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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Me too! LibraryThing Unread meme list, nervous marigold version, May 27, 2008

My list is ready, but it is not easy to use this formating in Blogger - no underline, no strike through, so...

Here are the regular rules:
Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish (my note: so far!), and strike through books you hated. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those you own but are left unread.

I will do: Bold for books I have read, italics for started but not finished, tiny for books I hated, asterisk for books I've read more than once and all-caps for books I own AND are still on my unread list, plus books on my wish list are in a different font.

Ack! Books I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF have a § after the title

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke
THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Illearth War§ by Stephen R. Donaldson
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
DON QUIXOTE by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
Ulysses by James Joyce
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Elantris§ by Brandon Sanderson (13)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
*Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1) by Neal Stephenson
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Satanic Verses: A Novel by Salman Rushdie
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
(No title) by Mohammed
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
*The Odyssey by Homer
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
*Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Iliad by Homer
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Emma by Jane Austen
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The House of Seven Gables§ by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
*Dracula by Bram Stoker
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
The Once and Future King by T. H. White
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (56)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
The Corrections: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (124)
Count Brass§ by Michael Moorcock
The Gormenghast Novels by Mervyn Peake
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Origin Of Species by Charles Darwin
Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Inferno by Dante Alighieri
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Swann's Way: In Search of Lost Time, Vol. 1 by Marcel Proust
The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
THE CONFUSION (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 2) by Neal Stephenson
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
*Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
THE SYSTEM OF THE WORLD (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 3) by Neal Stephenson
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and…§ by Brian Greene
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
The Known World§ by Edward P. Jones
THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Infinite Jest: A Novel by David Foster Wallace
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Totals (I think):
Books I have read: 42 *twice: 5
Books I have tried to read and not finished (but hope to): 8
Books on my wish list: 7
Everything else – Haven’t read ‘em, don’t care much. If they come to me, I might give’ em a try, etc.: 38

I had a couple of email exchanges with Abby, the LibraryThing librarian. The list of the top 106 books tagged unread will necessarily change all the time. Not only would it be interesting to check the way the list appears, say, every year, it could be done every day! In fact, as the meme spreads, and people convert their tags over to unread, the list will experience massive changes in the short term. (ie My tag used to be still to read. In one shot I added 100 votes to the unread list when I converted. Group use – Wiki – is what makes tagging worthwhile. There was a link to a great essay about the validity of tagging rather than cataloguing in LibraryThing about a year ago - I will try to find it and add a link here.)

It would be interesting to compare these lists with the lists in The Top Ten, a book of meta-book lists. That book attempts to identify the most important books by compiling the top-ten lists of current authors, and then it is interesting to compare one's own reading with the important books of our culture. The LibraryThing tag unread would mainly be about books people are attracted to, and have, but have yet to read - a list naturally more influenced by current releases, marketing, Oprah, etc.

PS Abby says there is NO REASON for the list to have 106 books on it. Fair enough, but somebody came up with the number. Who? What? When? Where? How?

The marigold asks nervously:
Is updating this list another task I need to keep on my to-do list? What about my other tagging projects? I guess anal-retentive does have a hyphen. MUST LET GO! MUST LET GO!


  1. I think you could also compare your list to the lists of your close friends...I will go through this list and compare, then will get back to you.
    Ellenski(added a blooger...ooops, blogger name)

  2. Will you compare to my list, or today's top 106 unread???

  3. Hi there,
    Haven't been reading your Blog lately, but missed it and am so glad to have had time to catch up! So ironic, Ellenski (I assume that's the Ellen we know of partially polish extraction) had sent an Entertainment Weekly list of the top 100 books in the last 25years, and we immediately fell into comparing which we'd read, which we hadn't read but wanted to, and which we'd seen in movie form! So is this cataloguing or tagging? and is one of those right brain and the other left brain? It's clearly so natural for us to start to list, group and compare. thanks for this Blog, I love to catch up on what you're thinking, someday I will start to think again too and post some real comments. I've either posted this three times or had trouble - am going to try as Anonymous Jill

  4. I'd love to see that list, and compare with you two. Can you send it? Or send a link, and I'll put it here.


  5. I only have it in an email, but will send that to you ... and also our comments, assuming I still have them. Jill