Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Books I'll Never Read (Plus a Couple of Those I Didn't Think I'd Read, But Did, and Loved)



My time here is short. I want to read the good books. I really do. But I want to read the books that are good for me. Not necessarily those others are telling me I need to read.

I tried. I really did.


But I'm never going to read War and Peace. Too many characters, too much plot.



I'm scratching William Faulkner from my list, too. No Sound and Fury. No Absalom, Absalom. No Go Down, Moses. I can't connect with the characters in these books.



Ulysses by James Joyce? It reads like garbly-goop.



 Henry James feels too stilted, too dressed-up, complete with a bow tie. So no Golden Bowl, no Ambassadors, no Wings of a Dove.



Am I wrong to wish to avoid Junkie by William Burroughs? I've ventured, against my better judgment, many times, into the dark world of spiraling addictions (most notably, Under the Volcano) and I'm not sure I need to go there again.



Do I want to spend hours of my life following a whale? No, I think Moby Dick is out.



And Lolita fills me with revulsion. Just. Can't. Read. It.


On the other hand...

At the urging of others, I reluctantly read and loved Frankenstein, Brideshead Revisited, Independent People, Middlemarch, The Three Musketeers, and Midnight's Children, so I'm open to hearing your thoughts on any of these you urgently encourage me to read. And I am taking on sixty-eight classics or semi-classics in the next five years.







Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

27 comments:

  1. Never read any of those! Though I do still have Frankenstein in my TBR pile to read some day!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

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  2. I'm in your camp. You saw how I changed up the 'classics' definition for me. It suits me. As to the ones you listed - nope on all of them. Though I am going to reread Henry James' book, The Turn of the Screw - but it's a ghost story. And the only one he wrote I think.

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  3. Lolita is the most gorgeous depraved book I've ever read. It is simply the most well-written gorgeous prose...but the subject. Ugh. I'm not sorry I read it.

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    1. I’ve heard that over and over. It’s just me. I could never get past the subject matter.

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  4. I would definitely avoid Burroughs. And I can't read War and Peace. I too, have tried. I would reconsider Sound and the Fury though. It is beautiful. And Moby Dick is a personal favorite. Maybe listening to it would help?

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    1. My brother has been reading MD for a year and he can’t wait to finish it and move on. But there certainly have been a lot of Moby fans here today.

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  5. Loved Lolita. Loved Moby Dick, in the end. Also enjoyed Ulysses but much of it did read like I was on an acid trip or something.

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  6. The only one of these I enjoyed was War & Peace, but I read it in college, for a class. Pretty sure I wouldn't just pick it up and read it for fun.

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    1. I definitely need someone to guide me through it.

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  7. YES. While there are many challenging books I am proud to have read and ended up enjoying, there are many others that I have tried to read and that have not given me any reward for my effort. I prefer to focus on those I would hate to leave this world having missed than ones I am only reading because I "should."
    Extra props for your description of Ulysses as "garbly-goop." That sums up my experience attempting to read it perfectly.

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    1. I wonder whether Joyce was drunk when he wrote it. I bet he was.

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  8. LOL--almost my list tho I did make it thru a few Henry James. I also read Frankenstein and liked it a lot--I didn't expect to. Just like Dracula.

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    1. Maybe I’ll try Dracula now that I’ve read and liked Frankenstein so much.

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  9. I actually listened to Moby Dick, and I really enjoyed it. I tried War and Peace in audio, big mistake, because of what you mention, I plan to try it in print one day.
    When I was a student, we had a fantastic teacher taking apart parts of Ulysses, and I really loved it, and it was making sense! Then I have tried to read it in its totality... I have tried and retried several years in a row, on Bloomsday, feeling guilty... I have even tried to read it with a huge book full of tons of notes on it.... I think I have really given up on it. But I want to try The Sound and the Fury

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    1. I seem to be getting a lot of thumbs up for Moby Dick. Interesting.

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  10. I have never tried to read War and Peace and it's not on my bucket list either. But Moby Dick, yes, I enjoyed that book.

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  11. I had to read Absalom Absalom in high school and it still haunts me. The POV changed randomly and I had no idea what was going on. This was one of the few books I went with the Cliff Notes and even they said the book was confusing! The same with Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. After that I'm not brave enough to tackle Ulysses.

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    1. Ugh! What was that teacher thinking? Is she trying to make everyone hate reading?

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  12. I read and hated Moby Dick and didn't care much for Lolita either. I've enjoyed some of Faulkner's books but that steam of consciousness style of his can be such a headache. The rest of these are still on my TBR and may be on there forever, lol.

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  13. I read the first chapter of Moby Dick for a class and that was enough for me haha (luckily that was all we had to read or else I might have died).

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  14. I am with you on a lot of those books. War and Peace was on my bucket list, but I now don't feel bad that I've never gotten around to reading it. And James Joyce? Read one and not going to read another.

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  15. I can't advise you to read any of these, as I haven't read them either. I tried Moby Dick but stalled after a few chapters. (It's my husband's favorite book, so I really did try!). I gave up on a Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady) a few weeks ago. Too many words in a single sentence. Ugh. Faulkner is one I had to read in high school. The Sound and the Fury, I believe. I have no recollection and I probably resorted to Cliffs Notes for that one. ;) Good luck. Life is too short!

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  16. I've wanted to read War and Peace every since I watched the Charlie Brown New Years Eve special as a child (Charlie Brown's teacher gives him the Christmas break assignment of reading the book and he spends the whole break wheeling the book around in a wagon.) But I've tried to read it about 2 or 3 times now and I haven't been able to finish it yet. It was so boring that I'd rather watch a high school film strip than try to read it again.

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  17. I have tried to read Moby Dick and I got to about 150 pages in and then the utter boredom descended. He really needed a good editor. Lolita is another one I will never read, truly cringe-worthy just thinking about the premise.

    Engrossed in a good book

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  18. Would you believe as an undergrad I took a whole course on Faulkner and his works. It was a very depressing semester!

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