You know the list. The should-I-nod-and-pretend-I’ve-read-it-because-what-kind-of-bibliophile-am-I-if-I-haven’t list. The list of books you’ve started and stopped, or simply haven’t started. The list of books that you are certain would land you in the “poser” pile if anyone found out. Just know, we’re not alone.
But I have never done my voracious reading to plan, and there are terrible holes in my literary knowledge that I dread will be accidentally revealed.
– Suzanne Lipsett, Surviving a Writer’s Life
- Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov. I started this book once, while on vacation with my family. I was about halfway through the first chapter when my grandmother asked me what I was reading. I haven’t picked it up since.
- Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace. To be honest, I didn’t become a fan of DFW until after his death. I was so curious about this man who moved so many of my peers, only to realize that I had read one of his stories long ago without having realized it. I’ve only read his essays and short stories, and this chunk of his work is on my to-read list, hopefully this fall with a group of others. Until then, I console myself with the realization that the majority of those who say they’ve read it are lying.
- 1984: I have two copies of this, but I have yet to sit down and get through either of them.
- Catch-22: Another book I should’ve been assigned as a high-schooler and wasn’t. I’ve read the first chapter then abandoned it.
- East of Eden: Confession: I was halfway through this just a couple weeks ago, when the library asked for it back. I promise that I tried to find another copy, but when I failed, I moved onto Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers.
- Any novel by Stephen King: I want to read Salem’s Lot, mostly due to a comment one of the guys in my writing group made last week. My dad’s a huge fan, and I loved On Writing and the short stories I read while at a hostel in Costa Rica.
- Gone with the Wind: Okay, so maybe not everyone has read this, but those close to me have, and I just wanna! I also haven’t seen the movie, so the whole story is still a mystery to me.
- Jane Eyre: Mrs. Bilon would be disappointed in me, but I never finished it.
- Invisible Man: I’ve started it twice (both assignments) and abandoned it so close to the end twice. This exercise is turning into a session of introspection I did not anticipate.
- Anything by Jane Austen: I’ve started them, yes. I love the idea of reading Jane Austen, a cup of hot tea next to me, the sound of wood crackling in a fire. But when it comes down to it, I haven’t made it much farther than the first few chapters of Pride and Prejudice. Such a shame because that opening line gets me every time.
Your turn! What books do you always shamefully admit you haven’t gotten to yet? Let me know in the comments or send me the link to your own blog list. (Then link up at the original list at The Broke and Bookish.)