Bolstering my shelf-esteem

Swiped from Fillyjonk, this premise (the explanation apparently originated elsewhere):

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The 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
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
Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
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 (note 1)
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise) (note 2)
The Satanic Verses
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
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
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
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: a novel
Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
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
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield (note 3)
The Three Musketeers


  • How I finished Atlas Shrugged and not this is amazing.
  • With apologies to Jim Steinman and/or Meat Loaf, one out of three ain’t good.
  • This is David Copperfield with two Ps by Charles Dickens, not David Coperfield with one P by Edmund Wells.

And I could swear I’ve read Emma, but I can’t remember where I picked it up, so I left it off.

Update: First paragraph redone to clarify credits.


  1. GreenCanary »

    7 May 2008 · 9:16 am

    Bravo! I’m totally blog-lifting this (as in stealing it and using it on my own blog). You rock! And also, read.

  2. McGehee »

    7 May 2008 · 9:28 am

    I was beginning to think I’d make it to the end of the list without seeing a single title I’d read, but I ended up with five, two of which were assigned in school (and one of those I didn’t finish).

    I’m not as well-read as Mister Snitch thinks I am.

  3. GreenCanary »

    7 May 2008 · 1:57 pm

    I Read, You Read, We All Read For Ice Cream!

    I blog-lifted this from Dustbury, who swiped it from Fillyjonk. It’s a second-generation blog-lift. As my results are somewhat disatisfying (read: pathetic), I am going to go home right now and start reading.

  4. Incurable Insomniac »

    7 May 2008 · 2:03 pm

    A New (to me) Book Meme

    Hat tip to CJ Hill at Dustbury for this. What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users.

  5. fillyjonk »

    7 May 2008 · 2:28 pm

    Erk…I DIDN’T write that bit of commentary about “what we have here…” (even though, yes, I guess it sounds like me). It was on the original I lifted from somewhere else.

    Just to give credit where credit’s due and not risk being accused of plagiarism…

  6. Syaffolee »

    7 May 2008 · 9:14 pm

    Yet Another Booklist

    …containing many books I have not read. The following are “the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded.” (via Dustbury)

  7. fillyjonk »

    8 May 2008 · 12:27 pm

    ….well, if you’ve seen the movie “Clueless” you kinda-sorta know the plot of Emma.

  8. CGHill »

    8 May 2008 · 2:31 pm

    Recognized it rather quickly, in fact, which is one reason I’m pretty certain I did actually read it at some point.

    Maybe I’ll upgrade it to bold.

  9. Anywhere But Here »

    11 May 2008 · 10:33 am

    What have YOU read?

    Meme picked up from Charles over at Dustbury.

  10. Boondoggled »

    13 May 2008 · 7:06 pm

    I Stole This Post

    I just visited the great Brian J. Noggle, who apparently borrowed the idea from the wonderful Dustbury. I liked it so much I thought I’d join in on the action.

  11. Headspace »

    6 July 2008 · 4:52 pm

    106 Most Unread Books

    From syaffolee who got it from dustbury who got it from fillyjonk who got it from Steph.

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