Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Lists

There must be something in the air, because book lists are popping up everywhere faster than weeds in my garden. A brief sampling include:

and one I'm a touch too late for:

Excepting the latter, there are several books which appear on all the lists - some of which I have read, and many many of which I haven't. I'm going to make a confession.


Right now.

I've never read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Not once.

Now, I tried. I tried many, many times. I had it assigned to me in several different English Lit classes at university. I couldn't do it. Couldn't get beyond page 7.

However, I listened to my professors and took copious notes. I could and did write essays and exam questions about Mr. Conrad's classic. I just never read it.

I never will.

Nor have I ever seen Apocalypse Now. Why? Think about it for a second. What book was it based on? There ya go.

Time for your guilty confessions. What classic have you never read?

Don't leave me standing here all alone.


  1. take two!
    I never finished Proust's Rememberance of Things Past. Got farther than you but not a whole lot.
    Now trying to read 'the Russians' starting with 'The Idiot' - good so far.

  2. I pride myself on my ability to name characters, but no one else seems to appreciate my gift! Here is an example for one of your mysteries: the nosy Postmistress: Tilda Antsforth

  3. Jan; I have huge admiration for you! I've read a number of Chekov plays - but they were assigned reading.

    MollyC; What a great name! Nosy postmistresses are such handy characters, aren't they?

  4. According to the lists, there are a lot more classics that I haven't read, compared to what I have. I've had Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre sitting partially read on my nightstand for a couple months now. I get into moods where I enjoy wallowing in the literary, in the classics, etc. - but I dearly love my trash reading :)

  5. Karen; And why should you? Good for you.

    Deb; There are times when all I want is what I call 'easy reads'. Dick Francis is my usual go-to.

  6. The Scarlett Letter! I tried it and couldn't get through it. I tried it again, and still couldn't do it. And I DO like Hawthorne, just not this one. I am certainly never seeing the Demi Moore movie, because that would be to admit that I can't get through a book--like Cliff's notes! Won't do it.

    I love the list about "before you grow up," but that does just mean before you die, right? :P


  7. I missed reading a lot of classics for one reason or another. One was Pride and Prejudice.

  8. Michele; I'd hope that's what that list meant. But who knows? All I need is more guilt about how many books I didn't read to my kids when they were little. It's not my fault they had favourites they wanted over and over again!

    Carol; Try it. It's good. Jane Austen's rhythms are like poetry.

  9. Dante's Inferno. :)

    But I think I've visited a few of his levels of hell before...

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  10. Elizabeth; I may have Landed Immigrant Status.

  11. Mmm, I've read a lot of classics. All the Mark Twain books, The Great Gatspy, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, just to mention a few off the top of my bald head, lol.

    Those lists can be intimidating, though. (wink)

    Marvin D Wilson

  12. Never read War and Peace. Brought it home from the library once...took it back unread a couple of weeks later.

    As you know, you're a winner! If you'd like a book. Drop by my blog, email me your mailing addy, and I'll get you a free copy by first week in April.

    Best, Galen.

  13. Old Silly; I've read plenty - but those lists make me feel mighty ignorant.

    Galen; I've got a copy of War and Peace. Think I've ever read it? No. But it sits there on a shelf- judging me. Is the book signed? I want it signed. Or is that being too pushy?

  14. Elspeth - OK, I'll come clean. I've never read War and Peace, either. I've wanted to. Really. Just never did. *Hangs head in shame*

  15. Margot; 'Tis the day for confessions - no need for guilt! And besides, what's there to know? There's war, then there's peace, there's war and then there's peace.

  16. Hey dolly - I will send you a photo - any preferences? Could you send me your home address? My email is mobudgeATnsDOTsympaticoDOTca

    Oh and I read all of Dante's Divine Comedy - I took the most wonderful course on it in university. It was fantastic! I'd like to read Moby Dick too but I am intimidated.

  17. Oh Lordy, the total tonnage of all the "classics" I have never read could stop a team of oxen in its tracks (I plagiarize John Hoynes whenever I can, although I think Aaron stole that from William Goldman, 'cause Newman says it in Butch Cassidy, if I'm not mistaken).

    I'll confess to a few.

    Never read Catcher in the Rye.
    Never read Hamlet (or a lot of other Shakespeare).
    Never read Heart of Darkness.
    Never read anything by Hemingway (although I tried Old Man & the Sea on audiobook and gave up. Some things don't really work on audio).
    Never read Moby Dick (a crime, having lived in/around New Bedford, MA for so many years)

    Oh, and I *still* haven't picked up Wolf Hall (at least I got the title right this time) for book club, even though we gave ourselves a one-month extension!

    Yep. I'm a failure.

  18. Like Galen, I haven't read War and Peace though I tried. I'm sure when I check out those lists there will be many more books I haven't read as well.

  19. Love this post!

    My confession: Moby Dick. Even have it in my library and have not even attempted to crack in once!!!

  20. Catcher in the Rye and death of a Salesman. Oh, and Moby Dick or Shakespheare.

    Stephen Tremp

  21. Elisa; Bless you! Another vote for Heart of Darkness. Don't worry about Hamlet - watch it. The Branagh version.

    Jane; I've never even tried.

    Kristi; Don't have it, never read it.

    Stephen; No Shakespeare? None? Watch any Branagh version - I HIGHLY recommend "Much Ado About Nothing".

  22. I read War and Peace, but only because my mom named me for the character from the novel and I wanted to see what the original me was supposed to be like. That I never figured out, explains how moved I was by the book ;-)

    And a number of books on the list, I own, and keep telling myself I should read. But life is too short, and I would rather read a book that I like reading than something someone has decided is recommended reading.

  23. Oh goodness, must I? Geez...well, confession time: I've never read Pride and Predjudice. I've never even cracked the cover of Moby Dick. Cather in the Rye, Heart of Darkness, War and Peace...nope. I finally read Dracula and LOVED it!!! Um...I'll stop there. The rest is too embarassing. Needless to say my high school was literature illiterate. But I am planning to remedy that.

    Oh, and the list of books to read before you grow up? I think I'll hit that one first. The kid in me needs some more words to grow on :)



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