Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Book Are You Embarrassed Not To Have Read?

First up, I've had quite the busy week, and unfortunately I haven't been able to get to many questions that have come in on the blog and via e-mail. Also though, I've been getting quite a few questions that have already been covered in the FAQs. Please please please check there first! And thanks so much to the regular readers who have chimed in with answers to some of these questions -- you guys are life-savers.

This week's You Tell Me is a fun one, and it comes via the Washington Post book blog Short Stack.

What book are you embarrassed not to have read?

As a member in good standing of the publishing industry (well, last time I checked), let me tell you that it's not possible to have read everything, and yet there's sometimes an expectation that an agent will have not only heard of every book ever published, but read every book published. Not possible, obviously, but there's still pressure to be conversant about pretty much every book ever published.

But nevertheless, I'll still answer. I've never read THE LORD OF THE RINGS series and I'm embarrassed.

What about you?






213 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

The Bible. Read parts but not all.

ORION said...

Anytime I meet an author at an event and we shake hands and they tell me they loved Lottery and I can't for the life of me even come up with a TITLE for one of their books let along even try to FAKE it...
What I am MORE embarrassed about?
All those classics that I know I read in high school and college that I can't even remotely describe anything about...
Color me Bad.
Very Bad.

ORION said...

alone NOT along
DAMN you space-alien-monkey-copy editor!

bryan russell said...

Nathan: a present for you...
http://www.nba.com//news/thompson_080902.html

As for the embarrassment... I've never finished Ulysses, and I love Joyce. I've read Dubliners and Portrait numerous times, and yet I haven't gotten through Ulysses yet. I will, though, even if it kills me or makes we wander around town muttering in a poor Irish brogue. And, of course, I haven't read Moby Dick, which is mortifying. I've always wanted to read it, I have a shiny copy on my shelf at home... and I still haven't read it yet.

Someone give me a kick in the pants.

Scott said...

I am more embarrassed about books I haven't finished. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, for starters. But at 1079 pages, I do sleep okay in the knowledge. Then there are a long list of classics I've not gotten around to, but as you say, you can't read everything.

As a short aside filed under the category "You Know You've Been Writing Too Much When...", does it bother anyone else –– just a little, mind –– when the comments link in the post reads "1 Comments"?

:P

Lisa said...

Any book I did a book report on in high school. (I only liked to read books I wanted to read). :)

M Clement Hall said...

Isn't the definition of a "classic," a book that everyone should have read but no one has?

bryan russell said...

Yeah, Scott, I'm the same way. A stickler born...

Lisa Cannon said...

Nathan, I also am embarrased that I haven't read the Lord of the Rings trilogy or The Hobbit. I tried several times as a kid, but I got bogged down in all of the details.

I also haven't read Hamlet. I recently read (and loved) The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and it went completely over my head that the book was a retelling of Hamlet.

Mark Terry said...

Although LOR is a worthwhile read, go rent the movies, it'll take less time and they're better anyway. (Yeah, I know, heretical).

The list of books I should have read but haven't is enormous, but:

Moby Dick
The Sound and the Fury (or anything else by Faulkner)
Anything by any female writer whose last name is Austen. Or is it Austin?
Anything by Cormac McCarthy.
Anything by Philip Roth, John Updike or Wally Lamb.

How am I doing? Do I sound like an illiterate philistine yet? Hey, I've read everything written by Robert Crais and Sue Grafton and almost everything by Robert B. Parker and Stephen King. Get off my back.

Dan said...

I am quite proud to not have read a single book in the Harry Potter series.

I feel like I should have read at least one Hunter S. Thompson book by now, considering how much of a fan I am of his other writings and pop-culture status.

And it seems like everyone but me has read the Great Gatsby.

Dwight said...

I recently made another pass on missed classics and picked up a bunch including, Heart of Darkness, and Beloved.

But as far as guilt, Moby Dick tops my guilt list.

All my guilt issues about Ulysses are largely assuaged. Four failed attempts is enough.

My five minutes of guilt regarding throwing Infinite Jest over my shoulder evaporated as I patched the gaping hole the impact of that giant tomb left in my subfloor.

Dwight said...

tomb=tome

dangit

Cat said...

War and Peace. Just writing it makes me want to rush out and read it - but I can't, I just can't.

Natalie said...

I'm pretty embarrassed that I've never got around to LOTR as well. And I'll admit to never having read Pride and Prejudice. As a woman, that is supposed to be standard reading, right? Oops.

Being Beth said...

The Grapes of Wrath -- and I did my big high school research paper on it, got an A+ on the darn thing -- discovered the joys of Cliff Notes and the guilt...oh the heavy weight guilt of cheating.

ON the flip side, I'm PROUD that I have read Plutarch

Jen-GreenInkEdits said...

I should totally be flogged for this, but I've never read A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. I never had to read it for school, and just never picked it up otherwise. I *have* read a considerable number of the picks from other folks posted in the comments, though...

Lauren said...

I've never read a single Jane Austen book. I didn't feel weird about that for most of my life, but these days, every time I enter a bookstore, it seems like there's more and more of what I like to call "Jane Austen fanfic" on the shelves. Actually, the last time I was at Target's book department, a good 20% of the section was taken up by a shelf of Jane Austen-related novels.

I felt very strange. I suppose I will read P&P sometime in the coming months.

I'm a lover of children's and YA lit, yet I've never read anything by the esteemed Madeleine L'Engle. I said a year ago that I was going to read A Wrinkle In Time as soon as possible, and, uhh... I still haven't done it.

JeanieW said...

I have yet to read To Kill a Mockingbird. Perhaps I'll borrow the audio version from the library and "read" it while I'm drawing illustrations.

I also haven't read LOR, but don't feel guilty about it. I did read the Hobbit and liked it. But when I tried reading The Fellowship of the Ring, like Lisa I got mired in the details. Like Mark, enjoyed the LOR movies. I prefer Peter Jackson's character development sensibilities to Tolkien's. I can hardly wait to see what Guillermo del Toro does with the movie version of the Hobbit.

Kiersten said...

Any contemporary LitFic that comes out and receives buzz makes me feel guilty.

markwise said...

One's that I am EMBARRASSED that I have not read would be Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye. It seems like everyone has read these two but me.

Melissa Blue said...

Lauren save yourself the trouble and don't read it. It's not as excitig as everyone makes it out to be.

The only book I've felt guilty for not reading is 100 Years of Solitude. Is that really the name? I can never remember the name. That will be my excuse on why I haven't read it.

Mel Francis said...

I was an English major and never once read a Jane Austen novel.

meant to rectify that this summer...and now the summer is gone.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Quite possibly Jane Austen's works. But then, I am usually bragging about having two degrees in English and yet have somehow managed to avoid missing out on most of the classics, so it's hard to be embarrassed about something you're proud of.

Still. I think one day, I may motivate myself to read some Austen.

(and please tell Melissa that One Hundred Years of Solitude, while a difficult read, is absolutely beautiful at the end. I cried.)

The Anti-Wife said...

Not a single Harry Potter book.

Anonymous said...

It's never too late to pick up a great read.
Furthermore, sometimes, they are better after you've matured as a reader too.

Scott said...

Heh, dwight. "Tomb", as in "the place that holds the death of time better spent" works, too.

I also assuage any guilt by remembering that I minored in English lit in college, with a concentration in "Elizabethan Drama".

I've paid my dues. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm embarrassed to have read any Harry Potter. Yeck.

Sue said...

ACK! Guys, GO READ JANE AUSTEN! Her stuff is just fantastic. I know she was basically a romance novelist, but she's so witty and observant and brilliant. Her books are just wonderful reads.

Books I started and didn't finish and feel sort of bad about but not really because, you know, perspective: War and Peace, 100 Years of Solitude, Moby Dick (snooze), Wuthering Heights

Amy Nathan said...

I have never read Shakespeare. Not a word. I've seen a play or two, but I just nod my head when folks talk it up -- even my kids!

I couldn't finish a book written by one of my teachers. That is really embarrassing - although it would probably be moreso for him if he knew.

Anne said...

Where to start? I have a long list! But I'd have to say the Catcher in the Rye is the one I'm most embarrassed to have not read. Don't most people read that at like 16?

Gwen said...

Hmm. I have not read Pride and Prejudice, which leaves me feeling very embarrassed when I meet a Jane Austen fan, because I have no clue about Mr. Darcy and what makes him so attractive. (Sense and Sensibility is a favourite of mine, though.)

I have also not read many classics, such as: The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. I have also read nothing of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, though I do not really feel interested enough to pick them up yet...

What really embarrasses me, though, is when I know that I have read something, but I cannot for the life of me recall the details. This happens most often with poetry, because I have no head for poetry at all... but I always end up feeling so foolish.

Anonymous Gimp said...

Not read the LOTR, NATHAN? Too bad on your part. It's a great read.

Off the top of my head:

War and Peace.

I hear it's good.

Anonymous said...

I was embarrassed not to have read Filth by Irvine Welsh but then I read it and then I was sorry I did.

I've never read Lonesome Dove and am embarrassed.

I've never read War and Peace but am only slightly embarrassed because I never will pick that one up. YUCK!

I'm embarrassed to not have read the Alexadria Quartet by Lawrence Durell (who is DEAD but somehow Nathan is his agent). I've had it sitting on the shelf for ten years maybe.

I am embarrassed not to have read Heart of Darkness, but I'll never read it.

And finally Moby Dick, which at least I started.

Kitty Bucholtz said...

Ouch, this is a good one. I wonder if I should've signed in as Anonymous. LOL!! I'd agreed with Anon, the first commenter, except I think I FINALLY have read every page of the Bible. I think. So I'll have to go with Nathan - I hate to ever admit I haven't read the LOTR trilogy, in spite of LOVING the movies and finally buying the books. LOL! But at least they're in my TBR stack! LOL!

clindsay said...

I have never read anything by Jane Austen. For the life of me, I don't know how this happened, as I like many of her contemporaries. I'm kind of a freak for nineteenth century writers, so how did this happen? I mean, I've read Les Miserables like fifteen times.

Hmmm....

Jay Montville said...

I'm with Cat -- War and Peace. I know I should, and honestly I think it would be right up my alley, as it is A Book Of Enormous Girth, and I love those, but no.

Haven't read it.

As for ones I'm NOT embarrassed to not have read: Finnegan's Wake. Sorry, Joyce, but after Ulysses, I'm not interested.

Karen K. Kennedy said...

Bless my heart! As a lifelong Southerner and lover of the film version, I'm embarrassed to say I've never read Gone with the Wind. But it's not too late. After all, tomorrow is another day.

E. Anderson said...

I've read the Hobbit, but never LOTR which is a bit embarassing considering my love of fantasy.

Also, I have guilt and embarassment for the fact that I used Cliff Notes as well - only once ever! - in college to get through Vanity Fair. (Doesn't change the fact that I hated that book. Just that my will was weak.)

Gina Black said...

I gave up LOTR in the middle of TTTowers, which is unusual since I often push myself to finish books. I saw all the films but wasn't captivated either. Just not my story, even though my kids all adore it and watch it over and over and . . .

I'm not embarrassed by any of my reading omissions, but here's something: until last night I didn't know who William Burroughs was. My DH of 26 years looked at me like I was a space alien when I told him. :) Maybe this is my year to read Naked Lunch.

Anonymous said...

Never read the unabridged version of MOBY DICK.

Anonymous said...

I read THE HOBBIT, but not the others.

Miss Viola Bookworm said...

1)Lolita
2)Anything by Chuck Palahniuk
3)the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which for some reason, I keep hearing about lately.
4)More of John Steinbeck

Anonymous said...

I've never read A Tale of Two Cities or Little Women or Moby Dick. War and Peace? Give me a break! Life's too short. I meant to read the Great Gatsby, but wimped out and watched the movie. I was not impressed even if a young Robert Redford was serious eye candy.

Pamala Knight said...

Jane Eyre--I love Austen but the Bronte sisters scare me a little. Wuthering Heights ruined me for them, so I've steered clear of the name Bronte.

Anonymous said...

While I've read most of those on the list so far--Moby Dick, War and Peace, All the Austens, LOTR trilogy, etc, I'm embarassed to say I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird. I've tried and tried, but just couldn't do it.

Brian Jay Jones said...

That's nothing, Nathan . . . I've READ LOTR and I'm embarassed....

I've never read anything by Thoreau. But I lie and say I have and then quote Dead Poet's Society It usually works.

Steph said...

Got to be Life of Pi and the Bookseller of Kabul. I have both of them in my possession, hear about them all the time, haven't read them.

Ken said...

Poetry. I've read a couple of Frost and eecummings poems but for the most part I can't get to a place where I enjoy the art form. My attention wanders and I start wanting to play video games where I can kill things. Before you berate me know that I'm deeply ashamed, and I believe it's my loss, but I can't help it.

Also, confirming my neanderthal stature, I have not read anything by Ayn Rand, Melville, nor James Joyce.

Michelle Moran said...

Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. It's my aunt's favorite book, and I have it on my shelf. It sits there taunting me daily.

Kristi said...

The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. For some reason, since I read a lot of sci fi/fantasy, everyone assumes that I've read it. I keep having to clarify to them that I read the *fantasy* side of Sci Fi/Fantasy...i.e. no spaceships. I did see the movie, but then, I've always had a fondness for watching spaceships (Star Wars, Star Trek, Space Balls, etc)...I just don't read about them.

Ok, so it's just me.

Ulysses said...

Oddly, I've not read a great many books and yet I don't feel embarrassed by it.

I haven't read everything Shakespeare wrote, nor much Joyce. I've read all the wrong books of Faulkner and only the occasional Hemingway. I got through Moby Dick, but not Bartleby the Scrivener. I stopped reading Narnia about the sixth mention of Turkish Delight. I waded into Don Quixote and still can't figure out if Cervantes was trying to be funny. Most of Dickens gathers dust on my shelf.

In spite of this, and several thousand other gaps in my reading, I'm not embarrassed by what I have not read.

I am, however, occasionally embarrassed by what I have read: the entire contents of the I Can Haz Cheezburger blog, for instance.

Word verification: "tigfqgsl" in very squishy letters. I'm a little embarassed to have read that.

Marilyn Peake said...

I'm embarrassed not to have read War and Peace or Ulysses, also stacks of modern books I've bought but haven't yet gotten around to reading, and the eBooks I've purchased but haven't yet had time to download and read. There are a lot of books available to read these days.

Kate H said...

I'm embarrassed never to have read anything by William Faulkner. I've read most of the English and Russian greats but I've missed some of the Americans.

Sue said...

Never read Harry Potter either. . Did read some of the classics (Edgar Allan Poe, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hawthorne, Shakespeare- whom I love) Didn't read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird- though I did read the cliff notes, does that count?

;)

And yes [sigh], to add to the 'very bad girl list'- I have yet to get through and complete Jane Austen, (though, I adored the "Sense and Sensibility" movie

Julie Weathers said...

I have Mark Terry's not read list as well. Unfortunately, I'm not embarrassed about it.

I really read what I enjoy. I like a lot of non-fiction historical books. I could read the Time-Life series books from cover to cover. Reading something because you should is a foreign concept to me.

Kate H said...

Mark Terry: The LOTR movies are absolutely NOT an acceptable substitute for reading the books. There's a transcendent quality to the books that Jackson completely missed--in fact, I'm of the opinion it wouldn't be possible to capture it on film. Nathan, please, read the books!

Julie Weathers said...

I am, however, occasionally embarrassed by what I have read: the entire contents of the I Can Haz Cheezburger blog, for instance.

That's rather frightening since there are 90+ pages of those. Or so I have heard.

Ulysses said...

Julie:
Yes. 106 pages at the time. Hence my embarrassment.

Camels & Chocolate said...

Nathan, I've never read the LOTR books either! Or The Hobbit for that matter. Scott is about to disown me for that one. Also, Anna Karenina and several Jane Austen books (I'm a fan of the movies, but the books, not so much).

Julia said...

I guess I read too much or something. I can't think of anything I'm embarrassed by not having read. Oh, except for some of those incredibly worthy non-fiction books about people doing Really Important Things in Dangerous Places, like Mountains Beyond Mountains and Three Cups of Tea.

For some reason, I can't get into those, even though I can read the 800-page books about North Korea and experimental novels in translation and other hard things.

Shannon said...

I have never read Sense and Sensibility. Really should get on that....

tracymarchini.com said...

I've never read Anna Karenina because Newsweek spoiled the ending for me...

Ashley said...

Never read The Lord of the Rings? Say it isn't so!

I'll try not to hold this new tidbit of information against you when it comes time for me to start choosing agents to query.. (kidding, kidding!)

Though, to be fair, I've never read Moby Dick. That's pretty embarrassing. We never read it in school and even though I believe my husband purchased and read it not long ago, I don't really have a desire to pick it up.

Elyssa Papa said...

Maybe Uncle Tom's Cabin. I don't know why, but I feel as if I should have read this at some point in my undergrad experience or when I was at the bookstore.

Best author I discovered in college, thanks to a course: Sherman Alexie.

Kate said...

Moby Dick. Anything by Dickens. Anything assigned in high school, just on principle.

I adored LOTR when I was fifteen, and read it more than once. I tried rereading it/them many (many) years later when the movies came out, but couldn't... felt like trying to wade through rapidly setting concrete. Says something scary about my brain cells, no doubt.

Elissa M said...

I am not embarrassed by the books I have not read. Either I don't want to read them, or I will read them soon.

There are a few I wish I hadn't read. That's a whole 'nother topic though.

Just_Me said...

There are some books I'm embarrassed to admit I bought, but none that I haven't read (unless I don't know them yet).

I suppose I should be upset about missing most of the Classics. But I open them up, yawn at the first page, and move on to dirty genre fiction with explosions. Simple minded of me, perhaps, but I'm happier this way. :o)

Anonymous said...

I still haven't gotten around to the rest of those pesky "classics" that I was not required to read in high school. I'm saving those for my golden years :P
Lately I've been thinking about finally reading Moby Dick, mostly because it pops up in so many Jeopardy questions (or would that be answers, since you provide the question?).
I did read half of The Hobbit - does that count?

Marva said...

What's wrong with all you people who haven't read Moby Dick? It's great! Okay, so I'm odd. You can always give a knowing chuckle when anybody mentions flensing. Like that comes up in conversation so much.

There's nothing I feel guilty for not reading. If I wanted to read it, I would have or will sometimes in the future. Why would I feel guilty about it? Reading is pleasure, not some torture you must put yourself through.

Hey, Orion! I read Lottery (finally) and really liked it. It was, um, echt.

Anonymous said...

I'm a highschooler, and I haven't read the Twighlight books. Whenever they are brought up, my friends all tell me how much I would love them, but I'm not into romance (even if it has a vampire in it). At school, it doesn't matter if you've read the Oddessey, but shame on you if you haven't started Breaking Dawn.

Anonymous said...

Vanity Fair by Thackeray

Polenth said...

People tend to be surprised I've not read '1984'. I'm quite surprised I've not read it, because it sounds like my sort of story. I've never gotten around to finding a copy. 'Embarrassed' isn't quite the right word, but this is as near as I get.

I don't worry about the classics I haven't read. I think it's unrealistic to expect everyone to love every classic.

Scott said...

Catcher in the Rye

Not that I haven't wanted to. Just haven't. And now that my angsty teen years are way behind me, I wonder whether it would even be the same as it is for high schoolers who, unlike me in my own English-heavy HS days, have to read it.

Sandra said...

I started Moby Dick a long time ago but never finished.

On a side note, I recently posted a meme on my blog asking people to identify books they haven't finished, they have finished, or they read for school. I remember reading a fair percentage of the listed books, but I don't remember the books themselves very well anymore. I think I'm more embarrassed by that than by not reading a particular book in the first place!

Marilyn Peake said...

I've wondered a great deal if Moby Dick would even be published today, as today's books are much more tightly edited. In Moby Dick, non-fiction chapters about whaling are interspersed with the fictional chapters. I think that, if he were writing today, Melville would be told: Edit! Do you think that's true?

Jennifer Hendren said...

How's this for strange?

I've read THE TWO TOWERS and RETURN OF THE KING...

Notice I didn't mention FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING? Nope, haven't read it. In high school, I chose the trilogy for some school project and tried to cram all three books into one weekend. (WHOA is all I can say about that!) Bought 'em at a used bookstore that didn't have the first book... And alas, I never got around to completing the set.

That's pretty dang embarrassing to admit. (g)

Another is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I practically got kicked out of law school when my classmates heard about that one. :)

Lupina said...

LOTR is the gold standard of fantasy, a MUST-read, and Hitchhiker's Guide is way better in print than movie.

I had always been embarrassed not to have read Anna Karenina, then I finally did last year and realized I could have spared myself a lot of grief if I'd only kept ignoring it. Did not enjoy.

I'm embarrassed now that I haven't read The Kite Runner, and mean to rectify the situation.

Erik said...

I've read a lot of the really hard stuff in the canon. Moby Dick, Ulysses, Brothers Karamazov, all the stuff people usually complain about. I've even read the entire KJV Bible.

But I've never read a thing by Dickens. There, I've confessed it! My name is Erik, and I'm a Dickensphobe!

Adam Heine said...

I'm surprised by the number of people who haven't read LotR.

As a sci-fi writer and fan, I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read Asimov's Foundation trilogy (yet). Though I'm glad I caught up on a lot of other classic SF before you asked this question.

Lora T. said...

I've never actually been able to finish reading Pride and Prejudice. Every time I start, my life gets incredibly busy and I just don't have time.

I've also never read Twilight, but I'm not embarrassed about that.

Never read Lord of the Rings, Nathan? That's just sad.

Liza Knight said...

I have never read Lolita and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. What's worse is that I had Lolita in my possession at one point, but never got around to it!

My sister reclaimed that copy now.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read anything by Jane Austen and never will. I somehow avoided reading both Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye.
But I have read Hemmingway, Melville, Dickens, despite being nearly a sci-fi/fantasy purist.
LOTR is a sentinel trilogy in the field, but if fantasy isn't your thing, it's understandable that you haven't read it. If fantasy IS your thing, there's no excuse. :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't read anything by Jane Austen and never will. I somehow avoided reading both Catch-22 and Catcher in the Rye.
But I have read Hemmingway, Melville, Dickens, despite being nearly a sci-fi/fantasy purist.
LOTR is a sentinel trilogy in the field, but if fantasy isn't your thing, it's understandable that you haven't read it. If fantasy IS your thing, there's no excuse. :)

pearlythebunny said...

Moby Dick. I've started it a few times, but I've never gotten very far.

Brenda J.H. Pierson said...

I am a SF/F writer, and only just recently read The Lord of the Rings - because I love the movies.

Personally, I've never read anything by Hemingway. Or George Orwell, Fitzgerald, or Austen.

In fact, I can discuss the differences between author's vision of dragons much better than even a general discussion of "classic" literature.

Nikki Duncan said...

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and the BIBLE, though I've read parts of that one. And like Orion, I'm ashamed to say that I can't really remember much about the classics I read in high school.

Ryan Field said...

On The Road...I've had it for years and still haven't made it past the first ten pages. And I actually love the beat generation. I live in the town, New Hope, PA, where so many of them lived at one time or another. But I'm stuck on page ten.

R. Daley said...

I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. I was supposed to in AP Lit in high school, but I skipped on most of my reading assignments to read other works. Stephen King, Tom Robbins were favorites at the time. I think I was the only one in my high school laughing out loud at "Skinny Legs and All" during study hall. Luckily the English teacher who turned me on to Tom Robbins in the first place was in charge of that study hall.

I did pass the class. My essays were strong enough in structure and rhetoric to make up for the lack of detail on the books I skipped.

L.C.McCabe said...

Nathan,

This is a timely question and admission because the name that first comes to my mind is:

Steinbeck.

I haven't read anything by him.

Neither have I read anything by Jack London, but I am proud to say he was one of the California Writers Club founders.

Hemmingway is another author that I feel remorse having never read his work whenever someone brings his stories up in conversation.

However, I did recently read The Aeneid by Virgil.

Classics in my TBR stack include Dante's Divine Comedy, Cervantes' Don Quixote, and Dumas' Count of Monte Christo.

I will admit that I am like you in the I have not read LOTR, and I've only read about four of the Chronicles of Narnia. However, I have read all of the Harry Potter series. Even the slim volumes written for charity: FBAWTFT and QTTA.

gem said...

Madame Bovary

A Paperback Writer said...

Well, I made it through Ullyses -- and felt like I deserved a medal or something.

Books I wish I hadn't bothered with:
Moby Dick
Catcher in the Rye
Grapes of Wrath


What I'm embarrassed about not having read:
Catch 22
Slaughterhouse Five
several of Shakespeare's history plays (King John, all the Henry VI and Henry IV parts)

And I'm embarrassed that it's been so long since I read both 1984 and Brave New World that I can't recall very many details. I need to re-read. I know I read 1984 BEFORE 1984. Scary.

Books I threw down in disgust and have not picked up since:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Brothers Karamazov

Terri said...

One of your funniest posts ever. I've read several of the books some folks have passed (Lottery, Steinbeck, GWTW, etc.), but mostly, my list is the same as theirs. I've never read:

Jane Austen
Moby Dick
Ulysses
Hitchhiker's Guide [although I've sold several first editions rather profitably, thank you very much]

And I am PROUD to say I've never written a word by Toni Morrison and I never, ever will. . . .

I am a dedicated genre hack and love big books full of plot and action [Michener, Clancy, King, M.M. Kaye, etc.]. In an essay I wrote about the difference between genre and literature I said, "Literature is what you tell people you read. Genre is what you really read." So, I agree 100% with the person who posted a similar comment.

Anonymous said...

Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Honestly, I find a lot of classic literature dull. I know I'm "supposed" to appreciate it on some level, but I'd rather read something more current in the mystery & suspense arena.

superwench83 said...

As a fantasy writer, I feel like I should have read The Sword of Shannara by now, but I haven't. (Did I even spell "Shannara" correctly?)

Nathan Bransford said...

Terri-

Uh...... why would you be "proud" to have never read Toni Morrison?

jeanoram said...

"Not possible, obviously, but there's still pressure to be conversant about pretty much every book ever published."

Have you met my grandmother? She reads about five books a week (seriously) and expects me to be able to keep up with her. She goes through her mental list of books asking if I've read such-and-such, on down until she hits a book I haven't read/heard of/don't have an interesting tidbit about to share with her and then goes on forevvvvver about that book I have no clue about. It's a test. Seriously. And of course, I fail. So really, I have a new book to be embarassed about having not read every time I talk to her. It's great, really. I've become quite similar to teflon now.

Mason Dixon said...

I've had a cheap copy of War and Peace on my bookshelf for a decade, but every time I pick it up, I put it right back down.

Kara said...

I'm very embarrassed that I've never read Fahrenheit 451. As a teacher and author, this is something I SHOULD have read years ago. I've even faked my way through an entire literary debate about it and STILL didn't read it.

I tried desperately to read Moby Dick, but I just couldnt get past the first page.

lotusloquax said...

I would say To Kill A Mockingbird. I've even started it a couple of times, but for whatever reason I can't keep myself going on it, and I'm southern. Oh, I'm so ashamed. ;)

abc said...

I'm in the Ulysses camp. And I've never read George Orwell either. Unless I read Animal Farm and forgot that I did. That is possible. Ok, let's just say I probably read Animal Farm. But not 1984. I cannot claim to be an intellectual even if I do smoke pipes and love tweed.

Furious D said...

I never read anything by James Joyce after doing "Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man." I'm not embarrassed considering I considered going back in time to slap James Joyce around for inflicting that book on me.

I've never read Jane Austen. Just couldn't work up the interest, mostly because romantic comedies of manners in Regency England, don't really speak to my boorish, testosterone laden mind.

Couldn't finish War & Peace. I have it somewhere, but never finished it, and for that I am ashamed.

But I did read Moby Dick without being assigned it,about 15 years ago.

bookstalker said...

To Kill A Mockingbird. And I live in Alabama.

Maureen said...

Catcher in the Rye. It just never appealed to me, but whenever people around me start to talk about it I get embarassed and don't join in. I also haven't read the Narnia books, which embarassed me as well.

Kristin Laughtin said...

I haven't read LOTR either, but that was because I read THE HOBBIT and didn't care for Tolkein's writing style.

I'm still embarassed I haven't read CATCHER IN THE RYE or CATCH-22 or DUNE.

MelodyO said...

I'm embarrassed that I haven't read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Chabon. And that's because it's sitting right beside me, opened to page 56, wondering what it did wrong. I mean, it says WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE right on the front. I should be eating it up, right? I just can't get past alllllll the telling instead of showing. I know he writes well, but there's no way I'm reading 656 pages of minute detail. I'm sorry Michael!

Maris Bosquet said...

I WAS embarrassed not to have read LOTR--until this spring, when I read it to better understand how it was re-written for the screen.

Maris Bosquet said...

Nathan, After reading some of the comments, I'm wondering what books people DISLIKE the most!

Anonymous said...

Actually, Nathan, Terri said she was proud she'd never WRITTEN a word of Toni Morrison's. I don't get that either, though. Toni Morrison is brilliant, and I'd be pretty proud if I wrote even a few of her words.

I am embarrassed never to have read either the ILIAD or the ODYSSEY. Very embarrassed.

But I have not read any Tolkien and I intend to keep it that way. I'm not proud of it, but I'm certainly not embarrassed.

By the way, to the person who was scared off of JANE EYRE by WUTHERING HEIGHTS: Charlotte is an entirely different dish than Emily. Take the plunge and read JANE EYRE. It's wonderful.

Moira said...

My list of embarrassed not to have read is topped by Gone With the Wind. closely followed by the likes of the Vampire Chronicles, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Great Expectations. Now that I think about it... this list could grow infinitely longer if I wanted to truly feel ashamed.

gerriwritinglog said...

I haven't read Dante's Inferno, in spite of having it on the assigned reading list in at least two or three of my undergraduate classes. Why embarrassed? Because I study epic literature. But I just couldn't make myself read something quite so... propagandized. Oh, and I've only read the first section of Paradise Lost.

Yeah, bad me, no biscuit.

Adaora A. said...

I quit reading LOTR halfway TWO TOWERS as well. I forget who said that, but it's exactly the same for me. I keep devouring other books and I've never gotten back to it. I couldn't get into it. I've never touched it's older brother nor it's younger sister.

gabriellel66 said...

None! None whatsoever. Oh, yes, I feel guilty about some books having sat in my TBR pile for about 5 years but that's probably an indication I shouldn't have bought it in the first place and was just being greedy. Life's just too short to worry about what you haven't done--I'm going to enjoy what I *have* done, and that includes enjoying some mighty fine reads and tossing aside those I "should" read when they prove boring or ridiculous (to my way of thinking).

And you know, not to embarrass anyone but Dan, if you can find the time, Hunter might turn out to be one of those joys for you. Certainly is for me.

Anonymous said...

Haven't read a word by Hemmingway and that's a little embarrassing. Not crawl-under-the-table embarrassing, but anyway.

I have to say I don't get the few people who seem to be strongly opposed to reading something- Morrison, Tolkien, etc. How do you know if... uhh... you haven't read it?

To the folks who listed To Kill A Mockingbird- I can't imagine someone NOT liking it. So when you get a chance...

Julie Weathers said...

As a fantasy writer, I feel like I should have read The Sword of Shannara by now, but I haven't. (Did I even spell "Shannara" correctly?)

Yes, you should.

Robb said...

never read any of the tolkien works, never so much as cracked open a harry potter book, but i'm not the least bit embarrassed by that.

never read war and peace, never finished moby dick, which i feel somehow obligated to read, but can't really say i'm embarrassed over it.

Toni Kenyon said...

I think I'm more embarrassed not to have read them, Nathan, I live in the country where the trilogy was filmed!! Peter Jackson put us New Zealand writers on the map.

Rob Gould said...

Oh cripes. Let's see:

Gormenghast (recently bought though)

None of the Harry Potter books

No Thomas Hardy books

No Charles Dickens (must remedy this)

Now I come to think about it, there is a significant number of books that I mean to buy, but due to other things, don't. Meh.

Chatty Kelly said...

The Shack...I think I am the only person in the Christian community who has not read it. And I have no plans too either! But what a great success story of self-publishing! THAT is what inspires me.

terri said...

Nathan - I find the hype surround Miss Morrison to be out of proportion with her books. Like she was the second coming of literature. I laughed out loud reading some reviews of 'Beloved'. They tended to range from 'it was okay' to 'it was stuffed down my throat by my lit professor.' Typically, for me, if a lit professor likes it, then I won't! Give me a Michener 'brick' any day!

terri said...

No, I've never written a word of Ms Morrison's either. I couldn't even get through the text on the back of the book. I found it vague and pretentious. Now, 'Grapes of Wrath', I can quote long passages of that book, it is my absolute favorite American novel. For foreign novels, you can't beat 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' by Solzhenitsyn. Stunning in its brevity. So sorry to ruffle literary feathers. However, I'm still not embarrassed!

Anonymous said...

Terri, what of Toni Morrison's actual work have you read? Would you want someone to dismiss your work on the basis of reviews?

Read THE BLUEST EYE. It's completely unpretentious, it's moving, and it's extremely well-written.

Toni Morrison is a self-made woman, who started writing when she was a divorced mother of two. Just ebcause she won the Nobel Prize doesn't make her somehow inaccessible.

Anonymous said...

Catch 22

Amber Draeger said...

I've read more than I can shake a stick at, BUT.. here's the really, really sad bit.

I've never finished a single series in my life. Really, really embarassing. It's also a behavior completely opposite of my personality.

Made it to the second to last chapter on Steven King's The Dark Tower... never finished LOTR...

And.. never finished Harry Potter. Read all of them except book 7. Please don't flog me. *cowers in corner*

Anonymous said...

I really want to have read The Poisonwood Bible (I hear it's brilliant), but I'm never in the mood to actually do it. Nor have I read Carlos Castaneda. I have all of them; I just haven't gotten around to them.

Beth Terrell said...

I didn't care for Toni Morrison either. I read two of her books and just didn't enjoy them. I do admit to being embarrassed by that.

Also, while I've read a number of of the classics, there's a greater number I'm embarrassed not to have read. METAMORPHOSIS, THE GREAT GATSBY, and CATCH-22 come to mind. CATCH-22 and THE GREAT GATSBY have been on my TBR pile forever.

I couldn't finish GONE WITH THE WIND and am not embarrassed by that at all; I absolutely despised Scarlett.

Alright Tit said...

To Kill A Mockingbird. The Complete Works of Peanuts I can find the time to read, but criminally not this. (I feel better for that admission, this is like therapy.)

E.M.Alexander said...

Catch 22
Love in the Time of Cholera
Anna Karenina

After reading all these posts about LOTR, I'm feeling kind of smug I read them, even if it was a long time ago...

Liu said...

I don't believe you've never read the thing. You have to read at least the title. that counts.

Justine said...

Ah, tons. Lord of The Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, How to Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with The Wind, The Great Gatsby, The Cather in The Rye, The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy and my history textbook. Then again, those great American books are not popular where I live and I've got time to get to them all. Hopefully. Found your blog through Blogs of Note! Definitely note-worthy, indeed! :)

Katie Killary said...

So glad your blog has been noted! I need to read up on this stuff and learn about it :O)

Quicksilver said...

Well, it's Young Bond and Lord of the Flies for me.

I pretend not to hear when a related discussion starts in the book club here.

Lisa said...

Nathan! Just read that Lauren Conrad got a three book deal! Say what? Where's Spencer's book? =)

Sabina said...

i haven't read the lord of the rings series either -- and both my kids have. i tried once, and just couldn't get into it. i haven't read the complete narnia series either -- i read the first story in the series and partway through the second, but never really got to the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe one.
i am also embarrassed to say i have never ready completely through the bible. i've read all the new testament (several times), and about 2/3 of the old testament. but i got distracted by other books about spirituality. so yeah.... i hear ya

Fr. Christian Mathis said...

Brothers Karamazov

Ryan Field said...

"Read THE BLUEST EYE."

I have to agree with this anon post. I wasn't a fan of BELOVED, but I've read THE BLUEST EYE about ten times.

Brooke said...

Slaughterhouse 5

writtenwyrdd said...

Funny, Ulysses was my instant thought as to what I am embarrassed for not having read. But not really embarrassed. Just sort of guilty feeling.

I think I mostly have a generalized embarrassment that I generally cannot stand "the classics" although I have read many of them for school. About the only benefit of an English degree is forcing me to experience a number of "the classics", lol.

bryan russell said...

kristin laughtin:

Just in case you want to know, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are written in very different styles. They're not really at all alike, especially after the first 100 or so pages in LotR. Well, once they get to Bree, anyway, however many pages that is. I'm too lazy to get up and find a copy to check :).

My best to you.

Dan Gary said...

I just started "The Two Towers" book 2 of LOTR. "Fellowship..." was great, and this one seems to be just as good. I you haven't read them yet, put them on your list.

I am embarrassed that I have never read Dante's Inferno. I have always wanted to, but I always find a reason not to.

Calliope3 said...

I was an English major in college (graduated last year), and I haven't read any Charles Dickens...

Elizabeth Marie said...

Love the blog - very helpful for us writers. Congrats on making the blog of note!

Jeannine said...

The Bible.

m clement hall said...

I'm curious about the list of books that "not having read" causes embarrassment. Why should it?
If you teach the subject of fiction, if you gain your living from fiction, perhaps there are certain fundamentals, new as well as old, on which one should have a grasp, just like any other profession. Otherwise -- what's at stake?
Reading is for enjoyment. Once you're out of school, it's no longer an obligation. Some people don't read at all. Some people only read non-fiction to improve their minds. Some people only read picture books. What the hell? Reading is for enjoyment, not self-flagellation!

Anonymous said...

M Clement Hall: yes, reading is for enjoyment, but that's not its only function.

I read also to educate myself, and, in this capacity, I sometimes feel embarrassed, or, more accurately, inadequately educated.

There are things I want to know, and many of them are contained in books, even novels. So, my failure to have read certain books reminds me of my own inadequate knowledge.

Ana Todor said...

I never read the whole Divine Comedy by Dante Aligheri. I can't seem to get past the Inferno.

Barbora said...

I am embarrased about reading 'The Notebook' which while it was an entertaining movie, wasa terrible, terrible book.

Mike Hoffman said...

Hi Nathan - First timer to your blog via the "blogs of note" - and it's quite cathartic to admit to the volumes one has never read, despite claiming to be a bibliophile.

I did read half of LOTR but, frankly, found it got boring somewhere in the middle of The Two Towers, so gave up. But, then, I was 12 years old at the time.

However, the literary blind spot I am most embarrassed about has to be never having read a word of Dickens outside of "A Christmas Carol" - I know, I know! Whenever I feel like some Victorian lit, I always get sidetracked by the Russians...

Hoffy
www.hofflimits.com

Matthew Hissong said...

The Bible Ulysses Paradise Lost... and maybe Proust. Maybe because I don't know that I'm embarrassed about not reading him. And only half-embarrassed about Ulysses, three quarters about Paradise Lost.

Nathan should put up a blog post about what books certain people think we should have read but AREN'T embarrassed about not having read. You know, so we don't seem like bigots against the ignorant. Be proud of your ignorance, people!

:~) JK.
-Matt

Lya said...

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Lisa Melts Her Penn said...

I, also, never read One Hundred Years of Solitude. After spending a year and a half in Spain, I brought back a copy in Spanish. I had read all of two books in Spanish, and decided I would try this classic in the original. Over the years, the paperback copy languished on the shelf, the pages turning yellow, the spine drying out. Everyone said it was difficult enough to follow in English. Your blog is now inspiring me to finally read it in English...then I can always give it a stab in its native language afterwards, right?
www.Lisameltzerpenn

Pepe Lepew said...

I've never read "Catcher in the Rye." that one always gets me looks of astonishment.

Amber said...

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway, without a doubt.

and sometimes One Hundred Years of Solitude

AnarchyJack said...

I wish there was only one.

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

They Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck

The Antichrist by Fredrich Nietzche

And I haven't finished:

Pirates and Emperors by Noam Chomsky - though I've quoted from it dozens of times

The First Circle by Aleksander Solzhenytsen (in Russian - still reading it)

The Republic by Plato (actually I skipped ahead after Book 10 and read the ending)

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (couldn't get past the first page - it made me dizzy)

The unabridged Notes from Underground by Fydor Dostoyevski (although I really shouldn't be embarrassed, since I read the abridged version - WTF was up with that that guy?)

Joey said...

I read the Hobbit ONE TIME! and then I found myself trying to correlate what happened in the book versus the classic cartoon created by Rankin/Bass...it made no sense to me whatsoever in the least..

Karen said...

Anna Karenina. It's on my bookshelf but I just can't seem to motivate myself to start reading it.

Sabrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kiddle97 said...

There are a few that I am very embarrassed that I HAVE read, for instance, the first three of those crappy Twilight books and anything by Faulkner. Then there's The Da Vinci Code, which I haven't read and have no issues having not read it. Then there are such books as Catcher in the Rye or Les Miserables that do give me grief for not being read yet. I do intend to rectify that someday, but first, I have to get through all of Dickens, and there's a huge line after that. Who knows if I ever will get through them all.

Brooke Hughes said...

I have never read a Harry Potter book (or seen any of the movies). Although I'm not really emabarrassed about it, I do get those die hard Potter fans who just can not believe in their wildest dreams that I have no interest in the books.

Media audit said...

I am so embarrassed just to think there is not only one (1) book I should have read, but tens of them...
But finally I read the Endurance of Ernest Shackleton. At leas one that I can cross on my list.
Did you read it?

Frank

Samie said...

well...I'm only 15, and I still have a lot of time to read the so called classics, etc. And I make myself read classics too, just to avoid this later on in life. But I have Little Women on my shelf...and it's been there for quite a while. A year at least, and I haven't gotten around to it. Normally, something of this size draws me to it. (I have this thing for books with too many pages) but I haven't gotten around to this one yet.

and for those of you who got steered off of the Bronte sisters by Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre is a whole different kind of novel. I love it :) (And I couldn't make myself finish Wuthering Heights....I read sections of it, enough to help me pass my enriched english course last year)

Sparky Firepants said...

Moby Dick. I have tried to get through that thing several times, but I always get stuck in the part where he goes into whale education.

Everything up to that is a fun read.

Diana said...

MacBeth. Every single English teacher/professor I've ever had said, "Everyone makes you read MacBeth, so we'll read Hamlet." I've read six different editions of Hamlet. I've never read MacBeth.

nomadshan said...

It's a toss-up between Pride and Prejudice and The Kite Runner. I think I'm more embarrassed about the books I haven't finished. Will blog later on that.

To anyone embarrassed by not having read Shakespeare, fret not, folks: 'tis to be seen, not read. Sure, reading the words may help you understand what you're seeing, but the printed page wasn't the intended format. Give yourselves a break. Check out your local Shakespeare in the Park when you get the chance.

Therra Cathryn said...

I had a boyfriend when I was 18 give me a copy of "Lord Of The Rings". He gave it to me with such reverence you'd have thought he had given me an actual ring. I never read it,I'm sorry to say. Years later I was married and my husband proudly presented me with a copy of "Lord Of The Rings" for Christmas which I still haven't read. I'm also embarrassed to tell this as this is a book that seems to bring generations together, makes geeks and freaks friends with housewives and harlots...it's a common denominator for several decades of boomer and post-boomer babies...and I still haven't read the dang thing! Shame on me!

Jeanne said...

I'm so glad this was the blog of note today. It's so interesting- and funny.

I've read the Bible cover to cover. Much more interesting read than I expected. But, I'm ashamed not to have read any other holy books of other religions. If I believe in my faith strongly enough I ought to be able to study what other people believe and weigh and measure it fairly. I just don't have the time. Too many other things to read for pleasures sake.
Dante's Inferno was also a much better read than I expected. Attempted and failed to read the LOR books. Too easy to be a lazy bum and watch the movies. Watched War and Peace for the first time today and don't feel an ounce of guilt about passing on the novel.

Lady Glamis said...

Never read To Kill a Mockingbird. It's on my Goodreads list right now.

Alexia said...

Too many to count. But those that immediately jump to mind:
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Life of Pi
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Catch-22 (tried; couldn't)

mano said...

For ending my embarrassment i'm fighting to finish the divine comedy.

Harbinger of Truth said...

I haven't read either The Sun Also Rises or the Book of the Five Rings, but I just started the latter. Who knows maybe I'll write a novel that makes a list like this one day.

JuniWolfspirit said...

You ninny. It's pretty understandable to have not read the Lord of the Rings. It takes a lot of dedication to not only get through it, but really understand it. Plus, that sort of fantasy isn't exactly a lot of people's "thing."

I did an LJ meme recently that starts with, "The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see."

It then lists the 100 books and you show which ones you've read. I haven't read To Kill A Mockingbird, 1984, Catcher in the Rye, Grapes of Wrath, Alice in Wonderland... shall I continue? Posting the list itself was quite embarrassing, but I did it anyways in an attempt to guilt myself into moving away from the Young Adult section and reading "real" books for a while.

Court said...

Oh dear. So many wonderful titles to choose here.... Top of my list is anything Russian, specifically "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace."
Also: "Wuthering Heights"; "Oliver Twist"; "The Once and Future King" (tried really hard to get through it but couldn't); and anything by Goethe other than "Faust 1&2."

I feel particularly embarrassed to be admitting this to a literary agent. Sheesh. ;o)

I'm Kim said...

Wow! What a loaded Question. I am an formerly rehabilitated English Major who got through grad school not reading very much. Consequently, I have SEVERE Guilt. My whole blog is about my on going quest to read all the things, horrible or not, I was supposed to read in college... well sort of. I have 1 down (Native Son) and am now trying to decide what to read next. I have had suggestions. I am reverting back to my former ways and trying to look for the shortest one so I can check more off my list and feel a sense of accomplishment before I poop out and call it a day (figuratively speaking). See the Top 100 novels I am reading on my blog! 99 more to go! WOO HOO!

angelthenewyorker said...

Nathan, I am deeply embarrased that I haven't read the Holy Bible. For Christsake, it is the world's best selling book ever. According to the British TIMES newspaper in 1996:

"Forget modern British novelists and TV tie-ins, the Bible is the best-selling book every year. If sales of the Bible were included in best-seller lists, it would be a rare week when anything else would achieve a look in. It is wonderful, weird ... that in this godless age... this one book should go on selling, every month."

I have tried several times to read it, but I can go beyond the first pages, and I don't know why.

yours sincerely, EMBARRASSED-ANGEL

Alicia said...

Oh dear~! Where do I start?

I'll need to agree with Anonymous and say "The Bible", I can never last past 1 page... half page through and you'll definately catch me fast asleep!

BiggieKen said...

I never read LOTR either. I am a little embarrassed to say that I've only read one Harry Potter book (the first), but not too embarrassed!

Perhaps I am most embarrassed that I've read very few classics! I am more interested in current events and funny, personal stories a la David Sedaris. Though I've really only read a couple of his books.

George Fripley said...

Of all the books that I think I should have read, I think the most enbarrassing would be A Stranger in a Strange Land. I always feel I should have read it (like Moby Dick and Gullivers Travels, which are also on the list)but for some reason it just never happened.

Jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
California Girl said...

How about last year's "Einstein" bio? I bought it. Read the first quarter of it; had to keep re-reading it to understand the science & math discussed; finally gave up in frustration.

Post topic for consideration:
Literary Masterpieces You've Read & Disliked"

I could go on and on with that...English Lit major.

Jaye said...

Considering where I live - I'm a Kentish Maid - I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read a single Dickens novel! And also Pride and Prejudice, which is sitting, untouched, on my bookshelf.

I have read every Discworld novel though!

James Wu said...

I have this gigantic book titled: The History of the Arabic Peoples.

I carry it around all over the place, wherever I move. I even read it sometimes on the airplane. But I've never read more than a few page.

I try to act as if I read in depth about matters, but the truth is I just ended up reading a short summary on wikipedia.

Lauren said...

Moby Dick is my book. I finally read The Hobbit this summer and wanted to kick myself for depriving my world of Tolkien joy for years and years and years!

'wela said...

Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin--and I have a degree in Biology!

The Crystal Faerie said...

Pride and Prejudice.

esruel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
esruel said...

Hi Nathan
You haven't read The Lord Of The Rings? Don't worry about it: I wrote a fantasy partly on the premise that millions of readers had never read, and were never going to read, LOTR. I did some research on it - too long, written too long ago, Tolkien was dead, the film was coming out (long mooted), the cartoon film was not good and so on.
My book and proposal were rejected by everyone I approached in the UK! You are in good company!
I never read Wuthering Heights. I think it proves I'm a bloke lol

Anonymous said...

I'd like to make a comment. About those Russian, French, foreign-writer books, it depends on the translation if they're readable or not.

Lori Benton said...

To Kill a Mockingbird

Chris Redding said...

Moby Dick.
cmr

Stace said...

I, too, have not made it through Lord of the Rings but have tried several times, in vain. Being from NZ (supposedly Middle Earth now, for marketing reasons) I felt a certain patriotic duty but meh, if you don't like fantasy you don't like fantasy!

However, I am a little embarrassed to say I've never made it past Genesis in The Bible. All the begats got a little repetitive.

Unfocused Me said...

I am most ashamed to admit that I could not get past page 50 or so of Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, patron saint of slush pile writers everywhere. I just, just, I'm sorry, I need a moment...

I can do this...

Okay, I'm all right, thank you. Here I go: I just didn't think it was funny. At all.

There. I said it. Thank you for listening.

Seth Thompson said...

As a heavy fantasy reader, it seems like I should have read any Narnia novel or Harry Potter book, but I haven't. I may one day try the Narnia novels, but I don't foresee buying a book in the Harry Potter series.

As for actual reading gaps that I am embarrassed about, I would have to say that it can be quantified in two words: Charles Dickens. I even participated in a stage musical based on Oliver Twist and STILL haven't managed to read him. One day...

Dr Frau Dr said...

So many things that I haven't read. I'm chipping away at them though and am halfway through Don Quixote. At least I can console myself with the fact that I did get through Moby Dick and Midnight's Children.

MusicJunkie said...

Sadly, I have never read anything by Hemingway or any screenplay by Tennessee Williams.

June said...

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books and not at all embarrassed about it. I actually read LOR aloud, twice to my daughters, maybe I SHOULD be embarrassed about that. The only one I'm a bit embarrassed about not reading is any of Proust.

June said...

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books and not at all embarrassed about it. I actually read LOR aloud, twice to my daughters, maybe I SHOULD be embarrassed about that. The only one I'm a bit embarrassed about not reading is any of Proust.

katztales said...

A Suitable Boy. Have started it at least 3 times and can't get past page 30!

Anonymous said...

Tennessee Williams wrote plays, not screenplays. His plays were made into movies, but he was a playwright, not a screenwriter. An important disctinction.

abc said...

Well I know what book I really ought to commit myself to reading now. It's time to pull Infinite Jest off the shelf. RIP David Foster Wallace. What a sad loss to the world--a major talent (I did read a number of essays) and from what I could tell through interviews, etc. a really cool, amazing guy. Really really sad!

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 213   Newer› Newest»
Related Posts with Thumbnails