Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Best Books You've Never Read

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We’ve all seen the lists, we’ve all thought, “I should really read that someday,” but for all of us, there are still books on “The List” that we haven’t actually gotten around to reading. Even though we know they’re fabulous. Even though we know that we’ll like them. Or that we’ll learn from them. Or just that they’re supposed to be worthy. We just … haven’t gotten around to them yet.

What’s the best book that YOU haven’t read yet?

Oh, there are still tons of books from the canon that I haven't gotten around to yet. Off the top of my head:

Ulysses. James Joyce (heck, I haven't even finished Dubliners yet)
In Search of Lost Time. Marcel Proust (only two volumes in)
The Idiot. Fyodor Dostoevsky
Invisible Man. Ralph Ellison
The Charterhouse of Parma. Stendhal
Germinal. Emile Zola
anything by Anthony Trollope
The Ambassadors. Henry James
Orlando and The Waves. Virginia Woolf
Paradise Lost. John Milton

Booking Through Thursday


  1. Gah. Don't read Ulysses. At least, don't read it for fun. Gah.

  2. I'd go for Paradise Lost first :). It's such amazing poetry. (And it's not too difficult to read -- I read it over the course of a couple of weeks while working out on a treadmill.) But Germinal is quite hauntingly beautiful as well.

  3. Elizabeth's comment cracked me up!! I have not read any of the books on your list, so I am of no help.

  4. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Don't read Invisible Man. It's completely awful.

  5. The Warden by Trollope is fantastic.

  6. Jordan! Why on earth was I under the impression that you'd stopped blogging?? Glad to find out differently. :)

    I made it through three chapters of Ulysses several years ago. I'd feel much better about myself if I managed to complete it even if it's not a lot of fun.

    And Invisible Man is awful? I've always felt a bit gipped because we had to read Native Son in high school instead of Ellison.

    With any luck I'll get to Paradise Lost before the year's over. . .

  7. I am right with you on Ulysses. The Waves is one of my all time favorites!

  8. My Antonia, The Go Between, The Rainbow (I really am going to read it this year, best book or not), and Anna Karenina. Oh a few more, bu these are what comes to mind.

  9. I've still got Paradise Lost to go as well- maybe this year!

    I hope you read some Trollope soon as he's wonderful- as Jordan commented, The Warden is the first of a wonderful series and has the added advantage of being short.

  10. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Right with you on the Joyce - I'm trying really hard to get through Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and failing miserably.

    Invisible Man has been on my to-do list for years - it is about time I get to it!

    Good luck with your list

  11. I love Joyce (to read Ulysses, you might want to look up the traditional chapter titles and start with Nausicaa and then work backwards from there before moving forwards). I also love Paradise Lost. But my favorite from your list is Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

  12. Oh, and maybe I'm uncritical, but I also love Invisible Man.

  13. I bought a copy of Middlemarch a few years ago, but have never opened it. And the thing is--I know I'll love it. I'm just a bit daunted by the length. Let me not die without reading Middlemarch!

  14. I'm always a bit ashamed to say I've never read any of Virginia Woolf's novels. I suspect I'll love them and yet every year it never makes it to my TBR list. Heck, I'm just getting to "Pride and Prejudice!"


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