Vulcan’s Peak

Bibliophile one-upsmanship

October 4, 2007 9:05 pm

Nothing brings out the old spirit of competition more than ‘I’ve read more books than you have’ memes. Pretty pathetic, really. Yet I do it anyway…

This one’s ganked from E, but I’m changing the rules.

The list is the 106 books most often noted as unread by Library Thing users. Bold is for books you’ve read. Italics for books you’ve started but haven’t finished books you want to read, because this list is full of ’em for me. Strikethrough is for books you found unreadable didn’t like. (Dude, you want unreadable, I’ll give you Swift’s frikkin’ Tale of a Tub. Or anything by Kant.)
…and I’m adding the underline for books that I own and want to read, but haven’t gotten to quite yet, haha.

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

* Anna Karenina

* Crime and Punishment

* Catch-22

* One Hundred Years of Solitude

* Wuthering Heights

* The Silmarillion

* Life of Pi : a novel

* The Name of the Rose

* Don Quixote

* Moby Dick (Somehow, I feel obliged to try…)

* Ulysses

* Madame Bovary (Started it. WILL finish.)

* The Odyssey

* Pride and Prejudice (LOVE.)


* A Tale of Two Cities

* The Brothers Karamazov

* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

* War and Peace

* Vanity Fair

* The Time Traveler’s Wife

* The Iliad

* Emma

* The Blind Assassin

* The Kite Runner

* Mrs. Dalloway

* Great Expectations

* American Gods

* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

* Atlas Shrugged

* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a Memoir in Books

* Memoirs of a Geisha

* Middlesex

* Quicksilver

* Wicked : the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (LOVE)

* The Canterbury Tales

* The Historian : a Novel

* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

* Love in the Time of Cholera

* Brave New World

* The Fountainhead

* Foucault’s Pendulum

* Middlemarch

* Frankenstein

* The Count of Monte Cristo

* Dracula

* A Clockwork Orange

* Anansi Boys

* The Once and Future King

* The Grapes of Wrath

* The Poisonwood Bible : a Novel (LOVE)

* 1984

* Angels & Demons

* The Inferno

* The Satanic Verses

* Sense and Sensibility (LOVE.)

* The Picture of Dorian Gray

* Mansfield Park

* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

* To the Lighthouse

* Tess of the D’Urbervilles

* Oliver Twist

* Gulliver’s Travels

* Les Misérables

* The Corrections

* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

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

* Dune

* The Prince

* The Sound and the Fury

* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir

* The God of Small Things

* A People’s History of the United States : 1492 – present

* Cryptonomicon

* Neverwhere

* A Confederacy of Dunces

* A Short History of Nearly Everything

* Dubliners

* The Unbearable Lightness of Being

* Beloved

* Slaughterhouse-Five (Pretty awesome.)

* The Scarlet Letter

* The Mists of Avalon

* Oryx and Crake : a novel

* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed

* Cloud Atlas

* The Confusion

* Lolita

* Persuasion

* Northanger Abbey (LOVE)

* The Catcher in the Rye

* On the Road

* The Hunchback of Notre Dame

* Freakonomics

* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values

* The Aeneid

* Watership Down (LOVE)

* Gravity’s Rainbow

* The Hobbit

* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

* White Teeth

* Treasure Island

* David Copperfield

* The Three Musketeers

10 Responses to “Bibliophile one-upsmanship”

Liz wrote a comment on October 4, 2007

I didn’t like Wicked. I found it overly dry, overly metaphorical (or am I confusing with another term? Anyways, too politically preachy) and I couldn’t find a character to like. I don’t care if she was a ‘villain’ I could relate at ALL. And I liked the premise enough to want to like her.
I’m surprised you don’t want to read “Count of Monte Cristo”. Nor did I know that “A Clockwork Orange” was a novel first. Why didn’t you care for “Angels and Demons”? I enjoyed that one more than “The Davinci Code”. Unless I have it confused with a novel of the same name?

Sarah wrote a comment on October 5, 2007

I liked Mrs. Dalloway a lot, but I was sunk in the depths of a 3+ year depression. I grew out of the need to worry about booklists; now I’m focused on ‘but what have you DONE?’ That said, I did just finish Guns, Germs, and Steel, which is the forepart to Collapse – which I want to read soon as I find my own copy. Roaring through the library copy will not do, as I will need to cite it and dissect its bibliography.

Odette wrote a comment on October 5, 2007

Liz, I actually don’t know that much about The Count of Monte Cristo– nothing against it, certainly. And though I did enjoy DaVinci Code, when I read Angels and Demons a couple of years later, I’d heard so many other English majors lambaste Dan Brown, I had a hard time suspending enough reality to enjoy the book. The man can string together a plot like nobody’s business, but if you look too closely at his writing, it starts to hurt. Like I said here, it just means I’m probably a snob…

Liz wrote a comment on October 5, 2007

Aaah, I see. Even I, who tend to go to the opposite extreme (I have hardly found a ‘literary novel’ I LIKED or ENJOYED) can understand what you’re saying about “Angels and Demons”. I enjoyed it for what it was and I wasn’t reading too closely- nor would I probably read it again. It was, as you said, a beach book or what have you. I read another by him “Deception Point” which had, in my opinion, an even worse ‘suspension of disbelief’ moment that I was going “OH FOR CRYIN’ OUTLOUD!’
The characters had been in an UBER SECRET HUSH-HUSH base in Antarctica and predictably were lured out onto the ice to die or whatever. There was an avalanche and they were tossed into the INKY BLACKNESS of the frigid Artic water. But, gee, guess who HAPPENS to be strolling along in a convenient span of time before they freeze to death, but, GASP!, a secret sub who can hear the morse code someone was tapping against the ice (or something to that effect). I about threw the book across the room at that.

Odette wrote a comment on October 6, 2007

That’s a great mental image. 🙂

Poke wrote a comment on October 7, 2007


And I wonder why Dead Souls isn’t on that list. Has anyone else read that? Anyone?

But hey! It’s a ready made Christmas list! Whoo!

ColdAmaranth wrote a comment on October 7, 2007

No love for the Neil Gaiman books on the list? Neverwhere and Amercan Gods are both quite fun, I’d suggest italicizing them. 🙂

Odette wrote a comment on October 7, 2007

Ooooh. I didn’t recognize that those titles were his! Thanks.

Poke, the one I was thinking of before your wireless went kablooey was Camus’ The Stranger. I think you know it by it’s French title, and as I recall, you like it about as much as I do…

Elf wrote a comment on October 12, 2007

Is that solely books from E’s list, or did you add onto it? Because there are way too many Gaiman books on that list. (I should know, I own them. Speaking of which- whenever your ‘to read’ list is shorter, feel free to borrow. I spot three- Neverwhere, American Gods, and Anansi Boys (a sort-of sequel to American Gods, but more like just set in the same set of rules).)

Don’t bother with the Silmarillion. Only hardcore Tolkien fanatics wade through it, and only out of loyalty. (Okay, and people who are really bored and skipping out on Diff Eq homework. I don’t even like Tolkien. His literary style reads like an encyclopedia, and that’s the books that have films. Seriously, take a pass on the rest. It’s just downhill. Bleah.)

Odette wrote a comment on October 16, 2007

That’s just E’s list. Thanks for the offer!

Care to comment?