the pretentious books meme

via some Library Thing fan or another: 

Below is list of the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by Library Thing users.  Their purpose on the shelf is to make you look smart or well-rounded (or they could have been a gift).

to complete the meme,

bold the ones you've read on your own,

underline the ones you had to read for school,

italicize the ones you started but didn't finish,

bold and italicize the ones you hated,

bold and underline those you'd recommend

strike through those you'd like to/plan to read


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

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)

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

The Three Musketeers

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


10 thoughts on “the pretentious books meme

  1. I tried playing along, but my cutting and pasting caused me grief. I've read a good portion of those books, disliked quite a few, and haven't read a chunk of them. I wish I could just read all day (and be independently wealthy). I've been in a bit of a slow reading zone though – gotta get moving!!!

  2. yeah I will have to try this one too, but I remember in previous book memes, once you c&p something that has been changed, you can't un bold or un-italicize it. p.i.t.a.
    but, I have or have read a lot of these.

  3. mmb sez, I've read a good portion of those books, disliked quite a few, and haven't read a chunk of them,I think that is the best and shortest way to answer this or any other book are right it is a pain in the neck to c'n'p and try to change. after mucking with it for a while I just copied the list into MSWord, did all the bolding/italicizing/etc. and copied it right back. success!it is a somewhat odd list. looks like most books are just long. otoh, I never realized until now how "meh" I feel towards Jane Austen.

  4. That's what I did, but when I pasted it back into Vox, all my B/I/U went away – it really defeated the purpose of the whole thing.Never read any Austen. I have very strong feelings of dislike towards Dickens. Actually, most books written prior to 1900 irk me. Oscar Wilde is just about the only exception. Dracula and Frankenstein are okay too.

  5. word. I had the disappearing B/I/U when I used MS WordPad, but when I reopened the file on MS Word I was able to copy here to VOX with B/I/U intact.weird.Dickens is so-so. I have liked the funnier, lighter stuff, i.e. The Pickwick Papers, but not so much the sob stuff. OW transcends time and space.

  6. didn't we do this one shortly after starting with vox? or were there different books on that list.. the rules are definitely familiar though.

  7. I think there was another insanely long book list, but I think that one was more geared towards "classics" and this one is more about long books that often remain unread. quite a bit of crossover between the two lists.this list is hitting a nerve with me; if you'd ask me I'd say I rarely/never leave a book unfinished, but there are fifteen of them here.

  8. Pingback: The Bookkeeper » The pretentious books meme

Comments are closed.