On the right hand sidebar of my blog I've listed about 60 or 70 books that I've never read. The school I attended until my last few high school years did not have a focus on literature for whatever reason, so the books that are often required reading for high schoolers, I never read. Of course, I was never seen without a book in my face. Cheerleading practice, I was sitting with a book until everyone got there (usually a horror novel to gross out the other girls). In the dressing room at ballet school I was reading (usually a novel or biography of famous prima ballerinas or primier danseurs). And in bed at night or in my treehouse I was usually reading some spanning epic like Count of Monte Cristo or Anna Karenina or Gone With the Wind.
History in novels was always an attraction for me. The Alienist, Sherlock Holmes, the French Revolution, Jack the Ripper, the Spanish Inquisition. I read Count of Monte Crist, of over 1000 pages, when I was 14! But I didn't read Anne Frank's diary. I read Hamlet when I was 12, but I didn't have the required (for other schools) Julius Caesar.
So what I've done here is look over twenty or so greatest books lists, and seek suggestions from others which did not go over well (forcing me to assume that the majority of people I know do not read), and compile a list of what I think are great novels that I have never read, or read so long ago that I do not remember enough about them. I tried to pick works from across the board: German, Netherlands, Asia, Europe, Britain, America, men, women, classics, modern, horror, science fiction, fantasy, tear-jerkers, young adult, exploitative, political, etc.
I've toyed with the notion of creating a 2nd list of the greatest short stories or poems that I've not read because these are often over looked and have contributed to the advancement of the culture as much as novels. We'll see. I have an ambitious list already!
I would like anyone who happens upon this blog to post a comment with any book, short story, poem, etc. that should be on my list but isn't. Just put whether it is a novel, short story, etc. out to the side and the author if known. I don't anticipate finishing this in any short time span, and I'm sure that I will close a few of them after 100 pages and never pick them up again. The point isn't to torture myself; the point is to enrich my knowledge of what is out there to be consumed.