Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Yes, It's True. I've Never Read These Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to us all by The Broke and the Bookish is asking what books I haven’t read that I feel that that everyone else has read.  Actually, in my case, that’s not going to be a difficult one to answer.  One of the interesting features of reading a lot of blogs is that there appear to be certain books that act a little like a wildfire in sweeping through the place by word of mouth.  This phenomenon is made even more striking by the fact that, no matter how many book blogs I read, the aggregate is always going to be a tiny percentage of the total number of book blogs out there and an even tinier percentage of overall readers out there.  So, the book that seems ubiquitous amongst bloggers I read may, in reality, not be a book that “everyone” has read, even if it feels that way to me.

A secondary point that arises out of this is that there appear to be books that are huge in the US but don’t become particularly popular over here in the UK (and vice versa, of course).  So, if my blog diet is US-biased (and I have no idea whether it is or not), I may also get a slightly warped perspective from this.  So, taking all this into account, here are nine books I haven’t read and which I suspect everyone else really has read and one embarrassing confession:

1.         Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  No.  Sorry. It’s never going to happen.  This is proof that 116 million people really can be wrong.  Frankly, Ms Meyer may as well have made Edward Cullen a vegetarian and have done with it. These must be the least scary vampires since Count Duckula.

2.         The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I’ve read plenty of enthusiastic, even evangelical, posts about this and I guess this is probably an age thing but I really have no interest in reading it.  Nothing against it but it’s just not for me.

3.         The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  For some reaon, I’m not a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction and Stieg Larsson’s work is unlikely to prove to be the exception that proves the rule.  I just find it all a bit too dark and depressing.  I’d probably enjoy it if I could get past my prejudices but, at the moment, there’s far too much I actually want to read to give me the impetus to pick this one up.

4.         Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin.  To be fair, this one is on the Kindle but so far, I’ve been slightly put off it for a variety of reasons and every time I think about making a start on it, I find something else to read in its place.  One day soon though……..

5.         Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  With or without zombies, I am probably the only book blogger in the English-speaking world never to have read this, Sense or Sensibility or, indeed, anything by Austen or any Brontë sister.  Karen at Book World in my Head recently generously sent me a lovely copy of Jane Eyre from her giveaway and so I have no more excuses.  I have to break my duck on 19th Century women authors.

6.         Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  See 5 above.

7.         Carch-22 by Joseph Heller.  I’m going to lump this in with To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye as great 20th Century American novels that I’ve never read.  I feel a little like a first time attendee at an AA meeting: “My name is Falaise and I have never read………”

8.         Anything by Stephen King.  Actually, that’s not quite true.  I did read his account (co-authored with Stewart O’Nan) of the Boston Red Sox’ World Series-winning season of 2004, Faithful but I have never read a single word of any of his novels.  Honestly.  By the way, the Yankees suck.  Allegedly.    

9.         Anything by Neil Gaiman.  Although he is a name that I’ve been aware of for years, I’ve been surprised at how incredibly popular he seems to be amongst both bloggers and the UK reading public.  Actually, now I think about it, I have read Good Omens but that’s really a co-authored book with the marvellous Terry Pratchett.

10.       De Rerum Natura by Lucretius.  Bear with me here.  I’ve noticed a confessional tone about a number of these items and I am guessing many of you will also have been ‘fessing up to those books you feel you probably should have taken notice of.  So, in a confessional spirit, despite the fact that I know almost noone has read this book, I would like to confess that, when studying De Rerum Natura as my set verse text for Latin A-level, I was issued with a copy of the Latin text by my school.  A previous pupil had painstakingly interleaved a handwritten translation of each line into the text.  I spent the whole year submitting his translations for marking by my tutors and so, although I managed to get through the exam and pas my A-level, I have never ever actually read my set book.  It feels better, getting that off my chest.


Red said...

Hey now, Count Duckula at least took place in a creepy(ish) castle.

Good luck with Jane Eyre when you do decide to pick that one up. Personally I liked Pride & Prejudice better, especially the zombie one but obv that one's not for everyone.

Jackie said...

I love your confession, but I'd say you've read it - maybe not in its original language, but as a translation. :-)

I haven't read a single book by Stephen King either - I must do something about that soon, but I have to admit I'm scared that most will give me nightmares.

Sidne said...

I'm with you on numbers 1-5. the others i have not heard of.
come check out mine: http://sidnebkclubreviewz.blogspot.com

Amber Elise said...

Neil Gaiman is the TRUTH. I adore that man. I highly recommend Anansi Boys and American Gods. And if you read comics pick up Sandman. He made reading comics "cool" for female readers! :)

Bev Hankins said...

Absolutely with you on Stephen King and 1, 2, & 3! As my list will attest: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/09/top-ten-tuesday-everybody-but-me.html

Hope you enjoy Jane Eyre when you get around to her. I like it--although I like Austen better.

LBC said...

Your number 1 is much like mine- a confession. I studied postmodern lit and haven't ever read Gravity's Rainbow or Infinite Jest.

I haven't read any Stephen King either.

Come check out my list at The Scarlet Letter.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Your last one made me chuckle. I wish I could say that I've not read the Twilight series, but I did. And I gobbled them up, sad to say. But immediately after putting the books down, they were eminently forgettable.

Willa said...

You should definitely give Neil Gaiman a chance, his books are worth it.

Nan said...

Your list could be mine. You are not the only one to not read JA, though I whisper it to most people. :<)

Sarah M said...

Love your #10 confession.
I haven't read the Twilight series either. And really have no interest. Then again, I haven't read Harry Potter either.

I also haven't read Jane Austen or any Bronte books. The closest I've come is seeing Jane Eyre at a live theatre as a child on a school trip. Not quite like reading the book though.