Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Best Book You've Never Read?

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?

Hmmm this question from Booking Through Thursday has really made me think, literally all day, hence why the slightly late blog from me (that and trying to finish Netherland). I couldnt decide what one best book I havent read yet as there were so many so I thought I would do a top ten instead. How id I decide what made it on the list? Books that I have always wanted to read, books I have always been told I must read and books by my favourite authors I havent gotten round to yet!
1. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
2. Madame Bovary -Gustave Flaubert
3. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
4. Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
5. The Accidental Tourist - Anne Tyler
6. My Cousin Rachel - Daphne Du Maurier
7. The Well of Loneliness - Radclyffe Hall
8. Love in a Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
9. The Secret Scripture - Sebastien Barry
10. A Handful of Dust - Evelyn Waugh

Please note: this list is technically subject to daily change as my mood for what I want to read and what someone might recommend me tomorrow may become the next best book I have never read!
So what are yours?

13 comments:

fleurfisher said...

Now that's a good list. It should change daily - to fit in more books and to ensure that you read the right book at the right time. And I'm delighted to see My Cousin Rachel on your list - I think it's horribly underrated.

Alexa said...

Great list I have only read 1 and 8 and both were excellent. Have you read The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford? I'd read that before Love in, as you meet lots of the characters there for the first time.

Heather said...

That's a really good list. The Poisonwood Bible is languishing on my TBR shelf, and I've got Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (another Pultizer that I have to get to) that'll come before The Accidental Tourist. I loved Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (so I'm trying to work my way through all of her stuff). I've been doing that lately with other Pulitzer-winning authors that I read (Chabon, Jane Smiley, Richard Russo)... and I'm liking them. I guess you don't win the Pulitzer for no reason.

In regard to the Pulitzer/Man Booker issue, I've only read one Man Booker (Line of Beauty), but I really liked it. I guess the judging is different (Pulitzer is trying to award the book that best memorializes the reality of America), so the books aren't always stereotypical "award-winning" type of books. How are the Bookers judged?

jlshall said...

Yes, yes, you must read A Handful of Dust - anything by Waugh is definitely worth reading, and that's one of my favorites. And My Cousin Rachel, too. I read it as a teenager and loved it almost as much as Rebecca; although I have to admit the movie version with Richard Burton (sigh!) may have clouded my judgment just a bit!

Robert Burdock said...

Hi Steve,
Nice to see another guy with Flaubert's Madame Bovary on his list. I picked up a nice hardback copy a couple of weeks ago, and I don't consider a threat to my manliness when I finally get around to reading it.

Nice to see the interest (as you noted me doing on my blog) in Dostoevsky too.

Hope you get around to reading these some time!
Warmest
Rob

claire said...

Great list! I've only read The Poisonwood Bible and The Accidental Tourist from your list. I liked them both, not ecstatic about them, but they each have qualities that make for good reading. I also want to read The Secret Scripture and Crime & Punishment. My list is a lot longer than yours. :D

NoBS said...

Oh! I completely forgot about Du Maurier! I've always wanted to read Rebecca.

Alyce said...

What a great list! And how sad that I haven't read any of them. :)

Lizzy Siddal said...

I haven't made a list of my own - how do I pick 10 from the 600+ TBR! But I will join you in reading numbers 6 and 10 from your own.

And to everyone who is thinking of reading Madame Bovary, can I recommend adding Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest to the list. Listed in the Guardian's 1000 Novels You Should Read, it is a German masterpiece and should be better known.

farmlanebooks said...

I found The Blind Assassin to be very average, but some people love it, so I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.

I haven't read any of the others, although would like to read The Poisonwood Bible soon.

Beth F said...

Good list. I highly recommend the Anne Tyler or the Mitford book. Both were good. I'm a Mitford fan, though.

I haven't read that Atwood or Poisonwood Bible.

Sarah said...

From that list, I'd say you should read Madame Bovary and Love in a Cold CLimate- very different but both wonderful books which I've re-read many times.

StuckInABook said...

I have only read one book from your list... that makes me feel very badly-read now, as most of them wouldn't even make my top ten Books I Must Read!

Top of mine? Great Expectations, I think.