Monday, May 19, 2008

The Unread Book Meme

So I've been tagged by Pennamite for my first viral meme. (Mom, don't worry, it's not really a virus. I'm fine. The kids are fine. We're all fine. A meme is just an internet thingy that goes around from person to person or site to site. What? No, no, your computer is fine, too! It's not a virus of any type! Here -- read Wikipedia's meme definition.)

So this meme involves the books most frequently listed as “Not Read” on You’re supposed to bold the ones you’ve finished, italicize the ones that you’ve started but not finished, and *star the ones you have on your To Be Read shelves…

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (long & odd)
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
(years ago)
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
*Life of Pi : a novel
(was supposed to read it as a book club selection a year ago...still there)
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
(seriously, why is this book such a big deal?)
Madame Bovary (Is this title better for a book about a). an uncooperative ovary or b). your best milk cow?)
#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
(loved the concept!)
#The Iliad
(ok, surely I didn't read all 3 of those Homer things? I highly doubt it)
The Blind Assassin
*The Kite Runner
(a dozen people have told me to read it, and I still haven't. Why?)
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
(am I meeting your great expectations of my literariness so far?)
American Gods
*A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (not literally on my shelves, but I want it)
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
(loved it)
Middlesex (strangely satisfying)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
(musical sooo much better! book=dark & twisty; musical=fun & uplifting)
#The Canterbury Tales
(was this in high school?)
*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 (ooh, confused this with Middlesex for a moment)
?Frankenstein (mostly I just picture that googly-eyed guy from the Young Dr. F. version...)
The Count of Monte Cristo
(reading those last 3 titles in a row makes me think of breakfast cereals...)
?A Clockwork Orange
(the image of those eyelid holders is seared into my brain, replacing all memory of the actual book...if indeed I did read it)
Anansi Boys (oh, is this novel based on the little spider story clips from Sesame Street?)
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
(high school. Dang it! -- now I think it was just the movie!)
!The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
(Love LOVE! the first half; the end frustrated me)
(I was 14)
Angels & Demons
#The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise) (I read some Dante thing at some point...)
The Satanic Verses
(No, but I watch his ex-wife, Padma Lakshmi, every week on Top Chef!)
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
(that's that guy on Scrubs, right?)
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(that awful Nurse Cratchett!.. pratchet? krachett?)
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
(what's the hound one? This one? If so, then possibly yes.)
?Oliver Twist (loved this musical and had the cassette tape)
Gulliver’s Travels (I read this...but it might have been an abridged version)
!Les Misérables
(I read it 3 times, saw the musical 3 times, AND saw the movie -- both of our library's 2 versions! Oh, AND the PBS stage version! And I have the Broadway CD. And possibly a few karaoke version songs. For, ya know, when I'm vacuuming and imagining myself as poor Cosette, or feeling dramatic as Eponine while I sing, longingly gazing out the window...which is sealed tightly shut so the neighbors don't hear me! I mean these things are just available in case one ever wanted to do those things. I mean, hypothetically speaking, and all. Ahem. NEXT!)
*The Corrections
(this has been on my shelf for 6 years, I swear. When did Oprah pick it??)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (I've eyeballed it, but it just looks so wordy)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince (Does The Little Prince count?) (Or perhaps Purple Rain?)
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
(hear! hear!....or is it "Here! Here!"?)
A Short History of Nearly Everything
@The Unbearable Lightness of Being
(this is one of those titles that sticks in my head, and I have to think it now and then, all Tourettey-like.)
(hers all blur together, don't they?)
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
(great title)
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
(I can still picture that freaky world)
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
(upcoming elections, anyone?)
@Cloud Atlas
(pretty sure I only brought it home...and then had to return it.)
The Confusion

Persuasion (I'll give you a piece of candy if you read it)
Northanger Abbey
!The Catcher in the Rye
(re-read it after meeting my now husband, because he said it was his favorite book. Didn't really get it, but thought that was so literary and impressive and mysterious at the time. Huh. Remembering that makes me want to read it again. Maybe it would help me understand that whole lightswitch thing.)
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
(sorry Hugo, only one of your books worked for me!)
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values (college)
The Aeneid
Watership Down (Trivia Time: I did a book report on this in 7th grade. At the time we were living in Costa Rica, with only a handful of English books in the house. I read both this one and Catch 22 that year -- 2 on this list!)
Gravity’s Rainbow
(I first read this as Gravy Train Chow -- and I don't even have a dog!)
The Hobbit
(I never was much for fantasy, though.)
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth (no, but I've read White Fang)
Treasure Island
(I watched the Survivor season finale the other night)
David Copperfield
?The Three Musketeers
(mmm, chocolate...think I'm done here. Gonna go get a snack!)

So, dear Pennamite, I started this meme in all seriousness, but It. Is. Long. My attention span was running a bit short, so I decided it would be ok to add personal comments. And also a few other categories. And colors! To liven things up! Here's the key:
? I can't remember if I merely saw the movie or actually read the book
# I think I did, ages ago in school, but I can't remember diddlysquat about it
! I have read it more than once
@ I know the title is familiar for some reason, but I'm drawing a total blank

Incidentally, looks like a great site. I'm gonna have to go back there sometime and try it out. (List your favorites and it connects you to other "shelves" with the same favorites.) Seems like it would be a great source for finding book recommendations!

If anyone out there wants to play -- Tag, you're it!

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