Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Books I Haven't Read:

Top Ten Tuesday is held every week over at The Broke and the Bookish. It is a meme that simply requires the blogger to create a list in response to the topic.

Personally, I love lists. I make lists for everything. It drives my husband crazy because he finds them everywhere. And it annoys him that I even put a little space to put a check mark by my to-do lists.

Anyway, this week's subject is to list the top ten books we haven't read. I felt this was a great topic-especially since I had this discussion yesterday with my co-worker! Most of the titles listed below are from my list, but there might be a few surprises!

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce. I discussed this at work yesterday, but Joyce absolutely intimidates me. I'm not sure why since I have no experience with him, but the idea of this monstrosity frightens me.
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Until this past winter, I had never read anything by any of the Brontes. For some reason, none of their work appealed to me. And I have heard many great things about Charlotte, but I still have little interest in her masterpiece.
  3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. This is another one of those titles that intimidates me, but for no real reason. I just feel like it is going to be way over my head, or overly complex...or something!
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. While I feel like I have conquered Dostoevsky and his work, the other Russian mastermind scares the living daylights out of me. While I have heard this is a little more accessible than my number 5 choice, it still hasn't left my shelf.
  5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. This book is a monster. And I feel like the only way I am going to get through it is with a support group. I may tackle this during the winter months, but we'll see how THAT goes.
  6. Othello by William Shakespeare. Usually when I talk about Shakespeare, people mention this play as one of their favorites. I have never had the opportunity to read it, but at least I now own a copy!
  7. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. Considering how much I love science-fiction, this one always comes as a surprise to people when I mention I haven't read it yet. Verne seems to encompass a lot of things I love about literature, so hopefully I fix this soon.
  8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. I bought this way back when it first hit the shelves....mainly because the title and cover attracted my eye. It seems as if everyone who reads this, loves it, but I just haven't had time to get around to it. Perhaps when I am done with my challenge I'll finally pull this from the shelf.
  9. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I bought the first three a few years ago at a book sale and they sat next to my bed for months. Considering how much I really do love YA, these books seems to be right up my alley. I just haven't gotten to them yet!
  10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I think I began to read this book back in college, but got carried away with classes and never returned to it. Again, as a lover of science-fiction, that surprises me! Luckily it is on my list and will soon be read!


  1. I've read the first two in the Percy Jackson series! So fun! You need to read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo!

    I noticed a trend with most of us--we OWN the books but we haven't read them!

    Thanks for participating this week! Loved reading your list.

    Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish

  2. Think of James Joyce as a hot tub, or a really warm bath in the winter. You have to ease your way into it. Dip your toes into "Dubliners." Get comfortable with "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Let "Ulysses" wash over you. By the end you'll probably start to feel cold and clammy, which means you've reached "Finnegan's Wake" and you should probably get out. And I can't believe how long that metaphor ran.
    Like water from a faucet.
    I'll stop now.
    Seriously, though, Joyce's work certainly has an upward progression in terms of its difficulty. "Dubliners" is a completely accessible collection of some of the best short stories ever written. "Portrait" is an easy semi-autobiographical novel. And "Ulysses" is one of the greatest novels of all time, but yeah, you might want to get one of the many satellite books out there whose sole purpose is to help you read it if you ever try to tackle it. It's definitely a challenge, but I believe it's worth it.

  3. Brave New World is a wonderfully weird book- I'm not always into dystopia fiction but BNW feels like the kind of thing that could actually happen (if it hasn't started already). It freaks you out, kinda makes you laugh, and gets you thinking.

  4. I'm not sure I could come up with 10 books! The only one I can think of off the top of my head is The Gift by Vladimir Nabokov. Any of the rest of my unread books are less ones that intimidate me and more ones I simply haven't gotten to yet, which puts them all equal to each other...

  5. I decided recently I'm never going to read Ulysses. If I did read it, I'd only be doing it to prove that Joyce can't intimidate me and I'm smart enough to get him; and I feel like that's not a good enough reason to read a book I'm confident I won't enjoy. :p So I support you!

  6. Oooo ditto! To make my list complete I would add Atlas Shrugged.

  7. Jenny,
    To me that argument against reading "Ulysses" is the same as saying "I'll never be a chess Grandmaster so I'm not going to play a game." There are very few people out there who could pick up the book and immediately "get" Joyce. That's why I mentioned the guides. They'll help you along, and I believe there's a lot to be gained from the experience. I can't say I'm confident everyone would enjoy it, but I don't think anyone should dismiss it just because it's hard.

  8. Hmm... I haven't read some of these, but I must say that Les Miserables and Anna Karenina are two of my all time favorites! You must get to them soon, if you can. I know they're monsters, but it won't feel like it once you get started. Jane Eyre was also quite brilliant, as was Wuthering Heights but another Bronte sister (have you read this one - I loved it!). I own a copy of Ulysses and started it a long time ago. I gave up and put it in storage. Checked the book out from the library a few weeks ago and returned it. It must be my nemesis!

    Journety to the Center of the Earth was definitely "blah" for me. But the Percy Jackson series is outstanding!

  9. You have some great books on your list. I'm currently reading Jane Eyre, though I haven't made much headway in it lately. The Percy Jackson series is a major hit with my MS students!!

  10. Has anyone else noticed that Jane Eyre is on nearly everyone's list. Perhaps we all need to have a group read.

  11. I think I might do this meme this week. Les Miserables is top of my 'one day I WILL read this' list. Everyone I know that has read this have loved it but is massive and I need to be in the right mood.

  12. Isaac7985 -- I'm not dismissing it because it's hard. I'm dismissing it because I have never liked any short story I've read by James Joyce, I tend not to like modernist writers, and I hate stream-of-consciousness writing. The only reason I would consider reading it is that it's hard, to prove to myself that it isn't too hard for me; and that feels like a wanky reason to spend a lot of time on a book I know I'm going to hate.

  13. After visiting many blogs doing this meme, I'm beginning to doubt that anyone has read War and Peace! Am I right? Has anyone out there really read it?

    Stop by my blog if you get a chance.


  14. OK. So it's Saturday but I still wanted to participate. I hope you are willing to take a look at my top ten "I can't believe I haven't read" books, too.

    Percy Jackson series seems discordant with the rest of your list. Ha!