Booking Through Thursday: The Best Books You’ve Never Read

booking-through-thursdayPersonally, I think today’s question is one of the best Booking Through Thursday has had since I started participating in this weekly meme. I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s lists — especially when I see that I’ve read books on their list.

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?

Besides the entirety of the AP Literature List, I’m inclined to list:

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn {Mark Twain}
    • William Falkner called Mark Twain “the father of American literature.” Too bad I’ve never read anything by him. Wait, I take that back; I did read the edited for content, clarity, and length version of Huckleberry Finn when I was eight. I also own a gorgeous copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but I never read it.
  • The Book Thief {Marcus Zusak}
    • Not a “classic,” but The Book Thief is quite possibly one of the most talked about books. While it sounds incredibly interesting, the waiting list at my library is twenty-seven deep — which  is longer than the waiting list for Jodi Picoult’s new book.
  • Crime and Punishment {Fyodor Dostoevski}
    • I’ve wanted to read Crime and Punishment ever since I read the back cover blurb at the bookstore a couple of weeks ago. However, every time it makes it way to top of the bookstack, I shove it back to the bottom. Why? Well, I guess I’m just scared.
  • A Farewell to Arms {Ernest Hemingway}
    • Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea, I’m more inclined to say that A Farewell to Arms, followed by For Whom the Bell Tolls, are his best. Of course, I’ve never read them so my opinion doesn’t mean squat.
  • Gone with the Wind {Margaret Mitchell}
    • I’ve started part one of Gone with the Wind — if you can call 12 pages a true start — for Matt’s read-a-along. {I’m way behind, by the way.} But I’ve wanted to read the book long before Matt’s read-a-along, especially considering this book won the Pulitzer Prize, is considered one of the great American novels, and was adapted into the most popular move of, well, ever.
  • The Grapes of Wrath {John Steinbeck}
    • I’ve wanted to read Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath after I saw a large painting of the original cover at both Barnes and Noble and my school’s library. The novel has won the Pulitzer Prize, which is the only reason why I place it above Of Mice and Men and East of Eden despite wanting to read those two as well.
  • Jane Eyre {Charlotte Brontë}
    • I’ve had a least twenty people — on this blog and off — tell me that Jane Eyre is their favorite novel ever, that it easy surpasses anything by Jane Austen. I never had any inkling to read Jane Eyre until I read The Eyre Affair {Jasper Fforde}.
  • Les Miserables {Victor Hugo}
    • I actually have no idea why Les Miserables is on my list — it’s huge, completely intimidating, and I’ll probably never read it.
  • Something by Margaret Atwood
    • With so many “notable” works I’m not sure where to begin, but The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace are currently at the top of my list.
  • Something by George Eliot
    • Silas Marner or Middlemarch or The Lifted Vail? I can’t decide between the two because both look so good.


  1. SFP

    I’ve read and loved most everything on your list except The Book Thief (I’ve misplaced my copy) and Les Mis is still “in progress” if I overlook the fact that I haven’t picked it up since last July. 😉

    Middlemarch is so wonderful that I read it twice; Daniel Deronda is also very good. Silas Marner didn’t appeal to mel, though I know lots of people love it best of all (perhaps because its short?).

    Cat’s Eye is my favorite Atwood, but The Handmaid’s Tale is truly a must read.

    You’ve definitely got some good reads to look forward to!


  2. @ SFP: I totally don’t blame you for ignoring Les Miserables. I included it on my list because my friend, Helen, and I have this crazy plan to listen to it as we drive across America; although, we’ll probably never do it. I haven’t heard a lot about Daniel Deronda so I’ll have to check it out. Cat’s Eye is third on Atwood list as I haven’t heard much about it.

    @ Vasilly: Thanks. I wish we were reading Jane Eyre as our next book for school, but we’ll be reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad instead.


  3. Les Miserables is wonderful! If you can get through Anna Karenina, you can definitely read Hugo! Be wary of translations, though. And, of course, I heartily recommend Alias Grace

    ps. Jane Eyre is my favourite novel ever 😀


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