Thursday, May 19, 2011

Books I'll Never Read

I saw a fun post at the Village Books Blog (thanks to Shelf Awareness) on books some of the staff has never, and will never, read. We all have them- books that it seems like everyone in the universe has read but that we'll just never get around to. Or refuse to. Or tried once and gave up.

Here's my top 10:
  1. The last two books of the Millennium Triology. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I enjoyed it. Tattoos, rape, murder, psychological dysfunction. Check. I've seen the second movie but don't plan to see the third, or to read either of the other two books. I get it. No need to continue. I find this happens with series often with me. I read the first one, get the gist, and I'm done.
  2. Anything with the words Harry Potter in the title. I remember when the books were coming out and there was this resurgence of interest in YA among adult readers. And I get that there are lots of great books written for children. But there are a lot of great books written for adults, too.
  3. The Help and
  4. Freedom. The rest of you can read them for me. Pass.
  5. The Angel's Game, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's followup to the fabulous Shadow of the Wind. I don't think I heard one positive review of this book, whether or not the reviewer was a fan of his earlier book. And everyone I know who read Shadow loved it. So that's kind of sad.
  6. Ulysses. I'm sorry, I know I should but I'm just not gonna. I've read other Joyce but... no.
  7. Proust in French. I want to read A la recherche-in English- and I've been collecting the Penguin translations but I think it's time to admit that reading him in French was a conceit for college and nowadays I'm just not up to the task.
  8. Faulkner. See #6.
  9. Most of the science fiction my husband wants me to read. I'll read some of it though.
  10. Every single book I want to read. But I'm gonna try anyway!
What are your "I'll-never-reads"? Do you feel guilty about passing on trendy books or giving up on series? Or for neglecting entire genres, entirely? What's the best book you'll never read?

38 comments:

unfinishedperson.com said...

Sheesh, why didn't you just go out of The Lord of the Rings and the Bible too? ;) You seemed to hit the high points here. Nicely done.

But seriously, it is refreshing to see someone stand up and say I don't have to read this. That said, 1 and 2: I read them anyway. Loved the No. 2 series. No. 1: Eh. Liked the second book out of the series the best because for me, it was faster paced than the first one, but can understand where you're coming from -- as I actually didn't read them for the longest time because of all the sex and violence in them.


Speaking of sex and violence, had a class on Faulker -- and Flannery O'Connor. Love O'Connor and like some of Faulkner, but can understand what you're saying, especially with No. 6. Ugh.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I read one Faulkner novel (Light in August) and decided I won't read any more simply because I do not have a prescription for antidepressants, and I don't think one's leisure reading should require one.

I'm probably going to give the whole 'Girl Who Did Stuff' series a pass. Maybe its something of a rebellious nature in me but the more people gush about a particular book or series the more resistance I feel toward reading it. Particularly if the people in question are Oprah. (She rates a Royal plurality at this point, no?)

The best book I'll never read is probably Les Miserables. I've picked it up several times and given it a hearty attempt, but I get bogged down in the Napoleon business and it finds its way under my bed...again. Crime and Punishment gives me a serious case of Jesus-get-to-the-point so that one is probably not going to happen either.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

PS I'm Unfinished's wife. He shared your post on Reader so I thought I'd weigh in too.

King Rat said...

Huh. So that's where the Village Books blog went to. I was subscribed and then there were no more posts a couple of years ago... (Village Books is an awesome bookstore.)

bermudaonion said...

I never feel guilty for neglecting genres. I also never get upset when someone else tells me they don't care for a certain book or genre.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This was a great post Marie (I may do one as well, since I am behind on reviews). I liked Freedom, but LOVED The Help. The others on your list I would pass on as well:)

R. J. said...

Ditto to your list. I slogged through some dull stuff in my literature classes and didn't find some of it enriching or necessary. I gave up the "should" read list when I retired. I read for enjoyment.

Homeless said...

Hello, cheers for the comment on my post on The Complete Booker :). I agree with the point on "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo," so so much time wasted reading the sequel.

Book Dilettante said...

The books in the Millennium Triology are better than the films and are great if you like thrillers and mystery novels. Faulkner's Sound and the Fury is a masterpiece I still bow down to...The others I can agree with....

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What a fun list. I would make one too but it would just make me feel guilty! :--)

David said...

French? lol I got one bad experienced reading a french book , I was not aware I was reading it loud in a french coffee shop , what do I expect but few smiles from them , okey I admit I have mastered the language on my college days but that was 10 years ago.

Zibilee said...

Some of the books I think I will never read are Ulysses,anything by Henry James, Moby Dick, and a lot of the science fiction out there. I liked your list a lot, and if I were forced to think about it for awhile, I think there are a lot of others that I could come up with too. There are just some books I don't have any interest in reading!

JoAnn said...

Love this idea and may even borrow it!

I do think you're missing out on The Help. Although I loved Freedom, too. I don't recommend it to anyone...reactions vary too widely.

contemplatrix said...

fun and interesting post.

I will never read Ulysses either, nor The Help. I had said the same of Harry Potter and then inhaled all seven in a week. I will likely never finish Anna Karenina, because I am now afraid to, having declared that I will finish it before I die.
I will not be reading Infinite Jest though the idea of starting and finishing it before the husband amuses me.

~L (omphaloskepsis)

Jeanne said...

The best book I'll probably never read is Moby Dick. Although every time I say that, I wonder if some day I will get in the mood.

reviewsbylola said...

Faulkner and Ulysses would be on my list too. I gave Faulkner a chance once, and I was sorely disappointed!

Wendy said...

I'm with you on the Millennium Triology - I was put off by the first in the series, but had already bought the second book...so I'll probably read #2, but I don't see myself reading the last one. I also agree with Harry Potter - I've never been tempted. I did read Freedom (loved it), and you can count me as one of those who loved Shadow of the Wind and hated The Angels Game.

pagesofjulia said...

You have given me an lol today. Thank you.

I would mostly make my list up of books like your #s 3 and 4: books that everyone else has talked about SO MUCH that I don't need to read them, especially as they don't particularly appeal.

But I'll probably not make such a list because I just never know... I'm tempted to put the Twilight series at the top of mine but if I were ever stuck somewhere with nothing to read (gasp) like on a plane, train, or doctor's office, and there was a copy of Twilight there, I would read it! And I guess that applies to the whole list.

Thomas at My Porch said...

I feel like you and I might have been separated at birth. I haven't made a list but I could just put "ditto" after yours.

Fibro Witch said...

Will I most likely read all the same science fiction books your husband does. Tell him I said HI!

I have never read a word of Dan Brown and I'm planning on keeping it that way. I avoid any writer who writes a science fiction or fantasy book but calls it "speculative" I will not read any writer who takes a book that is no longer under copyright and adds zombies or vampires.

And, I'll never read the Bible.

Aths said...

the Millennium trilogy - I'm definitely not going to read either. I know it's supposed to be amazing and fabulous and what-not, but everything I've heard about the book tells me it's not for me.

Tiffany Drew said...

Thank you for this post. I also will not read anything Harry Potter. Ever. I get constant remarks for this. I'm sorry, but I just don't care about it.

Same with Twilight. Nope, never. I made the mistake of watching five minutes of one of the movies and I know I have made the right choice!

Vasilly said...

I understand why you won't read The Millennium Trilogy. I tried reading the first book but after the first few pages, I realized that it wasn't for me. No Harry Potter?! ;-)

Becky said...

I'm not sure I can do the Pride & Prejudice and Zombies book. I just can't do it!

stacybuckeye said...

What a fun idea. Love your list, but must say a word for Harry Potter. He's just good fun, teen or not.

Col (Col Reads) said...

Great list! Nos. 3 and 4 made me laugh out loud -- I've read so many reviews of these that I feel like I've read them already :)

Space Station Mir said...

Joyce and Faulkner are also my Achilles' heel in terms of literature. I made it through Portrait of the Artist with a lot of difficulty, but after that, I think maybe I will read Ulysses someday. Faulkner-I just haven't been able to get through anything, but I won't say never yet.

I will never read The Da Vinci Code or anything else by Dan Brown (I read Angels & Demons).

Jenny said...

I'm with you on the Millennium Trilogy. I want to read Moby Dick just to say I did, but I know I never will. And I probably won't ever read Jodi Picoult. I don't think my brain can handle the simultaneous influx of sadness from her stories and jealousy over her astonishingly successful career.

bookmagic said...

I agree with Harry Potter books. I read The Help but it was way over-hyped. Glad to see someone taking a stand. I think some of the 1000 pg classics sitting on my shelves may never get read. I want to but...
Celebrity biographies- no thanks, also none of those emotionally manipulative books

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I thought I was the only one who hasn't yet read THE HELP! It's on my bookcase, but I haven't felt compelled to pick it up yet. I missed the opportunity when my neighborhood book group read it -- I knew I couldn't make the meeting, so I didn't push to read the book.

And FREEDOM!? I got to page 217 before I gave up on that. I should have known better, after my meh reaction to THE CORRECTIONS.

Booksnyc said...

Faulkner, really? I took a class in college on his works and liked many of them. But I am with you on Ulysses - life is just too short!

Pam said...

I could have written this list - with the exception of The Help. I read and LOVED that one. Why are you not interested in that one? Is it just the hype? I read it pre-hype and I'm glad I did.

Anna said...

I agree with 6 and 10. If only there were more hours in the day for reading!

Kathleen said...

I'm chuckling over this list since you and I share several books that we both don't intend to read. I will say that I have a love/hate affair with Faulkner. I hated The Sound and the Fury and vowed never to read another one of his books. But, then I read As I Lay Dying and that book changed my mind.

Denise said...

Good topic! I read both Faulkner and Joyce in classes devoted to them and would highly recommend that avenue. I don't think I would have gotten through them otherwise. I'm curious to know why you wouldn't read The Help, as I am the only one in my book club who had a viscerally negative reaction to it.

I have a friend who urged me to read Love in the Time of Cholera for years. I started it, decided I hate magic realism, and was never able to re-start. He died last year and now I feel like I really should pick it up, but that sense of obligation makes me want to read it even less.

As long as there are books you really WANT to read, it's hard to tackle the others.

Kristin said...

I just found your blog (through Ever Fixed Mark)and this was one of the first posts I read. I couldn't stop laughing because my list would be pretty much identical except that I do enjoy Harry Potter and Faulkner. Anyway, I blog about books too and have been searching for some new sites to read, so I'm very glad to have found you. http://www.makeanote.typepad.com

TheEccentricLady said...

Fun post. I like so many genres that I have to many books to read to waste time on stuff that I don't like. I am committing to reading many of the classics to see what I have missed. Right now I am tackling And The Ladies of The Club because it takes place in my town but it is taking me a year.

Here is my list of wont's
#1. Hemmingway-yuck
#2. Augusten Burroughs-Running with scissors was enough!
#3. Romance of any kind. I like love but these books make me sick
#4. War and Peace - Really want to try Anna Karenina but probably won't.
#5.Moby Dick- want to but reviews turn me off. Maybe when I retire?
#6. Wally Lamb-
#7. Hunger Games trilogy-Daughter loved them but I have to much else to read.
#8. Any thing like the Shopaholic stuff
#9. Science Fiction and murder stuff- just not my thing
#10. Books I never hear about LOL

avisannschild said...

Love this post and I'm with you on most of the books on your list. However, I read The Help and loved it and read most of the HP series (everything except the last book) and enjoyed those (though I can totally see why someone would not want to read them. I will probably read the last one at some point...

I might have to borrow this post idea at some point!