better to have 'em than read 'em.

Treasure Island - Required reading for bookish lads.

David Copperfield - This sucked Dickens.

The Three Musketeers - See Treasure Island.

Now you know.



Badger said…
Ah, but had you read Dune and The Hobbit you could have been dating the sci-fi/fantasy girls, and we put out, you know.
Joke said…
Not in all-boys schools they didn't.

Badger said…
So when you say you dated in high school, you mean you dated boys? I thought that was all a myth cooked up by Hollywood!
Joke said…
That's just Hollywood projecting.

BabelBabe said…
ok, while this was very entertaning, name five books you like RIGHT NOW. Other than Wodehouse.
Tere said…
Oh, that was hilarious.
Joke said…

See the latest post.

Kim said…
Dune - I dated in high school.

There were so many favourites from your list, but this one? This one nailed it.
Joke said…
This explains why, as Badger phrased it, the sci-fi/fantasy girs "put out" because the boys reading this stuff were otherwise occupied.

Lazy cow said…
Freaking hysterical.
I don't know WHAT I was reading in high school (nothing on this list) but whatever it was it didn't lead to dating.
Bec said…
You didn't like Grapes of Wrath?

You are SUCH the capitalist running dog.

But you already knew that, right?


(who, having gone through the painful process of signing into my defunct blogger name once already to comment on another post of yours, thought she might as well do so again, while already signed in, and while speaking mysteriously in the third person, and while needing much much more sleep.)

You still have no excuse for not liking Steinbeck.
Joke said…
On the contrary, I have scads...dozens, even...of reasons why Steinbeck is to be avoided like a doberman with Hepatitis B.

In his defense, he's preferable to James Joyce or that sniveling hypocritical toad, Arthur Miller.


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