Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

The Goodreads 100 Books Meme

In the spirit of the 100 book meme, Goodreads has posted a fairly diverse group of novels for its members to rank, drawn from both the most popular and the most highly rated books from its readers' libraries. And in the true internet spirit of borrowing, I've typed up the list for the rest of us to pass around. Goodreads reports that its average user has read 27 out of the 100; I've read 57 (and Darwin has read 31), and I find that most of the ones I haven't are books I've seen around but haven't felt a great compulsion to take and read.

Here's the key:
Books I've read
Books I started but didn't find interesting enough to continue
Could be interested to read
If I were handed this, I'd look for the nearest cereal box as an alternative
Haven't read

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Fellowship of the Ring
Pride and Prejudice
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Romeo and Juliet
Jane Eyre
The Hobbit
Brave New World
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Great Gatsby
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Fahrenheit 451
Wuthering Heights
Alice in Wonderland
The Secret Garden
Green Eggs and Ham
Little Women
Of Mice and Men
The Handmaid's Tale
Lord of the Flies
The DaVinci Code
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Gone With The Wind
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
A Wrinkle in Time
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Slaughterhouse Five
Anne of Green Gables
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Little Prince
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Princess Bride
The Picture of Dorian Grey
The Hunger Games
Sense and Sensibility
The Golden Compass
The Color Purple
The Kite Runner
The Odyssey
Anna Karenina
And Then There Were None
Interview with the Vampire
The Book Thief
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Count of Monte Cristo
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The Joy Luck Club
Little House on the Prairie
The Giver
Life of Pi
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Ender's Game
A Tale of Two Cities
The Stranger
East of Eden
Les Miserables
The Bell Jar
The Road
The Time Traveler's Wife
A Prayer for Owen Meany
The Stand
The Sun Also Rises
The Pillars of the Earth
Crime and Punishment
The Good Earth
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Help
Lonesome Dove
Water for Elephants
American Gods
The Poisonwood Bible
My Sister's Keeper
The Master and Margarita
The Notebook
Like Water for Chocolate
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Invisible Man
A Game of Thrones
The Fountainhead
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
The Brothers Karamazov
The House of the Spirits
Fight Club
Interpreter of Maladies


Bob the Ape said...

My score is 38; I could probably pass a pop quiz on 20 of them.

Anything I haven't read by now, I very likely never will.

(Is one missing? I copied the list to a spreadsheet and only got 99 entries.)

MrsDarwin said...

Indeed, sir, you were right: I left off Fellowship of the Ring, right at the beginning of the list. I've added it back in and upped my total.

JP said...

44 for me. I have to agree with Bob the Ape though; there's probably only 2-3 more that I haven't read that I still intend to. There are quite a few 'classics' that just don't appeal to me at all.

I was amused to see your list of 'cereal box' books. A strong majority of them (The DaVinci Code, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Golden Compass, Interview with the Vampire, Watchmen, and A Game of Thrones) I've read and rather enjoyed. To each their own though.

MrsDarwin said...

I was going to leave comments on the books in the post, but it was getting unwieldy. However, some of them (DaVinci Code, Twilight) I've read snippets of and have been severely unimpressed by the quality of the writing; with some (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Game of Thrones) I'm wary of the reputed levels of violence and nastiness; with some (Interview with the Vampire, Watchmen) I've read other books by the same author and haven't wanted to read more.

I haven't been all that impressed with some of the books on the list I have read, either -- in fact, I hated Outlander so much that I'd never read anything by the same author ever again, and if I could bleach it from my memory I would.

Myth said...

39; with one that I didn't count because I hated it and stopped and one that I own and will be within my next five.

A few more I'm interested in, and a few I read but will never touch again (Lord of the Flies, Pride and Prejudice, though I know I'm talking to fans..).

Bob the Ape said...

Thanks, Mrs. Darwin - I can add Fellowship of the Ring to the group that I have read and could pass a quiz on.

bearing said...

I have read 46 of them, plus four that I started but never finished (or else don't remember finishing). Those are Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, Anna Karenina, and The Master and Margarita.

Of the ones that you'd rather read a cereal box: I read and enjoyed Interview with the Vampire, but in my defense I was in high school. I also read The Da Vinci Code because it was sitting around at my in-laws' house and once I started it was like watching a train wreck.

Of the ones you haven't read but don't highlight, the ones I know and think are most worth reading are East of Eden and Catch-22. The first couple of times I read Catch-22 -- high school and early college -- I thought it was brilliant, and I still like the way it moves back and forth in time to tell the story, but the last time I picked it up I found that I no longer found it to be very deep or smart in any way -- only clever. There are some genuinely funny (in a semi-surreal sort of way) bits in it, and it probably has enough cultural importance, particularly in what it says about bureaucracy, to be part of the American canon.

JMB said...

I've never heard of the Master and Margarita! One thinks I'd remember the title because I'm a big fan of Margaritas. I'm surprised there's no Fitzgerald on this list. Anyway, I thought The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was boring, plus the book was not brief at all. I never finished the Hunger Games and the Book Thief. I'm surprised you haven't read The Handmaid's Tale.

bearing said...

I went ahead and made a similar list. Fun.

Brandon said...

I found The Golden Compass, Interview with a Vampire, and The Fountainhead all at least readable, but people either find Rand readable or don't, with very little mix in between; and you're probably not missing anything not having read Rice.

The Count of Monte Cristo, on the other hand, is well worth reading.

JP said...

You're not wrong re: violence in Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or Game of Thrones. That's part of what drew me to the latter, more specifically the idea that no character has plot immunity. Any character could die at any time. But it's definitely not a particularly pleasant read.

So far as The DaVinci Code, it's not particularly well written, but there was something about it that just pushed me on page after page, chapter after chapter. Not too many books do that well. Although personally I liked Angels and Demons more.

MrsDarwin said...

The Count of Monte Cristo is actually sitting on my shelf (in the Heritage Press edition!), a donation from the former owners of the house.

Someone once told me that although there were things to be said about having read Rand, the problem was that to get there, at some point you actually had go through the process of reading Rand, and that wasn't necessarily worth it.

The thing with Anne Rice is, I read one of hers in high school about a woman who played a violin, and it was interesting but not really compelling enough to push me toward her other work (though I'm slightly curious to watch Interview with a Vampire after having read an interview with Kirsten Dunst's acting coach). Then, when I worked at Barnes and Noble shelving books, I learned that she wrote hard-core erotica, and so I've avoided any of her other stuff, even her books about the life of Christ. Eee.

Brandon said...

The Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite Dumas, and indeed one of my favorite books, period. I was looking at the list and suddenly struck by the oddity of the fact that I don't have a single edition of it. I'll have to look for one in Half Price Books.

I don't think I've ever seen the Heritage Press edition, but looking around it looks like it has the same illustrator as the Heritage Press Les Miserables; which probably menas its illustrations are excellent.

MrsDarwin said...

My Les Miserables is supposed to arrive tomorrow; I'll have to read like the wind to catch up to you.

Is that the Half Price Books on Lamar? I once found there, but didn't buy, a first edition of The Silver Chair. I've rather regretted that ever since.

Brandon said...

The closest to me is on Parmer, near MoPac (when MrD was in town that one time, we ate at an Indian restaurant in the shopping center across the street from it). The Lamar one's hard to beat, though.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Huh. I've only read 37 out of a hundred. I notice that as I got further down the list, there were fewer and fewer books I'd read or would want to read.

Dorian Speed said...

55. I was feeling better about this when I thought this was a list of Books Every Cultured Person Should Have Read and was just confused about the inclusion of some of the titles.

As far as how many of them I remember...2?

Banshee said...

I guess 47. There's quite a few that I didn't actually get far enough into, though.

Which Outlander do they mean? Talk about a fairly well-used title.

MrsDarwin said...

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

67. I think. I'll have to type up the list for my own blog. I can't resist book lists.

Unknown said...

Interesting list. I've read 28. I didn't think Interview With the Vampire had a terribly interesting story, but by the end I thought there were some interesting musings on humanity, mortality, and immortality.