...I've started, failed to finish and feel guilty as hell about. They're scattered about the house, permanent and quietly malevolent reminders of a thousand broken resolutions, talismans of my enduring ignorance.
1 Ulysses - James Joyce
2 Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
3 Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
4 Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
5 Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
6 Lanark - Alexander Gray
7 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
9 The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
10 The Sea - John Banville
And ten more that are also lying around but will never get finished because for various reasons I really didn't like them:
1 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
2 Shame - Salman Rushdie
3 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Maria Lewycka
4 Atonement - Ian McEwan
5 The Quantity Theory of Insanity - Will Self
6 Why Read the Classics? - Italo Calvino
7 Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey
8 Possession - A.S. Byatt
9 A Family Madness - Thomas Keneally
10 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown. This one's really in a category of its own. I hated it.
Actually, there's dozens more lying around that I've started and been unable to finish but those are the the most recent ones. When I was younger I forced myself to finish every book I started but now, well, maybe I value my time a little more. Or maybe my polymath dreams are over, charred embers on the altar of experience.
Dammit, no, that's not the reason. The reason is that mostly these books failed to live up to the publishers' hype and I resented being conned. Not really the best frame of mind for reading a book. Maybe one day I'll give them another go. But don't bet on it.