Great Books That You Haven’t Read

July 31, 2008

This article entitled “Great Unread Books: What Classic Are You Ashamed To Admit You Have Never Read?” makes me laugh.  First of all, it is highly unlikely that even the most dedicated individual could manage to read every so-called great book ever written – that list is as endless and subjective as a list could be.  You might as well try to watch every “great film” or see every UNESCO World Heritage site; sure, you can try, but that at that point you are probably doing little more than checking items off your list.

Anyways, despite having not checked every book in the literary canon off my personal list, there are not any that I am actually ashamed to have not yet read.  I also read a lot, and as a former English major, I certainly had the incentive to read and study more great books than many people.  However, there is one gaping hole in my collection.

Since I am a female writer, people tend to assume that I am a fan of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters.  Now perhaps I’m a bit of a traitor to my gender, but I have never actually finished any of their books, and I don’t intend to do so any time soon.  I’ve never even made it all the way through the movie versions, although there is something charming about the Bollywood adaptation.

Are there any books you can’t get through, or have consciously chosen to leave off your personal list?  On the other hand, are there any classics you’re planning to read soon?

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2 Responses to “Great Books That You Haven’t Read”

  1. eek, I am a former literature major and…..gulp, I hardly read books any more, and when I do, it is almost always memoirs.

  2. Jessica Coleman said

    “The Grapes of Wrath.” I checked it out in high school and couldn’t make it past about five pages. I remember something about an ant crawling through the dust, and I was just done. I’m ashamed, though, because it seems like almost everyone else I know has read it.

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