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Everyone Has Read These But Me (or so it seems)

June 14, 2010
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Borrowed from Stefanie’s blog. I thought this would be a fun bookish post. I also want to post about my first issue of New York Review of Books, but I’ll save that until I’m done with the issue.

The following are books that I keep hearing about or that keep getting recommended to me, but that I haven’t read for one reason or another.

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: I actually have no idea what this book is about, but everyone keeps telling me to read it. We have this book at home. I gather that it’s some sort of mystery. Beyond that, I really don’t know much. I like an occasional mystery but it takes a certain mood, and I haven’t been in it yet.

2. Bridget Jones’s Diary: I somehow can’t believe I haven’t read this because although I don’t like chick lit, I’ve heard enough good things about this one that it seems like I would have picked it up at some point. But I haven’t. Unless I have, and have forgotten, which seems unlikely.

3. The Road: I think I checked this out from the library but it just looked depressing. I’m really not into depressing books lately. I don’t think I’ll be reading this one.

4. The Book Thief: A book-blogger favorite. Somehow none of the reviews I’ve read has enticed me into reading what appears to be another heartbreaking book. I just don’t need that right now!

5. To Kill A Mockingbird: Actually I’m ashamed that I’ve never read this, and I fully intend to. I don’t know how this one slipped by.

6. Tender Is The Night: Another one that I totally intend to read, because I love Gatsby.

7. Howard’s End: I have attempted this a few times, and although it seems like I would like it, again, a bit melancholy for me these days. Still, I put it on the TBR (someday) list.

8. Heart of Darkness: Again, I’d like to read this but somehow it’s just never seemed like the right time.

9. Captain Corelli’s Mandoline: Eh. Meh.

10. Bel Canto: This was actually a book club pick, but I only got one chapter into it and couldn’t read any more. I actually really like Ann Patchett so I’m not sure why I’m not into this one, but I don’t think I’m going to lose sleep over it.

11. On The Road: I feel like I missed the boat on Kerouac in college and now the window for me to appreciate this is closed. No great loss, I imagine. Maybe I’ll read it when I’m old and need some oomph to get me moving.

12. Cujo: Well, maybe not everyone has read this, but most horror fans have. I can’t do it. The doggie! No! I read one chapter of it and couldn’t go any further.

13. A New Earth: Quite a few people at my work have read this and are really into it. I think I might have this somewhere at home; I don’t know. There’s sort of this weird wholesome cult-like following of this book and author that I can’t really hook up with.

14. The Corrections: Sounds good, looks good, but I think I just won’t get to this one for a while, if ever.

15. And finally, Anna Karenina, which I really really want to read! And in fact, attempted to last year, but didn’t. I will read this soon, maybe this fall.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 7:49 am

    Actually, you are not alone. Of your list, To Kill a Mockingbird is the only book I’ve read. And I haven’t even heard of The Corrections. I too waited well past the time I should have read Mockingbird. I read it three or four years back. It was a wonderful experience. One of those ‘should be read’ books that is actually good, not just supposedly good for you.

  2. June 14, 2010 8:00 am

    ooh this is a good idea.

    Re: The Corrections. I tried to read this one a few years ago when i was in a book club. i couldnt do it. i read about 150 pages and couldnt tell you for the life of me what i was reading. something about a family and problems but all the characters got muddled together and i could never really figure out who was who and after awhile i just stopped caring. plus, there are no chapter breaks. just page after page after boring page of words going nowhere. (in my opinion.)

    Re: The Road. There is no way im reading this. sounds awesome but just toooo depressing.

    Re: Bridget Jones. These are good books. I’m not a huge chick lit fan either, but these are fun. in fact i sometimes think of rereading them

    Re: The Book Thief. This is one I want to read.

  3. June 14, 2010 8:40 am

    Book Thief is good even if it leaves you sobbing by the end. How did you not read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school? It is a fantastic book that I know you would like. Heart of Drakness is good stuff, “The Horror! The Horror!” You do have to be in the right frame of mind for it and Apocalypse Now messes the story up so put that out of your head. I’ve read On The Road and didn’t find it to be all that. I think you have to be a teenage boy to enjoy it.

    What’s A New Earth? I’ve not even heard of that one.

  4. June 14, 2010 10:09 am

    i agree with stephanie about On the Road. i read all of Kerouacs stuff (and a lot of other similar authors) right after high school and expected it to be really eye opening and moving. eh. i was underwhelmed.

    although i do have an appreciation for Richard Brautigan who is sometimes lumped in with that generation of authors, but i think he’s worlds away. quirky and weird.

  5. D'Arcy permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:43 am

    I’ve read six of these.

    I read To Kill A Mockingbird, in high school, and loved it.

    I read Bel Canto twice, because I got it out of the library not realizing I’d already done so. Once I did, I finished it anyway because I couldn’t remember how it ended. I still don’t. Obviously not very memorable.

    I read Heart of Darkness in Finland, I think, so that explains that choice. I wasn’t that into it, but hey, it was in English.

    I really enjoyed Bridget Jones, but then again, I like chick lit.

    Cujo wasn’t that bad. I actually found it far less scary than most of King’s books that make bad things happen to pets and kids. There was a bit of the supernatural, but mostly, you could convince yourself Cujo was just rabid. Bad ending, though.

    I read Anna Karenina six years ago, when Ryan gave me four movies, four books, four CDs and four something elses (I think) for our fourth anniversary.

    I haven’t read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but I saw the movie. Meh.

  6. June 14, 2010 10:59 am

    Ok! I will read To Kill A Mockingbird this summer. I actually really do want to read it. I’m not sure how I got this far without reading it yet. I was in AP English and the only thing I can figure is that maybe we got to choose from a list and that book wasn’t chosen? Anyway. i will amend that situation posthaste.

    Same with Heart of Darkness. D’Arc: maybe I read it too, and can’t remember? If you read it, I bet I did (or attempted to) also… Heart of Darkness seems appropriate for Finland…

    Also: will read Bridget Jones next time I need some not-so-dumb fluff.

    I’ve been tempted by Book Thief pretty often but I can’t take the sad right now.

    Tammie: I LOVE Richard Brautigan! Love, love, love.

    A New Earth is by Eckhart Tolle and was all Oprah-ized a year or two ago. Meh.

    These are great comments. 🙂

  7. June 14, 2010 12:36 pm

    ooh! so many people i talk to have never heard of him.

    re:To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it in high school and remember not loving it but i think that may have been because i *had* to read it and i just dont think i had an appreciation for it. ive thought about going back and reading all the typical high school literature (The Great Gatsby, The Good Earth, etc…) to see if i view it differently. my high school was filled with jocks who were always making inappropriate comments about whatever it was the class was discussing and i think it kept me from enjoying books i might have otherwised loved.

  8. Lua permalink
    June 14, 2010 12:56 pm

    I couldn’t read Cujo for the same reason; the doggie! But I’m hoping this summer I’ll just sit down and read the whole thing in 3 days and get it over with!
    I’ll tell you what’s depressing though, I had ‘the Road’ on my to be read list for the past two years now and still haven’t gotten around to reading it 🙂

  9. June 14, 2010 1:48 pm

    1. Meh. I have to admit having no interest in this one either. I’ll probably eventually read it just because they’re making a movie of it.

    2. Really, I reread this every Christmas (coincidentally, when I spend the most time with family) and it honestly remains funny and fresh. (As a caveat, my mother is lovely and IN NO WAY like Bridget’s.) I reviewed it for like the third book on my blog if you want my thoughts on it.

    3. Same here. Jeff likes McCarthy though.

    4. Never even heard of it.

    8. I’ve never seen Apocalypse Now but strangely have seen the documentary Hearts of Darkness about the making of Apocalypse Now – really, really good. Made me want to read Heart of Darkness, which my brother-in-law the former English major recommends.

    15. Get on with it! 🙂 Seriously, I loved it in the end.

  10. June 14, 2010 1:54 pm

    Kate: we watched Apocalypse Now last year and really enjoyed it, so I’d be into watching the “making-of” movie too. And yes, Anna is right here next to my bed, approximately 1/6 finished, and I know I will love it when I get around to it. 🙂

  11. June 14, 2010 4:11 pm

    To Kill a Mockingbird: my favorite book evah!

    On The Road…total high school angst flashback.

    I’ve read a few of the others…some in college, some on my own. Right now I’m working my way through the whole Harry Potter series because I’m like the only person on planet Earth who hasn’t gone batty over Potter. I do enjoy it. It’s mindless in a smart kind of way. Just what I’m looking for.

  12. Lara Starr permalink
    June 14, 2010 9:15 pm

    Fun Post!

    1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Not yet, its an upcoming book club pick

    2. Bridget Jones’s Diary: Loved it!

    3. The Road: Not my cup o’ tea methinks

    4. The Book Thief: On the end of the long list

    5. To Kill A Mockingbird: Read it in HS and wrote a really good paper, but I got the girl’s name wrong, I called her “Sport” instead of “Scout” for 10 pages. I even thought I was sooo clever titling my report “Minor League Sport”

    6. Tender Is The Night: Would like to – this may be a good one to suggest to book club

    7. Howard’s End: I’ll just watch the movie again

    8. Heart of Darkness: Read in HS – really appreciated it then, prolly wouldn’t read unless assigned

    9. Captain Corelli’s Mandoline: Eh. Meh.

    10. Bel Canto: LOVED this book, though not everyone in book club did.

    11. On The Road: I tried, oh how I did try to read this one in HS when I was into black turtlenecks and thought the beats were so cool (except for all of those yucky drugs and cigarettes) but could not…

    12. Cujo: I can’t read a book about a slobbering dog

    13. A New Earth: Only one on the list I haven’t heard of

    14. The Corrections: LOVED this book, but I was the only one in my book club who did

    15. And finally, Anna Karenina: Not sure I want to read, I just like to say “Anna Karenninninninna”

  13. June 14, 2010 9:21 pm

    HA HA HA HA! i just laughed loudly at Laras comment. minor league sport. too funny. poor lara.

  14. June 14, 2010 10:20 pm

    That really is very sad. But really, really funny. D’oh! What did your teacher write on the paper?

    A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: http://www.eckharttolle.com/home/

    And fawning by Oprah: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/A-New-Earth-Are-You-Ready-to-be-Awakened

    Annoying.

  15. June 15, 2010 8:38 am

    lately ive been getting a lot of my reading material at Goodwill, because its cheap and i still havent gotten around to getting a library card. anyway, every Goodwill seems to have a very large selection of eckhart tolle books. it would seem that a lot of people read them, then want them out of their house.

  16. Lara Starr permalink
    June 15, 2010 9:02 pm

    I actually got an A on my TKAM paper if I remember right, I know I got a good grade but was SO embarrassed to have gotten the main freakin’ characters name wrong. I think the teacher took pity on my (and I’m sure it got a good laugh in the teacher’s lounge)

    In the same era, I experimented with my handwriting a bit and turned in another paper that dealt with the issue of “guilt” in the assigned book. The teacher handed it back and wanted to know why I wrote a paper about “quilts”

    Tammie, that’s so funny about the Tolle books at Goodwill – my husband and I have never been in a thrift store that didn’t have at least one copy each of Bonfire of the Vanities and Passages – you can count on it like clockwork.

  17. June 15, 2010 9:24 pm

    Lara: the “quilt” comment made me snort out loud.

    I actually just requested Bonfire Of The Vanities from the library (mostly out of curiosity) — who knew all I had to do was go down to the Goodwill!

    Tammie: I think you are right.

  18. June 17, 2010 10:26 am

    This is a great idea and one that I may use for a blog post myself. Regarding your selections:

    1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo:
    I’m with you. I know it’s a mystery and . . . that’s it. I’ll probably get around to it but I feel no sense of urgency.

    3. The Road: I’m not sure I like McCarthy’s writing style, but it was pretty good. But very, very dark.

    4. The Book Thief: this is a heart-breaker, but totally worth reading. I read it on a plane flight from Baltimore to Denver.

    5. To Kill A Mockingbird: Echoing the other commenters in saying that you should definitely pick this one up forthwith!

    8. Heart of Darkness: I read it in high school and thought it was ok.

    9. Captain Corelli’s Mandoline: I think you mean “mandolin,” as “mandoline” is I think some sort of kitchen tool used for slicing things? Anyway, I have never had the impression that this is a must-read book.

    10. Bel Canto: Enjoyable. For some people this is a favorite, so you should probably give it another go, because that may true for you too, especially if you like Patchett’s other works.

  19. June 17, 2010 10:35 am

    Christy: ha, funny. yes you are right, “Mandolin”. Heh. Although “mandoline” is funnier.

    Bel Canto: I probably would, but I probably won’t pick it up again. I’ve tried a few times.

    Mockingbird: it’s on my summer TBR list for sure!!

  20. June 18, 2010 1:02 pm

    I have read:

    2. Bridgit Jone’s Diary – Loved it. I did think that the first movie was better than the first book, and my overall favorite is the second book better. Have not read the third.

    15. Anna Karinina – Didn’t like it. I stopped the book 3/4s of the way through because I realized I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters in the book.

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