March 4, 2007

What Books Have You Read?

This meme has been in circulation for a few weeks and I'm finally getting around to posting my list. These are the original instructions:

Look at the list of books below:

* Bold the ones you’ve read
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
* If you are reading this, tag, you’re it!
**If there are any books on this list that I didn't italicize and you think I should read, let me know in comments! Also, what other books do you think belong on this list and why?

Being the organizing fool I am, I decided to revamp the meme just a tad. I've grouped the books in each category, so it's easier to see the final results. Remember, the original list consists of these specific titles (does anyone know the background of the list??).

Books I've Read (the red font indicates more than one reading; asterisk indicates a favorite):

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)*
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)*
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)*
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)* - Fabulous book!
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)* - Superb
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)*
18. The Stand (Stephen King)* - His absolute best!
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)*
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) - want to re-read this now that I've watched the trilogy
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) - ugh, didn't care for this one!
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)*
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)*
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - 42
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)* - Great read
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)* - Need to make time to re-read this!
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)*
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)* - Superb
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) - blech
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)*
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)*
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)*
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)* - Time for a second read
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)*
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)*
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)*
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)* - Disturbing; memorable.
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)*
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)*
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

Books I'd Like to Read:

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)

Books I've Started and Abandoned:

40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)

Books I'm Not Interested In:

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
45. Bible - I've read all of the New Testament and some of the Old
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Books I've Never Heard Of:

65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)


  1. I love the way you organized the books into categories. I feel kind of pitiful after reading everyone else's version of this meme (I'm not nearly as widely read!), but I guess that just means I still have plenty to look forward to, right? :)

    Rebecca is a favorite of mine, BTW. It's the only one I'd try to nudge you into reading if you wanted a nudge. Feel free to shove me back toward your favorites.
    Cute the way you stuck 42 after Hitchhiker's. :)

  2. Jen Jackson5:38 PM

    You should consider giving Gone With the Wind a chance. I finally read it this fall and absolutely LOVED it. Even though I knew the story I found myself craving this book. Couldn't wait to find time to read. It is one I'd like to reread every couple of years if I can. Have a good week!

  3. I'm ready A Prayer for Owen Meany right now at my daughter's repeated urging. Glad to see your "fabulous" after it.

    I'd say, don't bother with Gone With the Wind. There's that personal preference thing again.

  4. Les, I love the way you organized the meem. Wish I'd thought of it! I agree with Nancy and Jen about the 2 books listed above.

  5. Probably not too surprisingly, 4 out of 5 of the books you've never heard of are Canadian. But while I've heard of them, I haven't read them.
    I love how you grouped the titles. Do you mind if I copy you?

  6. Nancy - Thanks! Everytime I saw this meme on someone's blog, I'd get frustrated trying to remember what indicated a read book or a TBR book, etc.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the number of books you haven't read from the list. It's obviously an incomplete list (I really do wonder where it came from!) and there are so many titles that aren't on it!

    We recently watched the movie Rebecca, but I haven't read the book. Maybe after enough time has passed, I'll give it a read.

    Hitchhiker is a bit like The Princess Bride (which should be on this list!). Lots of memorable quotes.

    Jen - It's so long! I might some day. I've seen the movie and while I enjoyed most of it, I felt it was too long, too. I need to read Lonesome Dove before GwtW. ;)

    Booklogged - I hope you're enjoying Owen. The use of all caps for Owen's voice is a bit annoying at first, but I got used to it and wasn't bothered by it like other readers. There are some very funny passages in that book!

    Bybee - Thank you! I'm such an organizing fool.

    Nat - I'm familiar with four of the five authors in the last section. Just not those particular books. Never heard of Robertson Davis.

    Yes, of course you may copy the updated meme! I look forward to your lists.

  7. What a great way to categorize them! Otherwise, the list tends to blur...one title I keep seeing over and over as a book that people love is A Life Of Pi. One of my book clubs read it a few years ago, and I just could not get into it. To be fair, I never finished it, but I had no desire to! I think I should pick it up again, because readers I respect continually praise it.

    And, A Prayer for Owen Meaney...Did you happen to see the film Simon Birch? It was loosely based on the novel, and a film I quite enjoyed along with my son. John Irving has also been a challenging author for me because the events in his novels seem so abnormal. Then, when you look around at real life, they're not all that bizarre after all.

  8. You're so efficient. Wish I'd thought to do that, too!

  9. Nice organizational skills.

    You liked "Owen Meany" but you're not interested in "Garp"? How come? "Owen" is more reader friendly than "Garp", but they are both brilliant.

  10. Jen Jackson1:55 PM

    GWTW is really long. I was very surprised by my reaction to it. I have loved the movie since I was a little girl so I thought the book would just be something I got through. Not so. Also, Lonesome Dove is one of my all time favorites. It might be a better choice for you if you aren't as familiar with the story to begin with. You will love the characters, I think.

  11. Oh, yes, yes, yes! I agree; The Princess Bride is one of those rare wonders. I laughed all the way through it.

  12. Bellezza - Glad you like my modifications. :)

    Life of Pi is very good, but as I recall it took me almost 50 pages before I was hooked.

    Yes, I've seen Simon Birch and thought it was very disappointing since it wasn't nearly as good as A Prayer for Owen Meany (as I recall, it was "inspired" by John Irving's book). I suppose if I'd seen it prior to reading the novel, I would've like it more.

    Andi - Thanks. I aim to please. :)

    Kookiejar - Thank you. I suppose I'd be willing to give Garp a try. I've only read A Prayer for Owen Meany (gave up on a couple others of Irving's). His books are a bit strange, although I really want to read Cider House Rules (loved the movie).

    Jen - Reading Lonesome Dove is one of my goals for 2007. I think I'll try it this summer while we're hanging out on the boat in the San Juans.

  13. Nancy - The book AND the movie are wonderful. Time for a re-read and viewing.

  14. Oh no, I loved both The Alchemist and Catch 22! Don't abandon them forever.

    Mind you, I read Catch 22 as a teenager. If I read it now, I imagine I would think it quite misognist.

  15. I loved Rebecca, but I read it last year before seeing the film, so I can understand your disinclination to read it (I usually don't bother reading books after I've seen the movie - but if I can, I like to read them beforehand).

    Have you ever read anything by Timothy Findley? Not Wanted on the Voyage is a retelling of the Noah's Ark story from the POV of everyone else in his family, plus the cat. Very irreverent and one of my favorite books!

  16. be_zen8 - I've tried Catch-22 two times now and simply can't get interested. It's right up there with Moby Dick. Never again!

    Lesley - Ah, but the book is usually (but not always) better than the film, so I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy Rebecca since I did like the movie. Just need to wait a few years so it's not quite so fresh in my mind.

    No, I've never read anything by Findley. Thanks for the recommendation!

  17. I agree with you on the books being better than their film adaptations, but if I see the movie first, I get in the mindset that I already know at least the basics and there are just too many other books waiting to be read! In fact, I can't think of an instance where I did that, generally I read then go see the movie.

  18. I wished I had seen your organization before I did this meme. So much easier to read. You will love the LOTR trilogy. I agreed with some of your choices and disagreed with others. Differences are grand. I recommend the Ayn Rand novels. I've added more to the TBR list, got to quit reading this meme on other blogs.

  19. Framed - It was pretty difficult to follow the original list, wasn't it? I'm pretty excited about reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. My husband and I have just finished watching all three movies (and hours and hours of bonus material), so I feel pretty confident that I understand the stories now. I think this is one case where reading the books after the movies is best. At least for me. I think I would've been pretty confused doing it the other way around. And now I can picture Viggo as Aragon. ;)


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