Monday, 29 July 2013

The books I have not read

are many and varied. Yesterday someone put up a link on Twitter that I could not resist looking at when I should have been doing something else. You know the sort of thing I mean.
This link was to a list of 25 books you did not need to read by someone called Kerry Parnell in the Telegraph.
I read through the list. It started with Murray Bail's "Eucalyptus" - he should stick to writing cartoons. He is better at cartoons. I glanced at that book and decided not to read it.
The next was Ulysses. My father had to read Joyce at university. He read a part of it to us at school. I was 10 or 11 at the time. I have not forgotten it but the rest of the book is something I gave up on. I have never been back to it. Perhaps I was just too young to read it?
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton came next. I do not like Winton's writing but I skimmed Cloudstreet because people kept asking had I read it. I suspect they had not read it.
The Dice Man by Luke Rhineheart had somehow passed me by. I doubt, from the description, that I would bother with it.
Catch 22? I have not even seen the film. I know that is a shocking admission but really, do I need to?
Oh yes, Virginia Wolf's "To the Lighthouse" had to appear on the list didn't it? Another book I skimmed without any great interest. Yes, I know it is supposed to be one of the great books of the 20thC but does that mean I have to like it?
Tsiolkas's "The Slap" has, quite frankly, been made far too much fuss of. I glanced at it in the library and hastily returned the book to the returned book trolley. I suspect, from the state of it, that most people did not get past the first few pages.
As for Twilight. Well Ms Meyer how did you do it? I borrowed this from the library. The Senior Cat and I both took a look at it. Neither of us could read it. It was puerile.
Kerouac's "On the road" is another book I have never felt any desire to read. Yes, one I have glanced at but was not grabbed by.
The Metamorphosis? Well just let's say that Kafka does not appeal.
And "Midnight's Children", like "The Satanic Verses" just appears overly long to me. I skimmed them both to try and find out what the fuss was about.
Then we came to Peter Carey's, "Oscar and Lucinda". My late uncle gave me the book telling me he did not understand it. For once I had to agree with him...I certainly did not understand the fuss.
Jodi Picoult's "My sister's keeper" is a book my sister raved over. Let's just say our tastes in reading are vastly different.
Oh, the next on the list was "Sons and Lovers". I read that in my early teens. It's still around somewhere. It was another of the Senior Cat's required university reading. There is Lawrence I prefer.
Shriver's "We need to talk about Kevin" is becoming something of a catch phrase in Australian politics...we do need to talk about Kevin PM. The book is uncomfortable.
I am not going to bother with 50 Shades of Grey. The subject matter does not interest me at all.
As for Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, well let's say that I have largely avoided the Russians. They do tend to be overlong and gloomy.
And I still fail to understand the fuss over Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love". Is it really that well written?
I don't know Gregory Roberts "Shantaram" - which probably says something about the value of it - but I was required to read "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" at school.
And Dahl should not have written that sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It didn't work.
Memoirs of a Geisha was another book given to me that I gave up on - perhaps because I had read a Japanese book (in translation) on the same topic.
As I am not likely to ever wear Prada or mix in that strata of society I gave up on "The devil wears Prada" too. I don't know Byrne's "The Secret" but I doubt I want to or I might already have found it and my future does not lie with "The Celestine Prophecy".
Hmmm...that has disposed of only 25 books. I know some people will have genuinely enjoyed some of the above. Do let me know if you have. In the meantime I will try to work my way through some that I do want to read - and that list just keeps growing longer.

1 comment:

Anne Mackle said...

I do agree with lots of your don't need to read books. I have Eat,Pray,Love on audio and can't get past the first few chapters. I have Midnight's Children,have flicked through it and don't fancy it. I did enjoy Memoirs of a Geisha much better than the film,I read another book set in Japan along the same lines and enjoyed that too. Everyone enjoys different things.