March 5, 2011

The Unread Library

I love books.
I love reading.
I love all things paper and pages and words and history and imagination.
Before we moved, I had a little photoshoot with some of my unread books.

Fully inspired by Jules and her own unread library, I decided to tackle my collection head-on.
Pleased with a photo of all of the unread books in various crevices of my home, I put this post on the back burner, tackled packing and eventually tackled moving.
The awesome part about packing and moving is that you find things.
I mean, most people come across the random earring that fell behind the furniture, or the new ironing board cover that got put in the back of the closet.
At our house, we found lots of things.
Like, entire pieces of furniture burried in the garage, and boxes that were still not unpacked from our previous move more than three years ago.
In one of those never-unpacked-lost-in-the-garage-boxes, I found another book collection.
The box was marked "unread".
Below that box?
Yup...another box of books.
Also marked "unread".
So now, my little photoshoot served zero purpose.
I have more books than I know what to do with.
And I plan to read them all before I purchase another one.
And when I'm finished, it will not stay on my shelf to collect dust- it will become a part of someone else's unread library.
Perhaps yours.
I'm working out a book exchange idea in my head.

Below I will type out the name of every book in my unread library.
I will update this post when I complete a book, and cross the title off of my list.
If you have read any of these, please tell me what you thought!

1. a density of souls- christopher rice
3. out stealing horses- per petterson
4. black boy- richard wright
5. the 19th wife- david ebershoff
6. comfort food- kate jacobs
7. the undomestic goddess- sophie kinsella
8. to kill a mockingbird- harper lee
9. can you keep a secret?- sophie kinsella
10. i know this much is true- wally lamb
11. crossroads- belva plain
12. son of a witch- gregory maguire
13. christ the lord- anne rice
14. primary colors- anon
15. blood canticle- ann rice
16. skinny- ibi kaslik
17. double take- catherine coulture
18. my friend leonard- james frey
19. eat, pray, love- elizabeth gilbert
20. building leaders- conger and benjamin
21. breaking dawn- stephanie meyer
22. the big book of secrets- william poundstone
23. atlas shrugged- ayn rand
24. honeymoon with my brother- franz wisner
25. totally desperate mom- wendy hagen
26. the right address- carrie karasyov and jill kargman
27. crooked little heart- anne lamott
28. the girls from ames- jeffrey zaslow
29. i don't know how she does it- allison pearson
30. gin lane- james brady
31. the kindness of strangers- katrina kittle
33. a long way gone- ishmael beah
34. rejuvenile- christopher noxon
35. the diary of an american au pair- marjorie leet ford
36. much ado about jessie kaplan- paula marantz cohen
37. pandora- anne rice
38. eclipse- stephanie meyer
40. the reader- bernard schlink
41. bergdorf blondes- plum sykes
42. high maintenance- jennifer belle
43. last chance saloon- marian keyes
45. memoirs of a geisha- arthur golden
46. wobegon boy- garrison keillor
47. running with scissors- augusten burroughs
48. remember me?- sophie kinsella
49. hotel honolulu- paul theroux
52- waiting- debra ginsberg
53. the nasty bits- anthony bourdain
54. upstairs girls- rutter
55. in her shoes- jennifer weiner
56. knitting under the influence- claire lazetnik
57. running in heels- anna maxteed
59. for one more day- mitch albom
60. little earthquakes- jennifer weiner
61. the secret life of bees- sue monk kidd
62. little altars everywhere- rebecca wells
63. good in bed- jennifer weiner
64. the brooklyn follies- paul auster
65. jemima j- jane green
66. 101 lies men tell women- dory hollander, ph.d.
67. too much money- dominick dunne
68. first, break all the rules- marcus buckingham and curt coffman
70.  send me someone- wentworth
71. the lovely bones- alice sebold
72. swell- cynthia rowley and ilen rosenzweig



  1. You should look into

  2. Such a good idea! I have so many unread books as well - I should make a list! :)

    I have read a handful of the books on your list - but the ones that stick out to me are Jemima J and In Her Shoes. In Her Shoes starts out a little rough/sketchy - but after that turns into a sweet story. The only bummer is as much as I wanted it to, the movie does no justice to the book! I highly recommend reading it :)

  3. i just started the 19th wife...interesting!

  4. Another good place for books is And you've got some great ones there. You aren't going to want to get rid of To Kill a Mockingbird - that's one everyone should have a copy of.

  5. I have read about 12 of these-- Lovely Bones, good, but a little hard to read at times... makes you hold your children close!!

    Secret Life of Bees- I had a hard time getting into it, but liked it in the end.

    Eclipse- if you haven't read the previous books, I suggest not reading it.

    Memory keeper's Daughter, very good! Don't watch the Made for TV movie! :)

    Good luck with your list. I just got a Kindle for Christmas to help avoid these huge piles of books, we just don't have room to keep them all around!

  6. There are only about 10 on your list I've read, some required reading in college, and others books I picked up along the way. I never finished Atlas Shrugged, but Jeff did an he liked it. I fell asleep about page 10. I did not care for Eat, Pray, Love very much. Gilbert makes it sound like she got enlightenment in a quick weekend at the ashram. I loved these: To Kill a Mockingbird, Black Boy, Primary Colors, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Reader, and The Secret Life of Bees.

    Your idea of sharing books is wonderful. Most public libraries take books as donations, either to put on the shelves or to sell in fund-raisers. I'm a big supporter of public libraries, as you know.

    Let's hear it for literacy -- if kids spent as much time reading as they do watching TV and playing games, the world would be a better place.

  7. I've read a few of those I know, and a couple others sound familiar.
    The Lovely Bones - great book, definitely makes you think...

  8. 55- In Her Shoes and 63- Good In Bed are both very good.

  9. My friend Gina used to date the brother in Honeymoon with my Brother...great book!
    Memory Keeper's Daughter was great
    I agree that the Lovely Bones is hard to read at times but I thought it was great and gives an image of heaven that I hope is true.
    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best books ever
    Liked the first half of Eat pray love but got bored and never finished it
    I should do this many books on the shelf I haven't read :)

  10. *To Kill a Mockingbird is awesome and my favorite book ever!
    *Crossroads is great (I love Belva Plain.)
    *Primary Colors is a fun read if you like politics.
    *Eat, Pray, Love is a book everyone else seemed to love and I thought sucked! (She comes off as a whiney woman that has too much money to be so whiney! Ugh!)
    *Atlas Shrugged...hmmm, a long read with depth and meaning but it is a tough read so be prepared.
    *Memoirs of a Geisha is wonderful.
    *Running with Scissors reminds me of my own dysfunctional family. lol
    *The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love will make you laugh out it!
    *The Secret Life of Bees is one book that will tug at your heartstrings; another must read.

    I've read more than that but those hit home more than any others. I hope that helps.

    Peace & Love,

  11. I had done a post on my blog last week about my pile of to read books which is well over a hundred books yikes I know. I also have one there the two amazing books sites that help me organize my books and swaps with other readers, check it out.

  12. memoirs of a geisha - FABULOUS. and the movie actually did the novel justice. go figure
    Running with scissors - laugh out loud funny & thought provoking
    eat, pray love - was okay
    my friend leonard - interesting.
    black boy- great. took me forever to get through but so glad i did.


  13. OOH To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books!! I also have Memoirs of a Geisha and Running with Scissors on my shelf in my unread pile...maybe I should dust them off soon.. :)

  14. The secret life of bees is AMAZING. One of my most favorite books ever!

    The memory keepers daughter is kinda long and drawn out, but pretty good

    To Kill A Mockingbird was a required book for me in 9th grade...I didnt enjoy it because of all the papers I was required to write about it in English class! Though it wasn't enjoyable due to all the homework, it was a great book

    The Lovely Bones is WEIRD but good and the movie is NOT good.

  15. The Lovely Bones: Easy read, the type of book that you'll finish in a weekend and remember for a while.

    Jemima J: I got attached to the main character quickly; cheering for her and agonizing along with her when things didn't go her way. Another easy read.

    The Secret Life of Bees: I fell in love with this book because of how descriptive it was... I could easily visualize the characters and scenery. A book I would like to read again some day.

    In Her Shoes: an okay book... a good "beach" book. Very easy read... but nothing I'd be dying to read again.

    Memoirs of a Geisha: One of my favorite books! Written very well, easy to read but a lot of depth to it. I was drawn into their culture... would love to read this again.

    Eclipse: I don't remember what happened in this one. I read all 4 of them. They were easy to read... but not written incredibly well.

    A Long Way Gone: You must read this. But a warning... it will break your heart. You will never forget this story.

    Breaking Dawn: Same as Eclipse

    I Know This Much is True: I used to claim this as one of my very favorite reads ever. I bought it in hardback thinking I'd read it again one day. Looking back I remember that it is a bit too long... but a great story. Heart breaking. Some difficult parts to read. Wally Lamb is known for drawing out a story a bit too long which can make his books boring at times.

    To Kill a Mockingbird: So much better than the movie and I LOVED the movie.

    the Undomestic Goddess: a great summer read... light and fun to read. Well written.

    The Memory Keepers Daughter: Another book that stayed with me for a while. Some slow parts but a great story.

    A Density of Souls: I read this a while back, and don't remember the entire story BUT I do remember it being a darker story. As a new writer he lacked in some areas such as character development.

  16. I am illiterate. The only thing I have read is Totally Desperate Mom. Well, I think I read Memoirs of a Geisha, but ti was so long ago that not only can I not really remember the book, but I can't be sure that I actually read it. Or if it was just a dream. But I think I did. HELP!
    I did just finish 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
    And I am rereading "From God to Us: How We Got our Bible."
    You gotta lot of books to read... get going.

  17. To Kill a Mockingbird is the best book ever. I have 4 boys, and tried to talk my husband into naming each one of them Atticus. Or Finch. Lost every time. Memoirs of a Geisha is GREAT - easy to get lost in.

    But To Kill a Mockingbird? Best book ever.

  18. OH! I just saw 'I Don't Know How She Does It'. Also fabulous. And please, please don't waste your precious reading time on Stephanie Meyer! Adolescence was awkward enough the first time. No need to relive it.

  19. I have read several of the books on your list! I love books of all types and kinds. The Lovely Bones was a good one. Right now I'm reading Into The Wild on my Kindle.

    Jo @ SmileMonesters

    BTW - your blog layout is super. =^)