Thursday, 20 December 2007


Ah, what an appropriate theme for this time of the year.

I saw this book at the bookshop when it was released and was attracted by the cover - lovely 17th century-style woodcut - and the great title, Havoc, in its third year. There's something about the cadence that really appeals to me. And I had to look up a number of words in the dictionary - phthsical, wittol, apodictical - I love a book that increases my vocabulary. A good read, the style was quite unusual. The world that the novel creates - England in the 1630s, "turbulent times", moral and religious hysteria - while evocative was just a little too intangible for me and made me realise how little I know of British history in that period (or any other really, to be honest).

I borrowed it from the library (of course) after seeing it mentioned on Only books all the time. My, that woman can read! And she appears to like the odd list or two - I love a list, so am going to follow the leader and complete the Back to Books unread book meme.

These are apparently the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users (on 3 October 2007). And I've added a few of my own comments as well.

bold - have read
italics - started but couldn't finish
strike through - couldn't stand
asterisk* - read more than once
underline - on the to-read list

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and punishment
One hundred years of solitude - thumbs down
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The name of the rose
Don Quixote - once Tim finishes it
Moby Dick
- wonderful

Madame Bovary - thumbs down
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice - I've definitely read Emma and another Austen or two but can't for the life of me remember which one(s)
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin - love Atwood, her best
The Kite Runner - umming and ahhing, it's on the shelf
Mrs. Dalloway - for uni
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books - I have read Lolita
Memoirs of a Geisha - after the shorts to the movie, no interest whatsoever
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales - the odd one for medieval English literature at uni
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
Middlemarch - wonderful, oh Dorothea
Frankenstein - thumbs down
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
Anansi boys
The once and future king
The grapes of wrath - I'd liek to read this
The Poisonwood Bible: a novel - on reserve at the library
Angels & demons
The inferno
The satanic verses
Sense and sensibility - my other Austen?
The picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park - ?
One flew over the cuckoo's nest
To the lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - boring
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's travels
Les misérables
The corrections - I liked this
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
Cryptonomicon - Tim's read it, all three of them actually, does that count?
A confederacy of dunces
A short history of nearly everything
Dubliners - bits of it for uni
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
Persuasion - ?
Northanger Abbey - ?
The Catcher in the Rye - thumbs down
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 - I read this when I was eighteen and living in Japan (another story), I'm not sure that I got all out of it that I could
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit - but only the first few pages
In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences - nope
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The three musketeers

It strikes me how many of these books I didn't like - perhaps a lot of these are unread for good reason!


nikkishell said...

I've only read a handful of these books. I couldn't finish Jonothan Strange and Mr Norell, infact i only got about 100 pages into it i think. I just started to listen to Life of Pi today on my ipod.

greenolive said...

I'm about 80 pages into the Life of Pi: I started reading it on the plane back from Brisbane in August...

Lazy cow said...

I adored The Blind Assassin and have read it twice. Just finished Austen's Northanger Abbey and it was a hoot. Much lighter and shorter than her others.