Wait, You Didn’t Read That Book??!

Wait, You Didn’t Read That Book??!

book-readerYou and I have been needing to have a chat. And I didn’t really know how to bring it up. But now I think things have gone way way too far. And enough is enough. So, I just got wind that there is a list of the top 20 books people SAY that they’ve read, but actually HAVEN’T. Yeah, the proverbial jig? Yeah, it’s up. So we are going to walk backwards through the top (bottom?!?) twenty and I’m to provide my own color commentary on why it is exactly, that you are missing out. Who cares that you were LYING… I mean, I do… but what really matters is that you are SAYING that your read it, when in fact you haven’t… which means you haven’t read it yet! And therefore, are guilty of crimes against humanity.

So let’s do it… the top twenty list of books you say that you’ve read, but haven’t…

20 – The Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger

The first travesty of this whole list is that The Catcher In The Rye is at #20. Or is that a good thing? Less of you lie about having read it when you actually haven’t. Whatever. All I know is that Holden Caufield and his early breaking of the 4th wall, his teen angst, and his screaming cry for love and affection are a thing of beauty. I can’t even tell you how much I loved this book, and how much it surprised me.

19 – Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

This one is somewhat understandable – but not really. Catch 22 is a clever catch phrase and modern euphemism that has been made popular by the book. The book is a detailed look at a company of World War II airmen out on the island Pianosa off the coast of Italy and about their travails. It is considered by some to be one of the greatest books of the 20th century, which is how it ended up on this list I’m sure. It is it’s non-linear narrative that really makes the book fantastic in my mind. It’s a great read.

18 – The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

It was the recent movie with Leonardo DiCapprio directed by Baz Luhrmann that really sent me back to learn more and more about Fitzgerald. My wife is an enormous fount of information on this topic, and really got me to dig deeper in on not only The Great Gatsby, but also on Fitzgerald and his wife’s life together. Gatsby is a marvelous book. Read it.

17 – And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

Um. Yeah, I haven’t read this one, or ANY of Agatha Christie’s work. I have tried. But I just cannot do it. One of my best friends is an enormous Christie fan – so, um, take it from him… this is a good read. I think. Hahah.

16 – Fifty Shades trilogy – EL James

Oh no you didn’t. You are LYING about having read Fifty Shades? Hahahah. No no no. How did this happen? You are TELLING other people you are reading this tripe and not actually?! Hahahaha. I’m literally laughing at the screen right this moment. How about this… don’t read it… AND tell everyone you aren’t reading it. Done. Amazing.

15 – Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

I’m sure you’ve all seen Oliver in movie form, no? You haven’t? Oh bother. Basically it is a novel that is calling out the British aristocracy for their double standards which created terrible working conditions for kids, but at the same time woah-is-me’d till the cows came home about criminals of the day. It’s a cutting story that is still relevant today, even though many of the issues have been resolved legally.

14 – The Diary Of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

She was killed in a concentration camp… you can’t lie about her book?! I personally didn’t like reading this particular entry in the list for the same reason I cried like a little baby when I watched the movie Sarah’s Key (yes, I’m aware it was a book… couldn’t do that either.) So yeah, I kind of get this one, and yet I don’t. It’s a stellar book about the two years that Anne and her family hid in a neighbors house. Tragic that the story needed to be told. I’ve had the real honor of visiting the Anne Frank house 3 or 4 different times in Amsterdam. It’s a must see any time you are in Amsterdam. Just read it so that I don’t need to come over there.

13 – Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

This happens to be one of my own personal favorite books on this list. Miss Havisham?!? Adore her. What a gorgeously rendered evil hag! So brilliantly written. But better yet? Pip’s desired, yet impossibly achieved Estella. Reminds me of the book Limpriere’s Dictionary – where the girl of that story was used as bate to get Limpriere to write. Such a gorgeously terrible book. Adore it.

12 – Harry Potter (series) – JK Rowling

So, I think I’ve personally read through half of the series so far with my son. But I’m not going around lying about it. I can still take it or leave it. But so many of you are so on board with the series! Holy Cow. Chill out a bit would you. Gosh. I’ll read it already. (But maybe some of you exuberant folks are actually feigning your exuberant interest?) Regardless, I’m sure I already know what happens. Calm down calm down… I’m reading already. But it definitely isn’t worth any feigning… that is for sure.

11 – Bleak House – Charles Dickens

Nope, I haven’t read it either. But you see what I did there? I didn’t LIE about it. Take a deep breath, say it with me. I HAVE NOT READ BLEAK HOUSE. See how easy that was? Good heavens. But I hear it’s good. Anyone here want to vouch for it and convince us it’s worth reading?

10 – Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austen

I personally can’t stop thinking about Pride and Prejudice with Zombies which I just saw a bit ago and have been meaning to write about here. But minus the zombies, this is a fantastic book, with some real great writing by our lady of Femm-Lit Jane Austen. The book seems lame at the surface as it is about Elizabeth Bennet’s mounting pressure to marry – and as she is whip smart, and isn’t about to be ordered around it provides a ton of great fireworks. She is always a great read.

9 – Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Of COURSE you are lying about Dostoyevsky. I mean. Obviously. He’s freaking Russian. We all lie about reading Russians. But it’s actually good.  Promise. The best way I can describe Crime and Punishment to a modern audience is to say that it’s like American Psycho – with a conscience? – and it’s all about the ever tightening noose around the murderer’s throat as more and more of the details of the dual-murder come to light. It’s good. It’s intense. And very readable even today. Or just keep lying about all Russian authors as a matter of course. Whatever, I get it. But those Russians? They really really know how to write.

8 – David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

Even more Dickens on the list? Really? Well, at least we are consistent, aren’t we? Great job there. But this is Dickens’ favorite book that he wrote. It was the one that most closely resembles his own life. Copperfield is a sad tale, and yet really very poignant. And if you want to start somewhere with Dickens, this is a great place to start. (Though my own personal favorite is Great Expectations. But I’m weird… granted. Sure, this is a good one too.)

7 – To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s latest (and long awaited) novel and the recent controversy about her desires to even release it have overshadowed her original novel that started it all. The book is about a couple of children that spend their time spying on their neighbor. When one of their parents agrees to represent him against falsified rape charges, the kids, for the first time, learn about racism and the terrors of becoming an adult in this world. For it’s day, it blew the lid off a lot of skeletons in our collective consciousness. So read it. Or lie about it. Whatever.

6 – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan Doyle has basically infected modern culture with his stories about Sherlock Holmes. Star Trek, Sherlock, Elementary, just to name a few, have all been infected by the germ that is Sherlock Holmes. Heck, every investigative television show you watch is influenced by Doyle. Why not just go to the source? This particular book has like 12 short stories in it. All enjoyable. And easy to read. And dang, they are free, you can even download the audio version right here if you want. Heck almost all of these books are available for free at Project Gutenberg.

5 – Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Oh no. Now you made my wife mad. On a recent date night I asked her the lame stand by question – which two books do you take with you to the deserted island? And Anna Karenina was one of them. I kid you not. I know. Pretty dang big ringing endorsement. (Personally don’t think she’s read it. hahahaha. Sorry, sorry, that was a joke. Laughing out loud currently.) It is a truly great story. With a terribly brilliantly scripted and poignant ending.

4 – War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

Everyone lies about War and Peace – it’s Russian… AND it’s long. It’s a trifecta (di-fecta?) of obvious lie-ability. hahaha. I’m cracking myself up here. But before you watch the show – go read the book. I recently finally got off my butt and checked that particular book of my to do list. And happy I did. It’s a wonderful book about wonderful characters. But this wasn’t the most lied about book! WHAT? What could possibly be more lied about?

3 – Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Nope. You done made me mad now. I’m starting to swear at the screen. Seriously? I remember back when the original Lord of the Rings movies were about to come out, and an editor, a good one at that, told me that he didn’t want to read the books because he didn’t want to ruin the movies! hahaha. RUIN THE MOVIES? No! You are ruining the greatest books (actually it’s a single book) of the 20th century! GAH! You are hurting yourself here.

2 – 1984 – George Orwell

grr. What a sublime book. 1984?!? I can’t even tell you what a gorgeous book this is. So gorgeous that my most recent book scribbles are fashioned after it. Dystopia at it’s finest. Firemen that burn books. Ministry of Peace that was responsible for waging war. 1984 predicted big screen TVs so good that you’d want one on every wall. It’s so good! So so good. Definitely one of my top ten list. But you want to know my absolute number favorite? That would be…

1 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

No. You are NOT going around, and telling people you’ve read Alice in Wonderland when you actually haven’t. Say it is not so. Please. Remember back on #5 when I told you my wife would take Anna Karenina with her to an abandoned island? Well, without a doubt, Alice in Wonderland goes with me. (That and Infinite Jest – which, I might add, is a pretty regularly lied about book due to it’s enormity and girth.)

But really? You haven’t followed the white rabbit down the hole? You haven’t drunk the potion and eaten elixir? You haven’t celebrated your un-birthday, or marveled at a vanishing cheshire cat, or run from a screaming Queen of Hearts? Or laughed at dodo birds, or played in a looking glass, or hidden from Twiddle Dee or Twiddle Dum? I am seriously kicking you directly from this blog immediately. Banning you until the entirety of the list is read. Or something rash. Heck, forget the rest of the list, just go read Alice if nothing else. Please?

Anyway, If you’d like to read more about the survey about most lied about books people have(n’t) read, you can see more here.