I Haven’t Read These? I’m Embarrassed

I was idly checking a few of the Top 100 type lists on this site and began to note the titles I should consider reading (and many I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t read yet). I started a pen and paper list on a 3×5 card but soon ran out of room so I returned to the computer to create a more extensive list. I transcribed all the titles from the major lists that I hadn’t read to date. But then I looked at some of the entries and made an executive decision about some of the texts I knew I would never read (Ayn Rand for instance) and pared a small number of titles from the list.

I don’t know if the list is valuable to others but these are some of the books experts tell us we should have read yet I (sob) have not read them myself.

The Top Recommended Books I Have Yet To Read (89)

(Blue indicates that I finally got around to reading the title)

  1. Dream of the Red Chamber
  2. The Princess of Cleves
  3. Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
  4. Money – Martin Amis
  5. Alcools – Guillaume Apollinaire
  6. Aurelien – Louis Aragon
  7. The Origins of Totalitarianism – Hannah Arendt
  8. The Theatre and its Double – Antonin Artaud
  9. The Bottle Factory Outing – Beryl Bainbridge
  10. Writing Degree Zero — Roland Barthes
  11. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
  12. The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow
  13. Herzog – Saul Bellow
  14. Petersburg — Andrei Bely
  15. The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett
  16. Under the Sun of Satan – Georges Bernanos
  17. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume
  18. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui – Bertolt Brecht
  19. The Sleepwalkers — Hermann Broch
  20. The Thirty-Nine Steps — John Buchan
  21. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  22. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  23. Second Thoughts – Michel Butor
  24. The Tartar Steppe – Dino Buzzati
  25. Oscar And Lucinda – Peter Carey
  26. Furor and Mystery – René Char
  27. No Orchids For Miss Blandish – James Hadley Chase
  28. Falconer – John Cheever
  29. The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers
  30. Cold Nights — Pa Chin
  31. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
  32. The Satin Slipper – Paul Claudel
  33. Les Vrilles de la vigne (French) – Colette
  34. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  35. Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard – Joseph Conrad
  36. The BFG – Roald Dahl
  37. Ubik – Philip K. Dick
  38. Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion
  39. Sybil – Benjamin Disraeli
  40. The USA Trilogy – John Dos Passos
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  42. Daniel Deronda — George Eliot
  43. L. A. Confidential – James Ellroy
  44. Capital of Pain – Paul Éluard
  45. Absalom, Absalom! – William Faulkner
  46. The Sportswriter – Richard Ford
  47. The Order of Things – Michel Foucault
  48. The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
  49. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  50. Gaston – André Franquin
  51. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality – Sigmund Freud
  52. The Death of Artemio Cruz — Carlos Fuentes
  53. The Recognitions – William Gaddis
  54. Neuromancer – William Gibson
  55. Oblomov — Ivan Goncharov
  56. The Opposing Shore – Julien Gracq
  57. Lanark – Alasdair Gray
  58. The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene
  59. The Good Soldier Švejk — Jaroslav Hašek
  60. In Our Time – Ernest Hemingway
  61. Les Misérables — Victor Hugo
  62. The Bald Soprano – Eugène Ionesco
  63. The Berlin Stories – Christopher Isherwood
  64. Blake and Mortimer – Edgar P. Jacobs
  65. The Ambassadors – Henry James
  66. The Bostonians – Henry James
  67. The Golden Bowl – Henry James
  68. Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  69. The Wings of the Dove – Henry James
  70. Snow Country — Yasunari Kawabata
  71. Schindler’s List – Thomas Keneally
  72. A Separate Peace — John Knowles
  73. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
  74. The Joke – Milan Kundera
  75. Écrits – Jacques Lacan
  76. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils – Selma Lagerlö
  77. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold – John le Carre
  78. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — John Le Carre
  79. Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
  80. The Interrogation – J. M. G. Le Clézio
  81. A Hero of Our Time — Mikhail Lermontov
  82. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
  83. If This Is a Man – Primo Levi
  84. The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
  85. Tristes Tropiques – Claude Lévi-Strauss
  86. Martin Eden – Jack London
  87. Gypsy Ballads – Federico García Lorca
  88. Dom Casmurro — Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
  89. The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer
  90. The Betrothed — Alessandro Manzoni
  91. Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham
  92. Thérèse Desqueyroux – François Mauriac
  93. The Rosy Crucifixion – Henry Miller
  94. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  95. The Pursuit Of Love – Nancy Mitford
  96. Watchmen – Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
  97. Contempt – Alberto Moravia
  98. Cities of Salt — Abdelrahman Munif
  99. The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil
  100. Doctor Zhivago — Boris Pasternak
  101. Nightmare Abbey – Thomas Love Peacock
  102. Amers – Saint-John Perse
  103. Ballad of the Salt Sea – Hugo Pratt
  104. Paroles – Jacques Prévert
  105. Northern Lights [The Golden Compass] – Philip Pullman
  106. Journal, 1887–1910 – Jules Renard
  107. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge – Rainer Maria Rilke
  108. Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson
  109. Call It Sleep – Henry Roth
  110. Haroun and the Sea of Stories – Salman Rushdie
  111. Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie
  112. Being and Nothingness – Jean-Paul Sartre
  113. Tropisms – Nathalie Sarraute
  114. Waverley — Walter Scott
  115. The Strange Case of Peter the Lett – Georges Simenon
  116. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  117. The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  118. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  119. The Man Who Loved Children – Christina Stead
  120. Angle of Repose – Wallace Stegner
  121. The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal
  122. The Confessions of Nat Turner – William Styron
  123. Some Prefer Nettles — Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
  124. The Magnificent Ambersons – Booth Tarkington
  125. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont – Elizabeth Taylor
  126. Friday – Michel Tournier
  127. The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
  128. The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope
  129. Asterix the Gaul – René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
  130. Le Silence de la mer – Vercors
  131. Froth on the Daydream – Boris Vian
  132. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  133. Native Son – Richard Wright
  134. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
  135. Germinal— Emile Zola
  136. Confusion of Feelings – Stefan Zweig

 

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