I hate it when I’m predictable

Well, of the 61 Best Novels You’ve Never Read, I’ve read none of them. Shoot. I do, however, have two of them on my TBR list.  Does that count for anything?

24 Comments

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24 responses to “I hate it when I’m predictable

  1. I’ve read seven on the list. I was happy to see A Primate’s Memoir on the list, even if it isn’t a novel.

  2. Woo! I’ve read one, Mariette in Ecstasy. It was pretty good. I have a few of the others on my shelves but many of the books on the list I have never heard of.

  3. Brandon

    I’ve never read any of those books either, and I’ve only heard of two or three. Maybe the list is supposed to make us feel guilty? Anyway, if I tried to read every book on every “best-of” list I came across, I’d never finish, even if I quit my job and lived as a hermit for the rest of my life.

  4. I’m happy to say that I’m familiar with 15% of the authors, plan to buy two and own Kelly Link’s short stories collection, “Stranger Things Happen”. It’s actually available for free as a PDF download on Small Beer Press website, her publishing co.

    And it’s nice to finally see a list of books one has mostly never heard of (although I’m sad Steve Stern didn’t get a mention).

  5. The title of the article was apt: I also haven’t read any of them, though I have read other books by some of the authors. The book descriptions are intriquing. Thanks for pointing out the list.

  6. Haven’t read a single one. Don’t own any. Will wait to hear more from others who read them before adding 61 more titles to my TBR list!

  7. Why do I feel ashamed to have read only 1 of all these books in the list? (and why o why did I feel a wave of relief as I found the one…?) I am so competitive? I should be so happy that so many promising books are still out there.

  8. I’ve read all of three – Experience, The Accidental, and Unless. I am a huge Carol Shields fan and Unless is one of my favourite books, The Accidental was good and Experience I have forgotten. I notice Norman Rush is on the list. I completely loved his first book, Mating, so must look out for the one mentioned here. The rest, apart from James Salter, Hari Kunzu and John McGahern, I’ve not even heard of.

  9. Not a single one read here. Sigh, and none on my teetering TBR pile. I take heart in my Canadianness in the face of an American-heavy list, and my twin fetishes for poetry and environmental nonfiction, but oh, I do feel badly for not reading more novels.

  10. I have read 2-1/2. The half was Mariette in Ecstasy, which I didn’t finish, but as Stefanie liked it I should give it another try. I have another one on my TBR pile, but there are a lot of titles there I have not heard of. I guess the title is right–novels we haven’t read!!

  11. LK

    I have Judy Budnitz’s book, but have not yet read. I cannot remember which Carol Shields book I read. This is great, though, I have a Neglected Authors month coming up — surely one or two on this list can make my TBR list for that!

  12. It looks like nobody has read many of them, which makes me feel better. The concept is interesting — overlooked novels — but I’m not sure I’m going to rush out and buy many of these. The Geoff Dyer book, Out of Sheer Rage, is one of the ones I want to read, as is Ali Smith’s The Accidental.

  13. I’ve only read one book from the list, Unless by Carol Shields, it was a long time ago but I think I liked it. I haven’t heard of any of the others. I wonder what criteria they used for deciding a book had been overlooked?

  14. Yep, haven’t read many of those. Just three, Kalimataan, Mariette in Ecstasy and Shipwrecks. I highly recommend Shipwrecks. That story was chilling. Good list to hang onto though for when I want to try a new author.

  15. Oh I’m not going to rush out to buy any of them. It’s a nice reminder of what I meant to buy in the first place, but that’s about it. I don’t take that publication very seriously.

  16. Haven’t heard of a lot of the titles either.

    Read one and a half (Finished Ali Smith’s “Accidental” never finished “The Last Samurai”) of the 61 novels.

    And “Out of Sheer Rage” is on order as I type this, so hopefully I will be able to add one more titles out of 61. :)

  17. Don’t feel bad I haven’t read any of them either!

  18. Woo! I’ve read three! :-) Ali Smith’s ‘The Accidental’, Kelly Link’s ‘Stranger Things Happen’ and Lydia Millett’s ‘O Pure and Radiant Heart’. I thought the first two were cracking reads, and the Smith a contemporary classic, but I wasn’t so enthused over the Millett. I thought it was interesting, but somewhat affected and overblown. I’ve printed the list off though and mean to track at least some of the more interesting sounding ones down. I loooove lists like this. :-)

  19. Hmmm … I see I’ll have to make a priority of reading the Smith novel.

  20. I’m right there with you, except I have read a couple of stories from the Kelly Link book, but not the whole thing.

  21. I haven’t read any of them – or indeed heard of most of them! Although I think I only found the first twenty or so (poor web navigation on my part). If they are novels we’ve never read it’s because there hasn’t been much publicity. So there it is.

  22. I’ve read only one of them, though several of the others are on my TBR list thanks to enthusiastic blog mentions. The one I’ve read is James Salter’s “Last Night” which is a brilliant short story collection. I highly recommend it. I don’t think any of us need feel badly for not having read or even having heard of many of the books included on the list. After all, that’s the point. The critics who are touting the books don’t expect us to have read them but want to make sure that we get the chance. I’m all in favour of such lists, as evidenced by the fact that I’m frequently pressing books that I consider to have been unjustly neglected into the hands of fellow readers!

  23. I haven’t read any of these books that are listed here, but… while I have your ear, let me suggest, as in highly endorse, TWO books that no one reading this blog has read, and yet EVERYONE reading this blog SHOULD read!
    These are:
    #1. Slammerkin, by Emma Donoghue.
    AND
    #2. The Ash Garden, by Dennis Bock.

  24. A very interesting list. I’ve read three: the McGahern, Ali Smith, and Carol Shields.

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