Top Ten Tuesday – top ten unread books on my bookshelf


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Really? Only ten? At least i have a ton to choose from for this list… Okay, in no particular order:

1) Memory Babe (Gerald Nicosia) – The massive biography about Jack Kerouac. Several years ago I took it with me on a weekend getaway and read a couple hundred pages but, once I got home, never resumed reading. Why is a mystery because I love reading everything about Kerouac. Perhaps I need to return to the site of my former reading to be able to close the deal. (give me a moment while I make reservations…)

2) Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) – One of my most serious lapses in cultural literacy. Everybody has read this but me, it seems. To further complicate matters, I seem to have misplaced my copy when I redecorated/rearranged my place a couple years ago. Hopefully it’s not languishing at the bottom of some box I won’t open for another ten years. I should just buy an electronic copy and get started.

3) War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy) – I almost bit the bullet a few years ago when a friend proudly announced he had “finished War and Peace.” Even though I ~hate~ that he has that over me, it hasn’t been enough to jump start me to read it myself. I almost hopped in a read along earlier this year but didn’t. The fact that it has 365 chapters (one for each day in the year) almost screams “reading project!” at me, but not even that has been enough to get me started.

4) The Ambassadors (Henry James) – Oh, Henry James… You are so hard to read and this one is so long. I don’t know if I’ll ever read it, but it may have the longest tenure of books that sit on my shelf and mock me for never having the wherewithal to read them…

5) The Naked Lunch (William S. Burroughs) – I’ve had this awhile now too, and I’ve read tons of stuff by the “beats.” I’ve even read the tragic biography of Burroughs’s son (“Cursed at Birth”) but never read this one. From what I’ve read from other bloggers, this book is one of those love it or hate it books, so I guess I have some fear that I will find myself in the hate it camp when I finally get started. Someday.

6) The Divine Comedy (Dante) – How have I avoided this one? I’m relatively well read in terms of “The Classics” but somehow this one has escaped me. My curiosity about it was rekindled last year when I read the excellent novel, The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. (honorable mention here goes to Milton’s Paradise Lost which I’ve never read either).

7) The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) – My nephew and I informally pledged to read this last year. To my knowledge, he hasn’t started it either. My failure here is particularly acute since I signed up to receive this book via “Daily Lit” which emails you a small section each day to read. I have a hard copy too, which is probably what I’ll eventually read it from, but I haven’t “shut off” the emails yet so I get a constant, daily reminder of my slacking…

8) Robopocalypse (Daniel Wilson) – Bought after I heard some hype on NPR. It’s a topic I’m interested in as well, but for some reason I’ve only been able to execute a couple half-hearted false starts on this one.

9) The Antiquary (Sir Walter Scott) – I was on a big SWS kick about a year ago, and after reading Waverley and Guy Mannering this was next on the list. My failure here is sheer laziness and lack of fortitude. Scott is a little harder reading for me, and I just keep taking the path of least resistance and reading something else.

10) Villette (Charlotte Bronte) – She has spent years in my bedroom (on a bedside table). I guess at one point I thought, “I’ll just read some of this before I go to sleep every night and eventually I’ll finish it.” I’ve probably false started it a dozen times. The fact of the matter is Bronte requires more attention than my tired, pre bedtime mind can handle. Time to kick her out of the bedroom!

Bonus book: one that was on my bookshelf for years and years, but eventually escaped purgatory when I finally actually read (and loved!) it. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens.

Well, that’s a few of mine. I look forward to reading everyone else’s lists!


  1. November 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I have read The Count of Monte Cristo, but the rest have never interested me.

    Here’s My Post


  2. Kelly said,

    November 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I also haven’t read Catcher in the Rye, if it makes you feel any better! My boyfriend has a copy, and has offered it to me to read, but I just haven’t bothered…yet!

    I’d also love to read The Count of Monte Cristo (I loved the film adaptation) and Robopocalypse has caught my eye a few times.

    My Top Ten Tuesday


  3. trish said,

    November 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I read Count of Monte Cristo this year and, yeah it’s good, but it’s waaay long. You could skip whole chapters and not miss anything. Constant daily reminders of your slacking? lol

    Divine Comedy is something I’d like to get to also.


  4. November 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    We share Count of Monte Cristo. 🙂
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. 🙂


  5. November 15, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    War and Peace, I expected to read over the course of a year but could not put it down and was actually saddened when I finished it. Definitely in my top 5.

    Catcher in the Rye has always been my number 1 and the consensus seems to be polarized – either you love it or hate it. I have also heard that the positive feelings seem to deteriorate (the book becomes unrelatable) as you get older, but I’ve read it three times and I don’t feel it to be the case yet.


  6. November 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I just got the count of Monte Cristo for my kindle as a free read. I hope I will be able to one day find the time to read it.

    This is my 1st week participating in Top 10


  7. Dale said,

    November 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Here are mine, in no particular order:

    1.) War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    2.) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
    3.) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    4.) The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    5.) Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
    6.) Look Homeward, Angel – Thomas Wolf
    7.) Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
    8.) Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
    9.) Captains Courageous – Rudyard Kipling
    10.) The Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane

    The Count of Monte Cristo has been on my list a long time, but it’s not on my shelf.

    Honorable Mention: Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

    I think War and Peace is going to get conquered in 2012.


  8. Anne said,

    November 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Great list, I have read A Catcher in the Rye and The Count of Monte Cristo and would recommend both.


  9. Darlyn said,

    December 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I hated Catcher in the Rye when I first read it a couple of years ago, but I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Once you start reading it, I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to put it down. The chapters are pretty short, and they usually end with cliffhangers. 🙂


    • Jay said,

      December 21, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Thanks for the comment, Darlyn. Im glad to hear you recommend The Count of Monte Cristo. That’s one of those books that’s been on my list for so long now that “I might as well just read it.” I see that happening in 2012. 🙂


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