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19 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read FOREVER

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

A little while ago, we asked you to confess the books you’ve always wanted to read but just never seem to get around to. You know, the ones that stare at you from atop your TBR pile and cause you endless readerly guilt. 358 readers answered the call, listing 383 unique titles. A handful of books came up A LOT, and a lot of books came up only once.

Here are the top 19 books Riot readers have been meaning to read forever. Titles marked with asterisks15 of the 19!–also appear on the list of Riot readers’ 50 favorite novels. How’s that for interesting crossover?

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (51 mentions)
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy*
  • Ulysess by James Joyce*
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville*
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace*
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky*
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo*
  • Pride & Predjudice by Jane Austen*
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
  • In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov*
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell*
  • Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  • The Bible
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez*
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller*
  • Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte* (10 mentions)

    What do you make of these results? Have you read these books, or are they hanging out on your meaning-to-read pile? Click here to see the full list of responses and the number of times each book was mentioned.

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