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Revive a Dead Thread > I should have read...

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message 1: by KHoopMan (new)

KHoopMan  (eliza_morgan) | 151 comments Be honest: What is the one book that you feel you SHOULD have read by now, but never have?

I'll go first. I should have read To Kill a Mockingbird by now, but I never have. There's no reason for it- it looks like a great book, I've just never read it.

message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Okay, this is not one of the all time classics as in the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird, The Count of Monte Cristo (which I will be reading eventually) and books along those lines but I think by now I should have read the first Harry Potter book at least. It is in my bookcase waiting to be read but to be honest it doesn't really jump out at me and say pick me next. I really just want to read it to see what all the fuss has been about, who knows, maybe I'll be surprised and end up thinking I wish I had've read it earlier, stranger things have happened.

message 3: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I should have read 1984 and Animal Farm.

I don't know how they forgot those in high school.

message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie (hockeygoddess) | 257 comments There are a lot of books I'd put in this category, but my first instinct was to go exactly where Mandy went...everyone is flabbergasted that I haven't read any Harry Potter books, but I defend myself with two pieces of evidence: first, I have felt for some time now that I am too old for YA (stop screaming, I know this book is supposed to be for all ages, but come on now, it's really YA fantasy!) and second is they are so freakin' long and I have NO time!! *L* Someday I'll get to them and will probably kick myself for putting them off so long.

message 5: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I'm glad I'm not alone, Katie :)

message 6: by Kirsty (last edited Mar 31, 2008 03:35AM) (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments There are so many books that I really should have read. I've spent too much time reading chick-lit and such like! I'm glad I found goodreads, maybe it'll encourage me to read something worthwhile!! I think maybe I should have read Catch 22 or 1984 by now.

You really should try Harry Potter. I was a late starter... I didn't think I'd like it, so didn't start reading it until they released book 4 and everyone was talking about it! The first 2 books are pretty short, so shouldn't take up too much time!! I was pleasantly surprised and became hooked on it!!

message 7: by Charity (last edited Mar 31, 2008 06:17AM) (new)

Charity (charityross) many that I haven't gotten around to. I guess I'll make a top 5 books that I haven't read, but should have by now (especially since most of them have been sitting on my shelf for years):

1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut

If I could knock out these 5 books, that would eliminate a huge chunk of my to-read list because they appear on just about every list I'm working on. I currently own 1-4, so there really is no excuse. In fact, Catch-22 was my most recent purchase and that was about 5 years ago. How sad is that?!?! :-)

message 8: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments Wow, 5 years? You've obviously found lots of books that you'd rather read!! I get like that sometimes, I buy books, but then before I get chance to read them I find something more interesting!

message 9: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) Oh yeah...and that's just the most recent from that list. I think I've had The Grapes of Wrath sitting on my shelf for about 12 years.

I have the Anne of Green Gables series sitting on my shelf which I've owned since I was about 9 years old (19 years ago)...I've still only read the first book.

I'm hanging my head in shame.

I would like to read all the books on my shelf by the end of next year. A lofty goal, but I'm tired of them sitting there mocking me. :-)

message 10: by Kirsty (last edited Mar 31, 2008 07:34AM) (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I'd love to read all of the books on my shelf by the end of next year but I know I won't!! My goodreads to-read list is at 56 and growing. Plus I have a list of books that I carry round with me, in case I'm ever in a bookshop. This list doesn't include any from my goodreads shelf!! argh.

message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10124 comments Mod
ooohhh. let me tell you, those of you who havent read but want to read Catch-22 and 1984.... think long and hard before you buy em. I tryed both of those, and hated them both. I couldnt get more than 40 pages into Catch-22..too scatter-brained and all over the place for me, but i did read all of 1984 and wasnt very impressed by it. Good luck with those :)

As for me, I guess I think its strange that I havent read To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby... as far as classics go. This past summer I made a huge dent in all the classics I wanted read (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Farhenhiet 451, The Bell Jar).... Im sure this summer i will do the same thing again....

message 12: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments I have the same problem Kirsty. I have my Goodreads to-read shelf, which has no overlap with my Amazon wishlist, which has no overlap with the list of want-to-read books that I keep in my phone for when I am out and about.

Also, that doesn't take into account the books I've bought but have been languishing on my shelf for years now due to more interesting reads taking their place. At last count I have 53 books that I bought for one reason or another that I haven't so much as cracked the cover on. There are about five of those that are literary greats that I'm ashamed that I haven't read yet. I will have to read these by year end:

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
2. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck- somehow I have three different versions of this!
4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
5. Night by Elie Wiesel

message 13: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Mar 31, 2008 09:20AM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) i should've read hemingway, dickens, austen, steinbeck, vonnegut, etc... all the books i didn't read in high school since i was in college prep english & not advanced placement enligh ~ i wanted to read them & just never did! (i read harper lee, ellie wiesel, twain, fitzgerald, hawthorne, etc.). maybe i'll take a cue from lori & use this summer to read a few of them since all the libraries & bookstores have the 'summer reading' displays out!

oh, and the secret garden - i wish i'd read that as a child!

message 14: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I've never read anything by Shakespeare, I was raised in South America and we read tons of books from Latin Authors and I picked up other books from different backgrounds, like Hemingway and Bach, but just never got around to his classics.
I wish I could get my head around it, but old English made sleepy.

message 15: by ScottK (new)

ScottK | 535 comments I should have read Catch 22 by now I think as well as The Grapes of Wrath .

message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Lori- TY for the heads up about 1984. I suspected as much. One of my really advanced students read it and from what he shared about it with me I am almost positive I would start zoning out on it...but I feel like I HAVE to or something.

Charity- you must must read Pride and Prejudice! I love that book so dearly.

Katie- I was so anti-Harry Potter that it was not even funny. As a die hard reader I hated that people were crediting Rowling with a return to reading! That being said, my best friend finally bought me the first two and said "Here, this is part of your Christmas present and you must read it." From then on I was hooked...

Logan- The Bell Jar is one of my most favorite books ever. You should read it!!!

That being said, I think the general theme of this post is that we all have too much that we are dying to read to worry about what we are "supposed" to read. I will say that a large amount of what is considered impressive and classic in the book world has left it's mark on me, but some of it just meant nothing to me!

message 17: by Tana (new)

Tana Harrison I have been catching up on reading all the classics but the one I would like to read is Shakespeare. I would love to read all the plays and then go see them.

message 18: by Melanie (last edited Mar 31, 2008 04:47PM) (new)

Melanie Catcher in the Rye - I have always wanted to read it, but just never seem to get around to it.

message 19: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Twlight. A coworker lent it to me 2 weeks ago. I returned it unread because it could be YEARS before I get to it.

message 20: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Seth, I am not one to proselytize one particular book, but you owe it to yourself to make time for Crime and Punishment/

message 21: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I agree there is too much emphasis on what we're 'supposed' to be reading. I've never really gone in for all that. Most of the books I read are based on how much the blurb grabbed me. I will occasionally read a book based on reviews, but I don't go in for the whole 'you MUST read this - its a classic'. I form my own opinions as to what a classic is. I will one day get around to reading those that others consider a classic, but I will do it in my own time. Sometimes I like heavy reads, other times I just want to read trash!!

message 22: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) I just wanted to put my vote out there for loving 1984...but I know there's always different strokes for different folks.

I agree, Nicole...The Bell Jar is one of my FAVORITE books of all time! I definitely plan to get to Pride and Prejudice this year...and Sense and Sensibility...and Emma. Why is that I've only read the less popular Austen?? :-)

message 23: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments I think a lot of people's dislike of 1984 stems from being overly familiar with the subject matter and general themes. It has taken its place as a cultural touchstone and people allude to Big Brother and a state of perpetual surveillance and constant war. Because we're so familiar with these concepts, 1984 can't help but seem unoriginal. But to look at it as a product of its time and to realize that Orwell was the first to really expound about a dystopian state where everything is controlled is to realize that everything that has come after is building off of Orwell's concept.

Just my $0.02

message 24: by Magpie67 (new)

Magpie67 | 33 comments Katie I have not read the Harry Potter books either. I am waiting until I get 6 and 7 and then I plan on reading them one right after the other. I love these kind of books and recently got hooked on Jim Butcher's series with Wizard Harry.

I don't think of the word should.... It is a matter of taste and timing to read certain books. We are made to read certain titles in school and then we choose what we want to read as we get older. There are a lot of books on the top ten list I will never read because I am not interested in the subject matters etc., maybe the storyline is boring or better yet the writing for me is not up to par.

Besides my mother is always telling me books I should read and that really annoys me....Seriously, I'm an adult and can pick my own. I only give a list of what I read to interest others not a list of what they SHOULD read. What a boring world it would be if we all read the same things.

message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather (trixieplum) The Great Gatsby -- I just got this one off Bookmooch, and I'm looking forward to it. Can't believe I haven't read it yet -- I've heard great things from a lot of my friends for a number of years, but I've just never had the urge to pick it up until now.

message 26: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I liked 1984 too, I just kept being in awe at what a visionary the author was. I guess it would be kind of the same as reading about the submarines and 10,000 leagues under the sea now, after these things have come to exist, it takes a special kind of soul to remember the time and circumstances these words were written to really savor their substance.

I read the Great Gatsby last year with some friends in a book club, it was entertaining, easy to read. It gave us lots to talk about.

message 27: by Katie (new)

Katie (hockeygoddess) | 257 comments This topic, with the last couple posts about "should", got me thinking about all of the books I was forced to read when I was in school that I dreaded because I HAD to read them. I am making an effort to revisit some of these "classic" books that I have horrible memories of because I think that they may actually be good books that I might understand a lot better now that I'm more experienced at life. Plus with no pressure of "you must read chapters 1-5 tonight & be prepared for a quiz", they may actually be enjoyable! Stuff like the Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye, etc. I've already found that some Shakespeare I had to read in high school, I enjoyed a lot more and understood what the heck was going on when I read it again in college.

I think sometimes that the forcing of "classics" and all of the pressures of having to read & analyze so many in the course of a semester/year can be too much. And especially when they are heaped on too early, it can turn us off to some really good literature (of course I suppose the opposite can be true as well.) Anybody want to weigh-in with thoughts on this??

message 28: by Marlene (last edited Apr 04, 2008 06:44AM) (new)

Marlene (rivera_bookjunkie) Katie I totally agree. There are sooo many good books that because I was "forced" to read them, I would find a way to get out of reading them or B.S. my way through the class (which I was very good at).

This summer though, I'll be hitting the "classics" though. I feel bad that I'm in my late twenties and still haven't read those "classics" that I should have read in high school. hahahaha!

message 29: by Renee (new)

Renee (pontiacgal501) | 70 comments I have not read The Grapes of Wrath, Crime and Punishment nor Pride and Prejudice. There are a lot of other ones that I haven't read yet either but they are on my list. I have managed to read all but the last Harry Potter book. I don't think I started reading them until the third book came out though.

message 30: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10124 comments Mod
Ouch, I feel like the only person here who really disliked 1984. Im the minority... boo hoo.

I plan on rereading Lord of the Flies (Borders has it in hardcover for 5 bucks!) and some other classics I didnt take my time on in school... such as Of Mice and Men, Flowers for Algernon, this summer perhaps. I just keep adding all these books to my wanna-buy list...

message 31: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celestelueck) | 107 comments I've never read, and would like to read Anna Karinia, and The Woman in White. They will soon be added to my ever growing to read pile.

message 32: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 1128 comments Anna Karenina is one of those books that I keep pulling off my bookshelf, hefting in my hand, and then placing back on the shelf. For how much I love Russian Lit, I can normally only induce myself to read one such tome each year and I've already promised this year to The Brothers Karamazov. Still, it does look so tempting sitting there on the shelf in all of its hardbound awesomeness... Perhaps the time has come for some more Tolstoy.

message 33: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I loved Tolstoy in college, but had to read the semi-condense versions of crime and punishment and Anna Karenina because of time constrain and I am planning to revisit them in the near future in the FULL glory. I'm trying to decide if I should pick those up in English or Spanish ... hmm which translation will be better?
I grew up in South America, so the list of "required" books varied greatly from the ones I hear people talk about in the US, (this site has been great in guiding me) so I feel like a kid in a candy store just planning and grabbing books that most people read as teenagers, many of which I have found quite amazing, like 1984, Lord of the Flies, and The Great Gatbsy.

message 34: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10124 comments Mod
I just grabbed myself a copy of The Grapes Of Wrath from the Salvo for 89 cents. I read this back in high school for a lit class and do not really remember any of it, so I am looking foward to rereading it. Unfortunately, I have quite a few others on my shelf that are beating it out currently, so it will probably be part of my Summer Of Classics. ( I read a few classics this past summer and want to continue the trend!)

message 35: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Wuthering Heights. I have wanted to read it for years, but never got to it.

message 36: by Kirsty (new)

Kirsty (kirstyreadsandcreates) | 610 comments I'm with you on that one, Wuthering Heights is one I've always fancied reading, but never gotten around to it!

message 37: by Stacie (new)

Stacie While I can't comment on "Brothers" because that is on my "to read" list still, I can say keep "Anna Karenina" in your hand and read it! I read it years ago and I still look at that book and am haunted by the story and characters. You won't be disappointed.

message 38: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10124 comments Mod
I hit the one and only used bookstore in my area, and came away with Moby Dick. Ive read quite a few novels lately with references to that book, and since I havent read it yet, and my book choices seem to be telling me to, I will add it to my summer reading....

message 39: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1826 comments All of the Jane Austen books...never have read any of them sadly.

message 40: by liz (new)

liz (mancini) Heart of Darkness or Things Fall Apart, I'm a history teacher and I'm not sure how I made it through HS, college, and grad school without reading either. There are many classics I haven't read, some I refuse to (anything by Hemingway, I can't bear it), but most I just haven't gotten to

message 41: by Gail (new)

Gail D.C. | 31 comments I am not sure what ones I feel that I need to read now but I have been playing catch up these last few years with some of the clasics. About 2 or 3 years ago I pick up all the jane austin books and read most of them I was unsure about northanger abby but when pbs did the tv version of it it sent me right to my book shelf. Recently i finished count of monty christo ( sorry for spelling) and I enjoyed it a lot. Ps not the hollywood ending but so good. Current I have waiting to read 3 musketeers and a few others. I am just so picky that I end up limiting myself on what to read. What I do read stays with me for so long that I hate to take the time on something persay not worth my time.

message 42: by Jaime (new)

Jaime (jaimechm) I have to say that I wish I had read Jane Austen as well. I'm 31 years old and just discovered her through recent movies...I have no idea how it happened considering my English Literature degree. Thinking back on my education though...I've read and studied more Shakespeare then I think was really necessary.

So what would you all recommend as my first Jane Austen book?

message 43: by Gail (new)

Gail D.C. | 31 comments My first and fav is pride and prejudice! You just cant beat elizabeth and darcy! Next either Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion or Northanger Abbey. I had a hard time with Emma I just struggle through it. Mansfield Park is good but as I stated above Start with Pride and Prejudice. Hope you like it.;)

message 44: by Stacie (new)

Stacie Hi Liz,
I don't even know where to start to describe what you are missing by not reading Hemingway. There is so much that goes beyond his perceived mysoginistic (did I spell that right?) undertones. His level of description and the way in which he is able to capture his surroundings and the people within them is amazing. (Did I mention that I am an ardent Hemingway fan and have read almost everything he has written AND am what one would consider a feminist?) Books that I would suggest that go beyond his extreme masculine leanings would be "Moveable Feast", "Old Man and the Sea", "True at First Light" and "The Garden of Eden." "First Light" and "Garden" with both published posthumusely, so there is some criticism about how true to Hemingway form they are, but they are beautiful books...It was actually "Garden of Eden" that first really turned me on to Hemingway - prior to that I didn't read him at all. Sorry for the rambling treatise!

message 45: by Lorena (new)

Lorena (lorenalilian) I loved "Old Man and the Sea" when I read it in school, I have been wanting to own a copy and revisit it as an adult, but always forget to pick one up when I am out book shopping (something to do with the way my eyes wonder about in excitement due to new and wonderful books begging to be explored!)
I have never read anything by Jane Austen either, and lately I have realized that for a long time I have been wanting to read Le Miserables, but never have.

message 46: by liz (new)

liz (mancini) oh, I don't read him b/c I think he's a chauvinist, I just don't like his work. I tried rereading Old Man and the Sea when I was older and more mature, hated it just as much as in HS

message 47: by Marlene (new)

Marlene (rivera_bookjunkie) Hey Gail,
I'm going to take the advice that you posted and read Pride and Prejudice. Like Jaime I have not read any of Austen's material, so thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how it goes.

message 48: by Gail (new)

Gail D.C. | 31 comments I hope you love it as I do. Each person has a fav austen this that is mine! Heres hopeing ;)

message 49: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celestelueck) | 107 comments If you have read the "What am I reading..." thread you already know I should have read Bram Stoker's Dracula when it was assigned to me in college. I'm doing it now as a book in CD and I am ready enjoying it. Boy, his vampire sure is different than Edward Cullen.

message 50: by Briony (new)

Briony (rionybay) There is heaps, but the main one for me is Anna Karennina.

And I haven't read a single Tim Winton novel, which makes me a terrible Australian! I really need to read Cloudstreet I think.

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