24 October 2011

My Shameful Secret

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My name is Amy, and I’m an English teacher, and I have not read To Kill A Mockingbird. Or One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Or All Quiet On The Western Front. Or anything by Dickens, or Tolstoy, or any Russian authors full stop actually.

I’ve only read two Austen novels. I’ve read one Hemmingway story – a short one. I hate The Turn of the Screw. I loathe Heart of Darkness with an undying passion. Wuthering Heights bored me so stupid I never finished it.

I threw Gone With The Wind at the wall with two chapters to go and never picked it up again.
I am a Bad Person.

What books haven’t you read that you really feel like you should have? What books would you kill me for not reading before I die? And what books have you read because people told you you had to, only to mourn the fact that you’ll never regain those hours of your life again?


Nick Rolynd said...

Honestly? I despise most of the "praised" classics. Generally, the older it is, the more I dislike it. I don't mind Austen so much, but I'm not too fond of romance and courting, etc. I absolutely hate Frankenstein. And I have no problem saying it at all.

Let's see...Ethan Frome, Gulliver's Travels, Adam Bede...I could go on. I despised reading every word of those books.

There are a lot of books that I have not read. But I have over 500 on my to-read list, so they'll just have to wait. -shrug-

Liana Brooks said...

Quite a few on that list, although I've read To Kill a Mockingbird and several Russian novels. I tend to skip anything over-hyped or popular. Harry Potter and Twilight? Never. Most the classics when I could avoid them. I did read Austen, but only because I thought she was hilarious! I realize it was meant to be romantic but all I ever saw was comedy.

I'm willing to try books, but just because it has literary acclaim doesn't mean I will love it. Even popular acclaim won't do. It has to have what I'm looking for.

edwin said...

Where to start?

I tried reading Hard Times by Charles Dickens and never got past the second page. I read one Tolkien and swore never again. My daughter quickly told me to stop bothering with Wind in the Willows and move onto another book. Haven't even looked at traditional classics like To Kill a Mockingbird or Moby Dick.

I've read one Harry Potter book, and might read another if I found it sitting on my desk. I have read Catching Fire, the sequel to Hunger Games and decided that was enough.

My daughter is now into Jane Austin, so I may take a look at her writing, but I feel no need to do so.

It'll take a lot more thinking to even begin scratching the surface on this subject.

Chrystalla Thoma said...

Honestly, I tried to start the Russians - so I thought to begin with Anna Karenina, described to me as an easy one. Not only did I hate Anna's character, the book is thick enough to kill a man and it took forced efforts of a couple of months to read it. I did. But I don't think I gained much from it. :p

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

War in Peace. I just can't get into that one.

Liana, Austen was absolutely aiming at comedy. :)

Amy Laurens said...

Ah, you guys are refreshing! I'm so glad it's not just me. Sometimes, working in an English faculty, I feel like it must be just me, y'know? So yay. Let us all bask magnificently in our shared loathing of (some) books labelled classics O:) :D hehe.

Also, Nick, you are my hero. I LIKE knowing someone who has a larger TBR pile than I do B-)

(Also, I confess, I do like Austen and JK Rowling O:))

Beth Overmyer said...

You sound like my English major sister, Amy. She's read some classics and feels bad for having not read more.

Really. Since when do we have to read everything that was ever written under the Sun?

I say read what you want to read and don't let others make you feel guilty for your preferences.

I LOVE almost all things Jane Austen, I really liked Jane Eyre, I liked Wuthering Heights, I was okay with To Kill a Mocking Bird, I didn't like what I read of Dickens, and I absolutely HATE Jules Verne (sorry, Liana.)

I've never read anything by any Russian authors (sorry, Anton.)

Amy Laurens said...

Beth - I TOTALLY agree. Reading should be about what you enjoy, not what people say you ought to read.

Mind you, I do think it's good to stretch yourself and read stuff you wouldn't usually read sometimes.

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