Top 100 books taken out of the library but not read

Lazy blogging days call for exercises. I copied this list from NoSirree of the top 100 books taken out of the library but not read. Like her, I’ve bolded the ones I have read, and italicized the ones I mean to read.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (actually I own it…)
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude (so good)
Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Jane Eyre
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (I read One Hundred Splendid Suns- divine)
Mrs. Dalloway(after getting hooked on “The Hours”)
Great Expectations
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex (a MUST READ)
The Historian : a novel (blah- but a DaVinci Code vampire substitute)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera

Foucault’s Pendulum

The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange (saw the movie- which gave me the total creeps)
Anansi Boys

The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible (I love her stuff)
Angels & Demons (yes, and DaVinci. Trite, but true)



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
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince

Angela’s Ashes : a memoir

The Sound and the Fury (gotta love Faulkner’s South)
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present (a project of mine)
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything


Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita (one of my top five)
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye (not impressed)
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

Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth (read everything you can by her immediately)
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

The Aeneid
Watership Down (high school English- damn bunnies)

The Scarlet Letter

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Satanic Verses

Brave New World
The Fountainhead (I was intensely into Ayn Rand at 18- who isn’t?)

Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (Own this too)
The Canterbury Tales

American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged

The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov

Moby Dick

Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice

All of which makes you wonder why all these people are checking out these books and not reading them… some seem like obvious high school English classics. But others… maybe the books are just not that readable. The older I get, I have gotten pickier about what I read. Not to be too morbid, but I only have so many books I can read left in me. Let’s assume that at 31 years of age, I read an average of one book a week for the rest of my life and live to be 85 (my family has decent longevity genes and I have three great grandparents who lived to be over 100). That only leaves me 2,808 books I can read between now and then, with new books being written all the time. Scary, hmm? So (except for the self-help books that read more like magazines), I’m trying to read what pleases me. OK, and bad thrillers picked up airports. But the weeks I travel, I usually cram in three books, so I get a bad taste waiver.

What am I reading now? The Voodoo Queen, by Robert Tallant (1956). The trashy novelized life of Marie Laveau… because when you can’t get to New Orleans, reading voodoo novels is a poor, but helpful, substitute.


Filed under Links, Lists

10 responses to “Top 100 books taken out of the library but not read

  1. ps- my apologies for the weird text sizes and formats. cut-and-pasting from Word seems to be hit or miss around these parts.

  2. Dear Lord!!! Drop whatever you are doing and read 1984. NOW!!!! 🙂

    (it is in fact that good.)

    Eleanor: I think I actually have a copy somewhere on the bookshelf. Guess what may be coming with me to Florida? Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  3. wordpress and word..are mortal enemies…
    i found out the hard way…
    i recently read..
    junot diaz’s
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao….
    it was awwwwsome…
    and i havent used that word since 1987

  4. mia

    The Time Traveler’s Wife-HORRIBLE. So poorly written. I wanted it to die, but it wouldn’t.

    I didn’t notice if you had A Confederacy of Dunces on your list. If not, it is a must read.

  5. Pingback: Top 100 Books Checked Out of the Library But Not Read « Words of Note

  6. another book lover

    I agree with maria – 1984 is a great book, so is The Unbearable Lightless of Beings (you didn’t pick it)!

  7. And to think in 1995, you wasted some good book-reading time on The Rules.

  8. Bee

    Eucalyptus – Murray Bail
    the Book Thief – Markus Zusak

    Some good Aussie authors for you. Love Life of Pi, Love in the Time of Cholera, Poisonwood Bible. Another nice one is The Shadow on the Wind.

    However in with my ‘mature’ pseudo intelligent reading lurks the heart of a perpetual kid with lots of young adult reading – Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is a huge fave, as well as Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and those…vampire-y ones….. Twilight etc.

    Love my books! Just re-read Love in the Time of Cholera, trudging through my chic lit fix The Manny and just started The Little Prince – absolutely delightful so far!

  9. I thought I was the only one in the world who still went to libraries…except homeless people.

  10. hmks

    “One Hundred Splendid Suns” is better than “Kite Runner.”

    I too recommend “1984.” As a Political Science major in college it was required reading. Also recommended, “Animal Farm.”

    Glad I’m not the only one who disliked “Time Traveller’s Wife.” The writing wasn’t great, but it didn’t offend me, but it never really made sense to me.

    My recent favorites ~ anything by Tracy Chevalier. I love her writing. I just posted a review of her most recent book, “Burning Bright.” She always has a real-life character in her stories – in this story it is William Blake.


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