Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books I Haven't Read, Either

I just came across an amusing article detailing a list of unread books and the author's justification for not having read them yet.

The article struck me because I too have a library full of books I've bought with the best of intentions but have never gotten around to for whatever reason. Mostly because they're either too dense, or, um, yeah, too dense.

In fact, there is only one book on the author's list that I've tackled. Well, that's a half truth, because while I've started Anna Karenina, I certainly haven't finished it yet, so I'll go ahead and start at the entire list of this author's haven't reads and add a few more of my own:

  • Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Karamazov Brothers. I tried to read this book, I really did, but all the Russian names made this book harder to get into than Dune. Someone told me once that I merely had a difficult translation, and to get the other version. Maybe someday...but it makes me wonder if Dune has an easier translation where the Kwisatz Haderach is merely called "The Dude."

  • Joseph Heller's Catch 22. I want to read this book, I really do, I just never buy it. I guess I keep hoping it'll magically appear on my bookshelves, or that perhaps a friend will have it on their shelf and let me "borrow" it (a euphemism for keep.) I don't know what I'm waiting for but this book is definitely high on my actually-want-to-read-it list.

  • An Introduction to Meteorology. List this as Author Unknown because I'm not going out into my cold ass library to check to see who wrote it. The point is that I've devoured just about ever college-ology 101 book out there, why can't I crack this tome and get my climate learn on?

  • Edward Abbey's Hayduke Lives! I'm a major Abbey fan. I'd read his freakin' shopping list. I've read lackluster reviews regarding Hayduke Lives! and I don't really care. Of course it won't stack up to his epitome of genius A Fool's Progress, I don't expect it to. If you haven't read A Fool's Progress, then you should definitely put it on your list. A Fool's Progress is so good that my husband refuses to read anything else by Abbey so as not to taint the memory of the Fool.

  • Stephen King's Danse Macabre. I've literally read everything else by King, but I can't seem to give a shit about Danse Macabre. But I can't say I don't like it if I haven't tried it. Too bad, I'm saying it anyway: I don't like it.

  • Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. I've tried to like Hemingway, I really have, but to me his writing is boring and disjointed. I always feel confused somehow, who is talking to whom....and about what? And I always find myself having to re-read passages just to get a bearing on the characters and the action. I'll give Hemingway one more chance with Bell but it better be fucking good, damn it! Or at least palatable.

  • Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I mean, c'mon, the conservative political party fashioned just about their entire philosophy around this book. It must be seething with machinating evil villains bent on world domination, right? Good stuff. Like Sun Tzu says, know your enemy.

As for the author's list scratch Moby Dick off my list. I refuse. But I'll totally someday read War and Peace. Maybe.

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