Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What Are Your "Gap" Books?

You know how sometimes you'll be talking to a group of people and someone will be like, "Dude, how great was that part in Harry Potter when such and such happens?" and you're the one person in the world who hasn't read Harry Potter and you quietly admit this and they're like, "YOU HAVEN'T READ HARRY POTTER??? What is wrong with you?!?!"

Yeah.*

We all have our "gap" books, those books that everyone in the world has read and talks about all the time and look we are really meaning to read them but we're all very busy and there are a lot of books to read and no one could possibly be expected to read them all and why do I have to defend myself aha;sldkjf;aj

Anyway, my name is Nathan Bransford. I have not read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yes. I know.

What are some of your gap books?

(*For the record I've read Harry Potter.)






325 comments:

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Jeremy Robb said...

Easy. Twilight. I've never even picked it up to browse through it.

Matthew Delman said...

Chronicles of Narnia is my big fantasy "gap" book. I've also not read Asimov's Foundation series, or anything by Heinlein.

Deb and David said...

Anna Karenina. No, that's not true. I read it in 9th grade and hated every second of it. I need to reread it as an adult.

But what's even worse, is that I never saw "The Godfather." Talk about a conversation killer.

Tracy said...

Count me among the Harry Potter-less folks.

I've also never read a single Nicholas Sparks novel. I just wait for the movies to come out.

Jennifer Walkup said...

I never read any of the Harry Potter books. I know, I know. I should. I will. Eventually.:)

LS Murphy said...

You're not alone. I've never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy either. Nor have I seen the movies.

CheekyGirl said...

Harry Potter, Twilight and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo seem to be mine.

thesharkguy said...

Catcher in the Rye...and nothing by Margaret Atwood, despite being a Torontonian.

andrea said...

To Kill a Mockingbird, or Lord of the Flies.

Missed them somehow in school - most everyone I know has read them.

Liberty Speidel said...

Ummm... probably most books everyone's read... Definitely Harry Potter and the Twilight series... Devil Wears Prada... And, most of the "classics". If I had to appear on Jeopardy!, I'd hope the Shakespeare category wouldn't come up!

Stephanie said...

Wizard of Oz books. I actually prefer the movie!

V said...

Does not reading it on purpose count? Because if that's so, my gap books include Twilight series and the Wheel of Time series. Twilight was described as "well done fan fic" which is a huge turnoff. I've yet to get past the first paragraph of any of the "Wheel" books.

Otherwise, George RR Martin is my gap.

Becca said...

I've never read LOTR or gotten through a Jane Austen book (something always came up).

Yes, I feel like an epic fail.

Glynn said...

Haven't read one Harry Potter book. Seen the movies, though. Have read LOTR three times - I'm a Total Ringhead.

Amy Jo Lavin said...

I've never read the Eragon series, much to my students' chagrin. I saw the movie but didn't care to read the books (even when my students swore the book was better).

Vanessa Wieland said...

Probably the Grapes of Wrath or something like that.

Anonymous said...

The Da Vinci Code.

Elena said...

I've also never read the Lord of the Rings trilogy (or The Hobbit).

Additionally, I've somehow managed to miss out on reading any Shakespeare (though I have seen productions of several of the plays).

Angela said...

WHAT? No LOTR? That's not a gap, its a crevasse into oblivion!

*trembles at the tear in the universe fabric Nathan's omission has made* You will read it someday, right? Yes. Oh course you will. Whew, got a bit freaked out there.

The twilight series. I read the first book and that's it.

Samantha said...

I've never read Lord of the Flies or Grapes of Wrath. Those were Honors English books, and I took regular English.

Raejean said...

The only books on everyone's list so far that I have read is the Harry Potter Series. I have no desire to read Twilight, but I'd like to at least try the rest of them. Maybe I could be stranded in a deserted library for a year!

agirlandaboy said...

The Bible. Heh.

Nick said...

I can't think of any books people rave about I haven't at least suffered through. Now films, on the other hands...

Catherine Gayle said...

No matter how hard I try, I cannot possibly force myself to read Moby Dick. I can still write an essay over Moby Dick that will knock my professor's socks off and convince him to give me an A. But I cannot read it.

I read the LOTR at least once a year, though.

Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary said...

I've never read the Lord or the Rings Trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, and I'm pretty sure I haven't read the entire Bible. I'm a Christian Missionary. Go figure.

Terry Odell said...

Harry Potter after book 2. Twilight. Jane Austen. And more, but no need to embarrass myself further.

Lydia Sharp said...

I have not read Harry Potter, Twilight, OR LotR.
OR seen any film versions of any of those.
And I call myself an SF/F writer?
It did kind of make me feel better, though, when I saw Stephanie mention Wizard of Oz, and Andrea mentioned To Kill a Mocking Bird. I've read both of those.
I've also read the entire Chronicles of Narnia. At the age of 13. That has to count for something.

Lydia Sharp said...

Did I say 13? I meant 9 (my teen years were dedicated to the Sweet Valley High books). Either way, it was a long time ago. Haha.

Larissa said...

I can do you one better on TLOTR, I got almost to the end of the first book and never finished. Love the movies, didn't care for the books. (Although, this was when I was a teen. I might enjoy them more now.)

In addition, I haven't read a lot of classics that most people read in school. I have no idea why. I've never read any Salinger or Bronte. I haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird, either. *shrug*

Helene said...

My gap books are pretty much all of the ones that have been hot/super popular in the past ten years, e.g., Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. Anything that becomes overly popular by the masses makes me wonder if the books are too over-hyped for my liking.

Fleur Bradley said...

There are so many (HP, Narnia), but I feel worst about the classics I missed. I grew up in Holland, so my classics are very different from U.S. classics.

Kate said...

Many. The Da Vinci Code, all Harry Potters, Eat Pray Love, LOTR, Twilights 2,3,4, The Help, The Kite Runner. Et cetera. What AM I reading?

Karla Nellenbach said...

I've never read a Nicholas Sparks book...I bought one once, but before I even opened it up, I caught an interview of his and man is he an a**hat! That put me off too much.

mrsktj said...

Another LOTR refugee here.

(Oh, and when I finally did read The DaVinci Code I wondered what all the hoopla was about. Shoot me.)

Jaimie said...

The Lord of the Rings? That's baaad, but I guess that's the point of the post.

I've never read anything by Isaac Asimov or Steinbeck.

justwritecat said...

Recent gap - The Lovely Bones. I read the first page - and it grabs you, but I can't handle that kind of sad.

Classic gap - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, although I recently perused a revised kid's version (my boys read it for school). Does that count for partial credit?

Matthew Rush said...

I tried to read Twilight but could not get further than about half way through the first book. I just wanted to know what my daughter was reading ... but it was not written for grown men.

That doesn't really make it a gap book though because other than my 14 year old daughter I don't hang out with teenage girls, and she won't talk to me either so...

I'm not saying the writing is bad (I would never say that about another writer), it just wasn't for me.

marypearson said...

Egad. Too many. MOBY DICK and HUCKLEBERRY FINN jump to mind. But I think I read THE HOBBIT and LORD OF THE RINGS twice. Does that make up for my gap? : )

Mayowa said...

Nathan (your middle name) Bransford! Who are you and what planet are you from? No LOTR? Unacceptable.

I just read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time recently so you can imagine how many other essential tomes i've missed.

I shall catch up one day. In the meantime, if anyone wants to compare Mills and Boon/Fabio covered books, i'm your man.

Shannon said...

Twilight, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and 1984.

Kor said...

I'm Kourtney and I never read the Da Vinci Code or anything else written by Dan Brown.

CS said...

loads probably! lotr (haven't seen the movies either), wuthering heights, the davinci code. however i have no plans to read any of these!

Marie said...

Ditto about Lord of the Rings--and I love fantasy, too! I hang my head in shame.

Gate Keeper said...

Hm. Well I only read book the first books of LotR, His Dark Materials, and Twilight (due to apathy, loathing, and a wish to pretend it didn't exist, respectively).

Da Vinci Code, though I've yet to meet anyone who was all "What? I can't believe you haven't read that, it's awesome!"

Working in the book biz, there's a billion other books that people are shocked I haven't read, but those are the more widely known.

Emily White said...

Gasp! You haven't read The Lord of the Rings? What is wrong with you, man? ;)

I've never read anything by Dan Brown, though I'm told frequently that I really must. Just not that interested.

Ink said...

Twilight (and I'm not going to remedy that one), The DaVinci Code (or that one), Huckleberry Finn (always mean to read it), and Anna Karenina (will definitely read it at some point).

I've also never read 1984 or A Brave New World... but I'm going to have a Dystopia Month very soon. :)

J. Elizabeth Mills said...

I haven't read "The Outsiders," or "The Catcher in the Rye," "A Tale of Two Cities." Really, how I was able to graduate with an English major is beyond me. I have, however, read LOTR several times!

Erica Woo said...

The Life of Pi and Atlas Shrugged...both on my bookshelf, can never make it beyond page 30

D. G. Hudson said...

Harry Potter is one of the books I've never warmed up to, although I watched a couple of the movies. Also the Twilight series. I think the YA designation is correct -- not for me. LOTR on the other hand, I could read many times, and it was written by a master. I first read the Hobbit in college so that set the stage for the rest of the story.

I've also never read Tale of Two cities by Dickens, or the Heart of Darkness. There probably are others, but I've tried to read a broad range to make up for the gaps. Books are a very personal choice.

I read what interests me, and I read to learn. Science fiction is my preferred choice of escape.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

If everyone else has read it, I haven't.

Kate said...

Lord of the Rings also. And -- *folds arms over head and ducks* -- To Kill A Mockingbird. I think that might be a capital offense.

atsiko said...

The Godfather. And a lot more, but I just can't think of them right now. (I read Twilight just to see how bad it was. Never doing that again...)

Tiffany said...

hmmm. I have never read Brave New World. Considering dystopian is sort of my thing right now, I guess that might be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I have never read "Gone With The Wind" or "Pride and Prejudice"

Lauren said...

Not a single Jane Austen. I'd do so much better on the Goodreads trivia quiz if I could just read Pride and Prejudice. I swear I will someday.

Also: nearly any children's fantasy you can think of, besides Narnia and Harry Potter. I mistakenly thought I hated fantasy when I was a kid, and stuck to humorous contemporary books almost exclusively. Now I'm 29 and trying to get caught up on all the classic kids' fantasy books, but it sure is taking a while.

mary said...

Any of the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series. I know. This means I miss out on many fabulous hours of male conversation with guys named Ed and Harvey at cocktail parties, but--hey, a girl's gotta draw the line somewhere.

Serenity said...

I have lots of gap books I'm afraid. The one that kills me these days is The Help. I've given it as a gift TWICE and gotten due praise for passing on the wonderfulness and yet I haven't gotten to it yet myself.

ryan field said...

ON THE ROAD. But I'm going to read this eventually.

TWILIGHT. Probably won't read this, but I'll check out her new novella.

Jet Harrington said...

For a YA writer not to have read either Catcher in the Rye OR Twilight seems wrong, but there it is. I admit it. It's likely I will read CitR. Probably not that OTHER one, though.

Adult book: everyone talked about Corrections, and I just couldn't get there. Also, haven't read either The Shack or The Secret, but I'm okay with that.

Juli Page Morgan said...

I've never read anything by Tolkien. I've started The Hobbit several times, but never got through the first chapter. I don't, however, feel my life is diminished by not reading his books. After all, not everyone likes the same things, and I don't like Tolkien's writing.

worstwriterever said...

Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger.

Constantly being referenced in movies and general conversation and I never know what is being discussed.

wonderer said...

As a former English major, I hate to admit I've never read Milton, Dickens (except A Christmas Carol), Moby Dick, or most of the famous Russians.

As an SF/F writer, I hate to admit I've never read the Foundation series. I'm sure there are others whose omission is also an unforgiveable sin, but I'm blanking at the moment.

I've also not read Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath, or The Old Man and the Sea, but since I'm not American, I figure I might get a pass. ;-)

I recently read Pride and Prejudice, Faulkner, and Dune for the first time.

There are other, more recent books that I haven't read yet and really should (Hunger Games comes to mind), but those are at least on my TBR list of doom....

Anonymous said...

Da Vinci Code and Twilight

D.J. Morel said...

Charlotte's Web... and I've been told how it ends many times, so never quite manage to pick it up.

Triffany said...

Dante's Inferno. @Deb and David I have never seen "The Godfather" either and I know the exact tune the crickets are singing in the silence that follows that statement. ;)

abc said...

Oh, so many! Ditto on Lord of the Rings. Also, Narnia books, Jane Austen, anything by anyone Russian. I feel intellectually inferior for forgoing Ulysses, Gravity's Rainbow, Moby Dick, and Lolita.

Oh, and I have yet to read anything else by Cormac McCarthy besides The Road. They have been on my to read list forever.

Luna said...

Dune

I know I'll probably want to, because I'll probably enjoy them immensely.

Brittney said...

No Lord of the Rings for me either. I also feel like the only person I know who hasn't read the Secret Life of Bees.

Nate Smith said...

"Catcher in the Rye", "Moby Dick", and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to name a few. I don't think Harry Potter counts as a missed classic, though it may be great fiction and counts as a gap book I suppose. I did listen to the books.

I've read LOTR several times through my life and find new things to enjoy at every age. Same goes for Dune trilogy.

Some books like "Of Mice and Men" I have certainly read, but can't remember for sure if I have read them or only saw the movie.

MJR said...

I've read all the biggies mentioned here. My biggest gap is popular literary fiction. I haven't read Eliz. Strout or Barbara Kinsolver or Jonathan Foer or Michael Chabon etc etc. I read THE LIFE OF PI, but didn't like it.

Kimber An said...

Twilight.

Only interested in vampires if they're alien in origin.

Harry Potter until just a couple of months ago. Something clicked and I just had to have it. Glad too. Great story. Rowling totally nailed the emotional needs of the Middle Grade child.

I stay away from bestselling novels, in general, because I've learned I almost never like them.

E.D. Lindquist said...

Both the Twilight series and Catcher in the Rye.

Anne said...

Too many to mention: Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, War and Peace, Emma, . . . and this is having even been an English major. I feel a guilty conscience coming on. What have I been doing with my time?????

Chantele said...

I haven't read The Lord of the Rings either... I do however, LOVE the movies. I've never read Jane Eyre, either and everyone I know has. Someday maybe.

creepyquerygirl said...

I never read Lord of the Rings either. And I'm ashamed to say that I couldn't make it through 'Robinson Crusoe'. I'm pretty sure he's still on the island....

:)Ash said...

Speak. And I love Laurie Halse Anderson's novels. I've just never read that particular one. Which is so WRONG since I'm a YA writer and all. Sigh.

Need to go make an Amazon purchase now...

Madara said...

Alright. I see a lot of you are in the same boat with Nathan regarding LOTR. I would recommend reading them unless you hate Fantasy, but do you start with The Hobbit or Fellowship of the Ring?

I really need to read a lot more, including Harry Potter. I'm not really interested in reading the Twilight Saga. Sorry Twilight fans.

Josin L. McQuein said...

I haven't read Harry Potter, or anything by Nicholas Sparks,or anything by Neil Gaiman, or anything by Dan Brown, or Eragon (and that shall never change...) Wuthering Heights, or the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or Wings (which as a YA-writer type person, I should read post haste, but... I don't want to.)

Amanda Plavich said...

I haven't read The Lord of the Rings books and have no plan to. Not there is anything wrong with them, they just aren't my cup of tea.

I've not read a LOT of the classics and it's kind of embarrassing. I did just read 1984 for the first time recently, so I'm trying to whittle that list down some. :)

Karen C said...

Macbeth.
There, I feel better now.

Seadhlinn said...

Snow Falling On Cedars.
... not a totally shameful admission, except that I lived in Seattle for ten years. Whoops.

@ Jeremy Robb: Not reading "Twilight" should be a point of pride, man! I have not read it either, but I have pre-teen/teenage cousins who have, so I have (unfortunately) heard the gory details of every sparkle and plot point.

Renee Miller said...

The Twilight Series. Although it's not for lack of trying. I've attempted to read the first and second and I just couldn't do it. It was painful. I doubt I ever will read them or understand why they're such a big deal.

robin said...

Catcher in the Rye. I tried it once, but it's not my thing.

Mary McDonald said...

Twilight for me. And Pride and Prejudice.

Alexa said...

To Kill a Mockingbird *blushes*

Stina Kanaris said...

Twilight. Probably will never read it.

I haven't read Harry Potter, but I will definitely be reading those at some point. I've seen all the movies with my younger sister and loved them!

AlyMorrissey said...

I don't have GAP books, but GAP endings. I have an embarrassing tendency of starting things and never finishing them. For example:

Harry Potter Series
Twilight Series
Eat Pray Love
One Flew Over the Cucu's Nest
Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test
anything by Shakespeare
anything by Norman Mailer...

Hollister Ann Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

I haven't read LOTR, either. I tried to start with The Hobbit and couldn't get into it.

But my real "gap" book is Pride and Prejudice, especially because I own it. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Julie said...

Life of Pi, Wuthering Heights, David Copperfield. Also, I've read nothing by Dumas

Drgnwrtr said...

Let's see, any of Dan Brown's books, LoTR (I did read the Hobbit though), Twilight (not even curious)(I had a friend who was curious, she now has a facial tick), Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, heck, I didn't read mid grade books until I worked in a book store so there's a whole list there alone...

I don't consider missing Twilight a gap, just a choice. I do consider LoTR a gap but Tolkeins just so darn wordy...

Phyllis said...

Too many to count.

I only noticed the hype around Twilight after the fourth book had been out. When I finally looked it up, I remembered having picked it up before. The cover spelled "romance with dark elements" to me, and that's not my genre at all. And when the blurb mentioned teenagers and vampires, I dropped the book and ran. That explains that gap.

There are loads of books I still mean to read, though. The trouble is, the more I read, the longer gets the list.

I never read Moby Dick, Robinson Crusoe, no Don DeLillo, and I tried Updike once and didn't like him. And I don't read romance or chick lit, so any hypes in these areas will probably pass without my noticing.

The Writing Muse said...

Lord of the Rings for me, too.

Kristi Helvig said...

LOTR and Anna Karenina. At least I'm eclectic in my gaps. :)

Jess said...

I am embarrassed to admit that the list of classics I have yet to read is rather lengthy...

As far as contemporary literature goes, I rarely read anything based on a "best sellers" list. Unfortunately, a lot of currently popular literature has too much sex, violence, and obscene language for my personal tastes.

Or vampires. I've never been into the whole blood-sucker thing.

Meredith said...

My gap books include the Twilight series, anything by Norman Mailer, and most of Dickens (read enough of Boz as required in high school and college to know I never wanted to read any more). Ugh!

Marilyn Peake said...

I haven’t read THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy either – I seriously regret that and plan to read them. I have read THE HOBBIT, though. :) I haven’t read THE DA VINCI CODE, but have purchased it to read eventually. I haven’t read any books by Jane Austen, so I recently downloaded some into my Kindle and hope to read them soon. I’m currently reading the TWILIGHT series (so far, I’ve read TWILIGHT and NEW MOON and am currently reading ECLIPSE) – more as a sociological study, since the books are so popular, than as real "literature". :)

Hillary said...

Anna Karenina. I don't know that I've even tried.

I read a couple of chapters of a Harry Potter book to a friend's son once, I think.

Tried to start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and simply could not. Anyone else having trouble with that one?

Anonymous said...

I'm probably going to be reamed for saying this, but I'm saddened that fellow writers would be so rude about not reading certain books. You don't want to read Twilight or (insert hated title here)? Fine, don't read it, but people put a lot of themselves into their books. No one is saying you HAVE to love them, but as writers you could have a little more tact.
My gap books are the Harry Potter series. I have them in a stack next to my bed, but they keep getting pushed to the bottom.

Jen said...

The Chrysalids and Hamlet, which for a long time it seemed like everyone else in my generation had read in school.

Reading LotR as an adult, after loving it as a child, was a little depressing.

Tahereh said...

hi. my name is tahereh & i've never read the LOTR trilogy. or any dan brown books.

i feel better now that that's out in the open.

hehe.

Mira said...

The ones I blush over are the classics - there are just too many that I haven't read to list.

In terms of modern, anything sad or even remotely distrubing - I get way too much of that in my day job - so, I haven't read Sparks, the Lovely Bones, the Book Thief. well...most literary fiction, actually.

I read YA predominately....as an adult, in many ways, it's what I DO read rather than what I don't that makes me blush. :)

In terms of LOTR, Madara, I'd probably recommend starting with the Hobbit - it's funny and more accessible.

LOTR are probably the books closest to my heart, but I think there's no 'shame' in not reading LOTR. His writing style is dense and not for everyone. If anyone does pick it up, I've found the secret is to just skip the parts where he takes eight pages to describe a mountain and get back to the story.

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

First of all, LOST. I know its a TV show not a book but your post reminded me of how worked up people get when I--a TV junkie--tell them I don't watch. Apparently it's life changing. But it's also time consuming and I just feel like I'm too late to the game.

But that's not even what you asked. As for books, basically the whole Dickens (read half of Great Expectations in high school) and all John Irving other than Owen Meany.

And I am one of those people who gets worked up when someone hasnt read Harry Potter. But even more worked up when they say they read the first one or two, but then gave up. Three is where it gets brilliant!!!

But I have not read LOTR either. Just never realized how many felt so strongly about it. (Never saw the movie, either... )

Anonymous said...

Anon @12:00 PM -

Have you actually read the Twilight books - all of them? WRITERS, more than anyone else, have a right to sample them and criticize them. They are rife with grammatical errors, tons of repetition, lots and lots of flaws. Here's what Roger Ebert said about the New Moon movie, something that pretty much summarizes the books: Roger Ebert's Review of New Moon movie.

MEWriter said...

LoTR, Twilight, Harry Potter, Dan Brown - there are just so many other books out there that appeal much more and that it's difficult to find enough time to read.

PatriciaW said...

Dan Brown's books, the Lord of the Rings, and the Twilight series.

reader said...

Harry Potter.
Pride and Prejudice.
War and Peace.
The Lord of the Rings.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

lora96 said...

In popular fic: Twilight and DaVinci Code.
But the one I feel like I SHOULD have read but never have: Moby-Dick. It's about some old guy whining and chasing a whale--it just doesn't scream "intriguing" to me.

reader said...

(and thanks for this topic, I feel so much better knowing others haven't read everything...)

Bittersweet Fountain said...

Twilight
The Scarlet Letter
Huckleberry Finn

People get really upset when you say you haven't read Mark Twain.

T.J. said...

All of my friends and family think I'm this huge fantasy lover and therefore have automatically read Lord of the Rings. Well, I started it, but after 20 pages, I put it down and have never read it.

For the record, I've never seen the movie Titanic and never seen the Matrix movies. More people have gasped and jumped at those.

Leona said...

Oh wow, I didn't much like Twilight. I read it to see what my daughter was into. Mostly, I'm not much into first person storytelling. It seems surprising to me the venom expressed by so many people. Rather intriguing.

Like Tahereh, I felt like I was reading a 12 step program for the literate illiterate LMAO.

Like Mira, I don't read/watch things too harsh like shindlers list (sp?)because of real life (although it is my life, not my job) but for me it seems as if 99% of currently popular books have passed me by. I did read Girl with a Dragon Tattoo because my Uncle bought it.

I haven't read LOTR since I was a teenager, although the movies are a huge hit in my house. My youngest, whose ears are pointy, has a nickname of frodo (for us, it was kind of like having the christ child in the house. He was the king lol That is how fanatic LOTR fans we are :D) I keep thinking I need to reread them, but there are so many books, so little time :)

Jeff said...

The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye

T. Anne said...

I'm not ashamed to admit this. I have NOT read the Harry Potter series. Not one book, not one line. I know, I know, what IS the deal with me?

Anonymous said...

As far as the classics go, I've never read The Jungle, and I've always considered that a gap.

As far as my science fiction reading goes, I've never read anything by Philip K. Dick, and I've also always considered this a gap.

I have not read Harry Potter beyond the first book or Twilight beyond the first page, but honestly it wasn't for lack of trying.

Alyson Greene said...

To Kill a Mockingbird. I never had to read it in school. I own a copy, but when I sit down to read it's just never what I grab. I know, I should, I will.

Kimmer Petersen said...

I love SF/F but have never read the Wheel of Time series or Frankenstein. My biggest "gap" in popular culture is that I've never seen an episode of American Idol.

SJDuvall said...

I have never read Jane Austen, Chronicles of Narnia, or any books by Dan Brown.

Gehayi said...

The Twilight saga--I've seen enough excerpts of it to know that I don't like what I've seen and won't like the rest of it. Eragon. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, which apparently everyone I know has read but which just wasn't around when I was growing up. And I've tried to struggle through Asimov's Foundation series, and have found that though I love most of what the man wrote, this series is better than a sleeping pill.

Crystal said...

Harry Potter and Twilight
Di Vinci Code
Hamlet (!)
Winnie the Pooh books (!!)
The Phantom Tollbooth

chelle said...

LOTR, Catcher in the Rye, Gone with the Wind. Only made it through the first 3/4 of Twilight before I leapt to the end (it was a gift, and I had to read it).

JJ said...

MOBY DICK. I was an English major. I've read everything else by Melville, including his (decent!) poetry. But we studied BENITO SERENO in high school and then again in college, as my profs assumed I'd read the Great White Whale in high school.

In popular fiction, my gaps are TWILIGHT and the Stieg Larsson books. I tried with both but couldn't get into them.

Emily J. Griffin said...

I, too, have never read the LOTR series.

I started and vehemently stopped "Memiors of a Geisha," which everyone else loved.

Abby Annis said...

Harry Potter. I tried. I really, really tried, but I couldn't get past chapter two. My son devoured the series though. Maybe someday I'll try again. :)

Elaine AM Smith said...

The Time Traveller's Wife

Why haven't you read LOTR?
Less than 48 hours needed, if you just take time for reading and to breathe.

hampshireflyer said...

Pride and Prejudice. We got Sense and Sensibility-ed at school and after that I just couldn't take any more.

Disclaimer: until the age of eight, I did believe that Jane Austen and Jane Eyre were relatives.

GalaktioNova said...

Harry Potter!

I just SO hate to go with the flow :-))

Taylor Taylor said...

Anything by Jack Keroack. Heck. I don't even know how to spell his name. And I've been trying to get up the nerve to read The Road by Cormac MacCarthy, but after someone said something about eating babies, I don't know if I can do it.

Scott said...

Twilight et al.

Also, I can't believe you haven't read Lord of the Rings. : )

Annette Lyon said...

Lately, it's been The Lightning Thief series, but that's likely because I have 3 kids who have read them, plus I have a lot of YA fantasy writer friends. I'll get to it--I SWEAR! (Someday.)

E. Elle said...

I'm E. Elle and I've never read any Charles Dickens. *Lowers head in [mock] shame... with a smirk*

Cyndy Aleo-Carreira said...

Not only have I never read LOTR (and I feel better now that I haven't since so many of you haven't), but I've never read any Stephen King. Not a word.

Clara said...

For the love of God, Nathan! What kind of Nerd are you if you haven´t read LOTR? In fact, here *rips off your sticker with the words 'NERD' emeblished on it*

BANNED. Banned to the depths of Mordor.

Anonymous said...

I'm for the Harry Potter series. I've never even picked one up. I own The Chronicles of Narnia, but I haven't read those either.

Rick Daley said...

Romance. The entire genre. Including all the ones they assigned in AP Lit in high school, like Wuthering Heights.

son of the south said...

I just left the Publishers Weekly site. Yesterday they posted the 2009 sales records. Of the top 100 or so hardcover fiction titles from 2009, I only read 1. I read every day yet I find myself a little surprised that I read so little from that list. The exclusion is not intentional, now I am self conscious about it. Have I been sub-consciously avoiding purchasing Sparks, Grissom?

J.J. Bennett said...

Hello, My name is Jennifer Bennett and I have never read or watched "Pride and Prejustice". (Yes any of the versions!)I'm sorry Jane Austin...

-30- said...

From the last two posts, I am going to assume you have either been to, or are thinking a lot about cocktail parties as of late.

And don't feel too bad. I haven't gotten past The Hobbit.

Jen P said...

Harry Potter - yes add me to the list. (I know, I know. But I will.) Little Women. Until last week, Plath's 'The Bell Jar' - now could be one of my all time favourites. Great Gatsby (but is on order.)

@Hilary - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo reads better in the original Swedish (and was/ is titled The Men who hate Women which may be a better title to get a handle on the book).

Zachary Grimm said...

Hello, "Nathan Bransford." Pleasure to meet you. haha. I will have to go with Harry Potter on this one. I am unfortunately a pseudo-prisoner nearly every morning while my friend and our fitness instructor wax poetic about JK and her books. I have no choice but to smile and nod, all the while wishing I had brought my iPod to my workout.

I plan on reading Twilight at some point, just out of mere curiosity. And, OF COURSE, Jacob Wonderbar.

I'm trying out my first YA novel-to-be, so I should probably read more YA books, just to get a feel for the language and what's been done and hasn't, although I'm sure at least ONE of those lists is quite long.

meganmiley said...

Yeah, the Harry Potter cult is everywhere. Anyone who utters the words, 'I haven't read Harry Potter' or worse 'I've only seen the moves' is ambushed.

I'll attack someone who hasn't read Harry Potter like a Gazelle at a watering hole.

Liesl said...

LORD OR THE RINGS trilogy. I kind of cringe when I say that. I will read them this summer, maybe not so much because I really want to but because I want to say that I've read them.

Pride.

How about the books we wish we could say we've never read? Okay, that's not positive at all. Don't do that.

Chuck H. said...

Nothing published in the last five years.

Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files) said...

There are many books I've yet to read that I'd either like to or have been told I should, but the gap that makes me feel the most guilty is:

Little Women
Heidi
The Secret Garden
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

My aunt gave me the first three as gifts when I was a kid. Fancy, shiny versions with gold edged papers that looked way too frou-frou for me to want to read. They still sit on my bookshelf and mock me. A copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn lives on the shelf below them, a used copy I picked up because that title, more than any other, is the one that's elicited the most "You've got to be kidding me how could you not have read this you call yourself a fan of children's literature!!!" type reactions.

I'm quite sure I would enjoy all of these titles. Just haven't made it a priority to read them yet.

Elizabeth said...

Jane Eyre. Despite having read several books that reference/draw upon it heavily.

P.Shaw said...

This past year it has been 2666, but it's in my queue – just a few books away.

best,
philip swanstrom shaw

K. E. Carson said...

I haven't read a lot of popular books. I've only read the 4th Harry Potter book. (Does that still count?) I got halfway through the first LOTR book and quit. I've never read Jane Austen or Twilight. Never read the Chronicles of Narnia. Hm. Seems liks popular or 'classic' books I tend to avoid.

Lyla said...

Jane Austen, Lord of the Rings. I started both, but it was summer... fatal mistake. I only read difficult books when the other alternative is schoolwork, apparently!

Meghan said...

I have also never read the Lord of the Rings. I read the hobbit, but every time I start reading the trilogy I get distracted by something else.

Peggy said...

Pride and Prejudice... and every other regency novel.

Ashley A. said...

Classics – there are certainly more, but I feel especially bad about these:
Brothers Karamazov
Moby-Dick
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Pride and Prejudice
Dante's Inferno
The Greek Myths

And even though every woman anywhere close to my age (40) has told me Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver is the "best book ever," I tossed it aside less than halfway through. Loved The Poisonwood Bible, though.

stephenisham said...

There are a lot of "gap" books... not including the ones I WANT to read eventually. but maybe the "biggest" book/series I have not read yet, is Harry Potter (and I'm not planning on reading it anytime soon. Someday though... maybe).

Emily Cross said...

Nathan, you should pop on over to the 'fill-in-the-gaps' blog, the brain child of moonrat and andromeda!

http://fillinthegaps100.blogspot.com/

Basically we all have 100 FITG books (books that we've always meant to read but usually never got round to reading) and aim to read them in five years.

Jen said...

Animal Farm. 1984. My apologies to Mr. Orwell.

Nathan Bransford said...

emily-

Thanks, hadn't seen that! What an awesome idea.

Bob Pace said...

I found LOTR horrifyingly tedious. Tried 4 times to work my way through it. Gave up on page 65 every time. Likewise Moby Dick. After "Call me Ishmael", it was all downhill from there.

Emily Cross said...

Yeah, it's great for all us procrastinators out there lol who never get round to these books.

Anyone is welcome to join up.

Dick Hannah said...

Both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I always get angry when someone talks about a Jabberwocky as if I should be impressed by their even mentioning it.

Sarah said...

Moby Dick. I have started it a couple of times and it bothers me that when it is referenced I have no idea what people are talking about. Though, I have gotten really good at faking knowledge of the book.

Nicole L Rivera said...

Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. I always divert to Harry Potter or Twilight in these conversations because I have read these several times over. Usually I find these are the other person's gap books and then that puts us both on the same page. We're gappers. :)

Anna Cotton said...

Twilight (though I did finally read part of them).

Katy said...

I must be a lemming... once I hear enough about something, I pretty mcuh always check it out. Maybe I'm just a really avid reder. :-)

Emily said...

Lord of the Rings as well, for me. It makes things awkward because I have the kind of friends who are forever making references and I refuse to even watch the movies, having not read the books.

At the same time, from everything I hear they are books I would probably enjoy...

Marilyn Peake said...

Last week, when I went to the bookstore and discovered sooooooo many new titles and then checked out my Kindle and found sooooooo many more titles, I suddenly realized that the benefit of living in the Information Age is that there are an endless number of books to read. I suddenly realized that, since we can’t possibly ever read them all, there’s no longer any reason for shame in having a list of books we haven’t read. Is there anybody alive today who’s actually read ALL the books now available – including ALL popular, literary and classic books? I doubt it.

Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado said...

Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" I have tried, I truly have but I cannot understand enough to get me through more than eight pages.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Hush, Hush
Emma
Sense and Sensibility
Northanger Abbey
Really any Jane Austen but Pride and Prejudice
Gone with the Wind
Steinbeck
Faulkner (if I have I've blocked it)
Wuthering Heights (I've tried. Really, I have.)
Hunger Games

There are bunches I'm leaving out, I'm sure.

James said...

Gap books tend to be a gap for a reason. Every time I've caved (Angels & Demons, Twilight) I have been less than interested. Got bored. I tried Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which was all the rage back in the undergrad years) and couldn't finish it.

No DaVinci Code. And a variety of others. If the urge isn't there for me, I probably shouldn't bother.

Celebrate the gap books I say!

Haven't read a bunch of them! w00t! w00t!!

K.L. Brady said...

Lord of the Rings (haven't even seen the movies...any of them. Yikes!)

Twilight (I've seen the first movie though...which astoundingly did not make me rush out for the book.)

A few folks have been chatting about those Percy Jackson books, said they're really good. Haven't seen them...didn't see the movie. For shame.

I'm proud to say I own and have read ALL the Harry Potter books--the 7th twice. And I see all the movies on the first day of release.

Anonymous said...

Twilights, Narnias, Rings, or Potters. They're just not the genres I'm interested in reading or seeing on screen.

nancy

Creative A said...

My name is Mandy, and I hate the classics.

I haven't read Harry Potter.

Haven't finished the Twilight saga.

Refuse to pick up Stephen King.

I love books, I really do! I'm just picky :)

-Mandy

Elaine Wilhelm said...

Dude. Every time you mention "Moby Dick," I want to hide. Good to see I have some company on here!

K. E. Richards said...

I have yet to read any books by Homer. However, I own many of his books in various forms. Ironically my 16 year old daughter recommended him (her? oh yes the speculation is out there)to me. Since we have similar tastes I quickly downloaded and bought a few of his books to enjoy.

suzrocks said...

I have not read Harry Potter- and nor will I ever. Harry P. came out when I was in high school working in a book store. After lugging around thousands(and I do mean thousands) of Harry Potter books and dealing with half-crazed Harry Potter fans- I vowed to never read them.

Terry Stonecrop said...

Twilight.

Regan Leigh said...

Harry Potter. *hides face from the shame*

I have SO many books on my list to read that I have a terrible time committing to a series of books.

Regan Leigh said...

Harry Potter. *hides face from the shame*

I have SO many books on my list to read that I have a terrible time committing to a series of books.

akashina said...

Twilight and The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.

And seriously, you haven't read LOTR??

Sandy Shin said...

Twilight and Chronicles of Narnia. I've tried to read both and could not get into them. :]

Janet Trumble said...

Farenheit 451 (is that the correct temp?). I'm a librarian. The books is about censorship, so duh. But, you know. I haven't read Time Traveler's Wife yet or The Hunger Games because I can't hold onto it long enough. Someone's always wanting to check it out the second I get it back in! Ender's Game is another. Fun thread, Nathan!

Katie Alender said...

Catch-22. I even have a copy that I've cracked a couple of times. I just need to give myself enough time to get into it.

Also, Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Own that, too. Have read the beginning about 4 bazillion times.

Steve said...

Most modern work is a "gap" for me.

I've read relatively little published since the early nineties. I'll typically re-read my old favorites in preference to newer material. Basically toss a dart in a Barnes and Noble and you'll hit some well-known book I haven't seen. Easier to list the few exceptions to that. (For instance, I have read Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books.)

-Steve

Lucinda said...

Wowswers! I love this post.

Now I don't feel so ashamed about not reading....oh, you really don't want the complete list, do you?

LOTR
Harry Potter
Twilight
and many many more

tnx

Sissy said...

The Kite Runner, Moby Dick, The Shack, and Eat, Pray, Love. Although, being a middle school librarian, I have now read so many things and am really catching up. A couple of years ago I did a Newberry Challenge where I tried to read as many winners as I could, and I think I got up to around 25 or so of them.

Next question for everyone: What book did everyone rave about that you just couldn't stand yourself? That would be an interesting one.

Chris said...

Goethe's Faust (which is an achievement - given that I went through the German high school system)

Cornell Deville said...

It's embarrassing to admit, but I have yet to read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I know, it's time I do.

Courtney Cook Hopp said...

Watership Down (and Harry Potter)

Peri1020 said...

Where do I begin...Harry Potter, LotR/anything by Tolkein, Twilight, Godfather movies, daVinci Code/anything Dan Brown, traditional classics (Huck Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, etc). I do sometimes wonder about what I'm missing, but I'm too busy reading other stuff to find out.

Lizzie said...

I've never read anything written by William Shakespeare or Jane Austen. Even in high school, I cheated by reading only the Cliff Notes.

Valerie Norris said...

I've never read Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The DaVinci Code, Twilight, most thrillers, etc. My taste leans toward more reality-based stories, I suppose.

Whirlochre said...

The Library of mye Gap books and the library of Alle Knownee Tomeees are strikingly similar, but for the mouse in the former.

Probably I need shooting.

Moira Young said...

Alice in Wonderland stands out for me at the moment. I've also never read Wuthering Heights or anything by J.D. Salinger.

mkcbunny said...

For a long time, it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow, it wasn't one of my high-school requirements.

Now ... and I am afraid to say this ... it's Moby Dick.

Please, please Nathan, don't ban me from your blog. I know it's your favorite. I have a beautiful copy I've been meaning to read for years. I will. Soon. Promise.

christine zoe palau said...

Nearly all of the above, minus "Catch 22." And I totally wish "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was a gap--talk about a sucker read; I was bored to the point of laughter. (The movie, however, was great!) As for "The Lord of the Rings," I couldn't even get through the first movie, how could I ever be expected to read the book(s). I do feel terrible about not having read "The Great Gatsby," but that's next on my list.

E. L. Schneider said...

My gap books:

Anna Karenina
anything by Jane Austen (gasp!)
The Bible

After reading almost all of the responses, I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one in this boat...and even happier to see, what a big, big, boat we now need!

mkcbunny said...

Oh, and for more contemporary reads, I haven't read The Da Vinci Code or Twilight, but I did watch the Twilight movie.

bethhull said...

My name is Beth Hull, and I've never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Listened to part of The Hobbit while working in a children's bookstore.
No Dan Brown.
I DID read Anna Karenina, because I thought there would be sex. She commits adultery, right? I was disappointed.

Amethyst said...

Thanks for this post, Nathan. It goes to show that we have nothing to be ashamed of for not having read a classic or popular novel/series. I've just added more to my list based on the comments. :)

So, in the spirit of the post, my "gap" books are:

current that I am looking forward to: The Hunger Games Trilogy (I am waiting for the final book to come out before I begin reading the series), American Gods

Classics: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Catch-22, The Odyssey, The Illiad, LotR (Two Towers and Return of the King), All Jane Austen except Pride and Prejudice, Twain, Faulkner, Kipling and so much more.

The list doesn't end, and I hope it never does :)

ami said...

I'm kind of interested to know what books people WILL NEVER read - even if it's the last book on earth and they're the last person. Hehe. What book would drive you to finish your novel? :)

I must admit: I read the first chapter of Moby Dick - and then the Cliff Notes (great apologies to all my English teachers)

annalisa said...

The one I get asked about all the time is Nicholas Sparks. I have no interest in his books or his movies, but how do I say that without sounding like a book snob (which I very much am)?

My biggest oversight in reading is Stephen King, which I mean to rectify as soon as possible, along with all the "gap" classics I'm trying to get through (I'm on 1984 right now). It seems like when people know you're a reader, they're always shocked to find out you haven't read everything, especially the classics.

elenoski said...

Despite being Spanish, "Don Quixote". It was compulsory at Secondary School, but somehow I never read the whole book...just a few chapters (I watched the cartoons, though....)

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