Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - Book meme

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October 1st, 2007

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10:18 am - Book meme
Gacked from [info]alchemia and schemingreader

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 strike through what you couldn't stand. The numbers after each one are the number of LT users who used the tag of that book.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (149)
Anna Karenina (132)
Crime and punishment (121)
One hundred years of solitude (115)

Wuthering Heights (110)
The Silmarillion (104)

Life of Pi : a novel (94)
The name of the rose (91)
Don Quixote (91)
Moby Dick (86)
Ulysses (84)
Madame Bovary (83)
The Odyssey (83)
Pride and prejudice (83)
Jane Eyre (80)
A tale of two cities (80)
The brothers Karamazov(80)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies(79)
War and peace (78)
Vanity fair (74)
The time traveler's wife (73)
The Iliad (73)
Emma (73)
The Blind Assassin (73)
The kite runner (71)
Mrs. Dalloway (70)
Great expectations (70)
American gods (68)
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius (67)
Atlas shrugged (67)
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books (66)
Memoirs of a Geisha (66)
Middlesex (66)
Quicksilver (66)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West (65)
The Canterbury tales (64)
The historian : a novel (63)
A portrait of the artist as a young man (63)
Love in the time of cholera (62)
Brave new world (61)
The Fountainhead (61)
Foucault's pendulum (61)
Middlemarch (61)
Frankenstein (59)
The Count of Monte Cristo (59)
Dracula (59)
A clockwork orange (59)
Anansi boys (58)
The once and future king (57)
The grapes of wrath (57)

The poisonwood Bible : a novel (57)
1984 (57)
Angels & demons (56)
The inferno (56)
The satanic verses (55)
Sense and sensibility (55)
The picture of Dorian Gray (55)
Mansfield Park (55)
One flew over the cuckoo's nest (54)

To the lighthouse (54)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (54)
Oliver Twist (54)
Gulliver's travels (53)
Les misérables (53)
The corrections (53)
The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay (52)
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time (52)
Dune (51)
The prince (51)

The sound and the fury (51)
Angela's ashes : a memoir (51)
The god of small things (51)
A people's history of the United States : 1492-present (51)
Cryptonomicon (50)
Neverwhere (50)
A confederacy of dunces (50)
A short history of nearly everything (50)
Dubliners (50)
The unbearable lightness of being (49)
Beloved (49)
Slaughterhouse-five (49)
The scarlet letter (48)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (48)
The mists of Avalon (47)
Oryx and Crake : a novel (47)
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed (47)
Cloud atlas (47)
The confusion (46)
Lolita (46)
Persuasion (46)
Northanger abbey (46)
The catcher in the rye (46)
On the road (46)
The hunchback of Notre Dame (45)
Freakonomics (45)
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (45)
The Aeneid (45)
Watership Down (44)
Gravity's rainbow (44)
The Hobbit (44)

In cold blood (44)
White teeth (44)
Treasure Island (44)
David Copperfield (44)
The three musketeers (44)

Ha ha, I'm so opinionated! So many of these are struck through!   Also:  who ever finishes Ulysses?  I think even the We-love-Joyce Ulysses appreciation Society recommends just flicking through it a bit.  

Books from this list I'd like to read:
White Teeth
Madam Bovary (supposedly rather sexy)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A Clockwork Orange (I actually have it bought for 99 pence and sitting beside me, awaiting)
The Time Traveller's Wife
Cloud Atlas

And I'm in the middle of Mrs Dalloway.
Tags: ,

(Indulge your wild theories here)


Date:October 1st, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
Madam Bovary (supposedly rather sexy)

Actually I found that one boring enough that I didn't finish... maybe I should try again... :)
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
Ha ha, I just read your comment really quickly as it scrolled past and saw 'Madam Ovary'. :)

Yeah, the basic plot never appealed to me - bored housewife has affairs - but then I heard a fantastic radio drama about Flaubert, and his experience of writing the novel, and I've been wanting to read it ever since.

Apparently he publically admitted to masturbating before, during and after certain scenes! That's pretty amazing for the time, don't you think? And it made me roar with laughter. What a card!

Also, now I understand how he was trying to be sympathetic to Madam Bovary - his plot always seemed rather to me antagonistic before. After all, she comes a cropper in the end. I don't want some man writing about a promiscuous woman and then 'punishing' her for being bad!

The actual book might have dated badly. I think a lot of people don't like it.
Date:October 1st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
I saw 'Mrs. Dalloway' in a charity shop, last week. Should I go back and purchase it?

Books from this list I have read the whole way through:

On The Road
Northanger Abbey (at school)
Dubliners (yes, honestly)
The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Confederacy of Dunces

I don't understand these lists. There are books there that are perenially held up as 'books you must read before you die' and bestsellers, but who actually reads them? Clearly nobody.

I'm wondering now which books I have actually read. Seemingly I have very eclectic tastes.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
I am really enjoying Mrs Dalloway, it's completely different to what I expected. A lot more joyous and exploratory. And way more sex in it! Not explicit, but very engaging. If it's cheap, yes, buy. But you can get it in a library, for sure. Use the library!

The only Woolf I'd read before was 'Orlando', which I'd loved. It's a rich romp of a historical adventure. I read it twice. Orlando has quite a bit more sex in it, and genderbending, again implied, but no less potent for all that. I don't know why I've waited for so long to read more books of hers. I think her literary reputation put me off.

I don't understand these lists. There are books there that are perenially held up as 'books you must read before you die' and bestsellers, but who actually reads them? Clearly nobody.

Well, these are the books that people didn't read.

What's A Confederacy of Dunces? I've never heard of it. Any good? And is Dracula actually a good read? I keep hearing that Frankenstein is actually brilliant and metaphorical and all that, that it's fascinating on several levels. That's why it's on my 'must read' list.

Oh, actually I think I may have read Dracula. Just when I was a teenager or something. I have some vague recollections now - though it's hard to tell when there are so many films about it. And some of these books above I've listened to on the radio, like The Kite Runner which was on Radio 4 recently (didn't think much of it). Does that count? I say no - because they're always adaptations.
Date:October 2nd, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Yay, you hate A Catcher in the rye too! I loathe that book. It's so overrated. To make things worse, in high school, I had to put up with all my douchbaggiest classmates going on and on about how they were Holden Caulfield (to which I always wanted to respond "Yeah, you're an asshole, just like him!).

Hmm...I can't remember if Madame Bovary is sexy or not. The subject matter was definitely risqué for the time, but the sexiness is pretty subtle. Then again, the last time I read it, I read it in French, so a lot of it probably went over my head.

A Clockwork Orange is good, though it's not Anthony Burgess's best book. He's a very strange writer, funny, perverse, imaginative, and yet his weird ideas about sex and his feeling that writing was just a job are kind of a turn-off. He's still one of my favorites though.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)
YOU READ MADAM BOVARY IN FRENCH! Why did you ask me to translate those Pod lyrics? You know way more French than I do!

Yes, you're not alone. I picked up Catcher in the Rye, expecting to really enjoy it after all I'd heard, and couldn't get past about 30 pages. Holden Caulfield was such a spoilt, annoying brat. I couldn't find it in myself to gave a flying cuss about him. However, I've heard that Catcher in the Rye isn't his best book, and that Salinger's done some amazing collections of short stories, so I'm willing to give him a second chance.

What do you think Burgess's best book is then? I picked up A Clockwork Orange when I bought it (99p with a newspaper, bargain!) and flicked through the start. I loved the idea of that futuristic slang he'd created. I'm looking forward to it.

his weird ideas about sex and his feeling that writing was just a job are kind of a turn-off

Yeah, I did get the impression that it was going to be a bit of a depressing read. Interesting but depressing.

I think I need a reading icon. I need to upload my pencil jockey over here.

Date:October 2nd, 2007 07:16 am (UTC)
Well, it's been a loooong time since I read Madame Bovary in French. In the intervening years, I've undergone a rapid dumbening process caused by having a thankless, stupid job and generally being lazy. As far as the Pod lyrics go, I'm glad I asked you, because your answer made far more sense than what I'd come up with!

Burgess's best book, in my opinion, is the enormous Earthly Powers, though I also really liked his books about Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe--Nothing Like the Sun and A Dead Man in Deptford. And his novel about early Christianity was good too. Actually, they're all good...just kind of cold in some ways. A Clockwork Orange isn't very depressing though. There are some off-color parts, but the overall message is quite positive (and different from the film, in case you've seen that.)

Hm, I don't have a reading icon on this journal either! Maybe I'll have to bring over my LJ "Books is good" Tom Baker one...
Date:January 4th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)

sterling silver jewelry

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