Never Have I Ever

As someone who thinks and talks and reads about books like 80% of the time, you kind of become defined by what you have read.

But what about those books that you haven’t read?

There are some books or authors that when you admit you haven’t read them, people don’t believe you. They think you’re missing out on some crucial bookish experience, like maybe you aren’t as widely read as they thought you were.

I try my best to read as much and as widely as possible. But there are inevitably going to be some books or authors that I don’t get to in this lifetime. Here’s a list of some of the ones that I haven’t reached yet.

Anything by Margaret Atwood. I know. I somehow managed to get through high school and university without reading any of her work. I actually didn’t know she was read in high schools until the other night. As far as I can tell, most of her work is dystopian? And that’s never really been in my wheelhouse. Still, The Handmaid’s Tale has been talked about a lot recently and I decided that maybe the time had come to read me some Atwood. I have a copy out from the library right now and if I actually read it, I can keep my passport.

 A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. One of those books that’s probably considered compulsory if you want to think of yourself as well-read. Well, too bad. I will probably never read this and it has a lot to do with the fact that anything I’ve ever read about Hemingway makes me not like him as a person. And I’m sure there are some of you out there that think I should separate the man from his art but nah. This is one I will probably never get to.

Books by Joan Didion or Nora Ephron. Am I wrong lumping them in together? They feel like they go together. People are always raving about one or the other and, while I suspect I would probably quite like their work, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I did read a Delia Ephron book recently-ish. Does that count?

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It constantly surprises ME that I still haven’t read this. It’s really hard to find a copy of it. Well, at least, every time it’s popped into my head to look for it, I can’t find it. I can hear you all yelling about online shopping but I prefer my book buying to be an in-store experience for the most part.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. Are you yelling? Look, I gave The Hobbit a whirl and I was super bored. I can’t imagine reading three books of the same. I couldn’t even stay awake for the whole first movie. Pass.

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Any books or authors people are surprised you’ve never read?

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12 thoughts on “Never Have I Ever

  1. Don’t read A Farewell to Arms. I had to read it in school and thought it was very overrated and not very good. You’re not missing anything by skipping that one! And I’ve never read Margaret Atwood either. Or Gillian Flynn. Or any of those really long Russian tomes. 🙂

    • I appreciate the support on my continuing to skip A Farewell to Arms. Gillian Flynn is really fun – she has a twisted mind. If you get the chance, take it. The Russians are such a commitment aren’t they? I think I will give War & Peace a spin again this summer (I read 968 pages of it the first time and then realized my copy was missing about 60 pages at that point).

  2. My post tomorrow is about this! Its about the five biggest books it seems like EVERYONE has read except me–glad we’re on the same page! I just started reading Atwood this year and have enjoyed her writing. I’ve also read LOTR (I became kinda obsessed in 6th grade) but everything else on your list are also ones I have not read–there’s probably more of us then we think 😉

  3. If you want to cross Margaret Atwood off your list, you could also try some of her nonfiction (like Payback – the series of Massey lectures about debt, which is more interesting than it sounds – or essays, Moving Targets, for instance) or the really skinny collection of wicked stories, Good Bones.

    Joan Didion would be on my list too. And her books aren’t even very long. But I think I have the idea that I’ll like her, and then I might want to read everything, and that would take much longer. I can kinda see why you’d think of her with Nora Ephron, but I have the idea that Joan Didion is much more sombre and lyrical, whereas what little I’ve read of Nora Ephron was funny!

  4. Well, since you’ve got that Atwood out from the library, then you might as well read it. 🙂 I hope you do! I’m not a huge dystopian fan, either, but I love Atwood.
    The only Hemingway I’ve read is The Old Man and the Sea, and that was for school. I haven’t read any Joan Didion, but I did read Ephron’s I Feel Bad About my Neck. I have no idea why I read it, because it’s not my usual, but it was really funny. I’d definitely read more of her.
    I haven’t read In Cold Blood, but I do have a copy. You could borrow it!
    I loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and have read them all twice. Also unusual for me. But there’s something about his writing that is more than the fantasy story he’s telling.
    There are so many authors and books I haven’t read that are surprising to myself! Like Edith Wharton, George Eliot, Robertson Davies…. (I’m going to try to read Fifth Business soon, though. Really I am.)

  5. Love that you shared this! I hadn’t read any Atwood until 2 years ago…and now only have read The Handmaid’s Tale (which I LOVED) and would like to fit in another one this year.
    My mother is appalled that I’ve never read Pride & Prejudice.
    I did love In Cold Blood – did my jr. year high school term paper on it.

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  7. I just have to say, I’ve tried to read The Hobbit three or four times and never made it past the first third. I also read, and LOVED, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you like fantasy I’d definitely give it a try. I don’t know how The Hobbit can be so boring when the trilogy is so good, but just because you don’t like the one doesn’t mean you won’t like the others.

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