The pretentious books meme

At Jockey full of Bourbon I found this pretentious book meme, which sounded like fun. Obviously those are the top 106 “unread” books at The Library Thing. Their purpose on the shelf is to make you look smart or well-rounded (or they could have been a gift). The meme has complicated rules as to underscore, make bold, put in italics etc. depending on the status of the book in your case. Too much effort, but I will make the ones I’ve read bold.

Btw, why anybody would think that putting books like “Angels & Demons” or “The Time-Traveler’s Wife” on his “unread” pile makes him look smart I don’t know. They might be bestsellers, but that’s about it. Give me a break!

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
  2. Anna Karenina
  3. Crime and Punishment
  4. Catch-22
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  6. Wuthering Heights
  7. The Silmarillion
  8. Life of Pi : a novel
  9. The Name of the Rose
  10. Ulysses
  11. Don Quixote
  12. Moby Dick
  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
  20. War and Peace
  21. Vanity Fair
  22. The Time Traveler’s Wife
  23. The Iliad
  24. Emma
  25. The Blind Assassin
  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
  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
  53. 1984
  54. Angels & Demons
  55. The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
  56. The Satanic Verses
  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
  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
  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
  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

36 out of 106, that is only 34%. But given that the list is not representative, I’m not too bothered. So, what books can you check off this list?

5 Comments Write a comment

  1. The only ones I’ve read are:

    14. The Odyssey
    23. The Ilyad
    28. Great Expectations (forced to in high school)
    36. Wicked
    39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (does it count if you got to page 26 before you gave up – mandatory university reading)
    41. Brave New World (forced to in high school)
    53. 1984 (forced to in high school)
    62. Tess of the D’Urbervilles (forced to in high school)
    104. Treasure Island

    Can we count it if we’ve seen the movie or musical? LOL

    Of those, only 4 were voluntary. I think my taste is far too pedestrian for most connoisseurs of “literature”.
    .-= Tam´s last blog ..Happy Sunday =-.


  2. Tam, thanks for your comment. Most of the books I’ve read I read before I was 20 or so. I did read them voluntarily back then, now I couldn’t be asked anymore. But, hey, you have read Homer, never wanted to go through all that, way too hard. I rather watch movies about Greek heroes, there usually is some eye candy involved (though Troy was a big diappointment).
    Have a good Sunday!


  3. My reading tends to be fairly minimal so the only ones I’ve read in full are Great Expectations, 1984 (both at school), The Hobbit and Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

    Ones I’ve started but not finished are Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West, The Aeneid (which I did at school, and also had to memorise part of so I could translate it for a Latin exam), Gulliver’s Travels (which I read a truncated children’s version of which only covered Lilliput), Watership Down (which I did at school, but never liked enough to finish) and Gravity’s Rainbow (don’t think I made it past the first ten pages).

    By the way, just to be pretentious, number 67 should be Kavalier and Clay, not Kavalier and Gray.


  4. Hi Mark, great to hear from you again.
    Oops, that’s what happens if you copy and paste without looking to close. Thanks for pointing that out, I corrected the book title.

    I remember starting to read Gulliver’s Travel but found it rather boring, the same with Watership Down.
    Anyway, I don’t think that this is a great list, some of the books are just too “un-pretentious” to be on it. I don’t know what people are thinking, :-).
    Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!


  5. Looking at the list – I am surprse to actually see how much of it I have actually read..

    about the same as yourself, and like you I am finding some for the choice’s ODD…

    When did The Time Traveler’s Wife become one of the books to must read…

    I am surprise To kill A mockingbird and Atlas Shrug is not in there.

    Have a good week…

    .-= Erotic Horizon´s last blog ..Weekly Geeks: Getting your reading on with Graphic Novels =-.


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