05 March 2009

Booking through Thursday: Challenge Me!

Here's this week's Booking Through Thursday, hosted by Deb. To read other answers, click here.

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?

I couldn't answer this question off the top of my head, so I went to one of those lists: 1001 books you need to read (or some such title). Of course there are tons of good books out there I want to read, so I broke the list into two groups: 4 older books and 4 newer books:

Older Books
Roxana – Daniel Defoe
Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
Adam Bede – George Eliot
Quartet – Jean Rhys

Newer Books
August Is a Wicked Month – Edna O'Brien
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
The Sea – John Banville

Challenge Me
Now I'm asking for your help: Which one should be at the top of my list? Leave a comment with your choice. I'll take it as a challenge to make sure I read the two most-mentioned books before the end of 2009.


Yvonne 3/5/09, 7:46 AM  

I haven't read any of those books, but you have a good list to start from!

Happy Thursday!

Chrisbookarama 3/5/09, 7:50 AM  

I've only read Adam Bede and Life of Pi. I'll go with those 2.

Amat Libris 3/5/09, 7:53 AM  

Cranford! It's the only one of the eight I've read, and it's a lovely book.

Literature Crazy 3/5/09, 8:08 AM  

I need to read Life of Pi also, so I'll vote for that one.

Unknown 3/5/09, 8:16 AM  

The only ones I've read are The Sea (which was only OK) and Life of Pi, which was excellent. So another vote for Life of Pi from me!

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 8:28 AM  

That's a great selection. If I have to pick one it's going to be Adam Bede. Nobody's mentioned Quartet, so I'll say that it os really good but one of those books you have to be in the right frame of mind for.

Julie P. 3/5/09, 8:49 AM  

I recommend LIFE OF PI!

Molly 3/5/09, 8:52 AM  

Well, since I have to read Life of Pi this month - I'll vote for that one as well and perhaps we could compare notes after we have finished?

Marny 3/5/09, 8:52 AM  

Everything is Illuminated and Adam Bede

tanabata 3/5/09, 8:59 AM  

I've only read Life of Pi, which I do think you should read too, but I'll vote for Everything is Illuminated because I've been meaning to read it ever since it came out. Maybe this'll be the year I finally read it myself!

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 9:25 AM  

I'd recommend Cranford! I think Elizabeth Gaskell is underappreciated. I have Everything is Illuminated, Life of Pi, and Adam Bede (I love George Eliot, so this would be my second choice) on my own TBR pile.

I really disliked The Sea, but have enjoyed other books by Banville. It didn't resonate with me at all, and I was glad it was short. Don't let that put you off - obviously, other people found it very worthy!

Ana S. 3/5/09, 9:32 AM  

Everything is Illuminated! It's AMAZING. One of my all-time favs.

KyleeJ 3/5/09, 9:44 AM  

Hi Beth-

I'm no help. I haven't read any of the book on your list. I do have Life of Pi in my TBR though. =)

KyleeJ 3/5/09, 9:45 AM  

books*** arg I hate typos!

teabird 3/5/09, 9:52 AM  

Cranford! You can not go wrong with Mrs. Gaskell!

bermudaonion 3/5/09, 10:11 AM  

Well, I'm one of those who didn't really enjoy The Life of Pi - the ending just didn't work for me - and I haven't read any of the others on your list.

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 10:23 AM  

It was hard enough making my own choice and I'm similarly torn with yours! I'd vote for Cranford (easy, swift and delightful read) and Life of Pi (because that too is sitting on my shelf gathering dust).

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 10:50 AM  

lol, I haven't read any of these, either. I'll post my BTT later today. I'm kinda scared too, people will be shocked that I call myself a reader! lol.

PS - you won the giveaway on my blog!! congrats!

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 11:15 AM  

Life of Pi has been on my list since forever it feels like. Maybe if you move that to the top of your list and read it, I can feel like I've done it vicariously ;)

Desert Rose 3/5/09, 12:00 PM  

I haven't read of the books you mentioned either, but would recommend Everything Is Illuminated since I saw the movie.. :)

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 12:19 PM  

I love the old ones so my vote is for Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Nise' 3/5/09, 12:25 PM  

I have not read any of these books. I did see Cranford and liked it. Life of Pi is one of my challenge books for this year.

Stacy 3/5/09, 12:28 PM  

I say Adam Bede because I am a little intimidated by Eliot myself:)

Robin M 3/5/09, 12:52 PM  

I've only read "Life of Pi" and enjoyed it so I would say to start with that one. :)

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 2:52 PM  

I have not heard of any of those books but they all sound interesting :)

Savidge Reads 3/5/09, 2:55 PM  

The Life of Pi is brilliant and Everything is Illuminating is a book unlike any I have read before.

Sandy Nawrot 3/5/09, 3:01 PM  

Good Lord, I am at the end of pile on this one! Kids had Field Day today, so I'm behind in my socializing! Anyway, not to be a broken record, but I loved Life of Pi. It is the only one on your list I've read though.

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 3:06 PM  

Wow, I've not really heard of any of these except for Pi, so I'm going to make my two suggestions arbritarily. I'll go with Quartet by Jean Rhys since "Rhys" is a Welsh name, and August Is a Wicked Month is an interesting title.

Happy Reading whichever you pick up next :-D

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 3:18 PM  

I'm a fan of John Banville although his works are difficult to read. I can't get through any of his books without having a dictionary handy.

I've got so many but when I reflect upon the type of writing style that appeals me the most, I narrow it down to a short list.

At first I couldn't make of the question because it really depends on what best is. I'm reading a very popular book that I'm probably the last person on earth to read it. Gone with the Wind. :)

JoAnn 3/5/09, 3:33 PM  

The Sea was on my list of favorites last year. Cranford is in the tbr pile...

Squirrel 3/5/09, 4:51 PM  

The only one I have read is Life of Pi and that was excellent so I guess that is my recommendation!

Anonymous,  3/5/09, 4:53 PM  

I love "Life of Pi" so it would be my first recommendation, but you can't go too far wrong with the other books on your list either.

Jennie 3/5/09, 6:09 PM  

Well...I think I'll have to be in the minority here--I'd vote for "Everything Illuminated" or "Cranford" (which, oddly enough, I JUST read). "Life of Pi" just never did anything for me...
Great blog!

Deb Vlock 3/5/09, 8:46 PM  


Whatever you choose, have fun...

Anonymous,  3/6/09, 3:37 AM  

Hi Beth,
I've got 'Life of Pi' sitting on my TBR shelf, but I don't consider it to be 'one I've never read but should do' (at least not yet). However if you are planning on reading it though (consider this my recommendation), then it may be better doing it sooner rather than later. I read somewhere it's getting adapted into a movie!
Anyway good look with all on your list

Beth F 3/6/09, 8:17 AM  

Thanks sooooo much to everyone. This was really fun. The clear winners are Life of Pi and Cranford. I'll be blogging about this post later on Friday.

Desert Rose 3/6/09, 10:38 AM  

Good luck reading your challenge, will be awaiting your review :)

Jenners 3/6/09, 11:31 AM  

The only one I can personally speak for is Life of Pi, which I was thought was excellent so that gets my vote!

And "Everything Is Illuminated" is on my own list of must reads but never do!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 3/6/09, 2:01 PM  

Go for Everything is Illuminated. I struggled with it, so I would be curious to hear another opinion.

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