Thursday, August 09, 2007

My Confession

Bybee recently posted a list of highly acclaimed and popular books that she hasn't read yet. So, I've decided to use this post to ridicule her.

Just kidding. I actually liked the honesty. So, like a good blogger, I'm stealing her idea. Here's my confession, the twenty books that are keeping me from the coveted "Well Read Award" that only exists in my head:

1. Harper Lee- To Kill A Mockingbird
2. Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice
3. Joseph Conrad- Heart of Darkness
4. Bill Bryson- A Short History of Nearly Everything
5. Joseph Heller- Catch 22
6. Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita
7. Gabriel Garcia Marquez- One Hundred Years of Solitude
8. J. R. R. Tolkien- The Hobbit
9. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- The Hound of The Baskervilles
10. Charles Dickens- A Tale of Two Cities
11. Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
12. Ian McEwan- Atonement
13. Douglas Adams- The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
14. Don Delilo- White Noise
15. Carson McCullers- The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
16. Richard Adams- Watership Down
17. Scott O'Dell- Island Of The Blue Dolphins
18. Salman Rushdie- The Satanic Verses
19. Madeleine L'Engle- A Wrinkle In Time
20. Katherine Patterson- Bridge To Terebithia

And probably more. I should note that with the exceptions of J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Dickens, I haven't read anything else by these particular authors either.

That's my confession. How many Hail Mary's is it worth?


Anonymous said...

I almost asked how you managed to get through an American education without reading To Kill a Mockingbird - but then I noticed you're Canadian. Ah. You're excused then.

Imani said...

Ha. I actually consider it a point of pride to not have read one (or two or three) of the books on your list. I don't know what that says about me. (Nothing substantial I'm sure.)

I posted something similar some months ago. Let me see if I can ruffle up the list for you...ahh here it is, in reply to a meme:

I’ve never read any fiction by Dostoevsky, Atwood, Voltaire, Melville, Chaucer, god knows how many Greek playwrights, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Munroe, Woolf, never-mind most of the West Indian literary juggernauts; you name it, I haven’t read it.

Thing is I've read Woolf now and am at the beginning of a Dostoevsky. ;) But to replace those two I have not read a thing by EM Forster (dear, is that his name?) or Ian McEwan.

Rob Hardy said...

I've tried to read DeLillo's White Noise, but it makes me too insanely jealous. I wish I could write like that. Isn't that weird? He's so good that I can't possibly read him. I couldn't read Atonement, either. Too painful.

If you want a real tour de force, read Nabokov's Pale Fire. Wow.

Dale said...

I don't have time for that much prayer, I've read 3 of those and don't think I'll make it through most of the rest. I'm highly distractable. What was I saying?

Chris said...

I haven't read quite a few of them on your list either. I did just read Lolita and it was surprisingly good, if you can get over the 'ick' factor.

Oh and I did have to read Mockingbird in HS and I'm Canadian.

Well Read Award, oh now you have to make one for real ;)

raidergirl3 said...

My list would have been very similar, but in just the past year, I've read: 2,4,9,13,19,and 20, with plans for 12 and 6 soon.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Great list, and great idea.

kookie said...

That's pretty scandalous, John, but I think if you just read "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" all would be forgiven. :)

I admit, I'm reading the Bryson book right now.

John Mutford said...

Eisha: As Chris pointed out, lots of highschools in Canada did cover To Kill A Mockingbird as well. My wife's did. I remember Steinbeck and Hemmingway in highschool but that's it for American authors.

Imani: From your list, I haven't read any Voltaire or Chaucer either (I almost added the latter to the list). Same with EM Forster. Combined, we've hardly read anything!

Rob: Saramago made me feel that way. Thanks for the Pale Fire suggestion.

Dale: Which thr...Hey, why are you the Bumblebee Guy?

Chris: Oddly, I own a copy of Reading Lolita in Tehran but I refuse to read it until I first read the original.

Raidergirl: You've eliminated a lot of my books this past year. Interesting. Any there you never plan to read?

Kookiejar: I know, I know. Sadly, when I check off these books, 20 more will take their place. Readers are the greediest people on the planet.

Anonymous said...

You could skip Heart of Darkness but since I was forced to read it, I feel everyone should feel my pain. So read it. I liked Lord Jim, so maybe it was just the incessant Apocalypse Now comparisons (which I loathed).

Wow, there's only 4 on your list I haven't read, and I've tried to read Hitchhiker. It's like Confederacy of Dunces to me. Eveyone raves about it and I don't see it.

John Mutford said...

Carrie: The one I dread the most is Little Women. If it's half as dull as the movie with Wynona Rider, I'm not interested. The Hitchhiker's Guide was one you missed, what were the other three?

Allison said...

Wow. I am shocked. This lists holds most of my favourites. You need to start chipping away here ;)

This is a really good idea, I have this list for movies, but not books. I may steal this and post on it over the weekend.

John Mutford said...

Allison: Thank Bybee for the good idea. I'm looking forward to seeing your movie post. I could probably come up with an equally embarassing movie post myself: Top Gun, Hedwig, Scarface, Donnie Darco, Taxi Driver, the Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey...

raidergirl3 said...

Never plan to read? 3,7,8, and 18, and I've not ever heard of 14
Remember on Friends? Joey liked Little Women.
And it's true: as soon as you read these, another bunch will be added. There is that list of 1001 books you *should* read before you die; that sets up a big expectation.
#1 and 4 are quite excellent, and 19 and 20 are short!

1morechapter said...

You can skip #7 and #12. Not my cup of tea.

Some of my absolute favorites: #1, #2, #3, #8, and #11.

I liked #17, #19, and #20 as well.

Anonymous said...

Of the seven I've read from your list, I'd recommend Pride and Prejudice, The Hound of the Baskervilles (or any of the Holmes stories), and The Hobbit.

Heart of Darkness is awful---it's the one book I hate more than any other. Short, though.

If you didn't like the movie, you probably won't like Little Women. I liked it as a little girl, but I don't find it's grown up well.

John Mutford said...

Since then I've managed to finish #s 1, 2, 4, 6, 15, 17, and 20. 13 left to go!